March 27 2017

PRESS RELEASE: CEG Reaches $6M Capital Campaign Goal to ‘Accelerate’ Region’s Economy

March 27, 2017

Media Contact
James Schlett
Director of Research and Communications
518-465-8975 X221

CEG Reaches $6M Capital Campaign Goal to ‘Accelerate’ Region’s Economy

ALBANY, N.Y. – The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) has reached a $6 million target for its ‘Accelerate’ capital campaign.

Launched Sept. 1, 2016, Accelerate is a five-year campaign and collaborative investment to accelerate and secure the region’s economic stability. The success of the campaign means CEG – the Capital Region’s 30-year-old professional and economic development organization – will be better positioned to promote the eight-county region to businesses and entrepreneurs across the country and beyond while also helping companies already rooted in the region thrive.

“CEG’s successful $6 million capital campaign under the leadership of Andrew Kennedy marks the beginning of a new stage of advancement for not only this vital economic development organization but also for each of our region’s eight counties. The region-wide team effort – from developing our economic blueprint to the Capital 20.20 Plan – laid the groundwork. And now regional leaders have shown their confidence by rallying behind CEG so it can help implement the plan. Together we will pursue a bold new future for the Capital Region’s economy,” said Laura Schweitzer, chair of the CEG board and the University at Albany’s vice president for health sciences.

“CEG’s new investor model is already having a meaningful impact on our business development efforts in the Capital Region as companies are no longer viewing their contributions as a donation, but an opportunity to be part of building a stronger and growing community. Many companies are also actively engaged in committee work that is driving strategy for CEG,” said Tom Amell, CEG’s executive vice chair and president and CEO of Pioneer Bank.

About 200 organizations have invested in CEG, and more are expected to join them. The nonprofit organization’s executive-level investors include Albany Medical Center, National Grid, the Port of Albany, Rensselaer County and SEFCU.

“Achieving its capital campaign goal allows the Center for Economic Growth to continue to be a vital and integral driver of economic development in our region. Their strategic and focused efforts have helped strengthen the Capital Region’s position as a destination for business investment. Under the leadership of Andrew Kennedy, I am confident this investment will reap even greater rewards for our region in the years to come,” said James J. Barba, president and CEO, Albany Medical Center, co-chair of the Capital Region Economic Development Council.

“A $6 million capital campaign is a tremendous accomplishment, but doing it to support the Center for Economic Growth as an economic development campaign speaks volumes about the future of the Capital Region,” said SEFCU President and CEO Michael J. Castellana. “SEFCU proudly supports CEG’s efforts to drive critical economic growth in the area. Their work to advance the Capital 20.20 plan will bring key programs to life, transforming many aspects of our piece of the world.”

“The Center for Economic Growth plays a vital role in ensuring businesses from throughout the global economy know the benefits of opening a business or expanding their operations in the Capital Region,” stated Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino. “As our region continues to see interest from these businesses it is imperative that CEG increase their efforts to ensure even greater investment into our communities and job growth, and this campaign will allow CEG to do just that.  I want to congratulate them on the success of the Accelerate campaign and look forward to the positive impact I am confident it will have on Rensselaer County and the Capital Region as a whole.”  

The investment made by the region will be used to focus CEG on these five strategic initiatives:

1. Be the primary and most comprehensive resource for business development;
2. Aggressively market our entire community to attract new businesses and investment;
3. Strengthen existing businesses to be more competitive in the global market place through Business Growth Solutions and Talent Connect programs;
4. Enhance partnerships and communication by providing high-level networking among the regions’ most influential stakeholders;
5. Advance Capital 20.20, a five-year plan for our region’s future.

To date, Accelerate has allowed CEG to create three new positions to help carry out these strategic initiatives and rebrand the organization with a new logo and website. CEG has sent staff to represent the region at trade conferences such as the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium (ISS), Bio CEO & Investors Conference, the SelectUSA Manufacturing Forum at the Canadian International Auto Show, the NY BEST Capture the Energy Conference, the Site Selectors Guild Annual Conference, the International Battery Seminar & Exhibit and the Intersolar Summit USA East. Over the last year, CEG has also stepped up its economic development efforts in attracting manufacturers and technology companies to the region.

“The Capital Region has tremendous assets and resources, but their impact is limited if businesses outside our borders are not aware of them. That’s why the Capital Region needs a regional economic development organization like the Center for Economic Growth that goes to the businesses and site selectors and highlights how what we have here is a cut above the rest. And that is why so many businesses, nonprofits and government agencies readily stepped up to support CEG,” said Galesi Group President and CEO David Buicko.

“I want to congratulate CEG on completing their ‘Accelerate’ capital campaign,” said Richard Hendrick, general manager of the Port of Albany. “We are proud to be one of the largest supporters and believe it is a strategic investment that will benefit the Port of Albany as we are undertaking such major initiatives and building new customer relationships. The port is a major economic engine in upstate New York, employing or spurring over 6,000 jobs statewide and is a major logistics hub that connects the region to the world. I can think of no better partner than CEG during these exciting times in the Capital Region to help expand jobs and build investment.”

“We are very thankful to all of our investors for supporting not only CEG but also the entire Capital Region. This region has tremendous potential – from world class R&D centers to a highly educated workforce – and the success of our campaign will allow us to more effectively attract investment and jobs that will accelerate the Capital Region’s economy,” said CEG President and CEO Andrew S. Kennedy.

For more information, contact CEG Director of Research and Communications James Schlett at or 518-465-8975 X221.

About CEG

The Center for Economic Growth (CEG) is the regional economic development organization for the greater Capital Region and New York’s Tech Valley with 200 members in business, government, education, and the not-for-profit sectors. CEG is a New York Empire State Development Division of Science, Technology and Innovation-designated Regional Technology Development Center and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)/ Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).


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