Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Daily Messenger Political Roundup: Promoting the Finger Lakes digitally


Former state legislator Michael Nozzolio, center, is spearheading the LOCATE Finger Lakes initiative to promote the region with a focus on economic development. [PHOTO: Dennis Angelo]

Former state Sen. Michael Nozzolio is part of the LOCATE Finger Lakes initiative.

GENEVA — Here’s some of what Michael Nozzolio has been up to since retiring as state legislator in 2016.

An initiative spearheaded by former state legislator Michael Nozzolio, who used to hold the seat currently held by state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, is moving forward with plans to promote the Finger Lakes region with a focus on economic development.

LOCATE Finger Lakes has created a website,, featuring links to county and state economic development agencies, local chambers of commerce and educational institutions in the region. Other information is available on the website, including details about job training services, where technology parks are located and research being conducted at colleges and universities.

The website is one part of the LOCATE Finger Lakes’ digital footprint. Facebook and Twitter accounts are promoted at The initiative’s Facebook page can be found at Its Twitter handle is @LocateFLX.

The goal of the initiative and the newly launched website is to highlight the beauty and strengths of the Finger Lakes region, Nozzolio said. It’s not intended to compete with existing business development ventures but instead aims to collaborate with economic development agencies and other organizations.

“We hope that this will be a resource that will be utilized with those other ongoing job development efforts,” Nozzolio said.

Nozzolio and Auburn businessman Jack Bisgrove, who is the founder of LOCATE Finger Lakes, first announced the business initiative last year. While much of the entity’s efforts weren’t known, Bisgrove and Nozzolio said it would seek to partner with other agencies and industries in the Finger Lakes region.

There were challenges as LOCATE Finger Lakes formulated its mission. The Finger Lakes counties aren’t in the same state economic development regional councils. Cayuga, for example, is in the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council. Tompkins County is part of the Southern Tier council. The Finger Lakes economic panel consists of Ontario, Seneca and other counties traditionally associated with the Finger Lakes region.

Because the regional councils are “artificially created” by state government, Nozzolio said, it doesn’t allow the Finger Lakes to tell its complete story.

But the focus isn’t solely on business development. Through its work, the initiative also wants to highlight the region as a great place to live.

“What we need to encourage is for people to think of themselves as a ‘Finger Laker’ and get the Lakers together as a unit because it’s certainly more strength in the promotion of our region together,” Nozzolio said.

Nozzolio, who represented the Finger Lakes region in the state Legislature for more than three decades, calls this project “a labor of love.”

“I hope to share the enthusiasm that I have for our region with others and help promote the best aspects of our region,” he said.


Political Roundup, a clearinghouse of announcements and developments in local politics, runs on Fridays in the Daily Messenger. To submit an item for consideration, email senior reporter Julie Sherwood at

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