President Dennis L. Hefner has appointed two local businesspersons as leaders of the SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator Advisory Committee.
Ron Bowers, plant manager for Nestle Purina Pet Care of Dunkirk has been named chair, and Jane Russo, assistant vice president/branch manager for M&T Bank’s Martin’s Dunkirk Branch, vice chair, of the committee.
“I am grateful for Ron and Jane’s leadership of this very important group, which is helping us to develop the infrastructure for the incubator’s development,” noted President Hefner.
Mr. Bowers has been plant manager in Dunkirk since January 2001. He earned his B.S. in Agricultural Engineering from the Ohio State University and has worked for Purina for 25 years in 12 assignments throughout the U.S. and Europe. Mr. Bowers is president of the Dunkirk Chamber of Commerce, a member of the board of director of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, a voting member of the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation, and a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County. In addition, he serves on the administrative board of the Dunkirk-Sheridan Empire Zone.
Ms. Russo is also a registered representative of M&T Securities, Inc. A lifelong resident of Chautauqua County, she has been with M&T Bank for over 30 years. A graduate of Fredonia High School, she received further education from the American Institute of Banking. In addition to her work with the incubator, Ms. Russo is on the administrative board for the Dunkirk-Sheridan Empire Zone, and chair of the MICRO Enterprise Loan Fund Committee and on the advisory board of Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc. for Development. She is also the current treasurer and former president of the Dunkirk Rotary Club.
Incubator Project Director Jeffrey Corcoran noted that the group’s current role is to advise on specific issues involving the incubator, including approving a business plan. The group works mainly as members of three committees including Marketing; Client Relations, working to secure clients and monitor their performance and eventual “graduation” from the incubator; and Resource Development, working on a long-term financial plan for the incubator.
In addition to President Hefner, Mr. Corcoran, Mr. Bowers, and Ms. Russo, the committee includes Jay Baker, Jamestown Plastics; Byron Bilicki, Esq., Howard Bryan of Cummins, Inc.; Dr. Al Cecchini of Libera, Inc.; Ronald Cruver of Trinity Biotech, William Daly of the Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency, Irene Dobies, Andrew Dorn of Greater Buffalo Savings Bank, Patricia Halas of Key Bank, Diane Hewitt of Chautauqua Opportunities, Inc., Thomas Kilburn, PE of NRG; Brian Lydic of Lake Shore Savings, Pamela Lydic of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Kurt Maytum of DFT Communications, Dr. Susan McNamara of Chautauqua Works, Kevin Muldowney, Douglas Newman of Excelco/Newbrook Development, MacLain (Nichols) Berhaupt of the City of Dunkirk Department of Development, Brian W. Pusch, Esq.; Ralph Swanson of HSBC, and Todd Tranum of the Manufacturing Technology Institute at Jamestown Community College. They are joined by SUNY Fredonia administrative, faculty and staff members including Vice President for Academic Affairs Virginia Horvath, Dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences David Ewing, Amy Cuchel-Schuckers, Dr. Leonard Faulk and Richard Goodman of the Center for Rural Regional Development and Governance, Dr. Linda Hall, Professor Emeritus David Larson and Timothy Murphy.
The incubator’s temporary site is at 314 Central Ave., Suite 300, in the city of Dunkirk, while a permanent structure is being built. The building’s location is planned for a site on Central Avenue between East Second and East Third streets in the city. Designers are JCJ Architects of Hartford, Conn., and Wendel Duchsherer, Inc. of Amherst, N.Y., is the consulting engineer.
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