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Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announces three new members

by jmaloni

Press release

Mon, Aug 19th 2013 11:55 pm

BNMC's Matt Enstice, BNP's Dottie Gallagher-Cohen and Blackstone Business Enterprises' Michael Metzger to fill vacancies on council

The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council today announced three new members will join the council: Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. President and CEO Matthew K. Enstice, Buffalo Niagara Partnership President and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, and Blackstone Business Enterprises Inc. President Michael Metzger.

The new members fill vacant seats due to resignations on the council. The council's membership, which coordinates the economic development of Alleghany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.

"We are thrilled to welcome these three accomplished and talented new members to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council," said Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs, Satish K. Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo, and Howard A. Zemsky, managing partner at Larkin Development Group. "Mr. Metzger will represent both the southern tier of our region as well as the manufacturing sector; while Mr. Enstice will act as a valuable representative of the life sciences sector and, in particular, the nine-member consortium of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; and Ms. Gallagher-Cohen's involvement will ensure that the voice of the business community continues to be represented on the council. We look forward to the combined years of business experience and dedication to ensuring the vitality of the Western New York region our new members will bring to the table."

Enstice serves as the head of Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, a nonprofit umbrella organization created in 2001 by the institutions located within the medical campus in downtown Buffalo. The BNMC is one of the largest economic development initiatives in the region and a priority for the WNYREDC. Prior to returning to his hometown of Buffalo, Enstice worked in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and New York for Broadway Pictures, and with Lorne Michaels at "Saturday Night Live." He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Hobart College and a Master of Business Administration from Canisius College. He is currently active on the boards of SAGE Global (Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship), Buffalo Renaissance Foundation, Amherst Chamber of Commerce, and is on the advisory board for the School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation in New York City. Enstice will replace Connie Vari, who previously served as Kaleida Health executive vice president and chief operating officer, but no longer holds this position and offered her resignation due to limited availability.

Gallagher-Cohen was recently appointed as the new president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. She previously served as president and CEO of Visit Buffalo Niagara and is credited for building awareness in the community about the growing importance of tourism as economic development, modernizing the Convention and Visitors Bureau with improvements in technology, revamping digital marketing efforts and for developing a brand platform for visitation that has grown visitor spending in each of the past three years. Through her role at VBN, Gallagher-Cohen has been very involved with the WNYREDC as a member of the tourism and Path Through History work groups. Gallagher-Cohen has more than 20 years of executive management experience, including serving as the senior vice president of marketing for The Buffalo News prior to joining VBN. She is a graduate of Towson University, and has a Master of Business Administration degree from the University at Buffalo. Her volunteer activities include the board of trustees of Cradle Beach Camp, the board of directors of Shea's Performing Arts Center and the regional advisory board of Univera Health Care. Gallagher-Cohen will replace Andrew Rudnik, who is retiring from his position at the BNP and announced his resignation from the REDC effective May 31.

Metzger heads Blackstone Business Enterprises, a large metal fabrication company in Jamestown, and serves as Chautauqua County IDA chairman. He has nearly 30 years of experience in the private sector with companies such as Bausch and Lomb and Acu-Rite. Metzger is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in accounting, and Rochester Institute of Technology with a Master of Business Administration degree. He has a long record of volunteer service with a number of area organizations, including the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, the Community Foundation of the Chautauqua Region, the American Red Cross and Falconer Central School. Metzger will replace David Porter, who previously served as Cummings Inc. plant manager in Chautauqua County. Porter was recently promoted to the manufacturer's midwest headquarters in Columbus, Ind., and relocated to that community.

Enstice said, "The governor has done a tremendous job developing initiatives that support the regional economy through the REDC. I am honored to help fulfill his vision in Western New York."

Gallagher-Cohen said, "The REDC has done a great job of bringing together this community's leaders, and bringing private and public sector resources together to advance our economy by aligning our priorities. I look forward to continuing The Partnership's role in supporting this important work."

Metzger said, "I am honored to be working with this council that has provided Western New York businesses with needed capital to survive and grow is this difficult economic climate."

The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Gov. Cuomo's transformative approach to state investment and economic development. The councils are public-private partnerships composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations. As a result of the first two rounds of awards, $1.5 billion in investments has been awarded to support more than 1,400 regionally significant economic development and community revitalization projects that are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs across the Empire State and generating investments to grow the economy. For more information on the regional councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.

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