A local business organization has said goodbye to the woman who has led that group for nearly a decade. Sandy Parker, President and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance, officially retired at the end of this week.
In an interview with WXXI News, Parker says when she signed on as President of the RBA in 2005, and even before that when she was involved in the former Industrial Management Council, she never imagined she'd been in this role for so long. Parker figured she'd one day return to the private sector, but that didn't happen. And she doesn't sound regretful, in fact she says leaving the RBA post is bittersweet.
“I’ve got to meet many different, just really exciting, interesting people at all levels across the state, I’m going to miss that.”
Parker is proud of progress the business organization has made in bringing a number of stakeholders together to work for better treatment for this region by officials in Albany. She also points to her involvement in establishing the Unshackle Upstate business lobbying group.
As far as unfinished business is concerned, Parker says more still needs to be done to address poverty in Rochester and the state of the city schools.
“Both from the standing of the kids who aren’t getting the chance in life that they should have and also from the perspective of, economically, our future workforce, we have got to do something to start turning that around. “
Parker says she'll take some time off, and then likely do some part time work that is tied to education. Her replacement in January is the outgoing Lieutenant Governor and former Rochester Mayor Bob Duffy.