Tracy Verrier

Executive Director


Tracy Verrier is the Executive Director of Cayuga Strategic Solutions, a joint venture of the Cayuga Economic Development Agency and the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce. Tracy provides organizational oversight, stakeholder engagement, and staff management for CSS, as well as administrative services to various economic development boards including the Cayuga County IDA, Auburn IDA, Auburn Local Development Corporation, and the City and County small business loan programs. She also serves on the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council, the Cayuga County Convention & Visitors Bureau Board, and is a co-chair of the Auburn DRI Local Planning Committee.

Tracy has Master’s Degrees in Economics and International Relations from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Drew University. Tracy and her husband, Ian Phillips, live in Owasco and are co-owners of Heifer Hops.

Maureen Riester

Maureen Riester

Economic Development Specialist


As the Economic Development Specialist for CEDA, Maureen works to retain and expand existing businesses, as well as to attract new businesses to expand or relocate to Cayuga County.  To do so, she identifies available commercial sites and buildings, and helps businesses navigate the myriad of programs and incentives at the local, state, and federal levels.

Maureen is a Cayuga County native and graduate of RIT’s College of Business.  She is an active volunteer, serving on multiple local boards and committees including IGNITE, the Auburn SCORE Chapter, and the CNY International Business Alliance.  Maureen resides in the Town of Fleming with her husband and two young boys.

Derek Simmonds

Business Development Specialist


As the Business Development Specialist for CEDA, Derek is responsible for providing resources for entrepreneurs in emerging businesses.

Prior to CEDA, Derek spent five years at Seneca County Cornell Cooperative Extension working as an Agriculture Economic Development Specialist, where he advised farmers and agricultural processors on business issues and organized the Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Conference. Before that, he worked at Onondaga County Cornell Cooperative Extension for two years as a Food Systems Educator. Previously, Derek worked in Ecuador, managing a USAID project focused on diversifying livelihoods and building local capacity in a rural coastal community. He was also in Peace Corps Malawi, working as a Natural Resources Extension Agent. Derek holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the UMASS-Amherst Isenberg School of Management and a Master of Science degree from SUNY ESF. He grew up in the Auburn area and currently lives in the Town of Owasco with his wife and two children.

Samantha Frugé

Economic Development Technical Specialist


As the Economic Development Technical Specialist for CEDA, Samantha is responsible for assisting businesses with loans, incentive and grant applications, research and data analysis, and providing staff services to the areas economic development boards: Cayuga County IDA, Auburn IDA, and Auburn Local Development Corporation.

Ms. Frugé is a graduate of the University of South Florida. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics with a minor in Technical Writing. Ms. Frugé recently moved to Auburn from Saint Petersburg, Florida.

Devon Roblee

Marketing Coordinator


Devon Roblee was hired as Marketing Coordinator in December 2015. Devon brings her experience in journalism and as a small business owner to assist CEDA in developing and executing its marketing plan. She was born and raised in Cayuga County, received an Associate’s Degree in Telecommunications from Cayuga Community College, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College. She, her husband Andrew, and their two beautiful boys call Auburn home.

Jessica Hargarther

Office Manager


As the Office Manager, Jessica helps to keep the business side of Cayuga Strategic Solutions, the joint venture of Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and Cayuga Economic Development Agency, running smoothly by providing expertise in administrative and financial activities. She also assists the Executive Director and key personnel of the organization in areas of scheduling, communications and record keeping.

Jessica has worked in many executive administrative roles after receiving her Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from Finger Lakes Community College and is about to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources Management.

She is an active community member and also volunteers with many animal shelters, the SPCA and helps local Lost and Found Animals groups.

She currently lives in Clyde, NY, with her husband, son and two dogs.