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20/20 Vision:

The Resiliency of Greater Rochester Businesses

2020—what a year. It may be cliché to say, but these have truly been unprecedented times for all of us— personally and professionally. I believe it is times like these where people and a community show their true colors. Moments of crisis reveal the grit and can-do attitude needed to press on when times feel too tough, where the days seem to last forever and the horizon that welcomes a new dawn seems lost in the distance. The past eight months of the COVID-19 pandemic have been trying for the business community in Greater Rochester and across the country. Every day brought new challenges and uncertainties, and no business was immune. With all the difficulties and challenges faced, the level of resourcefulness witnessed among businesses to adjust, adapt and keep moving forward is what keeps me optimistic and bullish on our community’s economic future. Times of survival call for a fight or flight attitude, and Greater Rochester is full of fight. It will be this community’s perseverance that will produce the brighter days waiting for us on the other side of this once-in-a-century public health crisis. While that will be a moment worthy of jubilee, we must continue honoring and celebrating the successes we experience along the journey. The Greater Rochester Top 100, specifically, the companies on the list, is an ideal and uplifting occasion worth celebrating. ESL supports the Top 100 year after year, because success stories should be celebrated, and every year is a chance to showcase 100 success stories in our business community. While this year’s Top 100 list is based on 2019 financials, you all deserve congratulations and gratitude for the resiliency you have continuously demonstrated across all business sectors in what has surely been a difficult and stressful year. Technology, health care, professional services, business services, manufacturing, food and beverage—the fact that such a diverse local economy can adapt to such trying times is a testament to the collective brainpower and ingenuity that has always been housed in Greater Rochester. While change may seem to have been the only constant over the past eight months, I encourage us all to remember what can be done when staring in the face of uncertainty. Times may have been, and perhaps still are, hectic, but under the most intense of pressure, coal transforms into diamonds. Crisis creates opportunity.

Faheem Masood President and CEO ESL Federal Credit Union

As we come to the end of 2020, many will claim this as a year to forget. But I encourage the opposite. Let 2020 remain ingrained in our minds. We have learned too much in 2020 to cast it aside and move on. We have rebuilt revenue models, reconfigured entire offices and adjusted service models to meet our companies’ and customers’ needs. We have adapted to workplace and business guidance that, while vitally important to public health and controlling the spread of the virus, could understandably be stressful and confusing to implement. But we adjusted and persevered. As our business community faces continued difficulties and uncertainties, the lessons learned in these moments have the power to transform Greater Rochester. Our human capital, educational institutions, legacy companies, health care systems and facilities all possess the resources needed to make our community a destination for business—where people want to work, entrepreneurs want to launch and residents want to promote. I remain optimistic about Greater Rochester and our business community because I, and many of us, have witnessed our community’s 360-degree cycle of resiliency before. We experienced the corporate dominance of being a company town. Today, we persevere in the shadow of those legacies, as our greatest asset—our people—emerged to build a town of companies. Our knowledge, experience and legacy infrastructure prepared us for such a transformation. In 2020, we stand on the edge of a similar precipice. Greater Rochester is a community that innovates. It’s in our blood. It’s our legacy. Our community has faced tough economic times before. And like before, we will persist. We will persevere, and emerge from these times a stronger, more adaptable and resilient business community than ever before. To all of you in the Top 100—thank you for your work and your dedication to upholding the best of what defines Greater Rochester’s business community.

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Profile for Rochester Chamber

2020 Rochester Chamber Top 100 Digital Magazine  

2020 Rochester Chamber Top 100 Digital Magazine