Leadership Academy Conference

July 10-11, 2024 - Finger Lakes Community College 

Leadership Academy Schedule

July 10, 2024

  • 8:30 AM - Coffee and Conversations
  • 9:00 AM - Morning Keynotes: Robert Duffy and Regent Adrian Hale 
  • 11:00 AM - Lunch 
  • 12:00 PM - Travel Time/ Team Time
  • 1:00 PM - Industry Tours

July 11, 2024

Leadership Academy Resources 


  • Save the Dates - Leadership Academy 2025! 
    • July 9 - 10. 2025



Rochester native Robert J. Duffy began as Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce president and Chief Executive Officer January 1, 2015. Prior to coming to Greater Rochester Chamber, Duffy served as New York lieutenant governor from January 2011 to December 2014. Duffy previously served as Rochester mayor from January 2006 to January 2011 and as Rochester police chief from March 1998 to April 2005.

During his tenure as Rochester mayor, Duffy was widely recognized for reducing the cost of government, improving services, lowering tax rates, and attracting millions of dollars in private-sector investments.

As lieutenant governor, Duffy chaired the Regional Economic Development Councils aimed at rebuilding New York's economy and having local/regional leaders identify their respective funding priorities.

Duffy also played an instrumental role on the governor's Mandate Relief Council. He chaired a series of statewide mandate relief hearings, which sought input from local government officials and constituents on the statutory and regulatory burdens faced by local governments and school districts.

In May of 2012, Duffy was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. The medal honors notable American citizens who demonstrate a life committed to community service.

Duffy holds two degrees from Monroe Community College, a Bachelor of Science from Rochester Institute of Technology, and a Master of Arts from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Duffy also serves on a variety of boards, including the SUNY Board of Trustees, Co-Chair of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council, the Center for Governmental Research, Business Council of New York State, US Chamber of Commerce Council of 100, AVANGRID, and others.


Adrian Hale is a proud son of Rochester, NY, and a civic leader throughout the greater Rochester community. He the immediate past Director of Economic & Community Development at Foundry. And previously served as Senior Manager of Workforce Development, Talent Strategy, and Education Initiatives at the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce. Adrian has been driven by a deep belief in leadership through service and has been a passionate advocate for advancing equity and opportunity for all!

Adrian's life in public service began in the United States Marine Corps. Adrian was an active-duty Marine for five years. As a Marine, he made two combat deployments to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF). After his honorable discharge from the Marines, Adrian re-enlisted in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, where he served for three years.

Adrian started his collegiate education at SUNY Monroe Community College (MCC), where he graduated with an A.S. in Liberal Arts, with distinction, while concentrating his coursework in the Social Sciences. While at MCC, Adrian became a leader in student government and maintained a 4.0 GPA, earning him the 2014 SUNY Chancellors Award for Student Excellence before transferring to Yale University, where he earned a B.A. in Political Science and studied politics.

As a thought leader, Adrian has and continues to serve on committees throughout the community, such as co-chairing the NYS FLREDC Regional Economic Development Council's Downtown Revitalization Initiative, the NYS Governor's Workforce Development Initiative Committee, the Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Board, and currently the New York State Board of Regents.

For Adrian's contributions toward the progress in Rochester, he was a 2024 recipient of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce’s Ignite Award, an award annually bestowed upon one young professional who strives toward the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment in their given fields. Adrian lives by the ethos of "Do what you can today until you can do more tomorrow."


A highly-regarded urban educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year and New Jersey Teacher of the Year finalist.

As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele emerged as a turnaround school leader which included the turnaround of "The Mighty" Newark Tech, that went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, including U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America's best high schools and Principal Kafele being awarded the coveted Milken Educator Award.

A prolific writer, Principal Kafele has written extensively on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk students, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom, and school leadership practices for inspiring schoolwide excellence. In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored thirteen books, including his seven ASCD best sellers. Principal Kafele is also the creator and host of the popular AP & New Principals Academy, streamed live every Saturday morning on his AP & New Principals Academy YouTube channel at 10:55 ET.

Principal Kafele is married to his wife Kimberley, and is the father of their three children, Baruti, Jabari and Kibriya. He earned his B.S. degree in Management Science/Marketing from Kean University and his M.A. degree in Educational Administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of over 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame Award, the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence, recognition as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals by Global Gurus Top 30 for four consecutive years, and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.

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