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Headwinds and Tailwinds: The 2023 BNP Economic Development Summit

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December 7, 2023

The BNP hosted its first Economic Development Summit on December 7 as the culmination of the 2023 Industry Leaders Forum (ILF) schedule. An impressive group of Western New York business leaders came together to discuss the current status of the economy as we collectively strategize for 2024.

As part of the summit, BNP was honored to present the inaugural 2023 Industry Leader Award to John Persons, COO of Northeast Grocery Inc. Throughout his 39-year career with Tops Friendly Markets, and his now expanded role with Northeast Grocery Inc., John has exemplified industry leadership and is a dedicated steward of the entire Buffalo Niagara community. Learn more about John’s community leadership and compassion in the aftermath of the 5/14 tragedy in The Buffalo News.

EcDev Summit - Tops

(L) Dottie Gallagher presents John Persons with his award. (R) Tops' leadership team celebrate the achievement. 

The BNP was joined by keynote speaker Jordan Crenshaw, Vice President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center, for a presentation on Tech’s Impact on the Future of All Business. Buffalo’s recent regional tech hub designation, the health of our start-up ecosystem, and understanding the complexities of AI and e-commerce were the focus of Jordan’s discussion and will also be the centrals theme of the 2024 ILF.

ILF - Summit- Chamber

Finally, Dottie Gallagher, BNP’s President & CEO, moderated a panel discussion on our economic headwinds and tailwinds, giving insights on the region's strengths and short- and long-term challenges. The panel included:

The dialogue ranged from the importance of hybrid work schedules, a changing need for official/commercial space and positioning the region as an emerging tech marketplace.

ILF - Summit

Learn more about the BNP Industry Leaders Forum  here.

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