Institute to host forum on business succession planning

In response to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report that 10,000 people retire every day, creating a projected shortage of 10.3 million employees by 2010, SUNY Oswego’s Institute for Professional and Organizational Development will host a Succession Planning Forum on May 16 at the Oswego State Education Center in Phoenix.

Key personnel from Central New York not-for-profits, businesses, government and health care agencies will come together at the center, in the Oswego County Industrial Park in Phoenix. The session aims to provide a learning community environment to begin preparation for the potential of losing 50 percent of senior management in the region over the next four years, said Donna Besaw, assistant director of continuing education for SUNY Oswego.

The featured speaker is Nancy Kiyonaga, director of workforce and occupational planning in the New York State Department of Civil Service and author of “Today Is the Tomorrow You Worried About Yesterday: Meeting the Challenges of a Changing Workforce.”

Following the keynote will be breakout sessions facilitated by leaders and human resource executives from Oswego and Onondaga counties who currently use a full or modified succession planning process within their specific industry. A team consisting of Kiyonaga; Joe Roszak, executive director of Oswego County Opportunities; Frank Panzetta, human resources director of St. Joseph’s Hospital in Syracuse; and Alex Grimshaw of PPS International Limited, a global organizational development firm located in Fulton, will present case studies and learning activities for executives from government, nonprofit organizations, healthcare agencies and businesses. 

Besaw envisions the institute and its Web site as a community learning environment where leaders will have opportunities to collaborate, share ideas, attend informational forums and participate in workshops designed to address the challenges of the nation’s shifting demographics. 

“Succession planning is a process of developing talent to meet the current and future needs of an organization,” Besaw said. “It is our goal to provide local employers guidance, a forum to share information and professional development for key personnel responsible for meeting the human resource shortages over the next several years.” 

The May 16 forum is seen as “the first of many opportunities for learning,” she added. Business leaders interested in participating in future succession planning workshops can contact Besaw or Paula Behm at 312-6430, or e-mail

The SUNY Oswego Institute for Professional and Organizational Development is dedicated to partnering with business, government and nonprofit organizations to develop and deliver customized employee training based on current and future business needs. Its mission, “Your Success Is Our Business,” focuses on bottom-line results.

For more information and an agenda of the May 16 event, call 312-6430, e-mail or visit

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(Posted: Apr 26, 2006)