SEEC’s nationwide search for someone with the vision and experience to lead its Schoharie County economic development efforts have ended up back home.
Monday marked Julie Pacatte’s first day as executive director for the private Schoharie Economic Enterprise Corporation.
Ms. Pacatte comes to the job from the Chazen Companies in Troy, but before that, the Howes Cave native managed the City of Batavia’s ED efforts; before that, she spent seven years working for the Schoharie County Chamber of Commerce and the Industrial Development Agency.
Ms. Pacatte’s thrilled to be back and Tom Putnam, who chairs SEEC, is thrilled as well.
“What Julie was doing in Batavia is right up the alley of what we want to do here,” Mr. Putnam said. “Downtown revitalization, setting up bus tours so people could see what was available, unique, funding…It seemed like a natural fit.”
The fact that Ms. Pacatte knows so many of the local and state partners needed to make SEEC’s efforts successful was another big plus, Mr. Putnam said.
“How often are you offered a position where you can bring a lifetime of experience back to your community?” Ms. Pacatte asked.
An Advisory Board chaired by SUNY Cobleskill President Marian Terenzio will help focus Ms. Pacatte’s efforts.
Buy-in by the business community is essential in any kind of economic development, Ms. Pacatte said, and with the Advisory Committee, and $125,000 in funding from the county, SEEC already has that.
Another essential first-step: the Fairweather Report, which Ms. Pacatte said she considers her playbook; she’s already going through it “as a way to identify priorities and start chasing opportunities.”
“You can debate some of what’s in it—and I’m sure we will—but having that real dialogue, that’s where the flywheel starts turning,” Ms. Pacatte said.
“There’s definitely not a silver bullet, but small successes can snowball into something bigger.”
SEEC’s efforts are being funded with $500,000 in commitments for the next five years, money raised internally that will be used to help leverage other resources.
SEEC and Ms. Pacatte will be based at the former Bassett doctors’ offices on Cobleskill’s Legion Drive, space being donated by the hospital with MidTel donating the telecommunications system.