Steering Committee Member Spotlight: James Licata

James Licata

Gryphon Sensors, LLC

What is a fun fact about James Licatayourself? I once won an on field racing competition against another fan at a Syracuse Chiefs game.

What are your guiding principles in life?

– Will power is your greatest strength

– Go ahead and make mistakes

– What you put into life is what you’ll get back

Do you have any words of wisdom for other young leaders? Ever look around a room to see if others are raising their hand before you raise yours? Don’t be afraid to be the person who raises their hand first.

What attracted you to Syracuse and why did you decide to stay in the area? Since I am from Buffalo, it was important coming out of college to try and still be close to family. Syracuse had a number of engineering job opportunities and felt a lot like home.

What do you like about Central New York? I really enjoy the access to a diverse group of experiences. I can be lakeside in Skaneateles in the afternoon and enjoying a performance Downtown at the Landmark Theatre that very same evening.

What do you hope to improve in Central New York? I hope to be a part of improving education within the Syracuse City School District – this is our communities most important asset.

How would you attract and keep the youth in the Syracuse area? STEM education programs featuring area businesses is probably the #1 way to do this. I have been a part of the CNY STEM Connection ( and CNY Tech Sector  for a few years and we have supported many programs and scholarships that are raising awareness of the opportunities right here in CNY. More like this will go a long way!

Where do you see the community in the next 10 years? There are a lot of great things on the horizon for CNY, it is all about making the most of our opportunities. It is tough to guess where anything will be in 10 years. All I can say is that I hope that I can help play some small part in the community’s successes going into the future.

Is there a local leader you admire and if so, why? I would definitely say Randi Bregman, Executive Director of Vera House. Having had the opportunity to meet her and listen to her speak multiple times was inspiring. I am a big supporter of Vera House and the great services they provide for our community.

What have you learned while in YLU that you didn’t know before? I definitely learned that are a lot of other passionate and great young professionals in CNY who are committed to making CNY a great place to live. It is a great feeling to know that there are so many people willing to make a commitment to this!

What YLU event had the greatest impact on you and why? Participating in The Community Build to End Homelessness at Granger Street had a big impact on me. Different companies and volunteers coming together on such a big project that provides so much to those in need really left me feeling happy to give back.

Why do you believe in giving back to your community through Young Leaders financial and volunteer commitment? I believe that if you want the community around you to be the best it can be, the only way to help accomplish this goal is to be a part of the solution. By giving both financial and volunteer support I feel confident that I am making an impact to better the community I live in.