CenterState CEO Celebrates 369 Economic Champions

Posted on November 16, 2023

CenterState CEO Economic Champions Event 2023

Companies Recognized for Creating Jobs; Growth and Expansion; Capital Investments; New Business Openings and More

CenterState CEO Community Visionary Award Presented to National Grid (Watch the Video)

View Complete List of 2023 Economic Champions | Watch Videos from the Event

SYRACUSE, NY – CenterState CEO hosted its annual Economic Champions Celebration, presented by FustCharles and AmeriCU Credit Union, at the Oncenter, recognizing the collective contributions of 369 companies and organizations to the growth and vibrancy of the Central New York economy.

Together, these nominees were recognized for their aggregate creation of nearly 400,000 jobs, more than 870,000 square-feet of expansions, and over $2.3 billion in capital investments. In a sign of positive economic momentum, 124 businesses were recognized for opening new storefronts, offices and facilities; 52 were highlighted for celebrating a milestone anniversary; 107 were recognized for receiving significant awards and achievements and 56 were noted for advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in their workplaces and community.

Companies were nominated as Economic Champions for their accomplishments throughout the year by CenterState CEO and the Greater Oswego-Fulton Chamber of Commerce, the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance, the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, peers, employees and staff, as well as self-nominations.

“The steadfast commitment of our business community to growth makes all our recent successes possible. They are the backbone of the local economy, creating thousands of jobs and making our region a more vibrant place to be,” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Several large scale and exciting recent announcements hold so much promise for our future, and reinforce the moment of unprecedented opportunity for Central New York we are in. The region has a newfound status as an emerging growth economy. It’s now imperative that we work together to ensure that the entire Central New York community experiences the benefits of these massive investments, because a diverse economy is a strong economy.”

The event featured a keynote address from Ian Bancroft, chief executive of Wrexham County Borough Council. In his speech, Bancroft highlighted the similarities between the Welsh city and Syracuse, both in their histories and navigating growth in the face of a massive outside investment. Bancroft spent his time in Central New York meeting with several groups, discussing possible points of future collaboration.

The Economic Champions Event featured the presentation of CenterState CEO’s Community Visionary Award, sponsored by Wegmans Food Markets, was presented at the event to National Grid for embodying a vision of economic opportunity, and for its leadership and its strategic vision to create greater access to opportunities for those across the community. 

“The entire team at National Grid is beyond deserving of this year’s Community Visionary Award,” said Evelyn Ingram, director of Community Engagement, at Wegmans. “National Grid’s Project C initiative and its other philanthropic efforts, along with its focus on creating a more equitable future for all, are having such a positive impact on the communities it serves. Additionally, its support of regional economic development work, helping businesses of all sizes grow, is helping to reinvigorate the Central New York region. National Grid actively embraces its role as a true community partner and leader in creating a more equitable, prosperous community, and Wegmans is proud to support its recognition.”

Since 2021, Project C has invested more than $3.3 million across Central New York, supporting more than 50 community organizations, nonprofits and neighborhoods and nearly 80 projects, impacting thousands of residents. Additionally, since 2018, National Grid's economic development programs have supported 189 grants in CNY totaling $13.1 million.

“Project C is a part of our responsible business charter. It’s about collaboration and caring; it's about commitment and connection to our community,” said Melanie Littlejohn, vice president, New York Jurisdiction at National Grid. “Whether it’s the commitment of our employee volunteers through Project C initiatives, community outreach programs focused on workforce development, or National Grid’s economic development investments to support businesses, large and small, we’re proud of contributing to greater prosperity in this region, and we are humbled by this award.”

Economic Champions Sponsors 2023


CenterState CEO 2023 Visionary Award Given To National Grid
CenterState CEO 2023 Economic Champion's Keynote Speaker Ian Bancroft
CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson at 2023 Economic Champions Event
CenterState CEO Economic Champions Event 2023
Eric Jackson at CenterState CEO 2023 Economic Champions Event
CenterState CEO 2023 Economic Champions Event

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