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Robert Duffy

President/CEO, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

bob-duffy-2015-1Years in current role: 6

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career?

To work hard. To be honest, trustworthy, and respectful to everyone. To surround yourself with people who are smarter/more talented than I am — and give them the credit for the successes. When things don’t go well, take responsibility personally and never blame others. Success is a team sport, not an individual one. In the end, our success depends upon the relationships that we have built and nurtured over the years.

Who have been the biggest mentors in your career?

From my late parents to my family, teachers, coaches, supervisors, co-workers, colleagues, and friends, I have learned and grown throughout my life thanks to the wisdom, support and love from too many people to mention individually. I consider myself to be so very fortunate to have been exposed to so many great leaders and people.

What are your hopes for the Rochester community this year?

We need leaders who are not afraid to lead and take on the many challenges that Rochester has — and who are willing to roll up their sleeves and pitch in. Our business, political and community leaders need to be aligned and focused on reducing poverty, creating jobs and opportunities, and taking full advantage of the educational opportunities and talent that we have here. We have a huge cadre of superbly talented young leaders coming up who are not afraid to lead. Time to make room for them.

What do you do to unplug in your free time?

I am the quintessential “home body.” I unwind by being home and with my family. My children still live here and we love family dinners and gatherings. I love to work out, take long morning walks, and read, but there is nothing better than hanging out with my 2-year-old grandson. He is a treasure.

This profile is part of Rochester Business Journal's Power 100 list for 2021. Information used in this profile was sourced from the honoree. View the full list at rbj.net.

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