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Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation elects new officers, adds board member

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Wed, Feb 15th 2017 11:15 am

At its annual meeting, the board of directors of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation Inc. elected John Zak as chair and secretary, and Todd Scherrer as treasurer. Members also added BPO Chair Steve Swift as a new director. Additionally, Daniel Hart was named president, and Kevin James was named vice president of finance.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit corporation, separate from the BPO, whose mission is to solicit, receive and maintain endowment funds for the benefit of the orchestra.

Zak is a partner at Hodgson Russ LLP, where he concentrates his practice in U.S. securities regulation and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and corporate law and governance. He has been an active board member of several other local not-for-profits, including Shea's Performing Arts Center.

"I'm thrilled to succeed Lou Ciminelli as chair of the BPO Foundation," Zak said. "Growing the endowment is crucial to the orchestra's artistic success. We are very grateful for what Lou Ciminelli, Ange Fatta and many others have accomplished to date through the BPO's 'Crescendo Campaign.' "

Scherrer is a partner at Szymkowiak & Associates CPAs, where he is responsible for client management, employee relations, risk management, training and process improvement within the assurance and auditing department. He concentrates in assurance and consulting services to public, private and not-for-profit companies, specializing in the resolution of technical accounting issues, CFO outsourcing, mergers and acquisitions, and internal control reviews.

"It has been my distinct pleasure to work with Dan, Kevin and the members of the foundation board during the past seven years," Scherrer said. "Their collective efforts have greatly enhanced the mission of the foundation to preserve and grow assets for one of Buffalo's treasured institutions, the BPO. I look forward to continuing this mission."

The other BPO Foundation Board members are Jeremy Briggs Beck, founder, president and chief investment officer, Anvil Investment Partners; John Collins, principal, Summer Street Capital Partners; Michael Munschauer, financial adviser, Wells Fargo Advisors; Robert Skerker; and Michael Wurst, CFO, WTS Inc.

The foundation's 2016 audit was also approved at the meeting. Scherrer reported that, for the period ended Aug. 31, 2016, total BPO Foundation assets grew to $22.6 million, up 22 percent from the prior year. The increase was due mainly to contributions of $3.9 million from the BPO's "Crescendo Campaign," an ongoing fundraising effort created to add $20 million in endowment funds for the benefit of the orchestra and its mission.

For more information on the BPO Foundation or the BPO's "Crescendo Campaign," contact Hart 716-242-7807 or Jennifer Barbee at 716-242-7810.

As Buffalo's cultural ambassador, the Grammy Award-winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, under the leadership of music director JoAnn Falletta, presents more than 100 concerts each year. Since 1940, the orchestra's home has been Kleinhans Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark with a reputation as one of the finest concert halls in the U.S. For more information about the BPO, visit www.bpo.org.

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