Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Leadership Circle Named for Geneva Food and Beverage Industry Consortium

city-geneva-uniquely-urbanPart three of a multi-part series about the City of Geneva’s efforts to grow its food and beverage industry. Today’s story covers the formation of a Leadership Circle for the Geneva Food and Beverage Industry Consortium and the hiring of an initiative manager. This story also appeared in the Finger Lakes Times.

The City of Geneva has announced the creation of a Leadership Circle for its recently-established Food and Beverage Industry Consortium.

The consortium is comprised of food and beverage producers, and business, academia and government leaders working together to drive further innovation and growth in the industry.

With its initial planning phase complete, the consortium’s newly-named Leadership Circle is responsible for guiding its work going forward. The members are:

  • Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture
  • City of Geneva
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Finger Lakes Community College
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Locate Finger Lakes
  • Assured Edge Solutions, an agribusiness located at the Tech Farm in Geneva

Sage Gerling, Geneva City Manager

“The Geneva Food and Beverage Industry Consortium is taking the next big step forward after wrapping up the planning work this summer with CenterState CEO,” said Sage Gerling, Geneva City Manager. “The Leadership Circle will ensure the continued momentum and success of the consortium by guiding our ongoing work, facilitating next steps for the work groups, and determining long-term leadership of the consortium.”

Another major next step is the hiring of a manager with strong project management, marketing and development skills to provide day-to-day support for the initiative. The position will be funded in equal parts by the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture and the City of Geneva’s Revolving Loan Fund. It will be located at the Center of Excellence at Cornell AgriTech.

“This person will manage the consortium’s work groups, market Geneva’s key assets for food, beverage and agriculture, and also advance the efforts of the Center of Excellence statewide,” said Adam Blowers, Geneva Assistant City Manager. “We are grateful to the Center of Excellence for taking on this position that will benefit Geneva, the region and New York State.”

Cathy Young, Director of the Center of Excellence

Cathy Young, Director of the Center of Excellence

“Our mission of growing New York’s vibrant food and agriculture economy meshes perfectly with the city of Geneva’s prioritization of local job growth in the food and beverage industries,” said Catharine Young, Executive Director of the NYS Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech. “We are enthusiastic about our shared vision and partnership to attract and grow businesses in Geneva by helping to carry out the city’s comprehensive plan. Together, we will create jobs and opportunities, and look forward to a productive partnership that yields positive results on behalf of the people in the region.”

With the support of the Leadership Circle and the initiative manager, the consortium’s six work groups are responsible for developing and executing strategies in the following areas: Improve Communication Among Partners; Address Infrastructure Needs; Enhance Talent, Education and Workforce Development; Strengthen Access to Capital; Launch Additional Incubation and Acceleration Support; and, Tell Our Story.

Locate Finger Lakes is proud to join these esteemed organizations in the Leadership Circle,” said Michael Nozzolio, Chairman of Locate Finger Lakes. “We look forward to working with this team of key collaborators to advance the work of the consortium and ultimately drive more business and job growth in the burgeoning food and beverage industry. I thank Sage Gerling, Cathy Young and the other members for their continued leadership and partnership in this important initiative.”

For more information on the Geneva Food and Beverage Industry Consortium, contact City Manager Sage Gerling at 315-789-6104 or

Read part one and part two of this multi-part series. Stay tuned to Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal for more on this initiative.

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