business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

In upstate New York, the Daily Gazette has a story about Neil Golub, the former Price Chopper CEO who has made the resurrection of Schenectady his personal mission.

Golub is, the story says, "the driving force behind the $250,000 television and print “New Schenectady” campaign, which is designed to rebrand the city to residents of the Capital Region and beyond as a hub of business development, housing and entertainment … Golub, who is funding the ads, said the campaign would last six months, at which time he hopes the initiative will be carried on by Discover Schenectady, the county tourism agency."

Golub says that "this has been a 30-year journey for me.  The first part was to clean it (the city) up and the second part was to create a funding source (Metroplex) and the people that were brought in to run it did a great job. And now it comes time when we’ve spent 20 years of doing the fix up and clean up and all of these new facilities, that with a fresh new start it’s time to tell the world that we’re different. So my job is done when we’ve announced the new brand. We are new and we want the people to know that we’re not the old Schenectady, we’re the new Schenectady.”

I've chatted with Neil Golub about this in the past;  several years ago, he took me around the city to show me where investments were being by technology and medical companies, investments that he believed would reshape the city and the region.

But I bring this up now because we always talk about the community aspect of smart retailing.  Done right, a community can be created that connects a retailer's employees and customers, and creates a whole that is bigger than the parts.

Seems to me that this is what Neil Golub's commitment is all about.  To building community, to creating something that is better than how he found it.  It is about going above and beyond.  And it is an Eye-Opener.