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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.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sandy Parker at the Rochester Rotary

If you've never been to a luncheon sponsored by the Rochester Rotary Club, well, let's just say it's an experience. They are a group with some lively traditions -- including issuing "fines" when members "step out of line," such as a member who had to cough up $28 for apparently forgetting to mention the rotary in a recent newspaper interview.

Today's luncheon speaker was Sandy Parker, the CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, who is becoming the poster child for efforts to improve the upstate economy. It was a year ago, during her annual rotary speech, when Parker kicked off Unshackle Upstate, a coalition of upstate business interests.

Anyway, Parker today was a bit more upbeat -- predicting a legislative success for the Unshackle coalition, but also flattish job growth, a delay in the Renaissance Square project in downtown Rochester and a Stanley Cup for the Buffalo Sabres, owned by Rochester's own Tom Golisano.

Perhaps the best one-liner, though, came from newscaster Don Alhart of Channel 13, a long-time Rotarian who warms up the crowd with a news report. One of his items today was about a zoo in Australia that is conducting an experiment by placing humans on display.

"They are already exhibiting strange behavior," Alhart said. "I understand they have formed a Rotary Club -- that, of course, because they were rejected by the Lions."

(Rim shot.)


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2:18 AM, January 15, 2007  

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