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Oneida Indian Nation's Halbritter Speaks to CNY Businesses. His Advice? Dream and Communicate.

John Smith/WAER News

The leader of the Oneida Indian Nation was the guest speaker for Centerstate C.E.O.’s Bi-Annual Speakers Series on Thursday and shared his visions on how the business community can collaborate to enhance the Central New York Economy.  Ray Halbritter says diversity in business lends itself to creating positive outcomes.

“… And that’s what this organization is doing so well, Centerstate, it brings people together and brings people from different backgrounds to a place where working together is the future of this region and it makes the best out of this region.”

Halbritter acknowledges there are challenges and uncertainties in life but, he feels dreams can be achieved through a visionary approach.  He says constant contact and strong communication with others is the key to reaching those goals.

“We invest in the community, the community invests in us.  We find our workforce, our people.  We’ve created nearly 4,700 jobs, so it all works together, and this is one of those situations where it makes everything better for everybody.  Rising tide lifts all boats.”

He’s found that positive relationships also leads to growth.  New York State paved the way for casino expansions in recent years.  However, Halbritter feels it works both ways.

“Upstate has benefited from our success.  We’ve been able to achieve some agreements with the State that have paved the future and moved it from debate into development and that’s really what is going to be best for our region. And ending those disputes with the State allows now for much broader development perspective.”      

The Oneida Nation continues to expand its business development with the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango a few years ago.  Halbritter says the nation’s next development is expected to open in Bridgeport in about a year.