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Sullivan Renaissance Annual Conference, Local Market & Expo

February 25, 2014

[FERNDALE] – Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick will deliver the keynote address at Sullivan Renaissance’s Annual Conference, Local Market & Expo on Saturday, March 8 at the CVI Center in Ferndale.  The theme is “Revitalizing Sullivan County – the Difference is You.” 

Mayor Myrick’s talk will focus on the successful work being done to revitalize the City of Ithaca.  He will share ideas on community revitalization and how communities can take the necessary steps toward a better future.

First elected at the age of 20 to Ithaca's Common Council, Svante Myrick was one of the youngest elected African-Americans and one of the youngest mayors in U.S. history.  Myrick studied communication at Cornell University, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon and a leader of the Inter-fraternity Council and Quill and Dagger society.  He began his public-service career through volunteer activities while a student. 

As a councilmember Myrick’s principal contributions included creation of a “tobacco-free zone” on the Ithaca Commons, promoting youth involvement in city government, overseeing the creation of the Ithaca Youth Council, and playing a role in master planning and zoning changes in Ithaca’s dense, student-dominated college-town neighborhood.

As mayor Myrick has been responsible for several economic development initiatives including the redevelopment of the Ithaca Commons.  He is visionary in his approach, but is an advocate for small steps that can set a strong foundation for continued success.  His work demonstrates a strong belief in communication and an engaged citizenry as keys to community revitalization. 

The conference will bloom with spring flowers and inspiration, and offer tools and resources to help volunteers make a difference in their communities.  Registration for this free event begins at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast and expo.  The keynote address is at 10:00 a.m. 

           The program also includes presentation of ten Annual Sullivan First Achievement Awards, and featured speakers Nursery & Landscape Professional Sally Cunningham and Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard;

           The local market will offer participants and guests the opportunity to purchase local, natural and organic goods from area farms and businesses; and

           The expo highlights exhibits by many of Sullivan County’s garden centers and nurseries, along with other vendors with products and services of interest to volunteers.

Information about the 2014 Sullivan Renaissance grant program will be presented, along with an opportunity to discuss individual projects with staff.  Applications will be available.

For information, call the Sullivan Renaissance office at 845-295-2445.  To register on line, go to  To download a conference brochure, go to


In partnership with SUNY Sullivan, Sullivan Renaissance is also hosting an engaging discussion with Svante Myrick, Mayor of Ithaca, on Friday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. at the SUNY Sullivan Seelig Theater in Loch Sheldrake.  Mayor Myrick will share his experiences as a young leader and the role that young people play in the revitalization of their communities. 

Young people are specifically invited and refreshments will be served.  There is no charge to attend.  “Young people have something valuable to contribute right now with their energy, with their creativity, and with their moral authority,” Myrick said.

Sullivan Renaissance is a beautification and community development program principally funded by the Gerry Foundation.