Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network Activities


October 25, 2016: Regional Prosperity: Collaboration Across Boundaries


Keynote Speaker’s Presentation

FLRPnet’s Presentation on their food processing sector study

Summary of the round table discussions: regional collaboration for economic prosperity

The Forum was held at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen, NY.  The Keynote address was given by Leslie Schaller, Director of Programs at the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks.

The forum focused on building networks, supporting innovation, and facilitating collaboration in rural communities to create a strong, sustainable regional economy using the food sector as an example.

Panel discussion allowed leaders of local programs and organizations to discuss how working across a multi-county region strengthens their ability to achieve their mission. FLRPnet’s presentation was titled – Needs Assessment and Strategy for a Food-Processing Business Incubation Program in the Finger Lakes region.  

 This event was hosted by the Finger Lakes Regional Prosperity Network and was sponsored by:
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Keynote Speaker


Leslie Schiller – Director of Programs – ACEnet

As Director of Programs, Ms. Leslie Schaller has directed multiple training and technical assistance programs which assist micro-entrepreneurs through small business curriculum development, contract services and the formation of support networks of resource providers. Ms. Schaller secures public and private funding through grants and fees for services to support regional brand initiatives, targeted sector training, financial management support and capital access. Ms. Schaller is responsible for working directly with entrepreneurs throughout the intake and assessment process, start-up and expansion stages.

Ms. Schaller is currently a partner of the Aspen Institute’s Scale Academy, the Central Appalachian Network, the Ohio Food Policy Network, the Ohio Food Hub Network and UpGrade Athens County.



Martin J. Broccoli, Director, Agriculture Economic Development Program, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County

Dave Phillips, Training Manager, G.W. Lisk, and 2017 Chair, FAME Fingerlakes Advanced Manufacturing Enterprise

Nathan Rudgers, Senior Vice President, Director Business Development, Farm Credit East

Natasha Thompson, President & CEO, Food Bank of the Southern Tier

Marcia Weber, Executive Director, Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development Board