Spotlighting Rochester’s future leaders

Local News

The Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce will host Re:Generation: Empowering Rochester’s Future Leaders Thursday, June 13 at Arbor at the Port.

The award ceremony will begin at 5:00 p.m. Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bob Duffy and Molly Mesko, the Executive Director for Executive & Professional Programs in the Office of Student Engagement at the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, discussed the event Friday during News 8 at Sunrise.

“It is the first Ignite Young Professionals Award,” said Duffy. “There will be 24 finalists for this award. We have sponsors. Obviously, the Simon School is one of our sponsors. I give credit to Shannon Ealy from our team who has led a program for young professionals over the last two-plus years. We are trying to focus on and honor this great young talent coming up in Rochester and really highlight them. Our guest speaker, our keynote, will be Mayor Svante Myrick from Ithaca. I think Mayor Myrick was the youngest mayor in America when he was first elected many years ago, but a great leader, a great young leader. He’ll be inspirational for those who are coming.”

Mesko said cultivating leaders is part of the vision at the Simon School. “I think oftentimes people think of Simon Business School as very quantitative, finance, economics driven, and we certainly are, but there has been such a push – not only at Simon but at the University of Rochester as a whole – on entrepreneurial studies and the dire need to bring new businesses in, starting new business lines within existing organizations, really re-inventing business as it currently exists. We see that in Rochester in Photonics and all the new startups. So many of the courses that we have at Simon now are helping our young leaders and our young professionals get that experience, help vet new ideas. It’s really an exciting time to see the impact that our Simon students and alumni are having in the Rochester community on new ventures are really expanding their existing business lines.”

Duffy said talented young people are ready to take on big roles in our community. “We are going through a transformation right now in Rochester which should make us all very proud. A great, strong, powerful generation of young leaders, they’re emerging in every corner of Rochester and it’s a sea change coming. I will say for leaders in positions now lead, follow, or get out of the way because if you can’t lead change and really prepare this area for innovation and change in the future, there’s a cadre of young leaders that will come right up over your back in the future and be taking over, because they’re not going to wait their time. They don’t have to. Rochester and the Finger Lakes region is in a great position for the future.”

There is still time to register for Re:Generation: Empowering Rochester’s Future Leaders. Go online at and simply go to ‘Programs and Events’ when you get there. You’ll find a link to sign up. 

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