2023 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
January – FOCUS Forum on the Future 2023; FOCUS Greater Syracuse and the Community.
February – Aunt Harriet: Reflections on the Life and Legacy of Harriet Tubman; Michele Jones Galvin, FOCUS Board of Directors and Co-Author of Beyond the Underground: Aunt Harriet Moses of Her People; Marc Jones, President and CEO of Dreissig Apparel Inc. and Fan Hands LLC.; Evelyn Ingram, Director of Community Relations, Central New York Region of Wegmans Food Markets
March – Syracuse STEAM School: A Collaborative Approach to Education; Jody Manning, Executive Director/Planning STEAM Principal; Anthony Davis, Superintendent of Schools, Syracuse City School District (SCSD); Jeremy Belfield, Superintendent of Schools, LaFayette Central School District
2022 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
January – FOCUS Forum on the Future 2022; FOCUS Greater Syracuse and the Community.
February – City Housing / Looking Forward; Daniel Kwasnowski, Director, Syracuse Onondaga Planning Agency (SOCPA); Owen Kerney, Deputy Director, SOCPA; Stephanie Pasquale, Director, Neighborhood Advancement with the Allyn Family Foundation.
March – Lyme and Tick-Borne Illnesses; Royale Scuderi, Executive Director of the CNY Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Alliance; Dr. Brian Leydet, Professor of Epidemiology and Disease Ecology at ESF.
April – FOCUS on Affordable Housing; Walt Dixie, Executive Director, Jubilee Homes; Sally Santangelo, Executive Director, CNY Fair Housing; Megan Stuart, Director, Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York; Palmer Harvey, Co-founder, Syracuse Tenants Union.
May – The Changing Landscape of Local Media; Mitch Gelman, President and CEO, WCNY; Ken Jackson, Editor and Publisher at Urban CNY; and Joel Kaplan, Professor of Magazine, News, and Digital Journalism and Associate Dean, Office of Graduate Programs, Syracuse University Newhouse School of Public Communications.
June – Housing Assessments 101; Matt Oja, Commissioner, Department of Assessment, City of Syracuse; Warren Wheeler, IAO, Executive Director, NYS Assessors Association; and Donald Weber, Director of Real Property Tax Services
July – Designing a Community Grid for All; Victor Dover, Founding Principal, Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning; Josh Frank, Project Director / Urban Designer & Town Planner, Dover, Kohl & Partners Town Planning; & Joe Driscoll, Interstate 81 City Project Director, City of Syracuse
September – Salt City Market; Adam Sudmann, Market Manager, Salt City Market; Tori Shires, Chief Development Officer, Rescue Mission Alliance; Jeremy DeChario, General Manager, Syracuse Cooperative Market; with Vendors Sleyrow Mason of SOULutions and Duyen Nguyen of the Cake Bar.
October – Housing Needs in CNY – What’s Going On?; Michelle Sczpanski, Deputy Commissioner, Syracuse Neighborhood & Business Development; Dan Kwasnowski, AICP Director, Syracuse and Onondaga County Planning Agency (SOPCA); Sam Gordon, Planning Practice Leader, EDR
December – Micron and the Community; Onondaga County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II.
2021 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
January – Resilience and Challenges of Our Immigrant and Refugee Community under COVID; Haji Adan, Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment (RISE); Marwah Alobaidi, Interfaith Works’ Center for New Americans; Felicia Castricone, Catholic Charities of Onondaga County and Felicien Seruhungu. Moderator The Rev. James Mathews of St. Lucy’s Church.
February – FOCUS Forum on the Future; FOCUS Greater Syracuse Board of Directors and Community.
March – Blueprint 15; Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens; Mikki Anderson, Purpose Built Communities; William Simmons, Syracuse Housing Authority; Stephanie Pasquale, Blueprint 15 and Neighborhood Advancement for the Allyn Family Foundation.
April – Higher Education in a Time of COVID; LeMoyne College President Linda LeMura and Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud.
May – Workforce Development for the Individual; Brian Fay, Syracuse Northeast Community Center; Joan Royle, Westcott Community Center; Maribel Arce, Syracuse Community Center Collaborative and Chol-Awan Majok.
June – Priorities for Making Our Community a Better Place to Live for All; with LGS, Mayor Ben Walsh and County Executive J. Ryan McMahon, II
July – Child Care in Onondaga County; opening remarks by (now) Governor Kathy Hochul, Laurie Black, Early Childhood Alliance (ECA); Sarah Merrick, Commissioner of the Onondaga County Department of Social Services – Economic Security; and Lori Schakow, Child Care Solutions.
September – Bridging the Digital Divide; David Bottar, CNY Regional Planning and Development Board; Annabeth Hayes, CNY Digital Inclusion Coalition, Director, Tully Free Library; Jennifer Tifft, City of Syracuse; and Kevin Sexton, Onondaga County Department of Information Technology. Moderator Dr. Sharon Brangman.
October – Mayoral Candidate Debate – How Do You Create a Sustainable Syracuse?; with GreeningUSA, and the CNY Solidarity Coalition; Councilor Khalid Bey, Janet Burman, Mayor Ben Walsh. Moderator Chris Bolt.
November – Empowerment, Accessibility, and Disability Services in CNY; Tania Anderson, ARISE; Paul Joslyn, AccessCNY; Tanisha Wiggins; Angela Palmieri.
2020 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
January – Meeting the Best to Avoid the Worst: Emergency Management and Preparedness; Onondaga County Emergency Management Commissioner Dan Wears and Chris Gorman, Principal Program Manager for Community and Customer Management at National Grid
February – FOCUS Forum on the Future; FOCUS Greater Syracuse Board of Directors and Community
June – Social Distancing and Isolation Under COVID: Coping with Physical and Mental Health Challenges; Sharon Brangman, MD, Chair of the Department of Geriatrics at SUNY Upstate Medical University and Tracey Musarra Marchese, Professor of Practice in Syracuse University’s School of Social Work.
August – Healing the Earth; Former SUNY ESF President Neil Murphy and Onondaga Environmental Institute President Ed Michalenko explore the opportunities and challenges for the environment in a new virtual FOCUS Forum.
September – Housing in a Time of COVID; Home HeadQuarters Chief Executive Officer Kerry Quaglia, and Housing Visions Director of Community and Government Relations Mike La Flair, joined FM Realty President Don Radke
October – Arts Adapt in a Time of COVID; with Thursday Morning Roundtable, Bob Hupp and Jill Anderson from Syracuse Stage, Larry Luttinger from CNY Jazz Arts, and Sara Felice from Point of Contact Gallery.
October – Community Dialogue in a Time of COVID; JahQuan Bey-Wright and Peter Willner from the El Hindi Center for Dialogue, and Asean Malik Bey and Geraldine Linares Esq. from the Peacemaking Team of the Center for Court Innovation.
November – Funding Change in a Time of COVID; Sheena Solomon of the Gifford Foundation, Peter Dunn of the Central New York Community Foundation, Nancy Kern Eaton of United Way of Central New York, and Meg O’Connell of the Allyn Family Foundation.
December – Mental Health in a Time of COVID – Meeting the Moment; Onondaga County Commissioner of Adult and Long Term Care Services Lisa D. Alford; Clinical Director of Psychological Healthcare Ronald C. Fish, PhD; and the President of NAMI Syracuse Marla Byrnes. Moderator Paul Joslyn.
2019 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – Joint City-County forum at National Grid Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon
Feb. – New Syracuse Police Chief, Kenton Buckner
March – Citizens Review Board, Administrator Ranette Releford and Board Chair Peter McCarthy
April 4 – Housing the Homeless, Rescue Mission Alliance Chief Executive Dan Sieberg and Housing and Homeless Coalition of Central New York Executive Director Megan Stuart
April 25 – New CEO of public broadcaster WCNY, Mitch Gelman
May – Lazer FOCUS on OCC, the 2016-2021 strategic plan for Onondaga Community College
June – ReZone Syracuse, Owen Kerney, Syracuse Onondaga County Planning Agency
July – The Syracuse Surge, Syracuse Chief Data Officer Sam Edelstein and Juhanna Rogers, PhD, of Centerstate CEO
Sept. – Renewable Energy Here and Now, Chris Carrick of CNYRPDB and Lindsey Speer of HeatSmart CNY
Oct. – Mini-cog Pilot Project, Maria Brown, PhD, and Kathy Pearson of Southwest Community Center
2018 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – Visit Syracuse, Dan Liedka
Feb. – Erie Canalway, Ed Rodriguez, Travis Glazier, Owen Kerney, Sam Gordon
March – The Business of Running, Ed Griffin, Pat Leone, Jeff Mickle (at Nancy Cantor Warehouse)
April – New Strategies for Syracuse, Mayor Ben Walsh, Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens, and Director of Administration Christie Elliott
May – Showcasing Greater Syracuse, with Nancy Watt, Marty McDermott, Kim Parker, Ben Sio of Centerstate CEO, and John Desantis of Believe in Syracuse
June – Patient Centered Health Research, with the President and CEO of the national Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Dr. Joe Selby
July – Onondaga Citizens League 2018 Study: The State of the Community Engagement Infrastructure of Central New York
August – Onondaga Lake: Travis Glazier, Holly Granat, and John McAuliffe
September – Meet the Peacemakers: Michelle Stanley, Carl Thomas Sr., Jesus Rolon, and Leah Russell
September, too – Community Economic Development I: Jim Damicis and Chris Steele
October – Community Economic Development II: Joe Russo, Nora Spillane, Andrew Fish, and Laura Miller
November – Community Economic Development III: Mark Olson, Carolyn Evans Dean, Mike LaFlair, and Mark Venesky
December – Veterans Services: Lynn Fox, Jennifer Menard, and Jeff Bastable,
2017 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – How CNY Moves, Centro, OCL, SMTC
Feb. – Building Community with Soul, Landbank, Sean and Liam Kirst
March – Unmanned Aerial Systems, NUAir, Gryphon, SU
April – Youth Employment, City Parks & Rec, CNY Works
May – DEC Natural Resources Damage Assessment
June – Syracuse City Schools technical programs
July – Onondaga Citizens League report How CNY Works
August – The New State Fair
September – Disaster Preparedness workshop
October – Economic Inclusion with Centerstate CEO
November – Growing Artfully – CNY Arts Syracuse. Stage
December – Framing the Future of FOCUS
2016 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – House Calls with U.Penn researchers
Feb. – Innovation Team rollout of technology
March – Resources to tackle substance-abuse issues
April – Reconnecting Onondaga Lake with the public
May – I-81: Matthew Driscoll and Mark Frechette
June – Upstate Revitalization Initiative, Richard Tobe
July – Canalway – Danielle Krol, Owen Kerney, Sam Gordon
Aug. – HOPE antipoverty, Sharon Owens, Helen Hudson, Frank Lazarski
Sept. – Emergency Management Dan Wears, Rosie Taravella
Oct. – Connect the Drops, Lake Survey
Nov. – OCCRA with Dereth Glance
Dec. – Media changes with Joel Kaplan
2015 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – Infrastructure Planning
Feb. – Financing Infrastructure Matt Driscoll
March – Parks Planning
April – Age-Friendly CNY with National Grid savings
May – Swim in Onondaga Lake
June – Marketplace for Info. 211
July – Lacrosse Championship
Aug. – Innovation Team
Sept. – Public Safety Technology
Oct. – Syracuse Airport
Nov. – OCM BOCES
Dec. – Age-Friendly van tour
2014 FOCUS FORUM TOPICS
Jan. – Sustainability and a Healthy Population
Feb. – Pro Sports and Sustainability
March – ESM Project Based Learning
April – Housing Options
May – Consensus
June – Bird Friendly Onondaga Lake
July – Natural Resource Damage Assessment
Aug. – OCM BOCES
Sept. – Office of Aging and Youth Services
Oct. – Retiring Boomers and Economic Impact
Nov. – Citizens Vision for Age-Friendly Community
Dec. – Downtown Our Local Treasure