Top government, business and university leaders from the Rochester Region today joined Greater Rochester Enterprise, an economic development organization dedicated to job creation in the area, in kicking off a weeklong mission trip to Israel, Nov. 6-13.
Sixteen leaders, including Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and New York State Senator Joseph Robach, are participating in the mission trip, which includes meetings with more than 80 Israeli companies; biotechnology and telecommunications conferences; and visits to the cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Modi'in and Rehovot, Rochester's Sister City.
Other participants in the mission trip include Gary Aron, Senior Vice President at Bausch & Lomb; Kevin Hobert, Vice President, Health Imaging Group at Eastman Kodak Co.; and Peter Robinson, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at the University of Rochester Medical Center.
Participants in the mission trip will meet with Israeli companies considering operations in the U.S.; venture capitalists interested in investing in high-tech start-up companies; and Israeli businesses seeking mutually beneficial partnerships with U.S. firms.
"I am proud to be participating in this important business outreach visit to Israel and I look forward to meeting with Israeli government, business and university leaders," said Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks. "This is a great opportunity to promote our community and foster new partnerships with Israeli companies – partnerships that will strengthen our economy and create jobs. I thank Greater Rochester Enterprise for organizing what I know will be a productive week. I am honored to be a part of it."
"As a proud supporter of GRE and its outreach efforts to Israel, I am pleased to be participating in a mission trip that will help create jobs and improve the economy of the Rochester Region and all of New York State," said State Senator Joseph Robach, who secured $100,000 in state funding to support this event. "I look forward to face-to-face meetings with leaders in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Modi'in and Rehovot, and in nurturing our region's relationship with Israel for many years to come."
This week's mission trip builds on the success of previous outreach efforts to Israeli companies that took place earlier this year. GRE and SIT, a business consulting group based in Tel Aviv, brought more than 30 Israeli firms to Rochester for business-attraction visits in February and June.
"This trip will build on our existing relationships, while at the same time encourage additional Israeli companies to establish operations in the Rochester Region," said Michael A. Finney, President and CEO of Greater Rochester Enterprise. "I have confidence that our numerous meetings with government, business and university leaders will help us achieve our objectives and solidify Rochester's economic partnership with Israel."
In September, GRE announced a contract with SIT in preparation for this week's mission trip and future business-attraction visits. This week's trip is supported in part by the Israeli Export Institute, Empire State Development Corp.'s office in Israel, as well as the Jewish Arab Development Center, the Weizmann Institute, and Sheba Medical Center.
"We are delighted to have this opportunity to bring together leading Israeli companies and Rochester-based business executives, as well as academic and political leaders. We truly believe that this collaboration will result in tangible immediate benefits for all participants, leading to a long-lasting relationship," said Idit Biton, Managing Director, SIT Israel. "This trip is the third in a relationship that started in January of this year. The first two delegations were Israeli, and the reception we received in Rochester was overwhelming, both in terms of human warmth and in professional treatment. Our goal is to reciprocate this week."
Systematic Inventive Thinking is both the name of a company and the innovative method it develops for
enhancing innovation and creativity across organizations. SIT Ltd. is a privately owned company headquartered in Tel Aviv that has run projects worldwide either directly out of Israel or through a variety of local strategic partners for almost a decade.
Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE) is a public-private partnership established to professionally market the Rochester metropolitan region as a competitive, high-profile place for business location and growth. GRE will collaborate with business, academia, not-for-profit organizations and government to ensure a unified approach to regional economic development efforts.