Sheehy said as a consultant responsible for helping businesses find the best location in the shortest amount of time, he needs to know who to call for information and to be confident that telephone calls will be returned. The best economic development group in the world is the country of Singapore, he said.
“I know who to call in Singapore,” he said.
Sheehy’s points about Otsego County must be answered, said Seward, who plans to convene a group to address questions, such as designating a “go-to” entity.
“We’re both in the middle of everywhere and in the middle of nowhere,” Seward said. “We need to carve out our identity.”
The summit Thursday was a “great next step” after Seward’s meeting last year, Larry Malone, Oneonta Common Council member from the Second Ward and an economics professor at Hartwick College, said. And the event also was a valuable opportunity also to network with others, he said.
In terms of economic development, the area might be able to attract a business that is ancillary to nanotechnology development, Malone said, and Oneonta could offer sites for conferences or corporate retreats.
The summit generated ideas and conversation, state Assemblyman Pete Lopez, R-Schoharie, but to be effective a common vision is needed.
“It’s good to bring people together,” Lopez said. “The challenge is, what’s the follow-up?”
Lopez said he would ask Seward for an invitation to participate in the post-summit group.
Sharon Oberriter, a member of the Otsego IDA, said she will study the information presented Thursday at the summit, which she described as a “phenomenal thinking experience.”
“It looks like we have options in many directions,” Oberriter said.