The Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Board of Directors is comprised of the senior leadership from the region’s top employers, major academic institutions, and non-profits. Their service to the Partnership reflects a deep commitment to building a stronger regional economy for all.
Want to learn more about a member of our board? Simply click their name for a brief bio.
Mr. Anderson joined BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, part of a $2.65 billion healthcare organization, in July 2013. BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York operates in the Buffalo area and BlueShield of Northeastern New York operates in the Albany area. He is the company’s seventh president and CEO and is responsible for the oversight and execution of the company’s mission and goals.
Mr. Anderson previously served as United Healthcare’s senior vice president, Western Region, and as CEO for the company’s Southern California region. He inherited the plan with membership losses and reduced financial performance. He was responsible for an organizational turnaround resulting in a 43 percent increase in operating income and a company-leading 84 percent level of employee engagement.
Mr. Anderson serves on the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management, the BlueCross BlueShield Association, the Business Council of New York State, Inc., the Invest Buffalo Niagara, Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo Sabres Foundation.
Dave Anderson is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a graduate of Indiana University’s Kelly School of Business, with a B.S. in Finance. He has been an entrepreneur, an executive in many facets of the health insurance industry, and is well versed in competitive and highly regulated health care markets. He and his wife Cindy are residents of Buffalo, and have five grown children.
Thomas Beauford Jr. Is a business executive with over 20 years of strategic leadership experience in private industry and community board service. He is president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, Beauford was appointed to lead the historical civil rights, social justice, and community empowerment organization in August of 2020.
Thomas most recently served as vice president at M&T Bank in the Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs division. Prior to this, Thomas joined HSBC Bank USA, N.A. in 2000, as part of its acquisition of Republic National Bank of New York, managing their Eastern Region Operations Center in New York City. In 2001, he was selected for HSBC’s International Secondee Programme, headquartered in London, UK. During his international assignment, he helped lead explosive growth serving as the Deputy Centre Manager of HSBC’s Global Service Centre, in Bengaluru, India. As a result of his business development success, Thomas was chosen to lead a turn-around of the Bank’s U.S., Australia, and New Zealand Operations from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Thomas also completed research in Moscow and Astrakhan, Russia when selected as an Earthwatch© Institute Environmental Fellow.
In 2006, Thomas relocated to Buffalo, NY with HSBC as Director of Strategic Planning, overseeing Project Management and Business Banking Contact Center, then later, operations centers locally and in Guangzhou, China. While at HSBC, he was a member of the CEO’s Diversity Council and a founding member and chair of the African Heritage Diversity Committee. Thomas completed HSBC’s Six Sigma Black Belt training in Vancouver, BC. He is also a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) and is trained in Commercial Lending and Regulatory Compliance. In 2013, he joined Citi in their Treasury and Trade Solutions Division, as Senior Vice President, Head of Global Billing and Receivables directing the consolidation of global billing platforms for the Corporate Cash Management and Institutional Client Group portfolio.
Currently, Thomas is a board member of the Univera Regional Advisory Board, Visit Buffalo Niagara, Northland Workforce Training Center, Minority Bar Foundation of WNY, and the National Black MBA Association of WNY— where he is the immediate Past President. Thomas’ past community and board service include: Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation; International Institute of Buffalo; Community Health Center of Buffalo, and Urban Bankers Coalition-New York City.
Thomas is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Paramount Lodge # 73 F&AM, and Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity. He is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, holding an Executive M.B.A., and an M.S. in Operations and Supply Chain Management. He received a B.S. in Business Management from Saint Peter’s University and an A.A.S. in Accounting from Kingsborough Community College. Thomas was also awarded a scholarship to study at Harvard Business School’s Executive Education–Governing for Nonprofit Excellence program.
An avid jazz enthusiast, he was born in Harlem, N.Y. and raised in the Red Hook section of Brooklyn. Thomas currently resides in the Buffalo, NY area with wife Stacy and is the proud father of two sons, Thomas III, Vaughn, and a daughter, Jewel. The family are members of Friendship Baptist Church in Buffalo.
Paul Bonaro is Verizon Media’s Vice President, leading Data Center Operations and Engineering teams. He is based at their office and data center in Lockport, NY.
Paul has been with the company since construction began on what was then Yahoo’s Lockport data center in 2010. The operations at this location have since expanded to include a second facility that opened in early 2015, with total investment now exceeding $500 million. In addition to leading the Lockport site, Paul also oversees data center operations teams and facilities in Virginia and Ireland, and construction and engineering at all data centers globally.
Prior to joining Yahoo in 2010, Paul was Director of Critical Environments for EMCOR Facilities Services in New York City and Buffalo, working across numerous key client accounts such as Credit Suisse and Wachovia supporting their critical technology infrastructure programs. He also spent seven years with Amazon based in Seattle, Washington, DC, and Dublin as their Regional Data Center Manager, establishing and operating data centers in Northern Virginia and Ireland.
Paul holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University at Albany. He lives with his family in Buffalo, NY.
Lorrie A. Clemo, Ph.D. is honored to serve as the 15th president of D’Youville College. As president, Dr. Clemo envisions advancing D’Youville’s time-tested mission of providing academic, social, spiritual and professional development in programs that emphasize leadership and service.
As an educator and community leader, Dr. Clemo has three decades of experience teaching, conducting research and performing community service. Among her distinctions, she has published on classroom learning, equity in education, civic participation and diversity. She has been the principal or co-investigator on $18 million of funding from the U.S. Department of Education, National Science Foundation, Lumina Foundation, New York State and other significant foundations. She has lectured at the NCAA, NSF, American Association of Colleges & Universities, American Council on Education Association, and other athletic and educational conferences.
During her long history of leadership, Dr. Clemo has held numerous leadership appointments, including President of the NCAA, Faculty Athletics Representative Association, Vice Chair of the New York State Sea Grant Institute and Board of Governors, World Association of Cooperative Education Board, American Council on Education Executive Board, Council of Fellows Board and On Point for College Executive Board. She was recently appointed to the Kaleida Health Board of Directors.
Dr. Clemo has been the recipient of numerous honors including the NCAA’s David Knight Leadership Award, Dream Maker Award and Campus Angel Award from On Point for College, the Pac-Asia Educator Excellence Award, Community Leadership Award from the NYS Turkish Cultural Society, and the Outstanding Faculty Award from the Non-Traditional Student Association.
Prior to D’Youville, Dr. Clemo most recently served as provost and vice president of academic affairs for the State University of New York at Oswego. In that position, she drove first-time initiatives and brought substantial recognition to the university. She led the development of a college pathway program and an early- college program. She expanded online education, initiated the first SUNY-wide co-op education program and sponsored summer immersion programs for inner-city youth in laboratory research. Her commitment to student-centric offerings extends to the development of the Global Laboratory Program, a STEM research abroad program with alliances across South and Central America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Dr. Clemo earned her Ph.D. in Political Science and Master of Arts in Political Science, Public Administration and Policy Analysis from Binghamton University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, N.Y.
She and her husband, Steve Nicolais, M.D., live in Buffalo, New York and have four grown children.
Dr. Cropp is the president and CEO of Independent Health. Under his leadership, the organization delivers products and services that improve the health of almost 400,000 members, and has been consistently recognized nationally for excellence in quality, service and innovation.
Dr. Cropp is a board-certified family physician with more than 25 years of experience practicing medicine, serving as an associate medical director and family physician for three managed care organizations and medical director for the Millard Fillmore Health System. He joined Independent Health in 1996 as chief medical officer and became president and CEO in 2004.
Dr. Cropp was appointed by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to the University at Buffalo Council and the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council. He serves on the board of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, America’s Health Insurance Plans and is past chairman of the Alliance of Community Health Plans. He is the founding chairman of the P2 Collaborative of Western New York, Western New York Clinical Information Exchange (HEALTHeLINK) and GObike Buffalo.
Dr. Cropp received his bachelor’s and medical degrees from Brown University and earned an M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Jonathan A. Dandes is the corporate vice president of governmental relations and special projects at Rich Product Corp.’s worldwide headquarters, a role that focuses on Rich Products’ philanthropic efforts.
He continues to represent Rich Baseball Operations as treasurer of the New York-Penn League and chair of the finance committee of the Texas League.
Jon joined Rich Products Corporation in June 1986 as product manager and was soon appointed director of restaurant operations. He was named vice president/general manager of Stadium Services, Inc. in 1988, Executive Vice President of the Rich Entertainment Group in 1996, and President of Rich Baseball Operations in 2001.
He is past Chair of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. He also serves as Vice Chair of Upstate New York Transplant Services. He is Chair of the Buffalo Zoological Society (Buffalo Zoo), and is Chair of the Erie County Medical Center Foundation, and also serves as Chair of the Buffalo Public Schools Foundation. He is the immediate past Chair of Erie County Jewish Family Services and Chair of Visit Buffalo Niagara (formerly the Buffalo and Erie County Convention & Visitors Bureau).
He is currently an adjunct Professor at Niagara University in the College of Hospitality and Tourism Management and teaches in the University’s Sports Management Program. Dandes is Chairman of the Buffalo/Niagara Sports Commission and a past Director of the Amherst Junior Football League, and Lou Gehrig Youth Baseball. Dandes is an alumnus of the University at Buffalo and a past president of its Alumni Board. He has served as president of the New York State Restaurant Association and is a member of La Chaine des Rotisseurs, Les Amis du Vin, National Association of Concessionaires, and Stadium Managers Association. Dandes also serves on the Board of the Erie County Law Enforcement Foundation, and the 100 Club of Buffalo. He is the Chair of the Erie County Sheriff’s 21st Century Foundation.Dandes was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Erie County Medical Center Corporation by Governor Andrew Cuomo in March of 2015.
In 2003, he graduated from the Harvard Business School Management Development Program. Dandes is also certified as a Foodservice Management Professional (1994), as designated by the National Restaurant Association.
Steve Davis is the President at Tapecon, Inc., a 5 generation, family owned contract manufacturer based in Buffalo, New York. Tapecon works with product teams to improve market competitiveness by manufacturing functional graphics, materials and complete products to improve look, feel and usability. Tapecon offers a broad scope of services in converting and specialized printing technologies for product branding, printed & flexible electronics, and disposable medical device manufacturing. Steve’s efforts have created a progressive culture of innovation at Tapecon over his ten years with the company.
Steve graduated from Clarkson University in 2001 with a Bachelor’s in Engineering & Management and obtained his MBA in International Business at St. Bonaventure University.
Steve has graduated from the Leadership Buffalo program, UB’s Center for Entrepreneurship Leadership program [CEL], and Startup CEL program. He is active in the CEL Alumni Association, past Chair of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Manufacturers Council, a member of the Entrepreneur’s Organization WNY Chapter, and President of the Clarkson University Buffalo Alumni Chapter.
Donna L. DeCarolis has been employed with National Fuel since March of 1983 where she began her career as a Management Trainee in the Research and Statistical Services Department. In December 1985, she was promoted to the position of Director, Investor Relations (IR) where she became responsible for interface with the financial community and developed the Company’s first IR program. In November 1992 Donna moved to the position of Assistant General Manager, Corporate Communications where she was the corporate spokesperson and oversaw National Fuel’s Corporate Communications Department for both New York and Pennsylvania, including Public Affairs, Advertising, Community Relations and Employee Communication.
In 1995 the oversight of the National Fuel’s Human Resources Department was added to Donna’s responsibilities. In July 1999 Donna was promoted to Assistant Vice President and was responsible for both the Corporate Communications and the Utility’s Marketing Department. In May 2001 Donna moved to National Fuel Resources, Inc., the wholly-owned, non-regulated energy services subsidiary of National Fuel Gas Company, where she served as Vice President and was later promoted to President.
In 2007, Donna was named Vice President of Business Development for National Fuel Gas Company where she became responsible for new business development and strategic acquisitions. Also in that year, Donna was named President of Horizon LFG, Inc. and Horizon Power, Inc. where she became responsible for National Fuel’s landfill gas operations, as well as the independent power production and electric generation operations. She later led the successful effort to divest the Company of these assets.
In February 2009, she also became responsible for the Company’s enterprise-wide external affairs, including the Corporate Communications and Government Affairs functions. She was named President, National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, National Fuel’s Utility subsidiary, February 1, 2019.
Donna holds a MBA, December 1982, State University of New York at Buffalo, Concentration in Marketing, and BS, Business Administration, May 1981, State University of New York at Buffalo.
Clotilde Perez-Bode Dedecker is President & CEO of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, an organization dedicated to connecting people, ideas and resources to improve lives in Western New York.
As the chief executive officer at the Community Foundation, Clotilde has led a focused growth and impact strategy. Under her leadership the Community Foundation has facilitated numerous public/private sector collaborations focused on systems change. These efforts have addressed issues such as school readiness, post-secondary attainment, lead-poisoning prevention, organizational development for arts organizations, and environmental stewardship. Most recently, Clotilde oversaw the Community Foundation’s effort to launch the Say Yes Buffalo initiative and the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable.
Other service highlights include a White House appointment to the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, U.S. Committee co-chair of the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer and president of the Association of Junior Leagues International. Clotilde has served on numerous boards. Current service includes CFLeads, The Foundation Center, FSG and the Global Fund for Community Foundations.
Clotilde’s work has been recognized by many including the Points of Light Foundation, the Governor’s Award for Service, the President’s Award for Service and Buffalo News Citizen of The Year. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo and is a naturalized U.S. citizen, native of Cuba.
She speaks frequently on philanthropy, community impact and governance.
Jim Dentinger is President of NOCO Enterprises LLC, a division of NOCO that is responsible for facilitating the company’s growth. As NOCO builds upon its reputation as a sustainable, future-focused, and innovative company, Jim’s oversight includes new market opportunities, product development, and strategic acquisitions.
Before joining NOCO, Jim co-founded the creation of McGuire Development. His visionary leadership, depth of real estate experience, and commitment to business ethics played a major role in the firm’s expansion. Jim now serves as McGuire Development’s Director of Asset Management.
As a lifelong Buffalonian, Jim has a passion for Western New York and the development of our community. He is the vice chairman of the ECMC Lifeline Foundation; board member of the Amherst Police Foundation; member of the Executive Board Shea’s Board of Trustees; past president of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation; former chairman of the Buffalo Urban League; former vice chairman and current member of Employers Supporting the Guard and Reserve (ESGR); past president of the Leadership Buffalo board of directors; former board member for the Canisius College Board of Regents; a former member of the Buffalo State College Foundation, Leadership Buffalo Class of 1992.
James Domagalski is a business trial lawyer and business counselor with 25 years of experience handling complex commercial, labor/employment and construction law matters for corporations and municipalities. He is a partner and the co-managing director of the Barclay Damon law firm in Buffalo. Barclay Damon, LLP has 101 lawyers in Buffalo and 275 firm wide with additional offices in Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, New York City, Boston, Washington, D.C. and Toronto. Jim serves on the firm’s management committee.
A long-time community leader in Western New York, Jim has served in numerous civic and charitable leadership positions throughout his career, including work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Western New York and the Roswell Park Cancer Institute Alliance. Jim also previously served as the chairman of the Erie County Republican Party.
He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA Government and International Relations; BA Economics 1987) and the Syracuse University College of Law (J.D. 1990). He resides in Orchard Park with his family.
Greg Duval is the Regional Executive and Managing Director for HSBC Bank USA’s Great Lakes Corporate Banking group, a team that focuses on mid and large corporate clients with revenues in the range of $50 million to $5 Billion in New York, Vermont, Ohio and Michigan, which represents over 270 clients, $1.1 billion loan outstandings and $800 million of deposits. Greg is a 20 year banking veteran and has experience with clients ranging from start-ups to Global and Investment banking clients with over $20 Billion of revenue across almost every business sector.
Greg also serves as HSBC Bank USA’s Transportation and Logistics US Sector head, which includes helping Global Relationship Managers understand the Automotive, Aerospace, Logistics, Shipping and Rail industries, developing and distributing content, fostering connectivity with the Investment Bank, discussing trends and M&A activity.
Greg received his BA and MBA University of Buffalo with a concentration in Finance, Financial Markets & Institutions, and Management Information Systems and was a member of the football team. He currently sits on Endeavor Global WNY Branch, The University of Buffalo School of Management Alumni, and Invest Buffalo Niagara boards.
Greg resides in Clarence with his wife, Kali and children, Logan and Brynn.
Mr. Emmerling brings more than 40 years public accounting experience. As managing partner, he has overall responsibility for the operation and management of the firm. He joined Dopkins upon graduation and was admitted to partnership in 1980. His principal areas of expertise are Litigation support/Expert testimony, Privately-held companies, Succession Planning & Family Owned Business.
Tom’s professional affiliations are with the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants— Buffalo Chapter – positions held: Director, President, Accounting Principles and Auditing Standards Committee Chair, and Administration of Accounting Practices Chair.
Tom has held the following positions with Canisius College: Chair of the Board of Regents, Council on Accountancy – Chairman, Executive Committee member, Student Recruiting Committee (past chair), Student Experience Committee (past chair), Honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma 2014, Outstanding Accountant of the Year in Western New York – 2004 recipient, Outstanding Alumnus – 1994 recipient, DiGamma Honor Society, Leadership Society member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Tom is treasurer with the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Member of the Board of Trustees of Canisius College and Editorial advisor for the Journal of Accountancy.
Tom holds a B.S. in Accounting, cum laude from Canisius College
Matt is the President and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc., a pioneering organization that has become a powerful engine of revitalization in Buffalo. Matt is focused on the intersection of energy, entrepreneurship & technology, and how it will drive the new economy in Buffalo and beyond.
Matt has led the non-profit organization since its formation in 2002 to address shared issues among Campus institutions. Today, Matt oversees a team focusing on diverse, interrelated initiatives designed to lift the entire community including those in transportation, access and safety; energy, entrepreneurship, health & active living, infrastructure, economic opportunity and youth & education. Under Matt’s leadership, foundations, private enterprise, research labs, local community leaders, hospitals, and educational institutions are collaborating to create a model for re-energizing the city that has application all over America.
Prior to returning home to Buffalo, Matt worked in the entertainment industry in L.A. and New York, for Broadway Pictures and with Lorne Michaels at Saturday Night Live. He is currently active on the boards of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation. Matt also serves as a commission member on the U.S. Commission on Transportation Sector Efficiency, part of the Alliance to Save Energy; and on the Advisory Boards for Niagara University, Daemen College, and the School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation in New York City.
Matt is married and lives in Buffalo with his family.
Ofo Ezeugwu is Founder and CEO of WhoseYourLandlord (WYL.co), WYL a web platform that’s empowering and informing the rental community through landlord reviews, housing literacy content, and subscription SaaS software for owners/operators and lenders to better engage the needs of their residents.
He graduated from TempleUniversity, where he was the VP of the student body and also the youngest alumni convocation speaker in the school’s history. He was recently recognized as the Young Professional of the Year by the African American Chamber of Commerce (2018), he’s a Techstars’ Risingstar, one of BET’s #30Under30, a Black Enterprise: Modern Man, and his work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Newsweek, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Blavity, The New York Post, and more. Ofo is also a professional actor and model who’s walked in NYFW (5x), been featured on the Today Show (7x), and worked with Nike, ESPN (2x), and Alfani.
Ofo is very actively plugged into the community and speaks with local high schools and middle schools on leadership, college planning, entrepreneurship, and life skills. He’s a Big in the Big Brothers Big Sisters entrepreneurial program. And, he’s also given lectures on tech – entrepreneurship – and leadership at prestigious locations and universities such as The White House, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Wharton, Temple, Villanova, etc. He lives by the motto, “No steps backward; just forward progress.”
Lynne Marie Finn is the President and CEO of Broadleaf Results, Inc. (Broadleaf), an Aleron company. Prior to this, she was General Counsel for Aleron.
In business since 1965, Broadleaf is one of the largest woman-owned workforce solutions companies. It provides a host of total talent management services, including managed service programs (MSPs), recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), a proprietary vendor management system (VMS), Work Nexus®, statement of work (SOW) management, IC/freelancer engagement services, and payrolling.
Finn is a Vice Chair and board member of the Women Presidents’ Educational Organization (WPEO). She also serves on the finance committee for WBENC and is a board member and secretary of the Committee of 200 (C200), an organization of the world’s most successful women entrepreneurs and corporate innovators. Finn has also been appointed to The Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Upstate New York Regional Advisory Board.
Recent recognition includes being named to Staffing Industry Analysts’ (SIA’s) 2019 Staffing 100 (represents the 100 most influential people in staffing in the U.S.) and SIA’s 2018 Global Power 150 Women (represents the top women in staffing globally). Finn has also been selected as a WBENC Woman of Distinction and was named as one of 2017’s 100 Corporate Women Leaders in STEM by STEMconnector.
Finn received her Juris Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Executive Editor of Law and Policy in International Business, and she is a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Norah Fletchall is a passionate lifelong advocate of connecting people to wildlife and wild places. A zoo management professional with more than 30 years’ experience, Norah started her career as a zookeeper and through the decades has held several high profile leadership roles, managing all aspects of zoo management from finance to conservation, exhibit design, education, daily operations, and strategic planning.
She is a member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) accreditation committee and the immediate past Vice-Chair of the AZA Ethics Board. Norah dedicates her time to mentoring and helping the next generation of zoo leaders grow and develop and feels privileged to lead the team that is carrying our beautiful Buffalo Zoo boldly onward into the future.
Norah holds her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia and an MBA from Grand Valley State University.
Rhonda Frederick began her career at People Inc. in 1980 in an entry-level direct-care position, working in both group homes and day habilitation programs. She steadily moved up the ladder over the years, a rise culminating in her being appointed president and CEO of Western New York’s largest human service provider in the fall of 2014. Rhonda is forging the way for People Inc. as new government mandates call for a managed care model, rather than medically based care.
Prior to becoming CEO, Rhonda served as People Inc.’s chief operating officer and had oversight of 93 percent of the agency’s operating budget. Rhonda was instrumental in starting People Inc.’s Senior Living, creating affordable, safe and enjoyable apartments for seniors who are income eligible. The agency operates 19 apartment buildings throughout Western New York.
Rhonda currently serves as president of the Developmental Disabilities Alliance of Western New York (DDAWNY), an organization that fosters collaboration among agencies who support people with developmental disabilities and gives them a single voice in Albany. Since 2009 she has been recognized by Buffalo Business First repeatedly on their listings of Women of Influence, Health Care 50, Power 100 Women, and the Power 250 in Western New York. In 2015, Rhonda was selected to speak at TEDxBuffalo about the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. She earned the 2016 Professional of the Year Award from LeadingAge New York. Rhonda was recognized as a Distinguished Alumni by Canisius College in 2017 and the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2018. In 2018 she was awarded the Sarah G. Metzger Human Rights Award from Housing Opportunities Made Equal. The Human Services Council of New York chose Rhonda for the Notable Women in Human Services Hall of Fame in 2019.
Rhonda earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Rochester Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in public administration from Canisius College. She resides in Amherst, NY.
Mr. Frey has been the CEO of Frey Electric Construction Co., Inc. since 1993. He began his career with Frey Electric in 1978 working in the warehouse before entering into the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Apprenticeship Program. After graduation from the four-year program in 1987, he returned to Frey Electric as the Director of Operations. He became the CEO after purchasing the company from his father, making him the third generation in the family to run the company, which he does to this day.
Mr. Frey is a board member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Construction Club of Buffalo, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Amherst Police Foundation and Law Enforcement Foundation of WNY. He is a member of The Buffalo Club, Park Country Club, Country Club of Buffalo, Youngstown Yacht Club, Engineering Society of Buffalo, American Subcontractors Association, Amherst Chamber of Commerce and National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA).
Mr. Frey is a graduate of Williamsville South High School 1976, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local #41, Apprentice Education Program.
Dottie Gallagher is President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the area’s regional chamber of commerce and privately-funded economic development organization. Partnership members employ more than a quarter of a million people in the Buffalo Niagara region.
Prior to joining the Partnership, she was president & CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, the region’s tourism promotion bureau. She spent nearly 15 years with The Buffalo News and served as a member of their executive management team.
Dottie currently serves on the Buffalo Urban Development Corp, The Erie County Industrial Development Agency (ECIDA), Visit Buffalo Niagara, The Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, InvestBN, Unshackle Upstate, and the UB School of Management, Dean’s Advisory Council, AAA of Western & Central New York and the Association of Chamber of Commerce (A.C.C.E). Dottie received her undergraduate degree from Towson University (Baltimore, Maryland) and her MBA from the University at Buffalo.
A Buffalo native, Robert Gioia began his career in 1970 as a part of the third generation of the Gioia family operating the Gioia Macaroni Company. From 1992-2007, Robert was a principal with the Food Group of Strategic Investments and Holdings, Inc., one of the most experienced equity acquisition firms in the nation today.
Robert has been a strong community leader dedicated to the betterment of the WNY region for decades. He was Chairman of the NFTA from 1990-1998. He pioneered the completion of the $120 million Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. He was named one of The Buffalo News’ Citizens of the Year three times, for the years 1997, 2007 and 2013. Robert was Board President of Nichols School and the Martin House Restoration Corporation, Chairman of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and a Trustee of St. Lawrence University.
In January 2007, Robert was appointed President of The John R. Oishei Foundation, WNY’s largest private charitable foundation. In 2007, Robert was appointed Chairman of Great Lakes Health which was established by the New York State Department of Health to implement Berger mandates involving ECMC and Kaleida Health. In 2009 Robert was dubbed the Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year by UB’s School of Management. In 2012, Governor Cuomo appointed Robert to serve on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and he currently serves as Chair. In 2013 Robert received the Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award from Canisius College and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation. In 2014 Robert received the Distinguished Service Award from the ECMC Lifeline Foundation. In 2015, Robert was honored at the NFJC yearly Citation Banquet for his community service.
Richard S. Gold is President and Chief Operating Officer of M&T and its principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank. He was named to this position, and to the Board of Directors of both M&T and M&T Bank, in December 2017.
Gold began his career with M&T Bank in 1989 as an Executive Associate and has served in several management positions in Retail Banking, Business Banking, Mortgage, Consumer Lending and Marketing. In 2014, he was named Vice Chairman and took on the role of Chief Risk Officer. Before joining M&T Bank, Gold held positions in cash management and operations at Bankers Trust Company, and in marketing and product development at Citibank. He earned a Bachelor of Science from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master of Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business. Gold has long been committed to supporting both the Western New York community and the broader banking industry.
He currently holds positions on the Boards of Directors of the Westminster Foundation, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Consumer Bankers Association. He also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Council at the University at Buffalo School of Management where he is an adjunct professor.
Camille Joseph-Goldman is the Group Vice President for Charter Communications, where she oversees government affairs in the northeastern United States from Harlem to Bangor, Maine.
Joining in 2016, Camille brings over a decade of political experience to Charter, working every day to connect communities throughout the northeast to Spectrum’s growing network and ever-expanding suite of products.
After serving as U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Special Adviser, Camille was appointed Deputy Comptroller for Public Affairs in 2014, becoming the youngest appointed Deputy Comptroller in New York City history.
Camille got her start in politics at a young age, working for both Governor Spitzer and Governor Paterson in college. During that time, she also served as a field organizer for then-Senator Barack Obama, years later going on to become National African American Vote Deputy Director on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign. Shortly after a second historic victory with the Obama Campaign, Camille returned to New York City to serve as Political Director and Campaign Manager for former U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner’s 2013 mayoral campaign.
Camille is deeply committed to the communities she works in and has the pleasure of proudly serving on the board of the National Action Network, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, The Lower Eastside Girls Club, and as a trustee for the Citizen’s Budget Commission of New York City.
Camille values the importance of education and youth empowerment, both in her own life and in others. Today, she participates as a mentor at various youth empowerment programs across the City and is involved in several educational and healthcare initiatives for underserved youth in Jamaica and Haiti.
Camille was born and raised in the Bronx and attended New York University as a Presidential Scholar earning both a Master’s and Bachelor’s Degree in Politics, and a Bachelor’s Degree in History. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Camille lives in New York with her husband and daughter.
Martin T. Griffith is President of BankOnBuffalo. As a community bank, BankOnBuffalo, a division of CNB Bank, is a $2.8 billion bank that is being developed by local people and businesses. This local decision-making will increase the level of service provided to the communities of Buffalo and brings growth to the entire region. Services available include consumer and business deposit accounts, real estate, commercial, industrial, residential and consumer loans and lines of credit, treasury services, private banking, wealth and asset management, online and mobile banking, merchant credit card processing, remote deposit, accounts receivable handling, and much more.
Mr. Griffith earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Ithaca College in 1984 and began his career in banking immediately following. Prior to launching the DeNovo bank, BankOnBuffalo, in 2016, he held senior level positions at The Bank of Castile, Wyoming County Bank and Five Star Bank. In addition to his 27 years in the banking industry, Mr. Griffith also co-owned Griffith Builders, Inc., a land development and construction business, for seven years alongside his father.
Mr. Griffith serves the community by sharing his expertise as a member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Board of Directors, Mercy Hospital Foundation board member, Small Business Administration Regional Advisory board member, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf Foundation board member, and voting member on the New York Business Development Corporation Western Regional Loan Committee.
In April of 2018, Rick Hamister was named president of Northwest’s New York Region, an area that includes 35 branches in Erie, Niagara, Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Monroe counties. Northwest has taken on a more competitive role with other banks in Western New York since acquiring 18 First Niagara branches in 2016.
Mr. Hamister, an Orchard Park native, grew up with his mother being a teller, so he always knew the banking industry was for him. He was hired by First Niagara Bank in 2005, and became part of KeyBank after the conversion in 2016. Before he was named the NY Region President at Northwest, he was a vice president with Key Bank’s private banking. The Canisius College graduate also previously was executive vice president for the Hamister Group, and prior to that he worked for M&T Bank for 10 years.
Mr. Hamister plays an active role in the community as well. He currently serves on the board for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Hilbert College, and Orchard Park Country Club.
Jim Hettich is chairman and chief executive officer of Crowley Webb and Associates, Inc., a position he has held since 2001 after joining the firm as chief operating officer in 1998. Jim has extensive experience directing and managing agencies, having spent over forty years in the industry. He got his start in the business at The Ellis Advertising Company here in Buffalo before being recruited by Omnicom to work at their DDB agency in Anchorage, AK and later at their BBDO agency in Rochester, NY. He then spent 10 years with The Wolf Group agencies in Buffalo and Rochester before leaving as chief operating officer in 1998.
He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Niagara University and a Master of Science degree from American University in Washington, DC. Jim has long been committed to supporting both the Western New York Community and the broader advertising industry. He has served on the board of Bornhava in addition to the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4As), The Advertising Club of WNY (now AAF Buffalo), and the Advertising and Marketing Independent Network (AMIN).
Jim was recognized by The Advertising Club of WNY in 2007 with the David Levy Award and is a member of the Leadership Buffalo class of 2004.
He currently serves on the board of The Arc of Erie County along with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Niagara Partnership. He has three children, Cathlin, Cuyler and Connor and lives with his wife Colleen in Snyder.
Mr. Hojnacki joined Curtis Screw Company in 1984 and served in various engineering, sales and operations capacities before becoming president. MacLean-Fogg acquired Curtis in 2014.
Education: Buffalo State College, Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering, May 1984, University of Buffalo M.B.A., May 1990.
Organizations: President Board of Directors Richardson Center Corporation, Member Board of Directors Buffalo State College Foundation, Member Board of Directors Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Member Board of Directors Lipsey Architecture Center of Buffalo.
Ted Janicki is the Buffalo market president and Upstate New York/Western Massachusetts small business banking market executive for Bank of America.
As market president, Ted is responsible for connecting the banking and investment resources offered through Bank of America’s eight lines of business to companies, families and individuals across Erie and Niagara counties. He also leads the effort to deploy Bank of America’s resources to address social concerns, strengthen economic opportunity, and build strong communities, as well as supporting the health, safety and engagement of local teammates.
In his role as Small Business Banking Market Manager, Ted leads a team of small business bankers who serve clients across Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, Hudson Valley, and the Western Massachusetts markets. Bank of America’s Small Business clients receive industry-leading guidance, connections, tools and solutions, along with the dedicated support that addresses small business owners’ unique needs to bank how, where and when they want.
Ted has been serving Bank of America clients for 17 years. He is a Western New York native, University at Buffalo graduate, and current Buffalo resident. He dedicates volunteer time to a number of local nonprofits, including Junior Achievement of Western New York, Habitat for Humanity, and the Erie County SPCA.
Dr. Candace S. Johnson joined the faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in February 2002 and is currently President & CEO, the M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership and Professor of Oncology.
Director of the Center and also Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics for more than a decade. Her major responsibilities were to facilitate the seamless bench-to-bedside development and delivery of promising new cancer therapies involving various types of cancer.
From 1997-2002, Dr. Johnson served as Deputy Director of Basic Research at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, and Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
Dr. Johnson earned her doctoral degree in Immunology from Ohio State University, Columbus, in 1977. From 1977 to 1981, she completed research and postdoctoral fellowships in Immunology/Cell Biology at the Michigan Cancer Foundation, Detroit. Her research interests include translational research to facilitate the efficient application of promising labora- tory findings in clinical studies; preclinical design and development of more effective therapeutic approaches to cancer using highly characterized tumor models; and mechanisms of vitamin D mediated antiproliferative effects either alone or in combination with other cytotoxic agents.
Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Institutes of Health Reviewers Reserve and has served as a member of the National Cancer Institute Review Group Subcommittee A Cancer Center (Parent Committee) and of the Experimental Therapeutics Study Section for 2 terms. She also is a member of many professional and scientific societies, Senior Editor of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Associate Editor of Molecular and Cellular Differentiation, Oncology, and Molecular Pharmacology, and a member of the editorial board of Oncology Reports and Molecular Pharmacology. Since 2019, she has served on the NCI Frederick National Laboratory Advisory Committee.
Dr. Johnson has authored or coauthored nearly 200 journal publications, book chapters and abstracts, and has been issued patents on the “Use of Pretreatment Chemicals to Enhance Efficacy of Cytotoxic Agents” and “Endothelial Specific Targeting.”
Her awards and recognitions include the Dr. Thomas B. Tomasi Hope Award, Medaille College Excellence in Leadership Award, University of Pittsburgh Innovator Award, City & State Health Care Power 50, Canisius College Board of Regents Distinguished Citizen Award, Buffalo News Outstanding Citizen of 2016, University at Buffalo School of Management Alumni Association Executive of the Year, NYS Assembly Women of Distinction Award, NYS Senate Women of Distinction Award, Clarence Chamber of Commerce Woman of the Year, Business First Women of Influence Lifetime Achievement Award, and honorary doctorates from Daemen College and Hilbert College.
Patrick Kaler is President and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara, the destination sales and marketing organization for the Buffalo Niagara region.
Prior to joining Visit Buffalo Niagara, he was President and CEO of Visit Loudoun and previously oversaw the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board’s international offices in Australia, China, Europe, Japan and Latin America, managing major international and domestic travel trade and airline sales and marketing initiatives.
Patrick currently serves on the U.S. Travel Association’s Board of Directors and is Vice Chair of the Destinations Council Board. He is Vice-Chair of the New York State Travel Industry Association, Secretary of the New York State Destination Marketing Organization. He also serves on the boards of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House, the Eric Wood Foundation, City of Buffalo Arts Commission, Olmsted Parks Conservancy Long-Range Planning Committee and is a 2014 graduate of Leadership Buffalo.
Patrick holds a Master of Science degree in Tourism from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration from Western Illinois University.
Mike Keating has served as Senior VP for Wegmans Food Markets since 2001, and is responsible for all operations within the company’s Buffalo division of stores: 11 stores in WNY, and two in Erie, PA. The Buffalo Division of Wegmans employs over 6,000 full and part-time employees.
Mike has spent decades in food retailing, with more than 32 years in a variety of leadership roles at Wegmans. Prior to his appointment to Senior Vice President, Mike held positions in Rochester as Store Manager, Manager of Training and Development, Manager of Prepared Foods, and Director of Restaurant Operations.
Mike is extremely passionate about his work in the community. He serves on the Business Leaders Task Force for the Community Foundation for Great Buffalo, The Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection board, as well as the boards for The Westminster Community Foundation, Niagara University Food Marketing Center for Excellence and 23 Connections. He is a graduate of Leadership Buffalo Class of ’99, and served on the board from 2008-2011. He is a past trustee for Medaille College, and previously served as the president of the board of Homespace. Mike has been named both the Campaign Volunteer of the Year and Volunteer of the Year for The United Way of Buffalo and Erie County and currently serves as a member of the advisory council.
Mike is a graduate of SUNY Albany.
Thomas A. Kucharski has served as President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara (InBN) since 2000. Under his leadership, InBN has grown from a start-up initiative to an innovative regional economic development organization that has secured more than 325 successful project wins representing $3.8 billion in investment in the region and over 41,000 jobs created and/or retained.
From the onset, Tom helped InBN form strong, enduring partnerships with business, development and academic leaders throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. Today more than 150 organizations work with IBN to provide support and expertise to companies from the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world looking to set up shop in Western New York.
Tom serves as a Board Member and Chair of various committees of the International Economic Development Council for over ten years. He is also an Executive Committee Member of the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) and was selected by his NYSEDC colleagues as the 2014 Economic Developer of the Year. In 2007, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors.
As Western New York Regional Manager for National Grid, Ken is responsible for managing relationships with large industrial and commercial and municipal customers in National Grid’s ten (10) county Western New York service area.
Ken’s Board Affiliations are with Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Invest Buffalo Niagara, Northland Workforce Training Center, Canisius College Wehle School of Business Advisory Council, Western New York Advisory Group for New York Power Authority Hydropower Allocations and Friends of Night People, Inc.
Ken earned his Bachelor of Arts, Canisius College, May 1987; Master of Urban Planning, State University of New York at Buffalo, September 1991; Master of Business Administration, Canisius College, May 2000.
The Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., a member of the Vincentian community, was appointed the 26th president of Niagara University on March 13, 2013. He assumed office as of Aug. 1, 2013, and was formally inaugurated on April 4, 2014, following a comprehensive listening tour with numerous members of the campus community.
As president, Father Maher serves as the university’s chief executive officer and ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees, charged with the execution and administration of all university matters. He is responsible for overseeing an operating budget that exceeds $69 million, and implementing the vision for the university’s academic colleges and divisions, including Administrative Council members and senior management.
Before coming to Niagara, Father Maher served for 23 years at St. John’s University in New York City. While there, he acted as the executive vice president for mission and student services, vice president of student affairs, vice president of university ministry and campus minister, and executive director of the Vincentian Institute for Social Action (VISA). As executive vice president for mission and student services, Father Maher administered a $26 million budget while leading the Division of Student Affairs, the Department of University Ministry, VISA and the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.
Michael McMahon is the Market President and Commercial Banking Team Leader for the Buffalo Market.
McMahon has been with KeyBank for 6 years now, having joined the company in 2015. McMahon began his banking career in 2002 working in Finance. In 2006, he transitioned into commercial lending and has worked in that capacity since that time.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his master’s degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
A native of Buffalo, New York, McMahon resides in the Elmwood Village in Buffalo, NY. Active in civic life, McMahon serves on the boards of the Kaleida Foundation, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, and is a Trustee of the King Center Charter School.
Paul Millstein serves as Vice President and Head of Construction and Development for Douglas Development Corporation. Since joining Douglas Development 34 years ago, he has overseen several billions of dollars in development projects in Washington, D.C metro area, Buffalo, New York, northern New Jersey and Richmond, Virginia. As Vice President, Paul is responsible for the management of land planning, historic preservation, zoning approvals and construction completion for all developments across the Douglas portfolio. Paul is one of two qualified expert witnesses of Historic Projects and the Cost of Adaptive Reuse for the DC Board of Zoning and Adjustment (BZA) and the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) in the District of Columbia.
Paul is active in the local community and has several years of board experience. He currently serves on the board of the Buffalo Zoo. He previously served on the board of the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, the advisory board for Habitat for Humanity and was an instrumental board member in the establishment of the Shaw Main Streets organization in 2003. In 2016, President Barack Obama presented Paul with the Corporation for National and Community Service Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2018, Paul was awarded Citizen of the Year from the Washington DC Metropolitan Police 5th District Advisory Council. Paul is an active supporter of the Satchel Paige Little League baseball team in Washington. One of Paul’s proudest accomplishments was coaching his own hometown’s Burtonsville Blaze little league team to the World Series in 2005. Although the team did not win the title, the team placed 7th in the country and received the tournament’s sportsmanship award.
Paul along with his wife of 32 years, Mary-Beth, and their three children, Tyler, Haley & Jordyn are devoted animal lovers and supporters of many organizations including the Humane Society, ASPCA, Second Chance Animal Rescue, Frisky’s Wildlife and Primate Sanctuary, All Creatures Great & Small, Best Friends Animal Society and Days End Horse Rescue. Paul and his family’s passion for animals also holds true at home. They currently reside on a horse rescue/retirement farm in Burtonsville, MD. Their farm consistently provides horses the opportunity to have a wonderful retirement. Since 2000, the Millstein family has not only rescued multiple horses but also provided shelter for dogs, chickens, birds and ducks, as well as others animal that cross the family’s farm.
Kimberley A. Minkel is the Executive Director for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). Ms. Minkel started at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in October 2002, as its Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Niagara University and an MBA from Canisius College.
She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s Board of Directors, Niagara Military Affairs Commission and B.U.I.L.D. and Evans Bank Board of Directors. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Peace Bridge Authority, the City of Niagara Falls N.F.B. Development Corporation and is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Buffalo.
Mr. Montante led the team that developed The Delaware North Building, the award-winning 12-story, $117 million mixed-use facility in downtown Buffalo anchored by Delaware North’s world headquarters and includes Class A office, retail, restaurant, and a 120-room Westin hotel. He has contributed to Uniland’s growth through many successful endeavors including the redevelopment of the Avant building, CrossPoint Business Park, Sheridan Meadows Corporate Park and Airborne Business Park.
Active in many professional organizations, Mr. Montante is a member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Board, the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Board, the Darwin Martin House Board, Canisius College Board of Trustees, and serves on the Business Advisory Council for Canisius College’s Richard J. Wehle School of Business. He is also former President of the Upstate New York Chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.
Mr. Montante received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Canisius College and earned his Master of Science Degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University.
Mr. Murray has practiced law at Phillips Lytle LLP since 1986, and has been a partner at the firm since 1994. He currently serves as leader of the firm’s Corporate Practice Group and Chairman of the firm’s Governing Committee. His practice involves counseling public and privately-held businesses, concentrating in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other strategic partnerships, corporate finance and healthcare transactions.
Mr. Murray is a graduate of Tufts University and the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Law.
Mr. Murray has served as the Chairman of the Board of Hawk Creek Wild Life Center and Sisters Hospital Foundation, and as a director of several other community organizations.
David J. Nasca is President and Chief Executive Officer of Evans Bancorp, Inc. and Evans Bank, N.A., a $1.5 billion nationally chartered bank and wholly-owned subsidiary of Evans Bancorp. Evans Bank is a nearly 100 year-old community financial institution providing banking, insurance, investment, and Employee Benefit services to commercial and consumer clients.
Mr. Nasca earned a bachelor’s degree in management and marketing from Canisius College and an MBA in finance from State University of New York at Buffalo. His career includes numerous senior executive roles with Goldome Realty Credit Corp., Goldome FSB, Chemical Bank, and First Niagara Financial Group, Inc., as well as co-founding a consumer directed health care plan before becoming President of Evans Bank.
Mr. Nasca is a member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and serves on the boards of Lifetime Healthcare, Inc., Excellus Health Plan, Inc., Univera Healthcare Regional Advisory Board, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. He is additionally a member of the Canisius College Board of Trustees and is an active member of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business Advisory Board; Independent Bankers Association of New York State; and New York Bankers Association.
Kevin Nephew is President and CEO of Seneca Gaming Corporation and oversees the operation and performance of Seneca Gaming Corporation’s three casino properties – Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino in Niagara Falls, NY; Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino in Salamanca, NY; and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in downtown Buffalo. The facilities collectively employs more than 2,700 workers and attract millions of visitors each year.
Kevin joined Seneca Gaming Corporation in 2014, most recently serving as Vice President of Organization Improvement & Development. In that role, he successfully developed and launched a company-wide Continuous Improvement program, focusing on process improvement and delivering improved customer service and profitability across the organization. To date, more than 1,000 Seneca Gaming Corporation employees have been trained on Continuous Improvement principles, which have provided savings and efficiencies to the corporation. He previously held the roles of Executive Director of Continuous Improvement and Director of Budget and Financial Analysis.
Prior to joining Seneca Gaming Corporation, Kevin spent 22 years working in a series of Finance positions with New York State, including 15 years as Director of Financial Administration for the New York State Office of Technology, as well as roles with the New York State Department of Tax and Finance and the New York State Division of Budget.
An enrolled member of the Seneca Nation’s Wolf Clan, Nephew becomes the first Seneca Nation member to lead the corporation in its 18-year history.
He is a graduate of Bucknell University and earned a MBA from Columbia University. He holds Kaizen training certification in Continuous Improvement and Lean Six Sigma Management Certification. In addition, Nephew has served as an adjunct professor at Medaille College and has previously been a member of the Seneca Nation Investment Board of Directors.
Ben is the President of First Amherst Development Group since 2005, Ben Obletz joined the family business in 1999 as a 3rd generation owner and developer and is making his mark in the Buffalo commercial real estate development community.
First Amherst Development Group is a commercial and residential development, management, and leasing company, with multiple affiliated entities and ownership companies. Ben has served as lead partner in major development and adaptive re-use projects that are considered pioneer in the rebirth of downtown living in the City of Buffalo.
Ben has considerable experience in all aspects of the company’s property operations in western New York. While providing leadership and direction to an executive management team responsible for leasing, marketing and administration, accounting, finance and development, and property operations, he continues to be involved in the development and management of numerous commercial, retail, industrial, and residential properties.
Ben graduated from The Park School of Buffalo, and majored in Business Management at the University at Buffalo. He is an Executive Board member and Secretary of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and he is past- Chairman of the Board of 43×79, a forum of business leaders with a common philosophy towards the betterment of western New York. Ben is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation and Erie County Medical Center Foundation. Previously, he was Co-Chair of the Buffalo Building Re-use Project led by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, and Past-President of the Buffalo Police Foundation.
Susan O’Sullivan is responsible for the Ingram Micro Buffalo Campus and Vice President for US Sales. Susan is responsible for US Sales including National Solution Providers, Major Accounts, Public Sector, SMB as well as Mid-Tier VAR. Ms. O’Sullivan joined Ingram Micro in 1990 as an assistant Sales representative. Susan has proven herself as an effective leader and has been promoted several times, from Sales Manager to Sr. Sales Manager to Director for National Accounts to Director in E-Solutions, Sales Recruiting and Vendor Authorizations. Susan’s last promotion included assuming the Buffalo Campus Champion responsibilities, a position she currently holds. Aside from being a leader at Ingram Micro, Susan is also Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.
Susan holds a B.S. degree in Business Management from Canisius College in Buffalo. Susan has participated and completed Ingram Micro’s Leadership Academy through the University of California, Irvine the Paul Merage School of Business as well as the Executive Leadership Program through Stanford University. Susan also participated and completed Ingram Micro’s Global General Manager Program. Susan is a certified client associate of Miller Heiman, Inc. and has been awarded Ingram Micro’s Global Award of Excellence for her work on special projects.
Susan is a reader, enjoys fitness training, and spending time with her husband and two sons.
Scott Pallotta is the CEO of Zehnder Rittling, a Buffalo, NY headquartered manufacturer of innovative commercial HVAC solutions for customers around North America. Zehnder Rittling is a wholly owned subsidiary of Zehnder Group based in Switzerland. Scott has over 30 years of experience in Engineering, Product Management, and Sales and Marketing. He has previously held positions of increasing responsibility at HVAC industry leaders Carrier Corporation and Daikin/McQuay.
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Scott has been an active participant in business development across Central and Western NY. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Erie County Business Task Force; the Executive Board of Employ Buffalo Niagara; the Workforce Investment Board (WIB); is the BNP Manufacturing Council chair; is a SCORE certified mentor. He is also a past president of the Manlius Library board of directors in Manlius, NY.
Scott holds his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from Syracuse University.
Mr. Panzica is President & CEO of Power Drives, Inc. (PDI) a Buffalo based manufacturer and distributor of hydraulic, pneumatic and electo-mechanical components and systems for industrial and Original Equipment Manufacturer applications.
Mr. Panzica began his career as an auditor with Freed, Maxick, Sachs and Murphy, P.C. in Buffalo, NY where he earned his CPA license. In 1987 Mr. Panzica accepted a position with Ecology and Environment, Inc., an international environmental consulting and engineering company, eventually assuming responsibility for all contract pricing and negotiations with US federal government, commercial and foreign governmental customers. In 1999, Mr. Panzica formed an outsource CFO consulting division within D’Alba and Donovan, CPA’s. He accepted the COO position with PDI in 2001 and was named President in 2004.
Mr. Panzica serves on the boards of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Insyte Consulting, Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency. He is actively involved in Carly’s Club for Kids & Cancer Research in WNY; a charitable organization that offers support programs to make life more manageable for children diagnosed with cancer and their families, and to raise funds for pediatric cancer research seeking cures at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.
John Persons currently serves as President and Chief Operating Officer for Tops Markets, which operates 157 full-service supermarkets and 60 gas stations in New York, Pennsylvania and Vermont.
John’s supermarket career began as a cart clerk in 1984, but it was his promotion to store manager in 1992 that started him down the path towards roles of increasing responsibility and leadership within the organization.
Over his 37 years with Tops, John’s roles have encompassed oversight for various aspects of the organization, including Operations, Sales & Marketing, Real Estate, and Information Technology, all leading up to his appointment to President and COO in 2015. He also served on the Board of Directors from 2013 until 2019.
Outside of Tops, John has served on the board of numerous Western New York not-for-profits, including his current role as Board Chair of The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.
John is a Western New York native and holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He and his wife, Amy, are the parents of four children and live in Clarence, NY.
Thomas J. Quatroche, Jr., PhD, is a native of Western New York. For over 20 years, Tom has held executive positions in both higher education and healthcare and has been part of the ECMC family for 16 years. In May 2015, Tom was appointed President of Erie County Medical Center Corporation (ECMCC) and on January 26, 2016, the ECMCC Board of Directors appointed Tom as Chief Executive Officer and President. In this capacity, Tom provides leadership for 3,700 staff members at ECMC, Terrace View Long Term Care facility, and additional outpatient locations. His responsibilities also include all strategic initiatives of the corporation, including affiliations with Great Lakes Health, Kaleida Health, University at Buffalo and many other community organizations important to the corporation’s strategic direction.
Prior to becoming President & CEO, Tom served as President at ECMC where he was responsible for all Surgical Services, Orthopaedics, Oncology, Head & Neck/Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Bariatrics, and Oral Oncology Maxillofacial Prosthetics, as well as marketing, strategic planning and the development of new business.
Tom currently serves on the Statewide Executive Committee for the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) as immediate past Chair and is a former Board Chair for Western New York Healthcare Association. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of America’s Essential Hospitals, the Washington, DC-based organization representing the nation’s public hospitals. In addition, during his career, Tom has served on statewide committees in education for the State University of New York and has represented ECMC on HANYS’s Task Force on Improving New York State’s Medicaid Program. He also served as a board member on the Seneca Nation Health Commission.
As a lifelong Western New Yorker, Tom has been very involved in the community. He served on the Hamburg Town Board from 1994-2009, was a member of the Immaculata Academy School Board from 2004 to 2009 and has been involved in other civic organizations. Tom is also the past recipient of Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 award for business and civic leadership, received the Barry and Deanna Snyder Chairman’s Award from Seneca Diabetes Foundation and is a SUNY College at Buffalo Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. Tom has also been a featured presenter at healthcare conferences regarding various policy issues, including federal healthcare reform.
Tom received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing from the State University of New York College at Fredonia, a Master’s degree in Student Personnel Administration from the State University of New York College at Buffalo and his Doctorate in Higher Education – Educational Leadership and Policy from the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Ron Raccuia is Pegula Sports & Entertainment’s Executive Vice President of Licensing & Brand Merchandise and President and founder of ADPRO Sports, one of the nation’s largest team sports dealers and branded merchandise providers. ADPRO is a premium NFL licensee and the third-largest Nike team dealer in the United States, providing uniforms, apparel and custom branded merchandise to hundreds of sports teams and corporations. Raccuia is also the founder of Integrity Office Supply, a company he operated from 1993 to 2014. Additionally, he spent 17 years as an NFL player agent, negotiating over $120 million in total contract values.
A 1990 graduate of Canisius College, Raccuia began his professional career in Miami as the Executive Director of L’Agence Model & Talent, and Bates & DeLuca Marketing Sports Management.
He and wife Melissa have two children and reside in Amherst, NY.
Sharon Randaccio is President & CEO of Performance Management Partners Inc., a talent management company based in Upstate New York. The firm helps clients make better organizational and people decisions to improve bottom-line performance. PMP’s affiliation with BlessingWhite, a global research firm, provides clients with “best practice” thought leadership in the areas of employee engagement and leadership development. Other services provided include executive coaching, strategy development, retained search, talent assessments, succession planning, and team building. Clients range from start-ups to multi-billion-dollar corporations and represent all industry sectors.
Randaccio has 15 years of executive management experience at high performing large regional retail and commercial banks where she led M&A, Retail Banking, Strategic Planning, Accounting, Human Resources and Sales and Marketing. She has significant P&L and turnaround experience.
Sharon serves as a Vistage Chair, facilitating a CEO peer advisory board in the Buffalo market. She also has a “soft spot” for working with young, smart, and aspiring professionals to help them discover their potential.
Sharon served as a Director of First Niagara Bank during its top performing years, and as Chair of the Compensation Committee, Chair of the Finance Committee and member of the Executive Committee. She served on several advisory boards including New Buffalo Shirt Factory, Inc. and LoVullo Associates. Inc., Director of the Catholic Health System and a Director of the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County. In 2016, Sharon opened the first retail boutique in Buffalo’s Harborcenter, the RedSiren, now located on Elmwood Avenue.
As a community builder, Sharon is committed to economic and workforce development and to making Buffalo a better place to work and live. She is a Director for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Invest Buffalo Niagara, the Zoological Society of Buffalo, Explore & More Children’s Museum, and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the University of Buffalo, School of Management. She is also passionately involved in 43North. She was listed on Buffalo Business First’s Power 250.
Sharon received her B.S., Accounting and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo and graduated from the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School.
Mary Roberts is executive director of the Martin House Restoration Corporation, an organization that is dedicated to restoring, preserving and interpreting Frank Lloyd Wright’s greatest early-career residential work — the Darwin D. Martin House, a National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic site. The Martin estate is complex of six prairie-style buildings that occupies a 1.5 acre site in the historic Parkside neighborhood of Buffalo, NY.
Built in 1903-06, the estate is a one-of-a-kind composition consisting of the main Martin House, the secondary Barton House, a carriage house with chauffeur’s quarters and stables, a glass-roofed conservatory linked to the main house by a 100-foot pergola, and a gardener’s cottage. The buildings, surrounding landscape, extensive art glass, furnishings and decorative elements were all designed by Wright as an integrated, organic work of genius.
Nearing completion of a comprehensive multi-year $50 million dollar restoration effort, the Martin House is widely viewed as a model of excellence in historic preservation and sustainable economic development. The project serves as a lynchpin for architectural tourism in a city of American architectural masterpieces. Ms. Roberts leads a dedicated board, staff and 400 active volunteers in service to Wright’s organic principals and the continuing dialogue on the importance of architecture and design in contemporary lives.
David Rogers is the Director of Life Storage, Inc. (formerly Sovran Self Storage).
Mr. Rogers, a co-founder of the Company, retired as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer on February 28, 2019, a position that he had held since March 2012. Before assuming his role as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rogers served as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer and Secretary from 1995 to February 2012, Vice President of Finance of the Company’s predecessor from 1988 to 1995 and Controller and Due Diligence Officer of such predecessor from 1984 to 1988.
Prior to joining the Company, Mr. Rogers spent seven years as an accountant and systems analyst in both the public and private sectors. Mr. Rogers has served on the board of directors of Catholic Health Systems as well as other not-for-profit entities. He served on the Board of Advisors of the National Association of Real Estate Trusts (“NAREIT”) through December 31, 2018 and has been a regular presenter at national and regional meetings of the Self Storage Association. Mr. Rogers brings to the Board his intimate knowledge of the Company through his past experience as the Company’s Chief Executive Officer.
Jim works with business leaders in Western New York to help them address the challenges of the modern workplace, from sexual harassment cases to labor disputes.
His vast experience representing employers in all types of employment-related matters has established him as a valued partner to his clients, which include some of the best known public and private sector employers in the region. The wide variety of matters on which Jim regularly assists include: labor arbitrations, complex employment litigation, wage and hour issues, contract disputes, discrimination and harassment disputes, workplace policies, executive compensation, covenants not to compete, union negotiations, and public sector employment law.
Jim regularly appears before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the New York State Division of Human Rights, the National Labor Relations Board, and the New York State Public Employment Relations Board. Jim also litigates in trial and appellate courts in New York State, Massachusetts, and other areas of the United States.
In addition to his labor and employment practice, Jim oversees the Buffalo office as its managing member and is a frequent lecturer on labor and employment law issues.
Chris, who began his career at Lawley in 1986, oversees mergers & acquisitions and all branch activities, including the employee benefits division. He is actively involved in major accounts and has an extensive knowledge of construction, real estate development and risk management consulting.
Before joining Lawley, Chris spent several years with KPMG and Ernst & Whinney as a C.P.A.
Chris holds a BBA from Niagara University, a New York State Property & Casualty Brokers License, a New York State Life/Accident & Health License and is a Certified Public Accountant.
He is actively involved with the WNY community serving on the following boards: Kaleida Health, Mercy Flight, Inc., Niagara University and Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
Mr. Scannell has been Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Moog Inc. since January 8, 2014 and December 1, 2011 respectively. Mr. Scannell served as the President and Chief Operating Officer of Moog Inc., from December 2, 2010 to December 01, 2011. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Moog Inc. from November 28, 2007 to December 2, 2010 and was a Vice President of Contracts and Pricing on January 11, 2006.
He joined Moog Inc. in 1990 as an Engineering Manager of Moog’s Company in Cork, Ireland. He began his career with Moog seventeen years ago in Europe. In 1994, he moved to Germany to become Operations Manager of Moog GmbH. He returned to Moog Inc. in 1999 as the General Manager of Moog Inc. Ireland and the General Manager of the Electric Drives Product Line. In 2003, he joined the Aircraft Group in East Aurora in a manufacturing planning role, and in 2004 became Program Director for flight control actuation on the Boeing 787.
Mr. Scannell has been a Director of Albany International Corp. since February 16, 2012. He serves as a Director of Moog Inc.
Mr. Scannell holds Bachelors and Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University College at Cork, Ireland and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Rupa is the President & CEO of SoPark Corporation, Western New York’s largest electronics manufacturing service (EMS) provider. She has over 30 years of electronics manufacturing experience in the areas of Engineering, Quality and Operations. Rupa has held the positions of Quality Support Manager at Crown International (A Harman International Company), Quality Engineer at Wabash Technologies and in various technical capacities at Western Digital, Thomson Consumer Electronics, Carsem Semiconductor in Malaysia, and Singapore.
In 2016, Rupa was 1 of 100 women in the US who was honored by the Manufacturing Institute in Washington DC with the STEP Ahead Award (Science, Technology, Engineering and Production). She was also awarded the 2018 – February Honoree for Women in Leadership by New York State Women Inc. and WKBW Broadcasting. In 2019, Rupa was selected to be a plenary speaker on the topic of ‘Women in Technology’ at the 21st Soroptimist International Convention in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
She currently serves on the Board of Directors for United Way of Buffalo, New York, as well as their Women’s Leadership Council Advisory Board.
David Simons is President of Dunn Tire LLC, a market leading regional retail and wholesale distributor of automotive tires and repair services through its chain of 26 stores and 5 distribution centers in NY and PA. He joined Dunn Tire as Corporate Controller in 1993 and subsequently held positions of Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President. David and his management team have led the 600% growth of Dunn Tire’s operations into one of the largest privately held businesses in Buffalo. Previously, he worked as a CPA with Ernst & Young for 12 years.
Mr. Simons is currently a member of the board of Dunn Tire LLC, as well as being trustee of the New York Choice Self Insured Workers Compensation Trust. He is a past chairman of the board of Sisters Hospital Foundation and has served on the boards of The Buffalo Club, American Car Care Centers, Inc., and the Clarkson Center.
David, a native of Wellsville NY, holds degrees from St. Bonaventure University and the NY State University College at Alfred. He lives in Orchard Park with his wife Beth. David and Beth have three adult children and three (and counting) grandchildren.
John F. Somers is the President and CEO of Harmac Medical Products, Inc., a contract engineering and manufacturing company of single-use medical devices serving the global marketplace for 35 years. The privately held, Buffalo-based company provides innovative technical solutions and manufacturing services for companies of all sizes including leading Fortune 500 med-tech companies.
Along with his executive team, John has overseen the company’s growth including the addition of manufacturing locations in Ireland and Mexico to complement its U.S. operations. Harmac has more than 1,000 employees and has received numerous awards for operations excellence, sustainability and community investment. John’s previous experience in the technology industry includes positions with Computervision Corporation and Unitrode Corporation.
Under John’s leadership, Harmac created the Bailey Green Initiative, a community-led public-private partnership to improve and support the Bailey-Genesee neighborhood around the company’s headquarters and where many Harmac employees reside. John is a board member of the Accel Board of AdvaMed, Buffalo Renaissance Group, The Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Buffalo Urban League and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
John has a BA from Williams College and an MBA from Boston University. He is a graduate of the President’s Program in Leadership at Harvard Business School.
Tony Spada is President and CEO of AAA Western and Central New York, Upstate New York’s largest member services organization, providing world-class travel, insurance, automotive and financial services. Mr. Spada is responsible for the strategic direction and long-term planning of the organization, in the interest of 745 associates and 885,000 AAA members across 25 counties.
Mr. Spada has over 39 years of extensive senior-level experience with AAA. Prior to being named President and CEO in 2012, he served as Vice President of Finance and Chief Financial Officer, a position he held since 1995. His areas of expertise include organizational leadership, corporate compliance, portfolio management, corporate financial and strategic planning, operational oversight, contract negotiation, risk management, and mergers/startups.
Throughout his tenure at the Club, Mr. Spada has played an integral role in many major initiatives, including: mergers and acquisitions, establishing the AAA Members Insurance Agency of New York, developing the corporate profit sharing and defined contribution plans, and founding the Auto Club of Western & Central New York Foundation for Traffic Safety, Inc.
His guidance has helped establish AAA as a market leader throughout the major metro areas of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse and reinforce the Club’s status as an advocate for the safety and security of all motorists and travelers.
Mr. Spada has several state and national AAA affiliations. He is a current board member of AAA Life Insurance of New York, director of the Affinity Insurance Company, vice chair of AAA Public Affairs Committee, president of AAA New York State, and chairman of the AAA Eastern Conference.
Aside from his presence on several AAA committees, Mr. Spada is also an active member of the community. He is a board member and member of the Executive Committee of the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership; board member of Invest Buffalo Niagara; a member on the Board of Trustees and past chair for YMCA Buffalo Niagara; and past board chair for Buffalo Hearing & Speech Center. Mr. Spada has previously served the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, Amherst Soccer Association, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Canisius College Council of Accountancy, Sisters Hospital Foundation, and as trustee for St. Gregory the Great Parish.
Mr. Spada graduated from Canisius College with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and has received Canisius College’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received a CFO Certificate from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Mr. Spada is a lifelong resident of Western New York and currently resides with his wife, Nancy, in Williamsville.
Mark A. Sullivan, FACHE, is president & CEO of Catholic Health, Western New York’s quality healthcare leader. A veteran healthcare executive, Mark has been with Catholic Health since its inception in 1998, previously serving as Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer.
Mark’s 24-year professional career includes extensive experience across the healthcare continuum. He has led acute care, primary care, home care, and continuing care operations as well as provided oversight for quality, patient safety, and performance improvement functions.
He began his administrative career in 1994 as director of Business Operations for Mercy Home Care of WNY. Following the formation of Catholic Health, he was named director of Operations for Home Health in 2000 and served as CEO of the division from 2003-2007.
As the fourth president & CEO in Catholic Health’s 20-year history, Mark has administrative responsibility for one of the area’s largest health systems, with annual revenues of more than $1.1 billion. He leads a team of more than 9,000 associates, while working closely with Catholic Medical Partners and Trinity Medical WNY to help strengthen the system’s relationship with its nearly 1,600 affiliated physicians.
Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science/Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/Health Care Management from Canisius College. He is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives (FACHE), a Health Care Transformation fellow and mentor with the American Hospital Association, and a Certified Home and Hospice Care Executive (CHCE). He serves on the Board of Trustees for the Healthcare Association of New York State.
Throughout his career, Mark has been involved with a number of civic, academic and community service organizations. He was recently named to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership Board of Directors. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Buffalo Zoo. He recently retired as a deputy with the Erie County Sheriff’s Office Scientific Staff Reserve after 13 years of service.
A fifth generation Buffalonian, Mark is proud of his local roots and equally proud of Catholic Health’s long-standing commitment to provide the highest quality care to generations of area families, while improving the overall health of the community.
Rocco is a partner in the firm’s Commercial and Government teams. His relationship based approach has served his clients well with their current accounting and tax needs and more importantly tending to their long-term business and management needs as a go-to confidant. His extensive experience in holistically based process improvement projects, succession planning, financial and tax due diligence, and strategic planning has served him well in leading the firm’s services to the federal government.
Before leading his firm into a merger with The Bonadio Group in 2013 he was the Managing Partner of Gaines Kriner Elliott.
Rocco is internationally known in his focused consulting disciplines. Rocco’s skills have been developed as a result of hands on training and leading projects with and for some of the world leaders in:
Rocco is the immediate past Chairperson of the Theory of Constraints International Certification organization. TOCICO is a global, not-for-profit society for Theory of Constraints practitioners, consultants and academics to develop and administer certification standards in the TOC body of knowledge and facilitate the exchange of latest developments in TOC.
He considers himself very fortunate to have learned directly from Dr. Eli Goldratt, the father of TOC. He served as North American Regional Director for Goldratt Consulting from 2004 through 2006.
He now leads the firm’s Leveraged Excellence And Development (LEAD) services which focus on achieving operational excellence while strategically leveraging those abilities in value based markets
Rocco has developed extensive experience in the GSA contract application process, knowledge in the audits of government agencies throughout the United States for government departments and spearheaded the growth of the firm’s work with the US Government. Under his leadership and direction as the former managing partner of Gaines Kriner Elliott LLP, the firm received two national awards for its professional services program and services involving Business Profit Improvement, a service he personally built over the last 25 years.
He is a graduate of Niagara University with a B.S. degree in Business and Accounting. Rocco is the immediate 3 time past Chairman of the Theory of Constraints International Certification Organization; Board of Director of the Greater Buffalo Partnership, Eastern Niagara Health System, and Insyte Consulting; and serves as Chair Niagara University’s President’s Board of Advisors.
An internationally distinguished researcher and higher education leader, Satish K. Tripathi, PhD, was appointed the 15th president of the University at Buffalo in 2011.
Tripathi, who served as UB’s provost from 2004-2011, was dean of the Bourns College of Engineering at the University of California-Riverside from 1997-2004. Previously, he spent 19 years as professor of computer science at the University of Maryland, including seven years as department chair.
Tripathi graduated at the top of his class from Banaras Hindu University in India and holds a doctorate in computer science from the University of Toronto, as well as three master’s degrees—one in computer science from the University of Toronto and two in statistics from the University of Alberta and Banaras Hindu University. A fellow of the IEEE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he was awarded honorary doctorates from the Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, and Brock University in Canada.
An active leader in the national higher education community, Tripathi serves on the Mid-American Conference Council of Presidents Executive Committee, and on the boards of the NCAA Division I, NCAA Board of Governors, and the College Football Board of Managers as well as the Digital Preservation Network and Internet2. He has also served on the board of directors for the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as an inaugural co-chair of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council in 2011, he served in this position until 2017.
Stephen Tucker is the inaugural President & CEO of Northland Workforce Training Center (NWTC), the signature workforce strategy under Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative.
In this role, Mr. Tucker is responsible for the management, oversight, and day to day operations of the new 90,000 square foot state of the art facility focused on training and preparing Western New Yorkers for careers in advanced manufacturing and clean energy.
His educational achievements include an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Wilberforce University. Mr. Tucker is a Murano Fellow as a graduate of Aspen Institutes’ Sector Skills Academy and a 2018 graduate of Leadership Buffalo.
Mr. Tucker was appointed to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council in 2018 and received the Arthur O. Eve Award for Economic Opportunity presented by the New York State Association of Black and Puerto Rican Legislators in 2020. Mr. Tucker serves on the Boards of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Buffalo Urban League, Leadership Buffalo, Independent Health Foundation and Insyte Consulting.
Mr. Uba is the CEO of Excelsior Orthopaedics, LLP., a $40M musculoskeletal center of excellence located in Amherst, NY (a Buffalo suburb). With a total workforce of over 200, Excelsior Orthopaedics has 22 physicians, 16 physician assistants, and 10 physical and occupational therapists
Since joining Excelsior in 2009, Mr. Uba has more than doubled the size of the organization, added new lines of business, recruited additional surgeons, and successfully engineered a merger with another medical practice. Mr. Uba is responsible for leading all aspects of Excelsior’s business.
Prior to joining Excelsior, Mr. Uba held several senior leadership positions with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Western New York and Independent Health. With almost 30 years of healthcare management experience, he’s been responsible for such areas as payer and provider contracting, strategic planning, human resources, product development, business intelligence, M&A evaluation and business development. Each of these opportunities helped Mr. Uba develop management capabilities in planning, budgeting, communication, marketing, finance, talent acquisition, and overall performance management.
Born and raised in Buffalo, Mr. Uba is a proud graduate of Canisius High School, received his bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, and his MBA from the University at Buffalo School of Management. He currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Catholic Charities of Buffalo. In 2007, Mr. Uba served as General Chairman of the annual Catholic Charities Appeal and successfully raised over $11M. He has been a member of the Bishop’s Council of the Laity since 2007 and previously served as Director of the University at Buffalo School of Management Alumni Association. Mr. Uba also serves on the Board of Trustees of Nardin Academy and sits on the school’s Executive, Finance, and Advancement committees. In addition, he’s a volunteer for The First Tee of WNY and general chairman of its annual golf tournament.
A significant portion of Paul’s practice involves representing private companies, both domestically and internationally, in complex acquisitions and disposition transactions such as mergers, joint ventures, asset and stock sales, and private equity investments.
Paul also provides general corporate and contract advice, including distribution agreements, sales representative agreements, license agreements, and employment agreements, both domestically and internationally, for clients involved in various industries, including specialty chemical manufacturing, third-party health care providers, and several tool and die manufacturers. In addition, he advises numerous closely held companies in a variety of areas, including succession planning, shareholders agreements, ownership transfers, estate planning, and exit strategies. Paul is a member of Hodgson Russ’s board of directors and previously served on Hodgson Russ’s Committee for Attorney Recruiting, Development, and Diversity.
Mr. Vallone has received numerous honors: Listed, Best Lawyers in America (Corporate Law), Leadership Buffalo Class of 2007, Former member, Albany Law Review. His professional affiliations are: Buffalo Niagara Partnership board of directors, Bar Association of Erie County, Former chair, Bar Association of Erie County Corporation Law Committee, 2000-02 His community & Pro Bono involvement are: Junior Achievement of Western New York board of directors, Mathewson McCarthy Baseball board of directors.
Mr. Vallone’s areas of practice are: Canada-U.S. Cross-Border, International Cross-Border, Corporate & Business Law, Emerging Companies, Family Business & Succession Planning, Mergers & Acquisitions Private Funds. His Industry Groups are Manufacturing and Professional Services.
Mr. Vallone is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., University at Buffalo- B.A., State University of New York, J.D., cum laude, Albany Law School of Union University.
Mr. Vukelic has been with Try-It Distributing for the past 30 years holding various positions within the organization. He became President in 2004 and in 2014 became President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Vukelic is involved with numerous professional organizations: National Beer Wholesalers Association Board of Directors; New York State Beer Wholesalers Association – Advisory Board member; AB InBev – Wholesaler Panel member; North American Breweries – National Business Council President; Buffalo Niagara Partnership – Board member & Executive Committee member; Buffalo Renaissance Foundation – Board of Directors; Open Buffalo – Board of Directors; Canisius College – Board of Regents; Western New York Law Center – Board of Directors
His past affiliations include: Canisius High School Board of Trustees/Chairman 2010; Leadership of Buffalo – Class of 2001; Our Lady of Victory Renaissance Capital Campaign – Co-Chair; Buffalo Sabres Center Ice Club – Co-Chair; Chairman – 2001, 2002 Children’s Hospital Foundation Pro/Am Golf Tournament; Hilbert College Board of Trustees – past member; University of Buffalo Newman Foundation – past President; St. Rose of Lima School Board – past Treasurer; Gilda’s Club of Western New York – past Board member; Canisius High School Alumni Board of Governors – past member.
Mr. Vukelic is a graduate of Canisius High School – 1979 and St. Louis University – 1983 – BS Finance.
Ted Walsh lives in Buffalo, New York, and is currently Chief Executive Officer of Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc. He is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the firm and is one of the key leaders in establishing and strengthening partnerships between insurance carriers and clients. Walsh Duffield has been a trusted insurance advisor to individuals and businesses since 1860. The 5th generation family owned business operates with offices in Buffalo, Medina, and Rochester.
Ted has been an active community volunteer for over 40 years and has held leadership positions with organizations such as Kaleida Health, United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Goodwill Industries of WNY, Nichols School, and the Center for Hospice & Palliative Care. He is honored to serve as Treasurer of the John R. Oishei Foundation and as Chair of the Josephine Goodyear Foundation. He is also a board member of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus (Vice Chair), Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
Ted graduated from Nichols School in 1972 and Williams College in 1976. He began his insurance career with the Continental Insurance Company and joined Walsh Duffield in 1977. Ted received a Chartered property and Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation in 1985, and a Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC) designation in 1997.
In 2009, Michael Weiner was appointed as the President and CEO of the United Way of Buffalo and Erie County, a nonprofit that is responsible for fundraising and the allocation of over $19 million dollars annually. These resources are utilized to address local health and human service priority indicators; encompassing Education, Financial Stability, and Health & Wellness. In addition, the United Way facilitates planning, advocacy and volunteer service engagement in support of critical community needs.
Prior to joining United Way, Michael served as the Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Social Services. In his capacity as Commissioner he was responsible for the overall administration of a Department with a budget in excess of $530 million dollars and a workforce of over 1800 individuals. Michael also served as the Commissioner of Mental Health for Erie County, and he held the positions of Director, Deputy Director and Mental Health Program Specialist for the New York State Office of Mental Health Western New York Regional Office.
He holds Masters Degrees in Business Administration and Rehabilitation Counseling from the University at Buffalo.
Currently, Mr. Weiner is a member of the WNED Community Advisory Board, the Canisius College Richard J. Wehle School of Business Advisory Council, and the Say Yes To Education Leadership Council. Mr. Weiner also serves on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the United Way of New York State.
Tom Wiley is publisher and president of The Buffalo News, the top news and largest media organization in Western New York. He has been a leader in the media sector for more than 20 years, helping several of the nation’s most respected news brands grow their capabilities to meet changing audience and advertiser needs.
Wiley has held leadership positions at Gannett, Tribune Publishing, Digital First Media and Lee Enterprises. While with Digital First Media, he pioneered the field integration of Adtaxi, a Denver-based advertising technology company that crafts sophisticated digital solutions for thousands of businesses across the United States. In addition, he lead the development of programmatic inventory management strategies and private exchange deals for Digital First Media.
As a corporate director at Lee, he built a new sales culture centered around data and the unmatched reach of local news publishers. He championed an audience-based approach that puts clients’ needs at the center of the sales process. This approach led to deeper integration of Lee’s digital agency, Amplified, into the company’s diverse portfolio of local markets. In 2019, advertising and marketing services revenue grew to $100 million at Lee.
Transforming legacy organizations into digital publishers has been a passion of Wiley’s. As publisher of the New Haven Register, he implemented a transition to digital-first publishing. He was later the president of Capital Newspapers in Madison, WI, where he implemented data-driven, audience-based campaign development strategies. Those initiatives raised Capital Newspapers’ top- and bottom-line performance to the top of Lee Enterprises. While there, he worked with major brands like UBS Financial Services, Quartz Health Solutions, and Exact Sciences.
He has designed software that tracks auto inventory in real time to help dealers accurately match and target prime buyers. That technology is now used across several sectors, including home improvement, furniture, and real estate.
In 2020, he created Amplified Buffalo, an integrated marketing unit that combines The Buffalo News’ 80% reach with the most sophisticated digital tools and creative solutions. He is also an adviser to the sales leadership of Lee, which owns The News.
He spent his childhood in Wisconsin and Michigan. Wiley earned a bachelor’s degree in advertising from Michigan State. He is an auto enthusiast and a professionally trained racing driver. He is married with three children.
Mr. Wingerter is President of Univera Healthcare, a nonprofit health plan that is part of a family of companies financing and delivering health care insurance related services for about 1.5 million upstate New Yorkers. Univera Healthcare has 500 employees based at its Williamsville headquarters. They serve members across the eight counties of Western New York.
Mr. Wingerter serves on the boards of directors of Invest Buffalo Niagara, HEALHeLINK, Buffalo Niagara Partnership, Daemen College, Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, Population Health Collaborative, The Arc of Erie County, Gerard Place Advisory Board and the Canisius College Business Advisory Board.
Mr. Wingerter joined Univera Healthcare in 2009. Previously, he served as Vice President of Healthcare Solutions at Genpact, a New Jersey-based global company with more than 35,000 employees worldwide. Mr. Wingerter also served as a Senior Vice President for North American Health Plans where his responsibilities included provider and network management, the development of new business strategies, and contract negotiations.
Mr. Wingerter earned a business administration/finance degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He and his wife reside in Amherst, New York and have four children.
Steve Zenger is President and CEO of Zenger Group Inc., a family-owned collection of 3 printing and graphic arts companies based in Buffalo, New York.
Zenger Group along with divisions Partners Press and Downtown Graphics provide one-stop access to a broad range of print services from Photography and Prepress to Packaging, Print and Mail. The company, employing 109 full time staff, serves clients nationwide. Mr. Zenger is a past Chairman of the Printing Industries Alliance, the New York/Northern New Jersey affiliate of the Printing Industries of America trade association. He has served as a board director since 1995. From 2008-2011, Steve served on the national board of Printing Industries of America.
In addition, he serves on the board of directors and executive committee of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and is past chair of Graphic Arts Department Education Council for Erie County Community College.
He is a graduate of Canisius High School and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from the State University of New York College at Buffalo
He was the 1995 recipient of the Alex Osborne Communicator of the Year Award from the Art Directors/Communicators of Buffalo, a 2003 recipient of a Business First Pathfinder for Education Award and was awarded the Honoring Excellence Member of the Year by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership in 2007.
* = Executive Committee Member