Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo tapped the chief executive of an upstate medical devices manufacturer Monday to lead the Empire State Development Corp. board of directors.

With the appointment of Julie Shimer, head of Welch Allyn Inc., Cuomo rounds out his business development team.

In January, he appointed Kenneth Adams, former Business Council honcho, to be ESDC chief executive. At the time, Cuomo noted Adams was from Brooklyn and the board chairman would come from upstate.

Both appointments must be approved by the State Senate.

Shimer became chief executive of Welch Allyn in 2007. During her tenure, the company has embarked on a $30-million expansion of its headquarters and factories in Skaneateles Falls south of Syracuse. It employs 2,600 people, about half of them in New York.

Previously, Shimer worked at the wireless company Vocera Communications, 3Com, Motorola, AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bethlehem Steel.

"Her extensive experience in the upstate and downstate business communities will be essential to the reconstruction of New York's economy," Cuomo said.

Monday's appointment carried some irony. Cuomo's father, Gov. Mario Cuomo, was criticized in 1994 by then Welch Allyn chief William Allyn. Allyn threatened to expand his company in North Carolina instead of New York if business taxes weren't reduced. The criticism was seized upon by Republican gubernatorial nominee George Pataki, who defeated Cuomo, a Democrat, later that same year.

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