RRPC / New York Photonics Annual Meeting

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Date(s) - 10/25/2018
4:00 pm - 7:30 pm

George Eastman Museum, Rochester NY

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The Yin & Yang of OPI  Economic Development 
George Eastman Museum
Thursday, October 25, 2018

4:00 Registration,  Meeting at the Dryden Theatre
4:30 – 6:00 pm Awards & panel discussion
immediately following the program
6:00 – 7:30 pm Networking Reception &  hors d’oeuvres  in the George Eastman Museum






Mark Reynolds

VP, Strategic Business Development
New York Empire State Development

As a key member of New York’s Strategic Business Division of Empire State Development, Mark is responsible for industry attraction and assistance for the semiconductor, nanotechnology, electronics and aerospace business sectors.  He works with existing New York state employers to solve critical issues for their growth in the state, and attracting new business to New York.

Prior to joining ESDC, Mark was Sr. Vice President of Mohawk Valley EDGE, a two-county economic development corporation in upstate NY.  In this capacity Mark led EDGE’s worldwide attraction efforts and made deals with companies like BAE, Exelis, Tektronix, UTC, IAI and amsAG, among others.

Before that Mark leads the business development efforts for Stetson-Harza, a multi-disciplinary A/E services firm with offices in Utica and Albany, NY and Chicago, IL.  In this capacity Mark worked across the US and in Europe.

Mark holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from SUNY CESF at Syracuse, and a Bachelors of Environmental Sciences degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, NY.

Matt Hurlbutt

Matt Hurlbutt serves as President and Chief Executive Officer at Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) with responsibility for attracting new business to the Greater Rochester, New York region. Matt guides business development strategies, organizational resources and outreach efforts to position Rochester as a destination of choice for business investment. Matt works directly with corporate executives and national site selectors as they consider locations for investment and job creation. Before assuming this leadership role Matt served as GRE’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for nine years.

Matt was directly involved in bringing Alpina Foods, EmployeeChannel, FedEx Freight, Foundation Financial Group, Intrinsiq Materials, LiveTiles, Love Beets USA, Muller Quaker Dairy, OFD Foods, Omni-ID, and Quintel Solutions to the region. He also worked with American Packaging Corporation, Brand Networks, Concentrix, Envative, IEC Electronics, Intergrow, LiDestri Foods, Maximus and Optimax as the companies expanded in the region.

In addition, Matt directs GRE’s Economic Gardening effort and collaborates with state and local partners to leverage the region’s assets in order to support innovation and economic growth of second-stage companies.

Matt was named to the “40 under 40” list by the Rochester Business Journal, an award given to recognize individuals with outstanding leadership and accomplishments for service in their profession and the community at large. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, State University of New York College at Geneseo.

Leslie Kimerling

CEO & Co-Founder, Double Helix Optics

As CEO, Leslie is responsible for the company’s strategy, finance, business development and day-to-day operations. She leads the company’s go-to-market efforts, including all negotiation and management of licensing and strategic partnerships. She also has primary responsibility for company investment efforts and serves on its board.  Leslie brings over 20 years of entrepreneurial experience to Double Helix Optics having founded and served as a senior executive and advisor to multiple startup and growth companies over her career.  She has extensive experience in launching companies and bringing product from concept to market having held numerous C-level management roles including CEO, President/COO, Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Information Officer.  Leslie holds an MBA with Honors from the Anderson School at UCLA, an MA in Economics from Stanford University, and a BA with Honors in Economics from The University of Pennsylvania.  She is founding board member of youth enrichment program, StreetSquash, based in New York City.

Stephanie Dempsey, PE 

Senior Project Manage |Bergmann

Stephanie has worked for Bergmann for more than 20 years as both an engineer and project manager. She is a graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering. Stephanie has more than 30 years of total industry experience – spanning the industrial, healthcare, institutional and commercial markets. Currently, Stephanie leads project teams within the Research & Manufacturing national practice. She is based out of the Rochester office in the Northeast Region for Bergmann, leading projects for clients across several states. She serves on the Bergmann Board of Directors and is active with the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Joe Rizzo

Manager, Economic Development, NYSEG & RG&E 

Joe Rizzo joined the economic development department at RG&E and NYSEG in 2003 and served as Regional Manager for economic development for the Greater Rochester region. From April 2010 to April 2016, he was manager of economic development & community relations. Since April 2016 to the present, he has been manager, economic development for NYSEG and RG&E. He has continued to work in partnership with our economic development allies at a local, regional, and state level to attract and retain businesses in the NYSEG and RG&E service territories.    

Joe’s primary responsibilities include management and implementation of various economic development programs for NYSEG and RG&E, which are subsidiaries of AVANGRID, Inc. (NYSE:AGR), which is a leading, sustainable energy company with $31 billion in assets and operations in 24 U.S. states.  NYSEG serves approximately 894,000 electricity customers and 266,000 natural gas customers across more than 40% of upstate New York.  RG&E serves approximately 378,500 electricity customers and 313,000 natural gas customers in a nine-county region surrounding the City of Rochester. These programs include grant assistance for electric/natural infrastructure and energy efficiency, as well as support for productivity/efficiency improvements for manufacturers, assistance for start-companies/entrepreneurs and revitalization of main streets/business corridors.    

Since 2010, through Joe’s leadership, NYSEG and RG&E have provided over $85 million in economic development assistance to support over 450 projects leveraging over $4.4 billion in private sector and capital investments. 

Joe’s career prior to economic development has included several years as a Marketing Key Account representative for RG&E, served as Director of Marketing & Sales for RG&E, held various management positions in a number of project initiatives for implementation of both gas and electric deregulation, and served as Director of Wholesale Accounts to manage business relationships with competitive energy service companies (ESCOs).   

In addition to Joe’s participation in the Infrastructure and Transportation Work Group for the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, he serves on the board of directors for a number of economic development organizations including: Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, Greater Rochester Enterprise, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation, NextCorps Inc. (formerly High Tech of Rochester), and the New York State Economic Development Council.


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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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