Griffin honored as N.Y. State Economic Developer of the Year

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express
Steve Griffin

Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC) CEO Steve Griffin was named the 2017 New York State Economic Developer of the Year at the N.Y. State Economic Development Council’s Annual Conference in Cooperstown May 25. 

“Steve Griffin has achieved an enviable record of success over the past decade,” said Brian McMahon, Executive Director of NYSEDC. “He is highly respected by his colleagues in economic development throughout the state, and by business leaders in the Finger Lakes Region.”

Gene Pierce, Chair of the FLEDC Board, says, “Steve’s commitment and dedication to, and passion, for Yates County and the Finger Lakes Region has been a key element in the growth and success of the Finger Lakes EDC” 

Griffin’s leadership has contributed to Yates County leading the region in manufacturing job growth and total job growth over the past decade. In that same period, tourism spending in the county has increased 81 percent as well.

Between 2009 and 2015, there have been 230 new projects in Yates County. Because of this record, the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center was selected by the International Economic Development Council as one of seven highest performing economic development organizations in the world.

Griffin’s leadership has been instrumental in the waterfront development that is occurring in Penn Yan, including a new Hampton Inn hotel, as well as the very visible revitalization that is occurring downtown.

When the area was flooded in 2014 and most in need of strong leadership, Griffin was there to provide it. FLEDC became the conduit for money that was donated, and for a flood relief loan fund. More than $415,000 was dispersed to 12 businesses. Griffin also worked with New  York State to secure restoration grants to home owners and businesses whose properties were damaged by the flood.

All of the above are especially noteworthy when it is remembered that Griffin and FLEDC, Yates County’s sole economic/industrial development agency, accomplished them with a staff of three, including Griffin.

Griffin says he is “unbelievably surprised and honored by this award.” He adds, “I’m very proud that all the great businesses investing in Yates County are being recognized by others around the State.”

The 3-day conference was held at the Otesaga Resort Hotel in Cooperstown. Griffin says it is fitting that the conference took place at the home of baseball. “A State official said we’ve succeeded by focusing on getting lots of base hits versus trying for the home run.”

Always sure to share any accolades, Griffin immediately acknowledged the whole FLEDC team. “Thank you, Doreen Jensen, and the rest of our outstanding staff and board members, including those who’ve worked with us in the past, for your hard work and dedication. Now it’s time to go get that next base hit!”