2020 Annual Meeting - Virtual Event

September 24, 2020 - September 25, 2020

September 24 (12:00 - 4:45 p.m.)

September 25 (8:45 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.)

Due to the continued uncertainty associated with the coronavirus pandemic, and the varying comfort levels of individuals, we have decided to cancel our in-person Annual Meeting at The Sagamore Resort in September and instead are working on a compelling virtual program.

While our team remains in close contact with state officials, we feel that this decision is in the best interest of the health and welfare of our community and members.

We are sorry to not be able to convene in person this year, however we look forward to bringing you an exciting program, and sponsorship opportunities that will still present your company the benefit of increased visibility before top business leaders in New York State.

Check back regularly for up-to-date conference details


Despite recent global events, The Business Council’s 2020 Annual Meeting will go on – albeit in a unique virtual format. This year we will be meeting Thursday, September 24 through Friday, September 25, via Zoom.

We are planning a full slate of programming over the two days. You will hear from several expert presenters in key areas of concern for businesses in these challenging times, including a representative from Pfizer Inc to give us an update on advances made in developing a Coronavirus vaccine. Other topics include diversity and inclusion, economic recovery, and the State of New York Politics. 

In addition, our format this year will include a detailed human resources track that will cover the latest in New York State’s Paid Sick Leave Law, a Paid Family Leave update and Workplace Harassment Prevention Training, as well as a policy track that will cover topics such as the much anticipated November elections and the recovering economy. 

The Business Council is committed to helping our members bounce back from the unprecedented events of 2020 and the resulting uncertain, fragile economy.  Our speakers will reflect this commitment and help answer your questions and concerns as we move forward in this challenging business environment. Despite not being able to attend in person, we are confident you will find your participation in this event beneficial to you and your company. 


Our Annual Meeting is an opportunity for us to help you and your business navigate through these unprecedented times. 

Everything you and your business need to know...

Thursday, September 24, 2020
12:00 p.m.

Welcome / Networking


12:10 p.m.

President's Report

  • Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President and CEO [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
12:30 p.m.

Annual Meeting of The Business Council Membership


  • Eric Mower, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer

Election of Directors

12:40 p.m.

Anniversary Awards Presentation


12:45 p.m.

Award Presentations


Human Resources Track *


Government Affairs Track

1:30 - 2:15 p.m.

New York State's Paid Sick Leave Law

  • Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Effective September 30, 2020, all employers will be required to provide all employees paid sick leave under New York’s new paid sick leave law.  We’ll talk about implementation of this new law and how you need to change your policies to accommodate its accrual, carryover and use requirements.  Additionally, we will talk about how this new law interacts with state and federal pandemic related paid sick leave programs.



Federal Election Preview

  • Scott Reed, Senior Political Strategist [BIO]
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Ashlee Rich Stephenson, Vice President and National Political Director, Political Affairs and Federation Relations [BIO]
    U.S. Chamber of Commerce 
2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Pfizer Update on COVID-19 Vaccine Development

  • Liz Golden, Vice President, Corporate Affairs [BIO]
    Pfizer Inc.
  • John Young, Group President, Chief Business Officer [BIO]
    Pfizer Inc.
3:15 - 4:00 p.m.

Paid Family Leave Update

  • Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

On September 1, the Department of Financial Services will release its assessment of the paid family leave (PFL) insurance marketplace, set new employee contribution levels for 2021, and increase PFL benefit levels.  We will discuss that new information, how the transition from 2020 to 2021 benefit levels will impact your employees, and how you can prepare for January 1, 2021.



2020 Election Forecast

  • Liz Benjamin, Managing Director, Albany [BIO]
    Marathon Strategies
  • John Zogby, Senior Partner [BIO]
    John Zogby Strategies
4:00 - 4:45 p.m.

Workplace Harassment Prevention Training

  • Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

One thing COVID hasn’t canceled is the requirement that you provide annual workplace harassment prevention training to your employees. Suitable for all employees, this program, along with additional company specific information provided by you, can help you meet this requirement.



State of New York Politics

  • Honorable Joseph E. Robach [BIO]
    New York State Senate, 56th District
  • Marcos Crespo, Former Member [BIO]
    New York State Assembly, 85th District
4:45 p.m. Wrap Up


Friday, September 25, 2020
8:45 - 9:00 a.m.

Welcome / Networking


9:00 - 9:30 a.m.


  • Steve Cortes, Senior Advisor for Strategy [BIO]
    Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.


9:30 - 10:00 a.m.


  • Ben Harris, Senior Economic Advisor [BIO]
    Biden for President
10:00 - 11:15 a.m.

What's Next for Employers?


  • Eric Linzer, President & CEO [BIO]
    New York State Health Plan Association

NYS Budget and Taxes

  • E.J. McMahon, Director [BIO]
    Empire Center for Public Policy, Inc.

Labor Policy

  • John M. Bagyi, Esq., SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Member [BIO]
    Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC


  • Sheri Givens, Vice President, U.S. Regulatory & Customer Strategy [BIO]
    National Grid

Human Resources Track *


Government Affairs Track

11:15 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

New York State's Paid Sick Leave Law

(Repeat from Thursday)

  • Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

Economic Competitiveness in the Post-Pandemic New Normal

  • Ted Abernathy, Managing Partner [BIO]
    Economic Leadership LLC
12:00 - 12:45 p.m.

Workplace Harassment Prevention Training

(Repeat from Thursday)

  • Frank Kerbein, Director, Center for Human Resources [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.

State Update

  • Eric Gertler, President and CEO [BIO]
    Empire State Development  (Invited)
12:45 - 1:30 p.m.

A Conversation with the Human Rights Campaign President

  • Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., President & CEO [BIO]
    The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
  • Alphonso B. David, President [BIO]
    Human Rights Campaign
1:30 p.m. Remarks
  • Honorable Kathy Hochul [BIO]
    Lieutenant Governor
    State of New York
1:45 p.m.

Wrap Up / Grand Prize Drawing

Two Round Trip Airline Tickets 
courtesy of  Southwest Airline Co 

(Certain restrictions apply). 


* Please note that the Human Resource Track has been approved by the HR Certification Institute.

HRCI logoThe use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.  This activity has been approved for 1 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®).  Please make note of the activity ID number on your recertification application form. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit the HR Certification Institute website at www.hrci.org.


The Business Council is THE business association in New York State. By sponsoring our Annual Meeting your organization's name and logo will be front and center in the minds of the state's leading voice in business, government and media. Our conference development team will work with YOU to: 

  • Build awareness for your company/organization
  • Grab the attention of your diverse membership that simply cannot be found anywhere else 
  • Associate your brand with New York's other best and brightest

In this new age of Virtual meetings, we have put together many new opportunities for you to increase your company's visibility to the top business leaders in New York State. 

Interested in becoming a Sponsor? View our Sponsorship Opportunities brochure.

Click here for more details!


Registration Type Registration Fee   Register
Member * $179   Member Register Now **
Non-Member $279   Non-Member Register Now

*The Business Council of New York State recognizes many companies across New York State as valued members. All employees of member companies receive member benefits and pricing. If you are unsure if your company is a member of The Business Council of New York State, please contact [email protected] prior to registering.

** To register as a member you will need to log into the members only section of our website.  If you have forgotten your password, use the Reset Password function.  For additional log-in problems contact us. 

Cancellation & Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up to seven days prior to the event. You will be refunded your registration, less a $30 processing fee.  Cancellations received after September 17, 2020 will not be eligible for a refund. The Business Council encourages you to send a substitute in your place if you cannot attend.

Registration closes Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.

Don't miss your opportunity to win our Grand Prize! 

Two Round Trip Airline Tickets courtesy of Southwest Airlines Co. (Certain restrictions apply). All paid registrants that attend Thursday and Friday will be eligible to win.




Board of Director Nominations

More information





International Paper Logo





Harris Beach



Hannaford Logo


National Grid


BBL Companies Logo


Beacon Health Options Logo


DoubleTree-Hampton Logo

KPH Pursuit Logo
BCW logo Southwest Airline Co







The Prize Program has awarded hundreds of gifts to fellow Business Council members over our long history. Now that we are going virtual, we want to still be able to reward our attendees with great prizes from our member companies.  Your company will be recognized for its contribution in our printed materials, during the event and on our website.

Prizes may be an item or product you make, a special certificate or gift basket. Certificate and cash donations are acceptable.


For more information on the 2020 Annual Meeting, Sponsorship Opportunities or the Prize Program please contact Maribeth Riley at [email protected] or call 518.465.7511 x232.