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Welch Allyn's Julie Shimer to chair Empire State Development

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The CEO of medical device maker Welch Allyn is going into economic development.

The CEO of Welch Allyn, Julie Shimer, will chair New York's Empire State Development Corporation.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the nomination yesterday, and said of Shimer in a statement:

"Julie Shimer is joining a first-class team of economic development leaders including Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy and Empire State Development Corporation President Kenneth Adams," Governor Cuomo said. "Her extensive experience in the upstate and downstate business communities will be essential to the reconstruction of New York's economy. Attracting and retaining business in New York is job number one, and Julie and the rest of the ESDC team will work tirelessly to make that happen."

Crain's Insider reports that Shimer knows why Cuomo gave her the nod.

Welch Allyn is the kind of business Gov. Andrew Cuomo would love to see across the state. And Shimer, who holds a patent for a semiconductor laser, is the kind of businesswoman more likely to be found in Silicon Valley than 20 miles west of Syracuse. Her company makes a device that can take a patient's vital signs and transmit them to hospital electronic medical records. Of its 1,300 employees in the state, about 425 are in manufacturing. Shimer was named to the board of Welch Allyn in 2002 to provide technical expertise on wireless communication. She was named CEO in 2007. “Commercializing technology is a great way to grow companies and create jobs,” she told Insider.

Mike McAndrew at the Post-Standard has some background on Shimer's career:

Shimer in 2007 became the first woman CEO at Welch Allyn in the 95-year history of the Skaneateles Falls-based medical equipment manufacturer. She is a nationally recognized leader in the computer networking and wireless communications industries. Prior to joining Welch Allyn, Shimer served as president and CEO of Vocera Communications, a wireless communications company based in Cupertino, CA. She also held executive positions at 3Com Corporation, Motorola, AT&T Bell Laboratories, and Bethlehem Steel Co. Shimer currently holds board positions with Welch Allyn, Netgear, the Engineering Information Foundation and CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity.

Jonathan Epstein at the Buffalo News explains how Shimer and ESDC president Kenneth Adams will work together:

Adams and Shimer jointly succeed Dennis M. Mullen, who held all three titles, as well as commissioner of economic development, under the Paterson administration. He stepped down last month after a brief transition period. Cuomo broke up the roles as part of his plan to revamp the agency. Adams is also commissioner of economic development.

Shimer will have to be confirmed by the Senate, according to Buffalo Business First, but can serve as an acting chair in the meantime.

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