Hear From The Experts
Transforming Worcester

October 14, 2016 | Mechanics Hall, Worcester

Changing The Game in Worcester

Our annual business conference - with a new format

Presented by the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, this half-day event introduces innovators, investors, and developers who are changing Worcester's skyline.

Keynote Luncheon Speaker

Cliff Rucker, owner of Porzia Properties & Worcester Railers HC

12 PM - 1:30 PM // Loc: Great Hall // Cost: $55 (includes lunch *registration full)

Cliff Rucker is the president of NFS Leasing, is owner of Porzia Properties, a national real estate investment firm, and Fulcrum FXT, a global asset management company. He is founder and owner of Worcester Railers HC and is currently building Worcester Sports Center a 100K sq. ft. mixed use facility with two hockey rinks and retail space and Railers Tavern at 90 Commercial St. in Worcester. Both are scheduled to open debut in 2017.


Panels & Breakout Sessions

Two Breakout Sessions with Three Concurrent Panels

Panel speakers will include developers, business owners, innovators, and others who are investing in the city in new ways creating dynamic changes that are garnering regional and national attention.
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Design It, Make It, Ship It

Long a bastion of manufacturers, Worcester began the transformation from making wire cables, textiles, and a variety of other goods, to manufacturing tools used in space exploration, biotech research, and more. The city’s central location, easy access to an intermodal freight yard, an expanding airport with customs clearing capacity and a large, skilled workforce make it a great location for industrial companies. Learn about developments underway that will increase the already diverse number of items made in Central Mass. Moderator: Bob Cox, Bowditch & Dewey. Panelists: Steve Goodman, GFI Partners; Steve Rothschild, Access Fixtures; Craig Blais, WBDC; Rich Cawley, Rectrix Aviation

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Higher Ed Drives Innovation, Launches Start-ups

The Worcester region is home to 12 colleges and universities and more than 38,000 students from around the world. Hear how institutions of higher education, the innovation economy, and the business community is tapping into that educated workforce to transform the region’s economy creating niche sectors including digital gaming, app development, robotics, and biomedical companies.Moderator: Laurie Leshin, Ph.D., WPI Panelists: David Crouch, Ten24; Ryan Canuel, Petricore; Tim Loew, MassDigI; John Killiam, MassMEP

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Hospitality, Arts, and Entertainment Game Changers Expo

Hospitality, Arts, and Entertainment – An Eclectic Mix

There's plenty to explore in Worcester—vibrant cultural centers, parks, dining, and festivals. From the theater district to the Worcester Art Museum and the EcoTarium to the new hockey rinks, the Heart of the Commonwealth offers something for everyone. Hear from experts in the hospitality industry who are investing to make Worcester a destination for activity in the downtown, and as inspiration for a discussion to further invigorate partnerships and brand the community as a place to live, work, and play!Moderator: Roberta Brien, WBDCPanelists: Troy Siebels, Hanover Theatre; Alina Eisenhauer, Sweet Kitchen & Bar; Ed Russo, Lock 50

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Heads in Beds – Hotel Development on the Rise Game Changers Expo

Heads in Beds – Hotel Development on the Rise

One of Worcester’s best assets is its convention center and arena—bringing in thousands of visitors every year. While Worcester’s hotel occupancy is significantly higher than the national average, additional hotel development can mean the potential for more conventions and events to the region. The economic impact of these events in 2016 was over $9 million. More than 300 hotel rooms have or will be added by 2017. Hear why hotel developers are investing in Worcester’s downtown.Moderator: Sandy Dunn, DCU CenterPanelists: Jim Karam, Homewood Suites; Christine Thomas, XSS Hotels (Hampton Inn, Courtyard by Marriott, AC Marriott); Christina Andreoli, Discover Central Massachusetts Robb Ahlquist, Worcester Restaurant Group

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Downtown Poised to Cash in on Retail Revolution Game Changers Expo

On Downtown and Business Districts Poised to Cash in on Retail Revolution

Get ready to shop! Developers are incorporating retail spaces into their redevelopment projects as they work to change Worcester’s skyline. From services, to dining, to specialty retailers, downtown Worcester will bustle with commercial activity as office workers, visitors, and residents take advantage of the convenience of retail stores that are just down the street from their office, hotel, and homes. Hear what they have planned for these storefronts and what new opportunities are available for businesses of all shapes and sizes.Moderator: Michael Jacobs, Glickman, Kovago, and Jacobs Panelists: Rob Branca, Worcester Donuts; Chip Norton, Mercantile Center; Ed Russo, Lock 50; Eurayshia Williams, Shi Shi’s Lounge; Amy Chase, Crompton Collective

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Urban Living – A Lofty Move Game Changers Expo

Urban Living – A Lofty Move

More than 800 new residential apartments have or will be coming online in Worcester’s downtown district. The Edge at Union Station, Voke Lofts, Junction Shop Lofts, Roseland’s luxury apartments, The Grid’s five properties, and the Micro-lofts, offer a variety of urban living options with easy access to commuter rail, nightlife, and other amenities that appeal to young professionals, empty-nesters, and many other demographics. Find out why there’s such demand and how these developments are creating a vibrant, 18-hour downtown.Moderator: Sherri Pitcher, Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce Panelists: Chris Starr, Brady Sullivan; Rick Shaffer, The Edge; Gilbert Winn, WinnCompanies

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Presenting Sponsors

Lunch Sponsor

Corporate Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

Panel Sponsor

Media Sponsors