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"New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program" Topic of SUNY BEST


BINGHAMTON, NY – The SUNY Business and Education Cooperative of the Southern Tier (SUNY BEST) will host "New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program" at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in room 220 at Binghamton University’s Downtown Center, 67

Washington St., Binghamton. This presentation is free and open to the public.
The New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program was "established to provide additional rebuilding and revitalization assistance to communities severely damaged by Hurricanes Sandy and Irene and Tropical Storm Lee" ( This presentation, hosted by Julie Sweet, with speakers John Baust and Vince Pasquale, will provide an overview of the program and how it enables communities to identify resilient and innovative reconstruction projects. Speakers will also discuss other needed actions based on recovery plans that consider current damage, future threats and economic opportunities. Communities are eligible to receive funds to support the implementation of projects and activities identified in the plans. 

Sweet is the state's regional lead for the New York Rising Community Reconstruction Program in Broome and Tioga counties. She is responsible for oversight of recovery strategies being developed to access nearly $40 million in flood reconstruction funds. She also works with the New York State Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area program, providing technical assistance to upstate municipalities on community revitalization and brownfield redevelopment. Sweet has over 25 years of experience in planning and development at the local, county and state levels.

John Baust is the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Binghamton University and director of the Institute of Biomedical Technology. He has held numerous visiting adjunct faculty positions at medical schools in the U.S. and Europe, and is presently president and fellow of the American College of Cryosurgery and president of the International Congress of Refrigeration. Baust is a 26-year resident of Tioga County with business interests in the community. He is owner-operator of one of the region's largest agricultural enterprises (Raish Hill Farms) and advisor to CPSI Biotech in Owego. Baust is a co-chair for the Tioga Community Reconstruction Committee.

Pasquale is a lifelong resident of Broome County. He spent his professional career at Binghamton University until his recent retirement from the position of assistant dean of the School of Management. He has been awarded the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service. Pasquale served 13 terms in the Broome County Legislature as either majority or minority leader for all but two of those terms. He has also served as president of the Binghamton Philharmonic Board of Directors, and chairman of the Industrial Development Agency Board. His other volunteer service has included involvement with the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, the Broome County Youth Bureau, the Airport Advisory Board and the Mental Health Advisory Board. He is co-chair of the Broome Community Reconstruction Committee. 

Guest speaker Rochelle Layman will also briefly discuss the New York Rising Small Business Recovery Grant Program. Since 2008, Layman has been the regional director of the New York state Small Business Development Center at Binghamton University. In addition to her 10 years of corporate experience, Layman owned and operated two successful restaurants in South Western New York for 13 years. Her financial corporate experience, success in small business as well as advisement skills aid her in assisting small business owners with financial and operational problems.

Pre-registration for this discussion is required through the SUNY BEST website at For additional information, e-mail Directional signage to the meeting room will be visible for those entering the main entrance of the Downtown Center from Washington St. Parking is available in the Collier Street Ramp, the Water Street Ramp, (both within two blocks of the Downtown Center) or if available, at any of the metered parking spots in front of the building on Washington St.

Last Updated: 9/17/13