June 25, 2020

The Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber Announce Plan to Form Task Force to Explore Affiliation

The Boards of The Center for Economic Growth and the Capital Region Chamber have agreed to form a Joint Task Force to pursue possible affiliation. This affiliation is being explored as CEG President and CEO, Andrew Kennedy, has accepted a senior position with Ostroff Associates, a leading government relations firm based in Albany.

“On behalf of the CEG Board of Directors, I would like to thank Andrew for his leadership, implementation of the CEG investor model, and his commitment to the growth of the Capital Region over his years of service,” said Dr. John Bennett, Chair of CEG and president and CEO of CDPHP. “With Andrew’s transition, the CEG’s volunteer leadership took this opportunity to step-back to determine how to best proceed. Our belief is that business and community growth in the Capital Region requires a unified vision and coordinated strategy that was best achieved if CEG and the Capital Region Chamber were directly affiliated under one organizational structure.”

“It has been a privilege and honor to serve as the President and CEO of CEG. I am proud of the work done by the professional team at CEG who work day in and day out to not only market the Capital Region but serve as the resource for Capital Region businesses. As I transition to the new opportunity, I would like to thank the CEG Board of Directors and our investors for their support. It is through their efforts we have made the Capital Region stronger,” said Andrew Kennedy.

The Capital Region Chamber was formed in 2015 as an umbrella organization to align and unite similar-purpose organizations. Its organizational structure was intentionally designed should other organizations wish to affiliate.

“The missions of the Capital Region Chamber and CEG are closely aligned, and there are strong synergies between organizations. The case for uniting these two regional organizations is compelling,” said Capital Region Chamber Chair Paul Milton, president and CEO of Ellis Medicine.

The affiliation structure under review leverages the strength of each organization. CEG would retain its identity and become a subsidiary of the Capital Region Chamber. From a member services perspective, the Capital Region Chamber would continue to serve the immediate four-county Capital Region, however CEG’s economic development role would remain the eight-county greater Capital Region, which aligns with counties served by the Capital Region Economic Development Council. CEG staff would combine with Chamber staff, the Chamber CEO Mark Eagan would also serve as CEG’s CEO.

The Joint Task Force will be meeting over the coming months to conduct the necessary due diligence. It expects to present a recommendation to both boards in September.