Accelerator launches first Hudson Valley Leadership Conference

Posted in Creative Class | Last Updated April 6, 2020

Attendees at the Accelerator's Hudson Valley Leadership Conference gather on the conference floor, May, 2017

The Conference Floor at the May, 2017 Hudson Valley Leadership Conference

When over 250 leaders of businesses and community organizations participated in The Accelerator’s inaugural Hudson Valley Leadership Conference: The Changing Face of Leadership this May at the Culinary Institute, in Hyde Park, the focus was on the changing face of leadership, and it was on the changing and at times challenging business climate.


The Changing Face of Leadership

“One of the things we do at The Accelerator, besides providing equipment, direction and business services for new and existing manufacturers, is to bring people together in conferences like this to address not only regional needs, but also topics that impact today’s leaders on a larger scale,” said Laurie Villasuso, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President, Orange County IDA and The Accelerator.




Keynote speaker at the Accelerator's Hudson Valley Leadership Conference 2017

Keynote Speaker Amilya Antonetti

The event’s keynote speaker, Amilya Antonetti, underscored Villasuso’s point when she noted:

“The speed for deliverables now is unimaginable and this is what’s really impacting leaders… the formula for success is 50 percent thinking, 25 percent planning and 25 percent in execution.

Most of us … get a great idea and start.” she said while noting that planning is especially relevant and should comprise 75% of one’s effort.

Sadly, planning (according to Antonetti) is often skipped over.

Antonetti became a self-made millionaire at the age of 19.

Now, she is a media personality and turnaround expert known as the “Conflict Resolutionist.”

She pioneered the “green” cleaning product movement with her company Soapworks,

Speaking to conflict resolution, Antonetti noted, “the brilliance that happens in conflict is by being able to have the art of the conversation.”

Panelists are area industry leaders

The event also featured a panel of industry experts.

Part of what they discussed included existing and upcoming leadership challenges. They offered advice for today’s emerging leaders.

Joseph Dans, producer and host of the WTBQ 1110 Radio show “Creativity and Technology Solutions for Business and Life,” moderated the panel.

Dans is also the head of Rogue Wave Creative Group,



Panel participant, Robert T. Armistead, P.E., President, Armistead Mechanical, Inc. observed: “Back in those days the boss was the boss, and he directed traffic.” What I have seen over the last 30 years of leading our company, is that now it’s a collaborative effort, it’s a team. You empower the people that work with you. It’s collaboration, working together, technology is big. So, there’s been a lot of change in how we lead.”



Exhibitor at Hudson Valley Leadership Conference May 2017

Conference exhibitor offers a taste of Hudson Valley made products

The Accelerator is located in New Windsor at Stewart International Airport with proximity to major interstates.

The Accelerator is a certified New York State incubator focused on bringing manufacturing back to the mid-Hudson Valley.

Powered by the Orange County Industrial Development Agency, The Accelerator works to attract manufacturing-based businesses in the areas of:

  • fashion design and production
  • bottling
  • food and beverage safety testing
  • advanced technology, such as 3-D printing

The Accelerator (assisted with capital funding by’s own grant funding program: TSEC) provides shared workspace at below market rates, as well as workforce training, mentoring programs, easy access to experienced professionals and a high-tech plug-and- play environment known as “SMARTT” Pods.
For more information, visit The Accelerator!

All images courtesy Ross Media