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Empire State Development: Amanda Mays joining Western New York leadership team as regional director


Mon, Dec 10th 2018 12:15 pm

Mays joins Stephen Gawlik, Steven Ranalli & Paul Tronolone

Empire State Development announced Amanda M. Mays will join ESD’s Western New York regional leadership team. Mays, who previously served as senior project manager, was named regional director and will serve alongside Stephen Gawlik, vice president, poly and capital projects and senior counsel; Steven Ranalli, VP of development at Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp.; and Paul Tronolone, VP of policy and planning.

As the new Western New York regional director, Mays will manage daily operations of the Western New York office in Buffalo and promote economic development practices that both retain and attract businesses and create jobs in the region.

In addition, Mays will serve as executive director of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, where she will oversee the council’s activities and implementation of the region’s strategic plan.

Mays, a Grand Island native, has worked as an ESD senior project manager for almost two years. There, she worked on the development of and directly implemented several Buffalo Billion projects, totaling more than $100 million in state investments for projects around Western New York, while monitoring more than 40 priority projects for Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Previous to joining ESD, Mays was deputy director of the executive office and assistant secretary of the board at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She worked on governance, strategic planning and cross-institutional initiatives.

Mays is a graduate of William Smith College and has a Masters of Urban Planning degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“It takes a strong team to drive New York state’s highly successful economic development strategies, and I’m proud to welcome these talented professionals to help continue our mission of growing jobs and businesses,” ESD President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said.

Two other promotions are also being announced in the WNY ESD regional office:

Angela Panaro Rossi was appointed deputy director, having previously served as senior project manager for ESD in WNY, where she worked cooperatively with regional economic development partners and senior ESD staff to develop coordinated proposals, retain and attract jobs, and foster investment in the region. Rossi will lead administration of and communication with the Regional Economic Development Council, direct the consolidated funding application process and other regional office funding programs, as well as continue to oversee her portfolio of Buffalo Billion initiatives. Prior to joining ESD, she served as director of projects and programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., where she was responsible for administering allocation of federal funds for economic and community revitalization of Lower Manhattan post-9/11. Rossi has a BS in political science from State University of New York College at Brockport and an MS in urban policy analysis from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School, New School University.

Mo Sumbundu has been appointed assistant director, having previously served as a WNY ESD project manager. Sumbundu will assist with administration of the Regional Economic Development Council and provide staff support for ESD initiatives. He will lead outreach with the community and elected officials on ESD funding programs, serve as a liaison between the WNY regional office and ESD’s offices in Albany and New York City, in addition to maintaining a portfolio of economic development projects. Prior to joining ESD, Sumbundu worked as a graduate assistant in the president’s office of Buffalo State College, researching issues to support presidential initiatives and produce briefing papers as directed. He holds BA in political science and a Masters of Public Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.

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