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Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

September 21, 2011

The Business Council's Gold Chamber of the Year Award presented to CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity

ALBANY— The CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CEO)/CenterState Chamber of Commerce has been honored with The Business Council's Gold Chamber of the Year award for its unwavering commitment to local businesses and a focus on historic regional strengths.

The Chamber Awards were created as part of The Business Council's Thirtieth Anniversary celebration in 2010 to honor exceptional chamber organizations and leadership teams.

"CenterState CEO has used its high concentration of higher education institutions and key industry sectors — such as entrepreneurship and innovation — to make itself a member- and community-focused organization" said Heather Briccetti, acting-president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. "Robert M. Simpson, president and CEO, has done a tremendous leadership job. The Gold Chamber of the Year Award is well-deserved.”

"We are honored to receive this prestigious award from The Business Council, particularly because we were nominated by our members," said Robert M. Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. "Our efforts over the past year have focused on evolving a new chamber model, combining critical business services with economic development. We strive to provide enhanced value for our members while benefitting the entire region. We're grateful for The Business Council's recognition of these efforts."

CenterState CEO, which has 2,000 members, was formed in 2010 by merging the Metropolitan Development Association of Syracuse and Central New York and the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce. CenterState CEO represents a twelve-county region, with Syracuse at its core. In addition to supporting its members with benefits and programs to promote their growth, CEO focuses on community development through affiliates focused on downtown Syracuse, the city's Northside neighborhood, and the University Hill neighborhood. CEO also works to develop new businesses throughout the region through its popular business incubator, The Tech Garden, and with innovative programs like Grants for Growth, CAP Awards, and the Creative Core $250,000 Emerging Business Competition, the largest privately-funded competition of its type in the nation.