The Western New York Regional Economic Development Council announced three new members will join the council, including Michael Metzger, president, Blackstone Business Enterprises Inc.
"I am honored to be working with this council that has provided Western New York businesses with needed capital to survive and grow in this difficult economic climate," Metzger said.
Matthew K. Enstice, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc. president and CEO, and Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, Buffalo Niagara Partnership president and CEO, also fill vacant seats due to resignations on the council.
The council's membership, which coordinates the economic development of Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties, is comprised of local leaders from business, academia, labor, agriculture, nonprofits, and community-based organizations.
"We are thrilled to welcome these three accomplished and talented new members to the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council," said Western New York Regional Economic Development Council co-chairs, Satish K. Tripathi, president of the University at Buffalo, and Howard A. Zemsky, managing partner at Larkin Development Group.
"Mr. Metzger will represent both the Southern Tier of our region as well as the manufacturing sector; while Mr. Enstice will act as a valuable representative of the life sciences sector and, in particular, the nine-member consortium of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus; and Ms. Gallagher-Cohen's involvement will ensure that the voice of the business community continues to be represented on the council. We look forward to the combined years of business experience and dedication to ensuring the vitality of the Western New York region our new members will bring to the table."
Metzger heads Blackstone Business Enterprises Inc., a large metal fabrication company in Jamestown, and serves as Chautauqua County IDA chair.
He has nearly 30 years of experience in the private sector with companies like Bausch and Lomb and Acu-Rite. Metzger is a graduate of Saint Bonaventure University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in accounting and Rochester Institute of Technology with a Master of Business Administration. He has a long record of volunteer service with a number of area organizations, including the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, the American Red Cross and Falconer Central School.
Metzger will replace David Porter, who previously served as Cummins Inc. plant manager in Chautauqua County. Porter was recently promoted to the manufacturer's Midwest headquarters in Columbus, Ind., and relocated to that community.
The Regional Economic Development Council initiative is a key component of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo's transformative approach to state investment and economic development.
The councils are public-private partnerships composed of local experts and stakeholders from business, academia, local government and non-governmental organizations.
The regional councils have redefined the way New York invests in jobs and economic growth by putting in place a community-based, bottom-up approach and establishing a competitive process for state resources.
As a result of the first two rounds of awards, $1.5 billion in investments has been awarded to support more than 1,400 regionally significant economic development and community revitalization projects that are creating or helping to retain an estimated 75,000 jobs across the Empire State and generating investments to grow the economy. For more information on the regional councils, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov.