Invest Buffalo Niagara
Founded in 1999, Invest Buffalo Niagara is the region’s nonprofit, privately funded economic development organization representing the eight counties of Western New York.
Our mission is to attract new employers to the Buffalo Niagara region and support business attraction, expansion, and entrepreneurship. To do so, invest Buffalo Niagara collaborates with local businesses, colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations, and elected officials at the federal, state, and local levels to deliver a unified response to regional economic development opportunities.
The team of professional economic development consultants at Invest Buffalo Niagara provides free and confidential services to companies considering the Buffalo Niagara region, particularly for the first time.
Services Provided by Invest Buffalo Niagara
Invest Buffalo Niagara serves as a single point of entry for economic development inquiries and offers a comprehensive suite of
client-driven project management services to companies and consultants evaluating the market area, including:
Confidential and custom site location assistance
Detailed, comprehensive site/building information
Labor market analysis and demographics
Tailored market research
Facilitation of state and local incentive programming
Personal community and site tours
Introductions to professional service providers and partners
Meetings with community and business leaders
Assistance with workforce and recruitment training needs
Meet the Invest Buffalo Niagara Team
Our staff brings a wide range of expertise in areas of business development, client service, real estate, finance, research, marketing, event planning, graphic design, and public and investor relations.
Thomas A. Kucharski has served as President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara since 2000. Under his leadership, Invest Buffalo Niagara has grown from a start-up initiative to an innovative regional economic development organization that has secured more than 400 successful project wins representing $4.4 billion in investment in the region and over 42,000 jobs created and/or retained. From the onset, Tom helped Invest Buffalo Niagara form strong, enduring partnerships with business, development and academic leaders throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. Today more than 150 organizations work with Invest Buffalo Niagara to provide support and expertise to companies from the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world looking to set up shop in Western New York. Within Invest Buffalo Niagara, Tom has championed initiatives such as compiling business data that is tailored to specific industry sectors within the region and building an advanced research department offering innovative, state-of-the-art data and GIS mapping capabilities through the Buffalo Niagara Commercial Listing System (CLS). The Invest Buffalo Niagara Business Development team has, under Tom’s tutelage, made major strides in improving the economic service delivery system, including a one-stop, client oriented business development system and the first ever Uniform Development Incentives Policy agreed to and applied across the region. The creative Marketing Department at Invest Buffalo Niagara has been recognized nationally, regionally and state-wide for its PR, promotional, industry-based, social media, advertising and web-based marketing by winning over 175 awards including a majority at the Gold and Best of Class level. The pinnacle of these efforts came at the 2014 International Economic Development Council’s annual meeting where Invest Buffalo Niagara was recognized with the inaugural “Best in Show” award for its “Are You Right for Buffalo” video that was selected from over 600 entries world-wide. Tom has been a Certified Economic Developer since 1992. Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, he headed up the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation in Eastern Pennsylvania, and prior to that served as executive director of the Horizon Council of Southwest Florida, a regional public/private partnership that included Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Naples. He is recognized nationally for his work in the economic development industry and is often quoted and referenced in national publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek, as well as numerous trade and industry publications. Tom has participated in several significant initiatives in the states that he has worked. In Florida, he participated in Governor Chiles’ fifteen-member commission that eventually privatized economic development, foreign direct investment efforts and tourism into Enterprise Florida. While representing the state on the Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC), Tom was named the 1990 Florida Economic Developer of the Year. In Pennsylvania, he applied his Florida experience to assist Governor Ridge’s twelve-member committee that privatized these same functions into Team Pennsylvania. For those efforts, he was gain honored as the 1998 Pennsylvania Economic Developer of the Year. In New York State, he has assisted Governor Cuomo’s administration with the formation of the successful Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) model. He serves as an active member of the Western New York REDC where he Co-Chairs the Global New York Foreign Direct Investment initiative. . His other professional accomplishments include serving as a Board Member and Chair of various committees of the International Economic Development Council for over ten years. He is also an Executive Committee Member of the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) and was selected by his NYSEDC colleagues as the 2014 Economic Developer of the Year. In 2007, he received the Meritorious Service Award from the Western New York Chapter of the New York State Commercial Association of Realtors.
“This is a region where life works both professionally and personally. The quality of life and the people are unmatched by any others I’ve experienced elsewhere. And where else could I have sailed in the morning, played golf in the afternoon and skied in the evening – all in the same day?”
Erin is the Senior Administrator at Invest Buffalo Niagara. She graduated from SUNY Buffalo State with a bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She was awarded the “Best Business Management Student” award the year she graduated.
Before joining the Invest Buffalo Niagara team, she worked as an administrative assistant for a real estate company. Outside of work, Erin coaches’ soccer to children aged three to six years old. She also plays rec soccer for a local team. Erin enjoys checking out the Buffalo food scene as well as going to Buffalo Bills games.
Kim Grant started her career in telecommunications and then pivoted to advanced manufacturing, medical devices and biotechnology when she was repatriated to Buffalo from Columbus, Ohio in 2007. Since then she has been actively involved in the Western New York start up community, working with 43 North, the Western New York Venture Association, and UB’s Business and Entrepreneur Partnerships.
Kim was recruited to UB in 2013 as the Business Development Executive for the Center of Excellence Bioinformatics and Life Sciences. In that capacity she was responsible for the NYSTAR Center for Advance Technology (CAT) and the Bright Buffalo Investor Forum. In 2018 she transitioned over to the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences UB RISE (Research, Innovation, Simulation, Structure, Education and Engineering) Center to help entrepreneurial minded clinicians develop and test new products as well as facilitate a testing and training facility for industry partners to collaborate with clinical experts and stakeholders.
During her tenure at UB, Grant was responsible for engaging industry partners and cultivating academic, public and private collaborations to generate economic development. These efforts included attracting firms to relocate to Western New York, connecting companies to potential grant funding, state programs and investors as well as leveraging her professional network to catalyze innovation and growth.
Over the last decade, Kim has served on the Buffalo Public School Policy Board, the Western New York Invention Convention board and was President and Treasurer of the International Society of Automation – Niagara Frontier Section. After ten years, she retired from the National Ski Patrol
Kim received her bachelor’s degree from Buffalo State College and is a 2011 graduate of Leadership Buffalo. Kim and her husband Robert live in Clarence.
Olivia Hill proudly serves as a member of the Business Development team at Invest Buffalo Niagara. In her role as a senior business development specialist, Olivia is responsible for managing a pipeline of new business expansion inquiries, generating leads to recruit key businesses to the region, and assisting the business development staff in their business attraction efforts. Before joining the team at Invest Buffalo Niagara, Olivia served as the Deputy Director of the Hamburg Industrial Development Agency, where she managed the financial incentive component for businesses seeking tax exemptions for new facility construction or existing business expansion in the town of Hamburg. Olivia has always had a love for the Buffalo Niagara region which pairs well with her BA in Urban Studies and Sociology from Canisius College. Although she loves many things about this region, the food scene tops her list. Like many Buffalonians, Olivia is not afraid of the cold and can be found enjoying an ice cream cone no matter the weather when she’s not in the office.
Bryon L. Price, Sr. began his career in the healthcare industry. He worked as a healthcare executive for several local area organizations and as a pharmaceutical sale representative for Johnson and Johnson before transitioning into a career in economic development. His career in economic development was inspired by all the economic and industrial growth that was taking place in the region.
Prior to joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, Bryon held several economic development positions in WNY, including working as a project manager for Empire State Development and compliance officer for Community and Economic Development with the City of Niagara Falls. As a Business Development Manager for Invest Buffalo Niagara, Price looks forward to contributing to the economic development of the WNY region which is a wonderful place to work, live and play.
Bryon received his bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his MBA form the University of Buffalo.
Buffalo native Matthew Hubacher serves as the Vice President of Research at Invest Buffalo Niagara. He works diligently to provide timely economic, industry, real estate and community information that is critical to businesses looking to expand their operations or relocate to Buffalo Niagara. The data are also used to support and enrich the marketing and business departments of Invest Buffalo Niagara for lead generation efforts. Matthew’s other responsibilities include managing business attraction projects, maintaining InBN’s relationship with the site selection community and staffing Invest Buffalo Niagara’s Performance and the WNY Industrial Real Estate Development Strategy committees. Matthew also serves as Invest Buffalo Niagara’s liaison to the WNYSCAR Board of Directors. He received IEDC’s Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credential in 2020.
Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, Matthew worked on Capitol Hill as a Legislative Assistant for U.S. Congressman Tom Latham for five years. Matthew holds a master’s in Education Policy from the University of Maryland-College Park and a bachelor’s in Secondary Education from Niagara University. He lives in Clarence Center with his wife and three daughters and is active in his community, most notably serving on the Board of Directors of the Clarence Girls Softball League.
“My life works where I was born and raised. I’m proud to be from Buffalo Niagara, a region that has all of the attractions of a large metropolitan area without the exorbitant cost of living. I moved from the region after college and returning home and being close to family and friends was a dream come true.”
Rob began his career during the Great Recession, which started a continuous thread of supporting our community to persevere and prosper. An Americorps term with John R. Oishei Foundation provided Rob with a first-hand perspective on the great diversity of WNY’s economy and its people. Taking this foundational understanding of his community to higher education, Rob has worked with UB and SUNY Erie to create new economic opportunities for WNY, and to prepare our workforce to match our employers’ needs. Rob spent most of 2020 in Chicago where he worked to educate future essential health care workers. Drawn to Be In Buffalo, Rob returned to Buffalo-Niagara to support yet another WNY perseverance story as the region kicks back in gear after the COVID pandemic.
Rob was brought to UB to coordinate the Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences’ NYSTAR Center for Advance Technology (CAT) and STARTUP NY programs. In this role, he supported entrepreneurs and business leaders to convert innovation and incentives into economic opportunity. With these new opportunities top of mind, Rob was recruited to SUNY Erie to manage multiple Career & Technical Education grants which funded curricula updates to better prepare students for work.
In recent years, Rob has pursued extensive training in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. This education began with programming sponsored by the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and was expanded upon with his participation in the national Education Pioneers fellowship. Rob holds a strong belief that an equitable community will expand the economic prosperity in every corner of WNY.
Rob received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Economics from UB in 2009. He also completed his master’s degree in Education from UB. He is an alum of Americorps and Education Pioneers. Rob calls Buffalo’s Elmwood Village home, and is a fond patron of its many cafes.
As Invest Buffalo Niagara’s (InBN) Brand & Creative Director Sarah has her hands in every facet of promoting the organization’s portfolio of services and Buffalo Niagara regional assets. With analytical thinking and data-driven metrics, Sarah continually develops, refines, and evolves InBN’s marketing strategy working hand in hand with our Business Development and Research departments in an effort to generate leads. Guiding the execution of brand, advertising, and integrated marketing campaigns in the form of digital, print, presentation, or event activities and partnerships – Sarah ensures ideas are brought to life through compelling visuals and messaging. Fostering collaboration, Sarah enjoys working with internal and/or outsourced teams on the tactical details to amplify the InBN brand and Buffalo Niagara story.
Sarah first joined InBN as the organizations Senior Graphic Designer and Website Manager, before earning the privilege of leading a talented, three-person marketing department, its operations, budget, and effectiveness as Marketing Manager. Before joining InBN in 2004, Sarah spent more than five years as a Graphic Designer at WKBW-TV.
Sarah has a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. She channels her creative energy as well as her passion for education and children through volunteerism. Sarah has spent many years serving her local Parent Teacher Organization board, the towns Baseball and Softball board, coaching travel softball, teaching religious education, and serving on the Ralph C. Wilson Explore & More Children’s Museum board. When not working or volunteering, Sarah can be found spending quality time with her husband and three children.
Greg Pokriki is the Communications Manager with Invest Buffalo Niagara, leading public relations and content development efforts, as well as Be in Buffalo, the organization’s talent attraction program. He is a St. John Fisher College graduate, Leadership Buffalo class of 2019 graduate, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 2020 Rising Star, and recipient of AAF Buffalo’s 2020 Future Star Award given to an outstanding young professional in advertising and marketing. He volunteers with Seneca Street Community Development Center, Family Promise of WNY, and is a Say Yes Buffalo mentor. Greg is passionate about watching baseball and building a better Buffalo for all. He also writes his own bios.
Carlton is the graphic designer at Invest Buffalo Niagara. He graduated from Suny Buffalo State University with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, with a concentration in graphic design. He uses his skills in illustration, motion graphics, and 3d animation to turn ideas into reality.
Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara Carlton worked for one of the top companies in consumer-based technology. He used his technical knowledge and friendly demeanor to achieve high customer satisfaction year-round.
Being a Buffalo native, he deeply loves and appreciates his community. Carlton enjoys Buffalo’s coffee shops and local comic stores in his free time. He also is a big supporter of Buffalo’s live music scene.
The Invest Buffalo Niagara Board of Directors
President & CEO Thomas A. Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara
Chair Douglas W. Dimitroff, Phillips Lytle LLP
Vice Chair Kenneth Kujawa, National Grid
Secretary Becky Gandour, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation
Treasurer Michael O’Brien, Key Bank, N.A.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Empire State Development Corporation, Karen Utz
State University of New York at Buffalo, Tracy Krawczyk-Scheidel