Who is Ithaca Area
Ithaca Area Economic Development (IAED; formerly Tompkins County Area Development) is a private non-profit economic development organization serving Ithaca and Tompkins County. We are New York State’s first and only Accredited Economic Development Organization, one of only 70 across North America.
Since 1964, we’ve maintained a singleness of purpose: create a supportive business environment that attracts, grows, and retains companies that provide high-quality employment. IAED provides consistent, customized economic development leadership needed to help you grow and prosper. It’s who we are and what we do.
Through forward-thinking, strategic partnerships with businesses, government, academic institutions, and area non-profits, we’re your one-stop shop for success. Check out this website and some of the amazing things we’re doing. Then get in touch and let’s get creative together!
Driven by Our Mission. Guided by Our Vision.
Building a thriving and sustainable economy in Ithaca and Tompkins County.
Ithaca Area Economic Development is dedicated to building a thriving and sustainable economy that improves the quality of life in Tompkins County by fostering the growth of business and employment.
A flourishing economy with exciting, innovative firms that inspire and attract a talented workforce.
What we do
IAED provides direct incentives and customized resources that fit the needs of businesses at every stage of growth and development.
The 2015-2020 Tompkins County Economic Development Strategy, developed and delivered by IAED, accompanies and advances the Tompkins County Comprehensive Plan.
Who We Are
Our Dedicated Team
IAED is dedicated to helping businesses start, grow, and stay in Ithaca and Tompkins County. Our team employs its vast knowledge and experience to support a healthy and prosperous local economy and community.
Managing Director of Business Services
Director of Workforce Innovation
Director of Development, Operations, and Strategy
Manager of Administrative Services
IAED celebrates previous years’ accomplishments via an annual report.
2020 was a year of incredible challenges for everyone and IAED worked tirelessly to support local businesses impacted by COVID-19 and plan for recovery while also completing our planned work for the year.
- 13 Projects
- $239.9M in New Investment
- 775 Retained Jobs
- 147 Projected New Jobs
In 2019, our local economy was strong and IAED celebrated many successes.
- 23 Projects
- $87M in New Investment
- 159 Retained Jobs
- 54 Projected New Jobs
Board of Directors
Dr. Greg Galvin, Chair
Cathy Hart, Vice Chair
Jeff Gorsky, Treasurer
Jeff joined Sciarabba Walker in 1992 and has been a partner since 2001. He is head of the firm’s Consulting department and serves as leader of the firm’s High-Technology and Emerging Businesses specialty practice area. His emphasis is on small business consulting, new business startups, local entrepreneurs, and taxation. Over the years, he has assisted clients in strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, business valuations, financing, and new business startups.
Jeff currently serves as the Treasurer of Ithaca Lacrosse Club, a board member of Tompkins County Industrial Development Agency and Tompkins County Development Corporation.
Mary George Opperman, Secretary
Mary is committed to advancing an equitable workplace culture and advances this goal as an advocate for approximately eighteen thousand staff and faculty on campuses in Ithaca, Geneva (NY), New York City and Qatar, as well as dozens of research facilities across the country and beyond, and as an ambassador with the local and regional communities. Her portfolio at Cornell includes oversight of the Division of Human Resources, the Office of Inclusion and Belonging, Institutional Equity and Title IX Compliance, and the Center for Regional Economic Advancement. Mary is passionate about creating a culture of belonging at Cornell that values and supports employees as whole persons, and in turn, is mindful of the connection between the workplace, the individual, and the community in which we live.
Mary is an active supporter of her community and has served on numerous boards of local and national organizations. She is currently serving on the boards of the Ithaca Area Economic Development, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, the Legacy Foundation of Tompkins County, the Sciencenter, the Boyce Thompson Institute, the National Academy of Human Resources Foundation and Ithaca College. She is also a member of the Governing Body for the New York HR Leadership Summit and the ILR Advisory Council.
Prior to joining Cornell in 1996, Mary spent 13 years in the human resource function at Harvard University. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Human Resources and is certified by the Society for Human Resource Management as a senior professional in human resources. She has a Bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Oneonta in political science and a Master of Science degree in organizational behavior from Cornell University.
Greg Hartz, Tompkins Financial
Lisa Holmes, Interim County Administrator
Lisa Holmes has served as Interim County Administrator for Tompkins County since June, 2021. In this role she serves as the County’s chief executive officer, overseeing the activities of county departments and preparing and administering the County’s annual operating budget. Prior to her current role, Lisa served as Deputy County Administrator, Interim Human Resources Commissioner and Director of the Tompkins County Office for the Aging. In these various capacities Lisa has worked conscientiously to deliver quality services to County residents, center equity in policies, procedures and budgets, maintain fiscal responsibility and attend to the development and morale of staff. Lisa holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an MPA from Northeastern University.
Laura Lewis, City of Ithaca
Chris Malcolm, Wegmans
Johanna Anderson, INHS
Rosemary Avila, Tompkins County Workforce Development Board
Julie Baker, Ursa Space Systems, Inc.
Larry Baum, Past Chair
Shawna Black, Tompkins County Legislature
Katie Borgella, AICP, Tompkins County
Illa Burbank, Incodema, Inc.
John Collett, Cayuga Health Systems
Sophia Darling, Boyce Thompson Institute
Sophia Darling is the Vice President and Chief Operations Officer for the Boyce Thompson Institute (BTI), an independent, nonprofit research institution. In addition to her role at BTI, Sophia facilitates Women In Leadership and Diversity and Inclusion courses for eCornell. She serves as Secretary for the Association of Independent Research Institutes.
Sophia is a native of Groton, NY, and graduate of the Groton Central School District (GCSD). She currently serves as the President of the GCSD Board of Education, on which she has been a member for 11 years. Sophia earned a B.A. in accounting from Niagara University and an M.B.A from Syracuse University.
Jerry Goodenough, Heorot Power
Tom Knipe, City of Ithaca
Anne Koreman, Tompkins County Legislature
Laurie Linn, Communique
Joel Malina, Cornell University
Dr. Jeff Matteson, TST BOCES
Deb Mohlenhoff, Tompkins Cortland Community College
Deb Mohlenhoff is currently the Associate Vice President for College Relations at Tompkins Cortland Community College as well as the Program Director for Leadership Tompkins and Leadership Cortland. She oversees the College’s Marketing and Workforce Development departments and serves as the College’s representative for legislative advocacy. She is recently left her seat on the City of Ithaca Common Council after serving for over 12 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Communications from Ithaca College and a Master’s in Public Administration from Binghamton University. She is a member of many local boards and has served nationally with the American Cancer Society Leadership Training Team and as a member of the advisory board for the National Society of Leadership and Success. She is currently chairing the Special Olympics Games Operating Committee for the State Games to be held in Ithaca. She regularly provides strategic planning as a consultant for non-profits with a specialty focus on Gallup Strengths, Organizational Leadership, Generations in the Workplace, and Volunteer Management.
Brian Noteboom, North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters
Tom Robinson, BorgWarner
Tom Schryver, Cornell University
Jennifer Tavares, CEcD, Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce
Jeremy Thomas, Cornell University
Shawn Wilczynski, Cargill Salt Mine
Thank you to our
Our investors believe in IAED. Their support enables us to provide the consistent, customized economic development leadership that helps our businesses, community, and economy prosper. We’re successful because of them.