ABOUT CEDA

Tracy Verrier

Executive Director

tverrier@cayugaeda.org

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.

Danielle Szabo

Economic Development Specialist

dszabo@cayugaeda.org

As the Economic Development Specialist for CEDA, Danielle 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.

Danielle has over 10 years of workforce development experience with a focus on recruitment & retention strategies. She has worked with local employers in Cayuga, Onondaga and Oswego counties to build more efficient hiring and onboarding processes that have led to overall system changes. Danielle has a B.A. degree in Global and International Relations with a concentration in global politics and global culture from SUNY Oswego. She is an Auburn native and currently lives in Marcellus with her husband and two dogs. Danielle and her husband, Luke Szabo, own and operate Scratch Farmhouse Catering.

Derek Simmonds

Business Development Specialist

dsimmonds@cayugaeda.org

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

sfruge@cayugaeda.org

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

droblee@cayugaeda.org

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.

Ashlee Saret, Communications Coordinator

Ashlee Saret

Communications Coordinator

asaret@cayugaeda.org

Communications Coordinator Ashlee Saret joined our team in September 2019. She is responsible for keeping information flowing, both between CEDA staff and to our clients and the public. She manages our website and social media pages, helps with digital marketing and design, and plays a supportive role in event and educational resource planning and execution.

After moving to New York from Florida in 2006, Ashlee studied Telecommunications and English at Cayuga Community College, where she was heavily involved with the School of Media & the Arts (SOMA) and the school’s radio station, WDWN. Prior to coming to work here at 2 State Street, she co-owned and operated a wholesale art company. She currently resides in Auburn with her husband and their son and daughter.

Jessica Hargarther

Office Manager

jhargarther@cayugaeda.org

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.