Panel, Contest To Address Making Region Retiree Friendly

SYRACUSE — Anyone with ideas for products or services that will improve the lives of baby boomers as they age can attend an experts panel discussion and compete for cash prizes at an April 10 Careers in Aging Week event at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in downtown Syracuse.

The noon to 2 p.m. luncheon event is co-sponsored by the SUNY Oswego Active Aging and Community Engagement Center and F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse.

The event is free to the first 100 people to register at

A panel of experts will provide a stimulating discussion, followed by an opportunity for attendees to come up with entrepreneurial, pioneering and inventive ideas to “Shape an Age-Friendly CNY.”

This event follows a recently released report of the same title by F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse.

As part of the Careers in Aging Week program, there will be a contest for BIG-NEW-IDEAS that have been inspired by personal experience, the report or the panel discussion.

Attendees can share their ideas.

Judges will award a cash prize of $100 each to the top three.

The expert panelists judging the ideas include Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO; Seth Mulligan, vice president of innovation services at the Tech Garden; Andrew Maxwell, director of innovation for the city of Syracuse; David Eilers, strategic development director of the AARP’s Life Reimagined Institute; and Dr. Indu Gupta, Onondaga County’s health commissioner.

The co-sponsors recently released the F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse study “Shaping an Age-Friendly CNY,” which provides multiple findings and recommendations on what will keep retiring baby boomers living in the region as productive, engaged, taxpaying, and philanthropic members of our community.

According to the study, baby boomers represent more than 30 percent of the Central New York population.

“Baby boomers want choices, and their expectations for life as they get older are different from previous generations,” said Dr. Kimberly Armani, AACE Center director and SUNY Oswego Metro Center director. “This, along with the sheer number of boomers who are aging, creates amazing opportunities for new products and new services, and provides career opportunities for those prepared to meet the needs of older adults.”

The co-sponsors agree that there’s a reason to be concerned when baby boomers decide to leave the area.

“If retired boomers leave our community, we lose an enormous resource not just in dollars but we lose a whole generation of those who possess in-depth knowledge, communal history, individual skills, and expertise to pass on to the next generations,” said Chuckie Holstein, executive director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse. “Every community needs its boomers and boomers need a place to live that is age friendly.”

The event is one of several being held across the country as part of Careers in Aging Week, April 5-11.

The observance intends to bring greater awareness and visibility to the wide-ranging career opportunities in aging and aging research.

The SUNY Oswego AACE Center received a grant from the Gerontological Society of America to host the Central New York event.

To read the “Shaping an Age-Friendly CNY” report, visit the F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse website at

To learn more about SUNY Oswego’s AACE Center, which is headquartered at the SUNY Oswego Metro Center in the Atrium building on Clinton Square, visit