December 12, 2013
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Western New York Appointments

Governor Cuomo Announces Western New York Appointments

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the following appointments to the Niagara River Greenway Commission, the Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority, USA Niagara Development Corporation, the Buffalo State College Council, Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation and the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

These appointees bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to their positions with various institutions in Western New York, Governor Cuomo said. Each of these individuals represents the best and brightest in their respective fields, and I am confident that they will play vital roles in increasing opportunities for recreation, education, and economic activity in Western New York.

Niagara River Greenway Commission

The Honorable Darius G. PridgenThe Honorable Darius G. Pridgen is President of the Common Council of the City of Buffalo, where he represents the Ellicott District, and Senior Pastor of True Bethel Baptist Church in Buffalo. Pridgen earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Buffalo State College and his Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College.

Eric E. BauerEric E. Bauer is Owner and President of EB Galaxy Construction Inc. located in Western New York. Mr. Bauer is a decorated Air Force veteran, having served in combat theatres including Iraq and Afghanistan. Bauer earned his Bachelor's Degree in Business finance from Canisius College and will finish his MBA in business finance from Canisius in 2014.

Sean A. Edwards (reappointment)Sean A. Edwards is currently the Business Agent for U.A. Plumbers & Steamfitters Local No. 22, serving as liaison between members of his local and their employers. Edwards formerly served as a Council Member for the Town of Lewiston, and currently is serving the Town of Lewiston as Deputy Town Supervisor

About the Niagara River Greenway CommissionThe Niagara River Greenway Commission is charged with planning and developing a greenway of interconnected parks, river access points, and waterfront trails along the Niagara River from Lake Erie at Buffalo to Lake Ontario at the site of the historic Fort Niagara. Members are appointed directly by the Governor.

Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority

Richard T. Jurasek (reappointment)Richard T. Jurasek is the sixth president of Medaille College. A foreign language scholar, Jurasek earned both his Ph.D. and Masters Degrees in German from The Ohio State University and his Bachelors degree in German from Ohio University. Dr. Jurasek has co-authored three books on German that are used in colleges and universities across the country. Jurasek has been a director since 2012.

Frederick G. Floss (reappointment)Frederick G. Floss is a professor of economics and finance at Buffalo State University, with a concentration in public finance. Floss earned both his Ph.D. and Masters Degrees in economics from the University at Buffalo. Floss has been a director since 2009.

About the Buffalo Fiscal Stability AuthorityThe Buffalo Fiscal Stability Authority (BFSA), a public benefit corporation, provides financial oversight over the budgets, financial plans, and capital plans of the City of Buffalo and its covered organizations. The BFSA is tasked with assuring the financial stability of the City and its covered organizations, preserving the confidence of the investors and bond rating agencies, upholding essential services to residents, maintaining affordable property taxes, and protecting the economy of both the region and the State. Directors are appointed directly by the Governor.

USA Niagara Development Corporation

Francine DelMonte, ChairFrancine DelMonte is a former member of the New York State Assembly, having served five terms representing the 138th Assembly District. DelMonte served as Chairwoman of the Assembly Science and Technology Commission. Before her election, she served as the Chief of Staff for then-Assemblyman Joseph Pillittere.

Gary E. Smith (reappointment)Gary E. Smith, a professional engineer, is Chief Operating Officer of Modern Corporation. Smith has 30 years of experience on multi-disciplinary engineering projects. Smith earned his M.S. in civil engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and his B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Paul S. NanulaPaul S. Nanula is President of Nanco Group, a Buffalo-based development company, and Principal Partner and Board Member of IQ Craft, which provides eCommerce, custom software, and business intelligence expertise to sales- and marketing-focused organizations. Nanula previously served as President and CEO of Wilson Farms until it was acquired by 7-Eleven in June 2011. Nanula is a graduate of Niagara University.

Monica Pellegrino FaixMonica Pellegrino Faix is Executive Director of the Richardson Center Corporation. In that capacity, she organizes and leads all activities of the not-for-profit board advancing the reuse of the Richardson Olmsted Complex, a National Historic Landmark. Faix has a Masters in Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo, and a B.S. in Psychology and Business from Ithaca College.

Michael A. Williamson, Sr. (reappointment)Michael A. Williamson, Sr. is the owner and operator of the Williamson Funeral Home in Niagara Falls, which has been in business for the past 50 years. Williamson is past Chairman of the Board of United Way of Niagara. He is a graduate of the Simmons School of Mortuary Science.

About USA Niagara Development CorporationUSA Niagara Development Corporation, a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corporation, supports and promotes economic development initiatives in Niagara Falls by leveraging private investment and encouraging growth and renewal of the tourism industry in the City of Niagara Falls. Directors are appointed by ESDC upon the recommendation of the Governor.

Buffalo State College Council

Todd BrasonTodd Brason is Chairman and Co-Founder of WILLCARE, which he led from a single agency in Western New York to a regional home health care provider with 15 branches in New York, Connecticut, and Ohio. Brason has served as the Chairperson of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers and Executive Board Member of the American Association for Home Care. Brason is a past chair and current board member of both the American Red Cross, WNY Region and the ECMC Lifeline Foundation. Brason earned his B.S. in Business from Buffalo State College.

About Buffalo State CollegeFounded in 1871, Buffalo State is the largest comprehensive college in the State University of New York system, with more than 11,000 students. Its goal is to inspire a lifelong passion for learning and to empower a diverse population of students to succeed as citizens of a challenging world. The Buffalo State College Council serves as the primary oversight and advisory body to the college, its president, and senior officers. Members of the College Council are appointed directly by the Governor.

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation

Julie Marie BargnesiJulie Bargnesi is a Senior Partner at Damon Morey in the firms litigation department. Ms. Bargnesi is also a registered nurse. She concentrates her practice in the area of health care law and medical malpractice and has an outstanding trial record. She is active in a number of charitable and civic organizations. She received her nursing degree, cum laude, from Niagara University in 1984 and her JD, cum laude, from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1987. She is a member of the Erie County, New York State and American Bar Associations. She is admitted to practice in New York State, as well as the United States Supreme Court. Ms. Bargnesi served as the president of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys (TAANA), a national organization with members who have degrees in both nursing and law. She is also the President and founder of the Western New York Chapter of this association.

About Erie Canal Harbor Development CorporationErie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) is a subsidiary of Empire State Development and was created in 2005 to spearhead the city of Buffalos waterfront redevelopment effort. ECHDCs mission is to revitalize Buffalos inner and outer harbor areas and restore economic growth to Western New York, based on the regions legacy of pride, urban significance and natural beauty. Members are appointed by ESDC upon the recommendation of the Governor.

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission

Harry R. PalladinoHarry Richard Palladino is the Business Manager since 2010 for Laborers Local 91, where he worked his way through the ranks since 1959. Mr. Palladino works tirelessly on behalf of his members, as well as with contractors to advance and deliver quality construction projects. His union works to ensure safety standards are met, educational opportunities are offered, and to promote efficiencies in the industry. Mr. Palladinos local assists in ensuring compliance with public works construction laws and in promoting the mutual interests of employers and laborers. He represents 675 active and retired members at the Niagara Falls, NY local and is known for his staunch advocacy on their behalf. Hes also a certified OSHA Instructor. Mr. Palladino served in the US Navy from 1960-66.

About the Niagara Falls Bridge CommissionCanada and the U.S. are equally represented on the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission by an eight-member Board of Commissioners. Initially established to finance, construct and operate the Rainbow Bridge, the Commission proved sufficiently efficient and effective to assume responsibilities for the Whirlpool Rapids (Lower) and Lewiston-Queenston Bridges. The NFBC builds and maintains all facilities for Customs and Immigration functions on both sides of the international border. The NFBC is self-supportive, largely through user fees (tolls) and private-sector tenant leases. NFBC is federally chartered to conduct international commercial financial transactions and issue federal (U.S.) tax-exempt bonds. The New York members are appointed directly by the Governor.