Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network (FLRPnet) (formerly known as TCAD Foundation) is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that was created by TCAD in 2013 to extend the capacity and reach of economic development efforts in Tompkins County and the greater Finger Lakes region.
Mission: Working to improve the economic condition of the region particularly of underserved and economically isolated people.
Vision: Economic prosperity for the region.
FLRPnet seeks to catalyze, plan, develop partnerships, and build funding for projects where there is a common economic development mission across multiple counties in the Finger Lakes region.
FLRPnet’s impact focus areas are:
- rural wealth creation
- workforce development
- energy transition
FLRPnet’s first major initiative is a regional business incubation program targeting the food-processing sector.
Food Processing Business Incubation Program
The food-processing sector is growing significantly in the Finger Lakes, yet businesses are facing hurdles to commercialization and scaling up to larger markets. FLRPnet’s 2016 report Needs Assessment and Strategy for a Food-Processing Business Incubation Program looks at how to support this important industry and accelerate its growth.
Based on the study results, FLRPnet will build a food processing business incubation program in 2017.
Regional Prosperity: Collaboration Across Boundaries – Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network hosted a one day forum to gain critical engagement for their rural wealth creation initiative. The forum brought together agricultural, business, economic development, non-profit, education, and government leadership from 12 rural counties of NY (Broome, Cayuga, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Yates).
A specific objective of the forum was to inspire engagement in implementing a regional food-processing business incubation program. The program intends to network and leverage existing resources in the food sector as well as fill service gaps. The forum provided a key opportunity to connect with regional partners who can contribute resources, knowledge and ideas to make the food sector incubation program a success.
The keynote address was made by Leslie Schaller, Director of Programs at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, a model regional development agency serving 32 rural counties of Ohio since 1985.
FLRPnet Board Members
Janet serves in an advisory capacity to a number of companies, ministries, and non-profit organizations addressing food system and environmental issues associated with sustainable agriculture, water quality, nutrient management, climate change, agroforestry, and food system issues. Ms. Hawkes was previously Managing Director of HD1 LLC a consulting and project development company focused on sustainable agriculture and environmental practices. She also served as Executive Director of the Cornell Educational Resources Program at Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Director of NYS Agriculture in the Classroom Program, and Principal Investigator on a variety of state, national, and international agriculture programs funded with private and public funds.
Janet has worked in agriculture economic development in the South Pacific, Asia, Africa, Central America, and the Caribbean. She was the Executive Director of an environmental and agricultural education center, and as a Cooperative Extension Agriculture Agent in NYS. Hawkes served on several Advisory Boards for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO), the USDA, and the US Department of Energy. Domestically, she served on the Stone Barns Center for Sustainable Agriculture Board of Directors, on the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) Biomass Coordinating Council, Tompkins County Agriculture and Farmland Protection Board, Tompkins County Water Resources Board, and TCAD Board, as well as other economic development, environmental, education, and agriculture organizations.
Jean McPheeters recently retired from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce where she served as president from January 2000 to July 2014. Previously she worked for Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES (Board of Cooperative Educational Services) and as the District Administrator for U.S. Representative Maurice Hinchey and district representative for Congressman Matthew McHugh.
Jean is a member of the board of directors of the Paleontological Research Institution and the Tompkins Cortland Community College Foundation. She formerly served on the boards of Tompkins County Area Development and the Cayuga Medical Center as well as state and national boards of her professional associations and many local not-for-profit organizations. Jean co-chaired the successful $2 million campaign for United Way of Tompkins County in 2008 and has also served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of Tompkins Cortland Community College. She and her husband, Daniel McPheeters, live in Brooktondale in a log home they built.