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09-21-2012

State of Broadband in Adirondack North Country is Topic at Forever Wired Conference Sept. 28 at Clarkson University

Clarkson University is now taking registrations at http://www.clarkson.edu/adk for the fourth annual Forever Wired Conference on Friday, September 28, on the Clarkson campus in Potsdam, N.Y.

Jobs Broadband Forever Wired Clarkson.edu/ADKThe focus of this year’s conference is on the state of broadband in the Adirondack North Country and the progress made in generating greater awareness and economic opportunities. Attendees will have the opportunity to discuss responsible and sustainable economic growth in the Adirondack region.

The conference is a central component of the Adirondack Initiative for Wired Work, which is championed by a team of regional leaders and energized professionals dedicated toward creation of a sustainable economy in the greater Adirondack North Country. Through their activities, the Adirondack Initiative encourages telework, green-tech commerce and entrepreneurship from home offices and businesses with minimal impact on the natural environment.

“Forever Wired has been the key outreach initiative of the Adirondack Initiative hosted by Clarkson for the last four years," said conference chair Kelly O. Chezum, vice president for external relations at Clarkson. "The growth in broadband coverage and the number of new broadband funding opportunities are good outcomes for everyone who wants to see sustainable and responsible growth in our region. This is the critical infrastructure we need to encourage working-wired entrepreneurs, mobile workers, corporate telecommuters and people interested in green tech commerce."

Last year’s conference drew more than 250 participants from across New York State and included many seasonal residents of the Adirondack Park, as well.

The agenda for the 2012 Forever Wired Conference includes an 11:30 a.m. luncheon with a keynote address by North Country Regional Economic Development Council Co-chair Tony Collins, president of Clarkson University. In multiple capacities, Collins has served as an advocate for better connectivity in northern New York. His experience includes involvement in both federal and state broadband policies.

"Broadband is now being installed and delivered in the Adirondack North Country and the effects are enormous," said Collins. "But now that broadband is here, our businesses need to work to adopt it because in today's global economy if you are not connected, you are not in the game. It really makes no sense that other countries can be ahead of us on this."

A 1 p.m. panel discussion with Q&A will include several professionals from the greater Adirondack region who have leveraged broadband connectivity into successful business models. These individuals will discuss future challenges faced in northern New York, and several strategies and policies that may be used to face them.

Jim Becker, president of the Middleburgh Telephone Company and ION LLC; David Wolf of the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC); David Salway of the New York State Broadband Program Office; and Mark Dzwonczyk, president & CEO of Nicholville Telephone Company, will participate in the panel discussion.

The panel discussion will be preceded by connectivity success stories at 12:30 p.m., featuring personal stories from northern New Yorkers whose lives and businesses have been significantly impacted by broadband accessibility. Local entrepreneur Janessa Scott, a representative from the Adirondack Wild Center, and a Town of Keene representative are all scheduled to take part. 

Professionals and organizations are invited to set up promotional displays at the conference to connect with other entrepreneurs who may be seeking their services.

Free one-on-one consultations with experts from Clarkson University’s Shipley Center for Innovation and Reh Center for Entrepreneurship will be available upon request, as well as networking with rural sector experts from around the east coast, who are helping with the sessions.

For more information on the Adirondack Initiative for Wired Work, or to register for the Forever Wired Conference, go to http://www.clarkson.edu/adk, e-mail foreverwired@clarkson.edu or call 315-268-4483.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in five alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[A photograph for media use is available at http://www.clarkson.edu/news/photos/forever-wired.jpg .]

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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