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Cuomo taps economic development czar

ALBANY -- It's been one of the most anticipated nominations, at least by upstate business interests.

Julie Shimer has been nominated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to be his chair of the Empire State Development Corp., the state's chief jobs creation agency that has the dual role of both retaining and attracting companies to the the state.

Here's the release from Cuomo's office:

"Julie Shimer is joining a first-class team of economic development leaders including Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Empire State Development Corporation President Kenneth Adams," Governor Cuomo said. "Her extensive experience in the upstate and downstate business communities will be essential to the reconstruction of New York's economy. Attracting and retaining business in New York is job number one, and Julie and the rest of the ESDC team will work tirelessly to make that happen."

Julie Shimer, Ph.D., CEO and President of Welch Allyn, in Skaneateles Falls, New York, is a nationally recognized leader in the computer networking and wireless communications industries. Dr. Shimer was named CEO in 2007 - becoming the first woman to hold this post in the 95-year history of the company. Prior to joining Welch Allyn, Dr. Shimer served as President and CEO of Vocera Communications, a leading wireless communications company based in Cupertino, California. Dr. Shimer also held executive positions at 3Com Corporation, Motorola, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Bethlehem Steel Company. Dr. Shimer currently holds board positions with Welch Allyn, Netgear, the Engineering Information Foundation and Centerstate Corporation for Economic Opportunity. In addition, she is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Society for Women Engineers. Dr. Shimer holds masters and doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and a bachelor's degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She resides in Skaneateles, NY with her husband, Jary.

Jeremy Jacobs, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Delaware North Companies said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo's nomination of Julie Shimer to the Empire State Development board. Both the entrepreneurial community and business leaders share the Governor's commitment to the critical importance of attracting business and spurring investment in New York. With her professional experience in leading her own company, Julie appreciates the need for an improved business climate and a stronger competitive position for New York in the global marketplace."

Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County Executive said, "As CEO and President of Welch Allyn, Julie Shimer has expanded the company and turned it into one of the largest employers in the region. Her big ideas and ability to get things done make her particularly suited for Chair of the Empire State Development Corporation and Governor Cuomo's administration. In addition, having someone from our region, who knows the strengths and weaknesses of the upstate economy, will benefit New Yorkers across the state. I applaud the Governor's choice and congratulate Julie on her nomination."

 

Welch Allyn is the company whose boss in 1994 made headlines across the state when he wrote then Gov. Mario Cuomo -- the current governor's father -- that his company would flee the state to North Carolina if a planned business tax cut was put off. The then Welch Allyn president, William Allyn, became a poster child for George Pataki's successful campaign ousting the elder Cuomo from the governor's office in the 1994 election.

From a 1994 Associated Press story came this quote from Allyn in his letter to Cuomo: "If your new state budget increases state funded spending by 7.5 percent and does not reduce, and then eliminate, the corporate surtax as promised, you will have finally succeeded in discouraging any potential job growth in this over-taxed, high energy cost, over-regulated, and bureaucratic state.''

Here is Shimer's bio as listed on the Welch Allyn company web site:

President & CEO - Julie A. Shimer, Ph. D.

 

Julie Shimer, Ph.D., is chief executive officer and president of Welch Allyn, a privately-held, manufacturer of frontline medical equipment and diagnostic solutions headquartered in Skaneateles Falls, New York. Shimer joined the Welch Allyn family in 2002 as a member of the board of directors, bringing with her over 20 years of leadership experience in the computer networking and wireless communications industries. Shimer's business expertise and exceptional grasp of technology proved to be an invaluable asset to the company, earning her the title of president and CEO in 2007 - becoming the first woman to hold this post in the 95-year history of the company. In her first two years at the company, Welch Allyn won "Best Places to Work™" accolades in Ireland and Mexico, began developing an innovative new platform of connected devices, and broke ground on a $30 million expansion project at its global headquarters in Skaneateles Falls.

Most recently, Shimer served as president and CEO of Vocera Communications, a leading wireless communications company based in Cupertino, Calif.  While at Vocera, she led the company in securing more than $29 million in capital funding, shipped the first Vocera Communications Systems, and added key talent to the executive, marketing, and technical teams. As a result of her leadership, the company experienced explosive growth; and its communication system was deployed in leading hospitals in the United States and Europe.

Shimer also held executive positions at 3Com Corporation, serving as vice president and general manager of its networking products. Before joining 3Com, she held executive positions at Motorola, where she was vice president and general manager in the paging division and, prior to that post, vice president in its semiconductor products sector. Shimer also held leadership positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bethlehem Steel Company. Along the way, Shimer was issued a US patent and authored more than 10 technical papers.

Shimer currently holds board positions with Welch Allyn, Netgear, the Engineering Information Foundation and the Metropolitan Development Association. She is actively involved in programs that encourage women to enter engineering fields and is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Society for Women Engineers.

Dr. Shimer holds master's and doctoral degrees in Electrical Engineering from Lehigh University and a bachelor's degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. 

 

She resides in Skaneateles, NY with her husband, Jary.

 -- Tom Precious

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Robert J. McCarthy

Robert J. McCarthy

A native of Schenectady, Robert J. McCarthy came to The Buffalo News in 1982 following a six-year stint at the Olean Times Herald. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University, and has been covering local, state and national politics since 1992.

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Tom Precious

Tom Precious

Tom Precious joined The Buffalo News in 1997 as bureau chief at the state Capitol, where he covers everything from statewide politics and state government fiscal affairs to health care, environmental and municipal government matters. Prior to The News, he worked for news outlets in Albany and Washington, DC.

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Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri

Jill Terreri is an Amherst native and has covered politics and government in upstate New York since 2003. She joined The Buffalo News in 2012 and covers City Hall.

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Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski

Jerry Zremski, The Buffalo News Washington bureau chief, has reported from the nation's capital since 1989 after joining The News as a business reporter in 1984. A graduate of Syracuse University, Zremski is a former Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University. In 2007, he served as president of the National Press Club.

@JerryZremski | [email protected]

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