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The Business Page

Welcome to the business page, a blog where I'll take you behind the scenes of greater Rochester's fast-changing economy. My name is Ben Rand, and I intend to introduce you to some of the personalities, concepts and events that make news in business here. I've been a business reporter for eight years in Rochester and a journalist for 18, working in four states. I grew up in Pittsford, but moved away after college for about a decade. My wife and I live in Irondequoit with our two children.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Economic Development and Rochester

The appointment of R. Carlos Carballada as Rochester's economic development director brings to city government a man once described as the "most recognizable face" in area business circles. Carballada was featured in a series of memorable television commercials when he ran Central Trust Co., one of the many community banks long since purchased by the bigger institutions. He's also well-known in community service, having spent 21 years as part of the New York State Board of Regents and on various boards, such as the IBERO American Action League and American Red Cross. He last served as a CEO in 1999, when First National Bank of Rochester was sold to M&T Bank. Clearly he's a guy with a Rolodex, and, as Mayor Duffy pointed out, an understanding of financing, managing and growing businesses.

The appointment gives the city administration another newcomer to city government with a background in business and management. Besides Carballada, Duffy's team also includes:
  • Thomas Richards as corporation counsel. Richards is the former chairman and CEO of the former parent of Rochester Gas & Electric Corp.
  • Edward J. Ciaschi as director of human resources. He worked in human resources at Xerox for 37 years.
  • G. Jean Howard as chief of staff. She was CEO of Wilson Commencement Park and served several years on the corporate board of directors of RG&E's parent company.
  • Patricia Malgieri as deputy mayor. She was president of the Center for Governmental Research, an organization formed by George Eastman to conduct non-partisan public policy research.
  • Molly Clifford as director of the Neighborhood Empowerment Teams. Clifford was once public affairs manager for Rural/Metro Medical Services.
  • Gary Walker as communications director. He was former vice president of television at WXXI-TV.
  • Charles Reaves as director of parks and recreation. Reaves was chief executive of the YMCA of Greater Rochester.

If you assume the recent election was a vote for change, then change is apparently what you'll get.

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