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Readers look ahead to Rochester in 25 years

Rochester Business Journal
October 26, 2012

In the past, Rochester was known as home to business icons such as Eastman Kodak Co. and Xerox Corp. What will this area be known for a quarter century from now?
Some 500 readers responded to that question for the Forecast section of the Rochester Business Journal's 25th-Anniversary Commemorative Edition. Many of the comments appear below. To read the signed responses to all three questions in the RBJ 25th-anniversary poll, go to

What will Rochester be known for 25 years from now?

Not sure. But I am sure that tremendous amounts of talent are being unleashed from Kodak, Xerox and other large/mature companies, and while some of those people leave town, many of them are starting or joining promising startups that will turn into juggernauts and industry leaders in the future. Rochester is one of the best-kept secrets. Our quality of life and our cost of living are very compelling. We have grown our economy 1-2% a year in the face of 20 years of Kodak laying off thousands of people every year. So imagine how fast we will grow when Kodak is gone (which it will be) and all the job growth will be new instead of consuming Kodak's cast-offs? I am beyond bullish. This place is going to rock!
  -Fred Dewey, CEO,
Instead of business and products, there will be individuals who will be mavens who will be known for their ability to mobilize both people and ideas. A shift from things to people at a much more global scale. Fingers crossed.
  -Jennifer Sertl, president, Agility3R
  -B. Mathews
How we withstood the loss of Kodak.
  -Ray Camp
Rochester's musical/cultural/entertainment profile, increasingly, is appreciated at home and beyond. (Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival) is a marvel and has made evident what many felt. 182,000 attended year eleven, 2012. Greentopia, September 10-16, 2012, grows from two days, year one, to seven days, year two, with added music, Classical Series. Rochester Fringe Festival launches September 19-23, 2012. Memorial Art Gallery Clothesline Festival, Rochester's longest-running fine arts and crafts festival, returns to a wonderfully refurbished and energized setting September 8 & 9. And then, surrounding all that, the grape harvest and fall foliage! What better place to visit this time of year? Rochester 2037 will be all the more widely known for its music, entertainment, wine and tourism.
  -Ned Corman
High-quality workforce, colleges, medical facilities, and Alessandro Perriello, Rochester artist known for his abstract paintings as well as his paintings of Rochester and its environs ... embracing art, theory, and engineering.
  -Susan Mars
A remarkable post-Kodak turnaround.
  -Eric Bourgeois
Not much; 30 years ago it was a nice place to live.
  -Jeff McSpadden
Small businesses with technological prowess.
  -Ken Pliszka
Hopefully, high technology expertise and optics.
  -Paul Dwyer
Not knowable at this time.
  -Jim Haefner, Pittsford
Rochester will be known as a great place to live, raise and educate children, and provide a high quality of life.
  -J. Montieth Estes
In 25 years Rochester will be known for our education, health care, high taxes and, hopefully, our entrepreneurial spirit.
  -Tom Bonadio
The U of R research center and the former home of Kodak.
  -Rich Shepard
Rochester will be known as a community that used to be great, but now is just a cold town up north.
  -Bill Lanigan
High-tech jobs.
  -Lois Camphausen
The current reputation will stand. Rochester is a strong source for well-educated workers in technology and health care. It's a medium-size city with a lot of nice areas to live. The music scene will be a strong draw, as well as the affordable living in and around Rochester.
  -Kate Krueger
Higher education; medical innovation; imaging science & optics; culture & quality of life; health care innovation & cost control.
  -David Lovenheim
In 25 years Rochester will be known as a great educational center for our nation, not just for the Northeast or upper Mid-Atlantic regions. For quality of educational opportunities, Rochester will rival Boston. We will maintain our quality of life and attract other professionals who place a high value on that.
  -John Osowski
Education, health care, and the arts.
  -Ken Maher
Garbage Plates
  -Damian Kumor
Many smaller technically oriented companies that utilize the technical skills of the local population. RIT and U of R will be major contributors to this development.
  -Lu Gilbert
Big player in health care field with new genes-based treatment and renewable energy technologies for power and transportation.
  -Ram Shrivastava
It will still be known for its strength in optics, glass and coating of thin films on unique substrates in addition to managing surfaces at the molecular level.
  -E. Jones
Technology and quality
  -Bob Vance
Affordable housing.
  -Rick Corey
We will continue to be one of our country's most livable cities with strong economic and real estate performance and a significant decrease in poverty, crime and school dropouts.
  -Alan Ziegler
Upper Falls brewery area, arts, culture, diversity.
  -Brenda Porter
High-tech medical services with advancement in technology.
  -Sandy Tuite

10/26/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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