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Local experts will discuss the economic development efforts underway in our region and the impact they will have on the business community.

Jan. 27, 2022



Vincent Esposito
Matt Hurlbutt
Baye Muhammad
Vincent Esposito
VP & Regional Director
Empire State Development Finger Lakes Regional Office
Matt Hurlbutt
President & CEO
Greater Rochester Enterprise
Baye Muhammad
Rochester Economic Development Corporation

Sponsored by:

Panelist biographies:

Vincent Esposito, a lifelong resident of Monroe County, grew up in the Village of Fairport, studied computer science at SUNY Geneseo, and worked as a software designer and project manager for a small database company. In 2003, he entered government as an aide to New York State Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle and was later elected to the Monroe County Legislature representing Irondequoit, where he lives with his wife and daughters.

In 2012, Vinnie joined Empire State Development (ESD). Vinnie is a vice president and regional director of the ESD Finger Lakes Regional Office, which oversees New York State’s economic development efforts in the nine-county Greater Rochester/Finger Lakes region. This also includes the role of serving as executive director of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC), which is an advisory board that provides strategic direction and funding recommendations for the region.

Matt Hurlbutt serves as president and CEO at Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE), with responsibility for supporting business attraction and expansion in the greater Rochester region. Hurlbutt guides business development strategies, organizational resources and outreach efforts to position Rochester as a destination of choice for business investment. He works directly with corporate executives and national site selectors as they consider locations for investment and job creation. Before assuming this leadership role he served as GRE’s executive vice president and chief operating officer for nine years.

Hurlbutt was named to the “40 under 40” list by the Rochester Business Journal, an award given to recognize individuals with outstanding leadership and accomplishments for service in their profession and the community at large. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the State University of New York College at Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, State University of New York College at Geneseo. He and his family live in the town of Greece, New York.

Baye Muhammad is the CEO of Rochester Economic Development Corporation (REDCO), appointed to this position in August 2019. REDCO is a nonprofit economic development corporation with a mission to bolster commercial growth in the City of Rochester while reducing wealth disparities in middle income and poor Rochester neighborhoods. This is accomplished via the creation and support of locally owned micro and small neighborhood businesses, urban entrepreneurs, and established enterprises. Prior to August 2019, REDCO was a division of the City of Rochester’s Neighborhood and Business Development Department.

Prior to joining REDCO as CEO, Muhammad severed as the City of Rochester’s commissioner of neighborhood and business development. During his tenure he was responsible for overseeing a $23 million budget, which included Community Development Block Grant funding from HUD. The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development oversees buildings and zoning, business and housing development, and planning and neighborhood preservation. Notable projects that were accomplished during Muhammad’s service were the City of Rochester’s Comprehensive Plan ROC2034, redevelopment of Midtown Plaza and the Sibley Building, the groundbreaking of La Marketa, and several new affordable housing communities and commercial development of the Inner Loop East.

Muhammad sits on multiple boards in the community including Visit Rochester, Greater Rochester Enterprise and ROC2025 Leadership Group. He has also served as an advisor for the Urban Land Institute and was a 2016 Daniel Rose Fellow. He is a graduate of the University of the District of Columbia with a degree in political science.