Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Building the Digital Bridge half day conference: Digital Inclusion Efforts in Central New York

November 14, 2022 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

Register Now (free) »

Conference Agenda
9:00 AM – Networking & Refreshments
9:30 AM – Welcome
9:45 AM – Opening Remarks by NYS Senator Rachel May of the 53rd District

Senator Rachel May represents Central New York’s 53rd District, which includes most of the City of Syracuse, parts of Onondaga and Oneida counties, and all of Madison County. She chairs the Senate Committee on Aging and the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, and is a member of the committees on Agriculture, Banks, Cities 2, Elections, Environmental Conservation, Health, Joint Senate Task Force on Opioids, Addiction & Overdose Prevention, Legislative Women’s Caucus, and State-Native American Relations. As chair of the Senate Committee on Aging, she has been a vigorous supporter of home care workforce initiatives, expanded funding for in-home care programs, the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program, and nursing home accountability. She has sponsored bills to create a Reimagining Long Term Care Task Force, authorize a family caregiver tax credit, and create a home care jobs innovation fund to support workforce growth. In addition to her advocacy and work on issues of aging, Senator May has passed transformative legislation in comprehensive election reforms, tenant-centered housing reforms, unprecedented criminal justice reform, and the nation’s most ambitious climate legislation.

A resident of Syracuse, Senator May had a successful career in higher education prior to running for public office. She started out as a professor of Russian language and literature at Stony Brook University, where she was a proud member of UUP, before earning tenure at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. She moved to Syracuse in 2001 and retrained in ecology and sustainability, becoming director of sustainability education at Syracuse University. Senator May earned a master’s degree from Oxford University on a Marshall Scholarship and a Ph.D. in Russian language and literature from Stanford University. She also earned a master’s degree from SUNY-ESF. She has one daughter who recently graduated from Cornell University.

Senator May is now serving in her second term.

10:15 AM – Panel on regional policy, programs & initiatives in Onondaga, Madison, Oswego, Cortland, Cayuga Counties

Thomas Bardenett is a Planner with the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board (CNY RPDB) and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC). Since 2021, Mr. Bardenett has worked on the CNY RPDB’s broadband study,
including a public survey and inventory of broadband infrastructure, and is currently working with county leaders on their own broadband plans for upcoming federal and state funding opportunities.


Mark Scimone, County Administrator at Madison County, has worked for Madison County for 18 years. He began his career at the County in the Personnel Department as Assistant Personnel Officer before continuing his career in Human Resources at SUNY Upstate and later as the Assistant Director of Human Resources at SUNY-ESF. Mark returned to Madison County in the summer of 2009 as the Research and Legislative Affairs Coordinator. Mark was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as the County Administrator in 2013 and is currently serving his third term administering policy set by the Board of Supervisors and overseeing the day to day operation of the County. Mark is the currently the Chair of the NYSAC Employee and Labor Relations Committee. Mark is a 2008 Graduate of Leadership Greater and has a bachelor’s degree in human resources from SUNY Oswego. Mark resides in Madison County in the Town of Sullivan with his wife, 14-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son.


Kyle Boeckmann is the Strategic Program Specialist in the Office of Strategic Initiatives in Oswego County. He attended SUNY Oswego where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting and Communication and his Master’s Degree in Vocational Education. In his current role, he works with local businesses and organizations to help secure funding through the American Rescue Plan Act and will be working on initiatives to help bring broadband to all members of the County. He feels broadband and technology are vital for all members of the community and looks forward to working to ensure equitable outcomes for all County residents.


Kevin Sexton has served as Chief Information Officer at Onondaga County since 2014. Kevin is career IT professional having 30 plus years of experience in several different technical roles and leadership levels. He has experience in the health insurance, banking, retail and government industries of business. After starting his career in Springfield, MA, Kevin has served the vast majority of his career in Onondaga County. Among a variety of responsibilities Kevin is focused on bringing affordable broadband internet services to all unserved residents and businesses within Onondaga County.


11:15 AM – break
11:30 AM – Panel on other regional initiatives & open discussion

Jen Tifft is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the City of Syracuse, NY.  Jen oversees and manages the City’s $123M American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) portfolio, the Syracuse Surge, and other signature initiatives to improve the quality of life in Syracuse and enable inclusive economic recovery and growth. Previously, Jen served as the Deputy Commissioner at the Syracuse Department of Neighborhood & Business Development, responsible for the City’s business and economic development policies and programs. Prior to her roles in city government, Jen was a leader in the Government & Public Services Practice at Deloitte Consulting, where she focused on helping federal, state, and local government clients implement innovative programs and improve service delivery.  Jen’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, partnership strategy and partner relationships, program design and performance evaluation, process improvement, and change management to enable large transformational projects.

Jen holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University College of Law, and a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University Chicago. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP). Jen is passionate about travel, the ballet, and Buffalo Bills.


Christian Zabriskie is the Executive Director of the Onondaga County Public Libraries and co-founder of Urban Librarians Unite. He has worked in urban public libraries for over twenty years and has been a circ supervisor, children’s librarian, YA librarian, reference librarian, cataloger, and administrator. He speaks, writes, and teaches in a variety of areas including graphic novels in libraries, library advocacy, grant writing, library service to at-risk communities, and library service to unaccompanied minors. He’s a proud foster & adoptive parent and a believer that libraries can be the titanium crowbar needed to move our communities forward.


Raquan Pride-Green is the Executive Director of Blueprint 15 in the historic 15th Ward neighborhood of the City of Syracuse. He was born in Syracuse NY on September 16, 1983. He spent his childhood primarily in the Pioneer Homes at his grandparent’s
residence in Tyler Court.

Prior to becoming the Executive Director of Blueprint 15, Raquan was the Program Manager for the Promise Zone program, which is a non-profit organization that supports students in the Syracuse City School District and their families. Raquan holds a BA of Communication Studies from the University of Rhode Island as well as a Masters in TV, Radio, and Film from Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.


Ann Horan is the Adult Services Librarian at the White Branch Library on Syracuse’s Northside. In this role, she provides reference service, promotes lifelong learning and facilitates resource delivery to library patrons in Syracuse’s most diverse neighborhood. She also assists people with workplace education and skills development. Ann serves on the Central New York’s Digital Inclusion Coalition’s Steering Committee and participates in the CNY Library Resources Council’s Sustainability Special Interest Group. She also serves as Secretary for the Northeast Hawley Development Association.

Formerly employed at Syracuse University, working first at the Carnegie (Science and Technology) Library and later at the College of Law Library, Ann retired in 2016. She began working with Onondaga County Public Libraries (OCPL) in 2017 and is now engaged with residents of the Northside. A graduate of Wells College (B.A., Economics) and Syracuse University’s iSchool (MSLIS), Ann and her husband love living in Central New York with their Golden Retriever and Smoky, the cat.


Brian Fay is the Executive Director of the Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC). Prior to joining SNCC in 2020, he was the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Syracuse Community Center Collaborative of which SNCC is a member. Before joining the nonprofit world, Brian was an English teacher working with at-risk youth for over two decades. He was born in Syracuse and he and his family live in the Meadowbrook neighborhood. As a member of the CNYDIC, Brian has been involved in the design and creation of the CNY Digital Empowerment program that seeks to bridge the digital divide for Syracuse residents using the community center model of trusted messengers delivering compassionate service.

12:30 PM – Closing Remarks

Save the Date


November 14, 2022
9:00 am - 12:30 pm


Baldwinsville Public Library
33 East Genesee Street
Baldwinsville, NY 13027 United States
+ Google Map