The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center (FLEDC) is the sole economic development agency dedicated to the promotion and growth of Yates County. The FLEDC uses a broad spectrum of natural resources and targeted development programs to sustain the high level of growth Yates County is experiencing. The strength of our economy is based on the diversity of our businesses and our ability to help them grow — that’s why we continually develop programs to entice further investments from Yates County enterprises.
Our programs are designed to help businesses of all sizes and all industries, and we strongly encourage any business to contact us. We have also developed additional programs and incentives around specific industries that are among our fastest growing sectors, including agribusinesses, tourism, and manufacturing.
Board of Trustees
Gene Pierce, Chairman ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Gene Pierce is the owner of Glenora Wine Cellars/The Inn at Glenora, Chateau Lafayette Reneau and Knapp Vineyards Winery and Restaurant producing more than 90,000 cases of wines annually. Gene is extremely active in promoting the Finger Lakes Region as well as serving on numerous wine and grape committees. This is Gene’s third term on the FLEDC Board of Directors. Gene was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on January 14, 2019 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.
Jerry Hiller, Vice-Chair ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Jerry Hiller retired as the Vice President of Finance and Administration at Keuka College, a position he held for 12 years. Hiller has 30 years of experience in local government administration, has an M.P.A. from SUNY Albany, and a B.A. from SUNY Buffalo. Hiller is also a member of the National Association of College and University Business Officers, the International City Management Association and is an Executive Member of the Upstate New York College Collaboration. Jerry was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on January 08, 2018 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
Rita Gow, Treasurer ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Rita Gow is a Certified Public Accountant and recently retired after nine years as a Professor of Accounting at Keuka College. Rita has worked as a CPA for Ernst & Young in Boston and Percival Bixby in Buffalo, with experience in both audit and tax. Rita has over 25 years of experience in operations and financial management in the manufacturing, insurance and not-for-profit sectors. She received her BA in Accounting from Skidmore College and her MBA in Finance from SUNY-Buffalo. Rita has served on numerous committees while teaching at Keuka College and was voted Professor of the Year in 2011. She is currently the Treasurer of the Keuka Housing Council, Inc., on the Board of the FL Boating Museum, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Yates Community Endowment. She has served as Treasurer of both the Genesee Land Trust and YCRR and lent her financial expertise to other community organizations in the Finger Lakes region. Rita was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on January 14, 2019 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.
Dr. Kim Williams, Secretary ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Dr. Williams is no stranger to the country life of Upstate New York. Having been raised in Worcester in the Catskill Mountains, her love of animals was fueled by her many pets and farm animals. Even as a young child, her goal was to be a veterinarian. As a youth, she spent summers volunteering at her local SPCA and various veterinary clinics. She went on to Cornell University for her undergraduate education, where she earned a BS in Animal Science. Dr. Williams spent 2 1/2 years at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in St. Kitts, in the West Indies, before finishing up at Texas A&M in December of 2007. Dr. Williams was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on January 8, 2018 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
Sirene Garcia, Assistant Secretary/Treasurer ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Sirene Garcia came to Finger Lakes Community Health in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree from Keuka College. Sirene served as a Community Health Worker, assisting agricultural workers to access health services, as well as a Certified Facilitated Enroller. In 2006 Sirene became the Coordinator of the Finger Lakes Community Health Migrant Voucher Program, providing care in 42 counties of NY through a state wide voucher system. She also directed an Insurance Enrollment program providing financial advocacy assistance to patients across NY. In 2009, Sirene began her current position as a key member of Finger Lakes Community Health’s Administrative team. Her wide range of expertise gave her the ability to develop programs and new initiatives as the Director of Special Programs. As the Finger Lakes Community Health Telehealth program grew, Sirene played a pivotal role in helping to bring on new partners and to work with a variety of individuals and agencies that were interested in using technology to expand services. Today, with her Master’s degree in business management, Sirene continues her work with the Migrant Voucher Program as well as with her role as the director for a telehealth network that reaches across NYS. Sirene was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on February 11, 2019 and will serve on our Board from February 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020.
Jim Wilson ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Jim Willson has been part of the banking community for the last 17 years and is one of the three original founding management members of the nine-year old, $245 million USNY bank, doing business in the area as Bank of the Finger Lakes. He is currently the Chief Credit Officer at USNY Bank & Bank of the Finger Lakes in Geneva, NY. Jim was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County Legislature on January 8, 2018 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2019.
Bill Holgate ( FLEDC, FLHEDC, YCCRC)
Bill Holgate lives on Seneca Lake where he was born and raised. He continues to be part of the Maritime Industry for over 35 years. Bill is currently the Captain of the schooner "True Love", a charter vessel on Seneca Lake. Bill continues to serve on the Starkey Town Council for over 20 years. He is also serving on the Yates County Legislature where he currently chairs the Finance Committee. He has been a legislator for 14 years. Bill was appointed to the Board of Directors by the Yates County legislature January 8, 2018 and will serve on our Board from January 1, 2018 to December 313, 2019.
Steve Griffin, CEO
Doreen Jensen, CFO
Mike Lipari, Economic Development Specialist
Mike Seppala, VP - Operations
Joe Sorensen, Facilities
The Finger Lakes Economic Development Center is the primary economic engine to drive community and business growth in Yates County. FLEDC is the dba of the Yates County Industrial Development Agency established in 1975.
The Finger Lakes Horizon Economic Development Center is a Not-For-Profit Corporation created in 2010 to address the need for the promotion of community and economic development and the creation of jobs in the non-profit and for-profit sectors for the citizens of Yates County.
The Yates County Capital Resource Corporation was created in 2010 as a Not-For-Profit Local Development Corporation to focus on developing and providing programs for not-for-profit institutions, manufacturing and industrial businesses and other entities to access low interest tax-exempt and non-tax exempt financing for eligible projects.