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About the EXPO

Herkimer College
100 Lou Ambers Drive
Herkimer, NY 13350
June 7
Exhibitor Set-up and Reception
4:00 PM – 8:00 PM

June 8
Main Event, Exhibitor Showcase & Networking
8:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Strong, active, and energetic. That’s New York’s Mohawk Valley, the heart of the Empire State and where innovation, efficiency, and profitability are about to grow as fast as the grass in springtime.

Join us for Vitality in the Valley, an annual June event that’s like no other. From the business connections at the networking reception, to the exhibitor showcase, to breakout sessions on fast-moving Agricultural and Manufacturing tracks, you’ll travel from business-as-usual to beyond.

  • Ready to lower your energy costs and explore new technologies? Then take the Agricultural Solutions Track with SUNY Cobleskill’s Institute for Rural Vitality, NYSERDA, and National Grid.
  • Looking for funding opportunities, cybersecurity and operational improvements? Then take the Manufacturing Solutions Track with MVCC’s AIM, FuzeHub, Herkimer IDA, and others.

Don’t worry if you don’t know all of the acronyms. This friendly event lets you connect with the people within the organizations that can help your business grow.

Vitality in the Valley is organized by FuzeHub and hosted by Herkimer College in partnership with the Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM), the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), and – for the first time ever – the Institute for Rural Vitality at SUNY Cobleskill.


  • 7:30 AM
    Doors Open
  • 8:00 AM - 8:30 AM
    Registration and Breakfast
  • 8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
    Welcome Addresses

    Master of Ceremonies: Everton H. Henriques
    Welcome: Cathleen McColgin, John Piseck, Franca Armstrong

  • 8:45 AM - 9:00 AM
    Sponsor Presentations

    Lloyd Ploof – Square One Coatings, Jacob Perry – Neff Automation, Cory Albrecht – AIM, Bill McDonald – Herkimer College

  • 9:00 AM – 9:15 AM
    Keynote Speaker I
  • 9:15 AM – 10:15 AM
    Breakout Sessions: Part I

    Manufacturing Solutions Track: Cybersecurity Solutions for Manufacturing (read more)

    Agriculture Solutions Track: Energy Efficiency Programs and Funding Opportunities (read more)

  • 10:15 AM – 12:00 PM
    Exhibitor Showcase & Networking
  • 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
    Lunch and Main Keynote
  • 1:15 PM – 2:00 PM
    Breakout Sessions: Part II

    Manufacturing Solutions Track: How to Fund, Build, and Market a Better Product (read more)

    Agriculture Solutions Track: Energy Saving Technology and Grant / Incentive Programs:(read more)

  • 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    Exhibitor Showcase & Networking
  • 3:00 PM
    Event Concludes




Dr. Jian Sun joined the faculty at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in 2002, where he is currently a Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering.
Jian Sun
Director of the Center for Future Energy Systems (CFES)
As the Vice President for Large-Scale Renewables, Georges leads NYSERDA’s work in advancing both land-based renewable energy and offshore wind resources. Prior to joining NYSERDA in September 2021, he spent nearly ten years at General Electric (GE)
Georges Sassine
VP, Large Scale Renewables (NYSERDA)


Bill has served Herkimer College as associate dean of academic affairs for the Business, Health, Science and Technology division since 2017. Bill is responsible for the management of the division, including supervision and evaluation of full and part time faculty.
Bill McDonald
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Herkimer Community College
Everton is a manufacturing virtuoso focused on helping the manufacturing community, industry, start-ups, local colleges and universities, and business leaders to advance innovation and technology.
Everton H. Henriques
NY MEP Solutions Manager
Since 2007 Cory Albrecht has been assisting manufacturers in the Mohawk Valley Region through the New York State Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NY MEP) Program as the Director of MVCC’s Advanced Institute for Manufacturing (AIM).
Cory Albrecht
Director - AIM at MVCC
After serving on the Board of Directors for a number of years, and serving as Chairman for two, John was appointed to the position of Executive Director of the Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency.
John Piseck
Executive Director Herkimer County IDA
Dr. Cathleen C. McColgin joined Herkimer County Community College in June 2015 as the institution’s fourth president. Dr. McColgin previously served as provost and senior vice president at Onondaga Community College.
Cathleen McColgin
President, Herkimer College
Steve Melito is the Senior Solutions Specialist for FuzeHub and the host of its NYS Manufacturing Now podcast. He also moderates events for FuzeHub and is a regular contributor to its print and digital publications.
Steve Melito
Senior Solutions Specialist, FuzeHub
Lloyd has a Degree in Chemistry from Clarkson University, and is an author of numerous technical articles in industry trade journals. He possesses over 42 years in metal finishing, and is a Former International Product Manager for Functional Coatings at a large chemical supplier.
Lloyd Ploof
President - Square One Coating Systems
Dr. Marion Terenzio became the 12th president of the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill on July 1, 2015
Dr. Marion Terenzio
President, SUNY Cobleskill
Seth is a Program Coordinator at SUNY Cobleskill’s Institute for Rural Vitality (IRV). Seth coordinates the Institutes the Farm and Food Businesses Development Programs (FFBD) which primarily serves Mohawk Valley agriculture enterprises.
Seth Browe
IRV Program Coordinator, SUNY Cobleskill
Jacob is an experienced Technical Sales Engineer with over 10 years in manufacturing with a strong focus on providing solutions. Now based in Syracuse, Jacob is an alumnus of West Virginia University.
Jacob Perry
Technical Sales Representative, NEFF
Franca Armstrong is the Associate Vice President for Workforce Development and Dean of the Rome Campus for MVCC.  She has facilitated multiple innovative partnerships and serves on the boards of several local and state organizations focused on workforce development.
Franca Armstrong
Associate V.P. of Workforce Management, MVCC