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CEO Annual Meeting: Reinvention is Essential for Regional Growth and Sustainability
Date:  4/8/2013
ArticleType:  Press Release

Reinvention is Essential for Regional Growth and Sustainability
Rosie Wins $200,000 Startup Labs Syracuse Competition
Businesses of the Year: SU; OHA; Terakeet; Tops

SYRACUSE, NY – Business and community leaders were challenged today to adapt to meet evolving challenges facing their business and how they contribute to the growth of a new regional community. At CenterState CEO’s Annual Meeting, held at to the Nicholas J. Pirro Convention Center at Oncenter, in Syracuse, President Robert Simpson explained how reinvention is the key to the sustainability and economic health of the region’s communities.

“Through reinvention, our region is transforming and seeing real progress,” said Simpson. “However, there is no resting point in our efforts to build more successful businesses and more prosperous communities. This region will always face new challenges that move the benchmarks of success and how we get there. This means, we must continuously evolve and we must be persistent in our efforts.”

The meeting’s keynote address presented 1,100 people with an example of success that comes when business leaders seek new opportunities to meet challenges. Kevin Warren, president of Xerox Corporation’s United States Client Operations, discussed the bold and unexpected strategies that helped shape a new direction for the company.

Xerox was founded in Rochester in 1906. For much of its history, it was synonymous only with copying machines. Today, Xerox is as much a business services provider as it is a seller of advanced printing systems, and now derives more than 50 percent of its $23 billion in annual revenues from business services.

“The key to sustainability and growth is being open to reinvention and the opportunities that come with it,” said Kevin Warren, president of Xerox Corporation’s United States Client Operations. “Regardless of industry, businesses must be skilled at changing. There is tremendous opportunity with change, but most people associate change with loss because it's a disruption. No one can avoid disruption, but we can choose how to drive change.”

Warren also met with business leaders before the annual meeting to discuss how individual businesses can incorporate his ideas for making change sustainable.

Startup Labs Syracuse
The CEO annual meeting also featured the announcement of the winner of the Startup Labs Syracuse. Rosie, of Ithaca, was awarded a $150,000 cash prize and the Market Ready Award presented by Eric Mower + Associates, which will provide a suite of marketing and branding services valued at $50,000.

Rosie is an online shopping tool that tracks household items customers buy most and alerts them when they are running low. Rosie’s website or iPhone application allows customers to quickly order these items at the lowest price and pick them up in the store. www.rosieapp.com.
“Winning this award is great recognition of what we’ve accomplished as a company, and we’re thrilled to receive this endorsement from one of the industry’s most innovative accelerator programs,” said Nick Nickitas, Rosie founder and CEO. “Our experience in Startup Labs has demonstrated to us the importance of outstanding mentors and amazing impact they can have on our business.”

The competition’s 10 private sponsors, led by National Grid, provided $350,000 of support.

“National Grid is honored to be a part of Startup Labs Syracuse and recognize Rosie for winning the program’s top prize,” said Melanie Littlejohn, Central New York regional executive for National Grid. “Startup Labs is about collaboration among the region’s business leaders partnering to support entrepreneurs and helping to grow the Central New York business community. National Grid has been engaged with Rosie and the entire field of finalists throughout the process and excited to be a part of their launch.”

Rosie was selected from five finalists. Other finalists include: Full Circle Feed; SnagMobile; Pretty Padded Room; and Yorango Inc. Each finalist team received an initial $30,000 investment and completed Startup Labs intensive 22-day program. They will also receive ongoing support from Startup Labs. For any future investment, Startup Labs will provide each of the five companies with the leading 20 percent of the investment - typically the most challenging for early stage companies.

Each of the five companies becomes part of a global Startup Labs’ network and can connect with other companies, investors and mentors from any of its international programs. Syracuse is the first US city to host Startup Labs. The program is hosted worldwide in countries including: Argentina; Brazil; Chile; Columbia; India; Jordan; Malaysia; Mexico; Philippines; Turkey; Taiwan; Uruguay; and Vietnam.

Business of the Year Awards
CenterState CEO announced the four companies honored with 2013 Business of the Year Awards. The awards were presented in four categories including:

Community Involvement
Syracuse University

Onondaga Historical Association

Company with less than 50 Employees
Terakeet Corporation

More than 50 Employees
Tops Friendly Markets

This year’s winners were selected from a competitive field of 50 nominees.

“We proudly recognize these members for their outstanding success and for the role they play in strengthening our community,” said CenterState CEO Chairman, Allen Naples. “Over the last year, they have excelled - creating new jobs, making new investments and being engaged in the community.”

The Gold Sponsor of the 2013 CenterState CEO Annual Meeting is Eric Mower & Associates. The Presenting Sponsor is CPS & Professionals Incorporated. Corporate Sponsors are: Crouse Hospital; INFICON; King +King; Mohawk Global Logistics; SRC, Inc.; L. & J.G. Stickley, Inc.; Testone, Marshall & Discenza, LLP; Time Warner Cable Business Class and Wegmans. Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; the CNY Business Journal; and Visual Technologies are Media Sponsors.

About Kevin Warren
Kevin M. Warren is president, United States Client Operations (USCO) for Xerox Corporation. He was named to this position and appointed a corporate officer in July 2010.
Warren is responsible for revenue, profit and operations of USCO’s nationwide business, including direct sales and services for large enterprises.

Prior to this appointment, Warren served as chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Xerox Canada. In that role, Warren had responsibility for the business operations of Xerox Canada, including human resources, customer service, marketing and sales. He was named to that position in December, 2007.

Warren earned his Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Georgetown University in 1984. He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School, having graduated from their Advanced Management Program (AMP).

About CenterState CEO
Based in Syracuse, the CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity is a twelve-county business leadership and economic development organization. A private, not-for-profit, CenterState CEO represents more than 2,000 members and serves as the region’s primary economic, community and business development catalyst. CenterState CEO works to achieve regional growth and total community prosperity through partnerships, planning and problem solving.