Tracy Verrier

Executive Director


Tracy has worked as the Economic Development Technical Specialist for the Cayuga Economic Development Agency since June 2013. In that role, she provided staff support to various economic development boards, including the Cayuga County IDA, Auburn IDA, and Auburn Local Development Corporation. In addition, she contributed to grant writing, underwriting for local loan programs, and various research initiatives. Verrier was also the Acting Director of the Cayuga Economic Development Agency before being hired as the Executive Director.

Tracy has Master’s Degrees from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University, a Bachelor’s Degree from Drew University, and an Associate’s Degree from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She is a member of the advisory board for the Auburn chapter of the Salvation Army and is a member of Auburn Public Theater’s a cappella group, Tonal Recall. Verrier and her fiancée, Ian Phillips, live in Owasco and are co-owners of Heifer Hops.

Maureen Riester

Maureen Riester

Business Development Specialist


As the Business Development Specialist for CEDA, Maureen is responsible for attracting new businesses to Cayuga County and providing resources for entrepreneurs in emerging businesses. As a graduate of RIT’s College of Business in marketing and communication, she plays a very active role in CEDA’s marketing and public relations. Her work history includes sales, marketing, account management, product management, and counseling. Maureen is a certified SCORE mentor for the Auburn chapter.

Maureen grew up with Riester’s General Service, Inc., a home appliance store her grandparents, Bernard and Esther Riester started in 1945. She was raised as an avid volunteer and still remains very active in the community. She is past chair and current steering committee member of IGNITE, Cayuga County’s Young Professionals group, and was named Cayuga County’s Outstanding Young Professional of the Year in 2010. She is an active volunteer, serving on multiple local boards and committees. Maureen lives in the City of Auburn with her husband and their two little boys.

Bruce Sherman

Bruce Sherman

Economic Development Specialist


Bruce Sherman is Economic Development Specialist at CEDA. In this role, Bruce works with existing businesses in Cayuga County on retention and expansion. Utilizing the myriad of incentives for businesses to expand at the local, state, and federal level, Bruce helps businesses navigate those waters to help our county grow.

Prior to joining CEDA, Bruce was an Account Executive with Tompkins Insurance Agencies, Inc. in Auburn. He began his career in the public sector as a Planner with the City of Auburn’s Office of Planning & Economic Development and on the staff of NYS Assemblyman Gary D. Finch.

Bruce currently serves as an ex-officio board member of the Central New York International Business Alliance (CNYIBA) and the Treasurer of the Knights of Columbus Council 207 in Auburn. He was the recipient of the 4th Fred Atkins Community Service Award from the Unity House in the spring of 2014.

Bruce is a Cayuga County native, a graduate of the University at Buffalo, and resides in Auburn with his wife, Cammy, and five stepchildren.

Joseph Sheppard

Economic Development Technical Specialist


As the Economic Development Technical Specialist for CEDA Joe is responsible for assisting businesses with loans, incentive and grant applications, research and data analysis, and providing staff services to the areas economic development boards: Cayuga County IDA, Auburn IDA, and Auburn Local Development Corporation.

Joe is a graduate of George Mason University and the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee with degrees in Public Administration, and Public Management from GMU, and Technical Production from UWM.  He has worked extensively in the theatre industry for the last 20 years with companies such as the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, Glimmerglass Opera, Florida Grand Opera and Ford’s Theatre.

Joe has recently been elected to serve as a member of Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education as an at-large member and is seated on the Facilities and Long-Range Planning committees.  Additionally, he is the current President of the Board of Directors for the Auburn Players Community Theatre, and chair of the Grant Writing committee for the Theatre Association of New York State.  Joe is also a Rotarian, and volunteers with the Boy Scouts of America as an Archery Range Master and the Cub Master for Auburn Cub Scout Pack 11, and provides assistance with grant writing/planning services to the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park.  He presently lives in Auburn with his wife Kristan, and their son and daughter.

Rhonda Sheffield

Office Manager


Rhonda Sheffield recently joined the Cayuga Strategic Solutions team as the Office Manager.  Her responsibilities include the administrative work for both the Cayuga Economic Development Agency and for the Cayuga County Chamber in addition to that of CSS.  Rhonda’s background in administrative, staffing, employment and HR bring a great addition to the team.  She is an integral part of working with Tracy, the Executive Director, in corresponding and coordinating all of the Board and Committee meetings.

Rhonda and her husband John, along with their children and grandchildren live in Cayuga County and support the local businesses whenever possible.  Rhonda is also a member of the Auburn Rotary Club and an Independent Mary Kay Beauty Consultant in her spare time.

Karen Tehan

Karen Tehan

Communications Specialist


Karen Tehan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from John Carroll University and has previously worked for Lawyers Cooperative Publishing and MacKenzie-Childs, Ltd.   Karen has been active in the community serving a volunteer for the school district and the YMCA Stingrays.  She lives in Auburn with her husband David and their three children.

Devon Roblee

Devon Roblee

Marketing Coordinator


Devon Roblee was hired as Marketing Coordinator in December 2015. Devon brings her experience in journalism and as a small business owner to assist CEDA in developing and executing its marketing plan. She was born and raised in Cayuga County, received an Associate’s Degree in Telecommunications from Cayuga Community College, and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Cinema & Photography from Ithaca College. She, her husband Andrew, and their two beautiful boys call Auburn home.