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In their Own Words


“This institute will clearly put Rochester on the map as the home of the growing sustainable manufacturing, remanufacturing and recycling industries.”

– Nabil Nasr, director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT, who was selected to lead the new Reducing Embodied-Energy and Decreasing Emissions Institute, March 2017.

“We are one of the most segregated communities in America and that counts for a great deal of the difference. There are other communities in the Rust Belt with similar challenges, but they are not as great or as grave as ours.”

– Jennifer Leonard, CEO of Rochester Area Community Foundation, on the challenges facing the area, March 2017

“I can see Rochester on the cover of a magazine in five years with the headline, ‘Here’s a city that did it right.’

– Ken Glazer, managing partner of Buckingham Properties LLC, speaking at a Rochester Business Journal Power Breakfast on downtown development, February 2017


“We look forward to bringing new visitors to the area, helping local businesses, farms, wineries and breweries prosper.”

-Jeff Babinski, executive vice president and general manager of del Lago Resort & Casino, December 2016

“We had to kick-start downtown Rochester.”

– Robert Morgan, president and CEO of Morgan Management LLC, on the importance of the Tower280 project to downtown redevelopment, November 2016

“The merger of the two banks is a great challenge (and) I’m enjoying the heck out of it.”

– James Barger, KeyBank’s Rochester market president, on the integration of First Niagara’s local network into his operations, September 2016

“I’m excited about what the new Xerox will bring for us.”

– Ragni Mehta, who leads a $1 billion global operation in the Xerox Technology Business, on the company’s plan to split into two publicly traded firms, August 2016

“Wegmans did a good job after Bob Wegman and Paychex did a good job after Tom Golisano handed it over to Marty Mucci.”

– Bonadio Group CEO Thomas Bonadio, on how he responds to people who ask what his firm will do after he steps down as chief executive, June 2016

 “I feel this is an opportunity for upstate to build a photonics superhighway from Rochester to Albany.”

– Robert Clark, senior vice president for research at the University of Rochester, on the $600 million AIM Photonics headquarters,  April 2016


“There truly is nothing like this facility anywhere else that I’ve been.”

– David Leininger, executive vice president and CFO of the Dallas Area Rapid Transit, on Rochester’s downtown transit center, November 2015

“It’s testimony to George Eastman’s vision and the power of his ideas.”

– Joseph Steko, president and CEO of the Center for Governmental Research Inc., on marking the 100th anniversary of the non-profit Eastman founded, October 2015

“Well, since I applied for immortality and I didn’t get it, I think the foundation is going to be the beneficiary of a significant amount of my estate.”

– Paychex Inc. founder and chairman Thomas Golisano, on his plans for the B. Thomas Golisano Foundation, October 2015

“Many manufacturing companies have had to remake themselves, but Ö we’re still doing the same products we were doing almost 150 years ago.”

– John Perrotti, president and CEO of Gleason Corp., which was founded in 1865, June 2015

“I loved ‘Swan Lake’ to look at it, but that was two centuries ago. So why are we still doing that?”

– Garth Fagan, considered one of the top choreographers in modern history, whose Rochester-based dance company has been around nearly 50 years, April 2015


“Their reach went very deep in our community.”

-Dennis Kessler, entrepreneur and Simon Business School professor, on the loss of Laurence and Jane Glazer, December 2014


“I’m heartbroken Ö that a town I love isn’t going to be a part of our tour anymore.”

– World Golf Hall of Fame member Nancy Lopez, on the end of the LPGA Tour’s run in Rochester after 38 years, August 2014

“When you focus on economic development in Rochester, the medical center is the linchpin of the university.”

– University of Rochester president Joel Seligman, on URMC, which accounts for more than 80 percent of UR’s cash flow, July 2014


“It made me sad because it represents the end of a dream that a lot of us had, but the dream was over a long time ago.”

– Gordon Black, founder and former CEO of Harris Interactive Inc., on the planned sale of the firm to Nielsen Holdings N.V., November 2013

“When I ask for something when something is important, the governor responds immediately. To me, he’s the most responsive person in Albany.”

– Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy, on his relationship with Gov. Andrew Cuomo, July 2013

“We are not financial investors. Ö For the next 100 years, we should be here.”

– Ignacio Galan, chairman and CEO of Iberdrola S.A., which acquired Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. in 2008, May 2013

“This makes us a more powerful presence.”

-Pike Co. Inc. CEO Thomas Judson Jr., on his firm’s merger with Lecesse Construction Services LLC to create a business with nearly 500 employees, January 2013


“People were actually saying, during the 1990s, you don’t need a bank any longer. I’m saying, I beg your pardon.

– George Hamlin IV, former president of Canandaigua National Bank & Trust Co.,  August 2012

“When you get into a business and you’re right out of college at 22 or 23 years old, you think you have all the answers. You really don’t. My father was very patient.”

-Dwight “Kip” Palmer, the fifth-generation leader of family-owned Palmer Food Services Inc., May 2012

“It was one of the most difficult transformations any major American company has had to face.”

– Lawrence Matteson, Simon Graduate School of Business professor and a former Eastman Kodak Co. executive, on the obsolescence of Kodak’s traditional business, January 2012


“A lot of people in government, in the private sector and in the banks have done a lot of things wrong for a long period of time.”

– M&T Bank Corp. chairman and CEO Robert Wilmers, on the financial abuses that surrounded the Great Recession, December 2011

“Now physicians don’t have to move away to Boston or San Francisco to do world-class research.”

– University of Rochester Medical Center CEO Bradford Berk, on the impact of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute in the new Saunders Research Building, July 2011

“We are a company put together from acquisitions.”

-Lisa Fawcett, vice president of global marketing at CooperVision Inc., which had just topped Bausch & Lomb Inc. in share of the worldwide and U.S. contact lens market, May 2011

“I’ve seen a lot of old lawyers who stayed on too long. Ö I didn’t want to be around when I was, you know, drooling into a cup.”

– Gunther Buerman, on his decision to resign as Harris Beach PLLC chairman, December 2010


“We are sorry to see Birds Eye leave Rochester and take with it hundreds of high-paying jobs.”

– Blake Giannany of Linden Oaks Management Co. Inc., which owned the headquarters site Birds Eye Foods Corp. vacated, November 2010

“The board wanted someone who could get the company back toward more growth, in revenue and clients, and I believe I’m up to that challenge.”

– Martin Mucci, on being named new president and CEO of Paychex Inc., October 2010

“You can be a hero for any one-year period. Being consistent over a long period of time is something we’ve strived to do.”

-Patrick Cunningham, CEO at Manning
& Napier Advisors Inc., June 2010


“People deserve a safe, bustling, exciting, thriving downtown. East End proved it was possible.”

– David Christa, CEO of Christa Development Corp., whose projects included Sagamore on East, March 2010

“Arguably Danny should be CEO of the century, but (he) certainly deserves CEO of the decade.”

– Retail grocery consultant Burt Flickinger III, on Daniel Wegman’s selection as CEO of the decade in an RBJ poll, January 2010


“We have such a great product that contributes so much to the enjoyment of life that it makes work a fun place. We aren’t just making widgets here.”

– Robert Sands, president and CEO of Constellation Brands Inc., on the firm’s work environment, November 2009

“I was on the board for a while after I left. I feel badly about the Global Crossing part of what happened.”

– Former Rochester Tel CEO Alan Hasselwander, who retired in 1992, three years before the company renamed itself Frontier and seven years before Global Crossing Ltd. acquired it, September 2009

“We are here today to say the final word on Renaissance Square and bring the conversation on this project to a close.”

– Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks, declaring the $230 million downtown project was dead, August 2009

“That’s ancient by Wall Street or investment-management standards.”

– Sixty-year-old Ronald Fielding, senior vice president and portfolio manager at the Rochester Division of OppenheimerFunds Inc., on his age, April 2009

“I have to continuously justify why we have manufacturing operations in the most expensive part of country.”

– Dana Mehnert, president of RF Communications, whose parent company, Harris Corp., is based in Florida, December 2009


“If you are still standing, you are successful. It means you survived the nuclear winter of 2002.”

– John Purcell, CEO of Fibertech Networks LLC, on the aftermath of the telecom industry’s meltdown, June 2008

“It will transform the experience. It will look like a world-class concert hall; it will sound like one.”

– Christopher Seaman, music director of the RPO, looking forward to the orchestra’s 2009-10 season in the renovated Eastman Theatre, April 2008


“It still looks like a good idea on paper. It was the execution that went wrong.”

– Empire Beef Co. Inc. CEO Steven Levine, on the decision to set up a distribution center that he says led to his firm’s bankruptcy, November 2007

“I really believe, after analyzing it now for several years, that Rochester could be one of the smart energy capitals of the world.”

– Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., on the region’s renewable energy assets, June 2007

“Together we’re going to transform this city from the Flower City to one of the great cities of the 21st century. Everyone is singing from the same page.”

-University of Rochester president Joel Seligman, on cooperation among local colleges and universities, May 2007

“We believe this transaction … is good for the company’s employees, partners in the eye-care profession, and customers, as well as our shareholders.

– Bausch & Lomb chairman and CEO Ronald Zarrella, on the company’s agreement to be acquired by private equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, May 2007


“Had not the universities here taken a lead role in terms of becoming the economic drivers that they are, we would have been a very, very dismal place to live.”

-Rochester Business Alliance Inc. president Sandra Parker, on the decline of manufacturing, July 2006


“Years from now, maybe after I’m dead and certainly long after I’m gone from this office, it will become clear that we weren’t smoking dope at the time we proposed this deal.”

– Mayor William Johnson Jr., on the city’s winning bid for the fast ferry, March 2005


“I keep hoping that the good story gets told, that we didn’t go bankrupt. We weren’t an Enron or a WorldCom or a Global Crossing.”

– Xerox Corp. chairman and 
CEO Anne Mulcahy, August 2002

“Should the quality of life be dependent on the county’s budget? I don’t think so. And people have got to come to grips with it.”

– Monroe County Executive Jack Doyle, August 2002

“You expect the community to support a $50 million project on a $500,000 investment?”

– Greater Rochester Sports Authority chairman John Riedman, on the Rochester Raging Rhinos’ proposal to build a soccer stadium, January 2002


“(People) want to be able to walk east on Main Street without thinking they’re walking into a military zone.”

– Mayor William Johnson Jr., 
December 2001

“We have more than 20 million tourists visiting the U.S. and we are worrying about students and legal workers. Is that our response to terrorism?”

– Margaret Catillaz, partner at Harter, Secrest and Emery LLP on immigration issues after Sept. 11, December 2001

“There was no way I was going to close. This is a test of our resolve as a democracy. … We are not making decisions by force and intimidation.”

– Rochester Institute of Technology president Albert Simone, following the 
Sept. 11 attacks, September 2001

“I really feel that if we went out here and discovered oil in our backyard, the analysts would see it as an environmental hazard. We are never going to win in this type of environment of negativism, of feeding frenzy.”

– Global Crossing’s Joseph Clayton, October 2001


“We believe the best value in this company currently is to be independent.

– Thomas Richards, RGS Energy Group Inc. chairman, president and CEO, July 2000

“We took 20,000 people out in 1998 and 1999. There is a limit to how much more you can take out.”

– Kodak president and CEO Daniel Carp, October 2000

“Congress has been bought and paid for. When the elections are held, the incumbents generally never lose. It’s a rigged game. I don’t bother to vote around here anymore. Why should I bother to vote when there is no choice?”

– Harris Interactive Inc. chairman and 
CEO Gordon Black, February 2000

“I feel great that Paychex has done so well. It’s unfortunate that a lot of it had to do with the fact that Kodak and Xerox have had such a tough time.”

– Paychex chairman, president and CEO Thomas Golisano, on his firm becoming Rochester’s most valuable company, based on market capitalization, October 2000

“If we continue … to execute on this, they will write a book about this. It will be one of the most significant growth, technical infrastructure plays in the history of business.”

– Global Crossing Ltd. vice chairman 
Joseph Clayton, March 2000


“We are going to make Rochester into a telecommunications alley.”

– Rolla Huff, president and CEO of MGC Communications (renamed Mpower Communications), December 1999


“I am exceedingly pleased-being a major stockholder of Bausch & Lomb.”

– B&L chairman and CEO Daniel Gill, on Wall Street’s happiness over his announced departure from the firm, December 1995


“The (minimum wage) is tailor-made to hurt some of the most vulnerable people in the economy. The law just kicks them in the teeth.”

– Simon School professor Clifford Smith, February 1988


“The Monday stock market plunge was so dramatic, it can’t be ignored; but what it proves for the moment is only that the market is utterly unpredictable.”

-University of Rochester economics professor Charles Plosser (later dean of UR’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration), October 1987


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