The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year awards committee has announced the master of ceremonies for the 49th annual event Thursday, April 23, will be Kevin Sylvester.
The Citizen of the Year awards ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 23rd, at the Byblos Niagara Resort & Spa, located at 100 Whitehaven Road.
Sylvester is a veteran broadcaster who has worked for the National Hockey League's Buffalo Sabres since 2005, and its broadcast network, the Sabres Hockey Network, serving as their road play-by-play announcer. He hosts a year-round talk show called Sabres Hockey Hotline on WGR-AM in Buffalo.
A 1995 graduate of the State University of New York at Fredonia, Sylvester has an extensive background in radio, serving as talk show host and reporter at WBEN-AM and WGR-AM in Buffalo, and WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina. During his tenure as sports director at WBT, the station won six sports broadcasting awards, and Sylvester was named Best Sportscaster by Electronic News Association of the Carolinas in 2001. He has also called play-by-play for University at Buffalo football, the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League, college hockey on Adelphia Cable, and he filled in as play-by-play announcer for the former Charlotte Hornets in the NBA.
Sylvester served as director of amateur athletics for the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, working with local colleges in all aspects of NCAA events at the arena. He was marketing and promotions director for the first and second rounds of the NCAA men's college basketball tournament in Buffalo in 2007 and 2010. Sylvester was instrumental in preparing the successful bid package and subsequent site visit that resulted in USA Hockey awarding the 2011 International Ice Hockey Federation World Under-20 Championships to Western New York, and chaired the administration and protocol committees for the event. He was the chairman of the Battistoni Golf Scholarship Fund from 2006-10, co-chaired the Alfred Caffiero Golf Classic from 2006-09 and currently serves on the advisory board of First Tee of Western New York.
Sylvester and his wife, Donna, have three children, and live in Depew.