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“I knew if I stayed around long enough, something like this would happen.”

— Epitaph on George Bernard Shaw’s tombstone

Not that I can write like Shaw, but believe it or not, after hanging around for three years, the Democrat and Chronicle has asked me to write a regular column about life in our business community. Talk about taking a chance.

Ever since my stint on the editorial board, I watched citizens from the outside discuss business matters with the newspaper and thought it would be unique to provide an outside view from the inside.

Rochester is blessed with fascinating people and wonderful stories. Our rich fabric of inventors, entrepreneurs, business executives, artists and social activists makes Rochester a wonderful and proud place to call home.

Ever since moving back from New York City in 1989 and starting a company, I have been fortunate to become part of this diverse and, in many areas, thriving business community. A place is only as good as its people, and Rochester is full of good people.

I look forward to stimulating conversation about jobs and our local economy, and bringing a fresh perspective as an active part of the business community for the last 23 years.

Green shoots of progress are appearing with the redevelopment of downtown; early stage venture funds established by Monroe County, the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology and business leaders in the Rochester Angel Network; technology transfer programs at RIT and UR; and a multitude of startups throughout our community.

All of this, coupled with a $96 million assist from our friends in Albany, makes me, and hopefully you, optimistic that the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming bus, but rather the beginning of a new era of regional growth.

No doubt, problems still exist, but the “cant’s” are being pushed out by the “cans” and success comes in cans.

I don’t have all the answers, and never will, but look forward to sharing insights and hearing your thoughts and ideas.

So let’s get to work.

Click here for more articles written by Patrick C. Burke

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Brian J. Schiedel

Principal – Retirement Plan Consulting

Brian Schiedel is responsible for monitoring daily valuation recordkeeping services, ensuring that transactions meet strict procedural guidelines, and providing compliance and other consulting services for Burke Group’s retirement plan clients. He serves as the direct Relationship Manager for more than 30 retirement plans.

Prior to joining Burke Group, he obtained his bachelor’s degree in management science from the State University of New York at Geneseo. He has also obtained the Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) designation through the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA).