Steering Committee Members

Request for Proposals
40 Below Fresh Ideas Summit

Fall 2015

Application Overview

40 Below is seeking community engagement project proposals for future programming. Successful proposals will align with 40 Below’s passion for local revitalization and unparalleled dedication to Central Upstate New York. The organization was created with the intent of acting as a vehicle for members to pursue passions that ultimately build a more efficient, strong, and fun community for young professionals to live, work, learn and play. The organization has four main focuses within the Central New York area:

  • Keeping young professionals and community members engaged in our community
  • Cultivating a culture of public art
  • Retaining and attracting talented members of the workforce, and
  • Improving the quality of transportation options

Selected proposals will have the opportunity to present to the public at the Fresh Ideas Summit on November 19th for a chance to receive a grant worth up to $10,000 to work in conjunction with 40 Below’s existing staff and membership. Please apply by providing a narrative and explanation of your proposed project along with how it aligns with 40 Below and a financial budget on how the funding will be used. All applications are due no later than Thursday, October 22nd at 4 PM to the following:

40 Below
Attn: Lindsay Perry
115 W. Fayette Street
Syracuse, NY 13202



Please note there is no age limit to apply for this grant or to be a part of the Fresh Ideas Summit if selected (the name 40 Below is just play on words, because it doesn’t matter what age you are to have good ideas). All applications received will be reviewed by the 40 Below Steering Committee, which serve as the governing body of the organization. Through a scoping process, selected proposals will be chosen to move forward to the final presentation and pitch-night known as the ‘Fresh Ideas Summit’ that will take place from 5-8 PM on November 19th at the Everson Museum of Art. The event will be open to the public and the audience and a panel of judges from 40 Below will listen to pitches, and a final decision and selection of the award recipient(s) will take place the night of the event after all presentations are made.

The application and review process will be conducted based on the following timeline of events:

  • September 4: Request for Proposals (RFP) is released
  • September 19: FAQ form released to address applicant questions
  • October 22: Proposals due by 4 PM
  • October 26: Finalists selected by 40 Below steering committee to present at the “Fresh Ideas Summit’ on 11/19 and will be informed of decision
  • November 2-6: Mandatory orientation sessions held for finalists (official dates and times that week to be determined)
  • November 19: Presentation of ideas at the ‘Fresh Ideas Summit’ at the Everson Museum of Art; 5-8 PM


Application / Program Guidelines

Applicants will be expected to provide a complete narrative that includes a well-formulated idea that complements the mission of 40 Below and positively influences the young professional community of Central New York. Applicants should describe background on the idea, how the funds would be utilized if selected for a grant, and the desired outcome of the program. As a requirement for successful funding, selected applicant(s) will be expected to collaborate with 40 Below on implementing their project. Therefore, all submitted RFP’s must outline: 1) How the project would work with 40 Below and its various task forces and committees; 2) How the program will be mutually beneficial for the applicant, 40 Below as an organization, and the community; and 3) How the applicant will provide status reports to 40 Below leadership on progress.


Attachments / Other Requirements

The following items must be included with the RFP in order to be considered for funding:

  1. A resume for each of the applicants involved with the proposal
  2. A preliminary budget that shows how funds would be used and anticipated expenses are identified

Any questions that arise during the application process should be directed to Lindsay Perry at lperry@centerstateceo.com. Questions submitted prior to September 16th will be included in a formal FAQ to address questions and published on the 40 Below website at www.40BelowSyracuse.com.


Background / About 40 Below

40 Below is a non-profit organization of young professionals and community members with a passion for local revitalization and unparalleled dedication to Central Upstate New York. The organization acts as a vehicle for members to pursue passions, make changes, instill a sense of pride in the community, and promote the region as a vibrant place to live, work, learn and play.

40 Below was created as a result of a summit that took place in the fall of 2004, where more than 630 young professionals, artists, entrepreneurs and community members gathered in Syracuse, NY to share their creative visions for the future and ideas for regional improvement. Since the 2004 summit, the engagement of these community members has brought about meaningful changes to the Central New York area through:

  • Adaptively reusing downtown space by seeding investments in the Wilson building through Adapt CNY, which has now become part of the newly opened Pike Block
  • Opening a regional Coworking Space within the Tech Garden that supports the region’s emerging entrepreneurial community
  • Volunteering in hundreds of events over the years, establishing partnerships with VolunteerCNY.org, United Way of CNY Initiative, and more
  • Hosting four subsequent Summits, and a statewide summit in 2011, and monthly events designed to educate young professionals and help them expand their professional networks
  • Installation of numerous public art projects, including many of the bike racks, sculptures and painted surfaces that are in downtown today, and assisting in the creation of many events that connect artists directly to the community
  • Activated underutilized spaces through events and projects such as last year’s food truck rodeo in partnership with the Connective Corridor in Forman Park and the creation of LIPE Art Park, a public art park on West Fayette Street

All of these activities have been primarily driven and achieved through the commitment and support of volunteer leadership. Over the years, 40 Below’s volunteers have gone on to lead organizations, develop successful businesses, and create some of the most prominent public artwork in the community. 40 Below has achieved this success because it acts as a vehicle to allow energetic and talented community members to collectively impact Syracuse.

Since the establishment of the organization in 2004, it has had the capability of strategically reorganizing itself to fit the needs of the community. During the summer of 2011, 40 Below underwent a strategic planning session that transitioned the organization from developing large summits to having more regular, monthly engagement opportunities. It was in this session that the annual New Years Eve fundraiser was developed, and the Syracuse Coworks concept was born. In February 2013, the organization launched two new task forces to retain and attract talented members of the workforce, and improve the quality of transportation in Syracuse and Central New York, which complimented its existing task forces that focus on keeping young professionals engaged in their communities and cultivating a culture of public art in Syracuse. The task force additions were a result of a 3-day strategic planning workshop and were both provided seed funding to effectively execute the new initiatives. Nearly three years since the last strategic planning workshop, we continuously are striving to better suit the expanding needs and desires of our community.

We look forward to reviewing proposals that we receive from this process. Please contact Lindsay Perry with any questions or concerns at lperry@centerstateceo.com.

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  • person
    Justin Lynch
    40 Below Manager

    Online Relations Manager
    Visit Syracuse

  • person
    Lindsay Perry
    40 Below Program Coordinator

    Syracuse University

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    Madison Quinn
    Steering Committee Co-Chair

    Project Coordinator Onondaga County Save the Rain

  • person
    Steve Marshall
    Steering Committee Co-Chair

    Harris Beach PLLC

  • person
    Matthew Gardner

    Manager Fust Charles Chambers Partner Modern Malt

  • person
    Ben Sio
    Communications Co-Chair

    Project Analyst
    The Brookings Institution

    Public Policy
    CenterState CEO

  • person
    Michael Giannattasio
    Public Arts Task Force Co-Chair

    Founder & Director SALT (Syracuse Arts Learning & Technology) Makerspace

  • person
    Alicia Suskin
    Public Arts Task Force Co-Chair

    Associate Project Manager

  • person
    Christopher Bianchi
    Transit Task Force Co-Chair
  • person
    Eric Ennis
    Transit Task Force Co-Chair
    CDBG Program Administrator
    City of Syracuse, Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
  • person
    Megan Moll
    Events Committee Co-Chair
  • person
    Beth Copani
    Events Committee Co-Chair
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    Christopher Barnes
    Career Connect Task Force Co-Chair

    Project Manager
    Hueber-Breuer Construction Co., Inc.

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    Mayadeh Sousou
    Career Connect Task Force Co-Chair

    Executive Recruiter, Accounting and Finance
    C.R. Fletcher Associates

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    Cathy Roosa
    Civic Engagement Task Force Co-Chair
    Fundraising & Events Coordinator
    The ALS Association Upstate New York Chapter
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    Ronald Tascarella
    Board Member

    Assistant Vice President
    M&T Bank

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    Miranda Traudt
    Board Member

    Managing Director
    Point of Contact Gallery, Syracuse University

    Adjunct Faculty in Museum Studies
    Syracuse University

  • person
    Paul Colabufo
    Civic Engagement Task Force Co-Chair