Western New York business leader will help guide world’s largest economic development organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

International Economic Development Council Elects Invest Buffalo Niagara President & CEO Thomas Kucharski as Incoming Vice Chair

WASHINGTON, D.C.– The Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) has announced the election of Thomas A. Kucharski, CEcD, President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara, to serve as Vice Chair of the IEDC Board of Directors. The nomination took place during IEDC’s 2019 Annual Conference held in Indianapolis, IN. His term begins on January 1, 2020.

“We look forward to Thomas Kucharski’s leadership as Vice Chair on the Board of Directors and member of the Governance Committee. Tom’s years of dedicated service to IEDC and professional practice in economic development have well-prepared him to be Vice Chair. His new leadership role will ensure great accomplishments in 2020 and beyond.” – Jeffrey Finkle, CEcD, President and CEO of IEDC.

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 $5.5 billion in investment in the region and over 45,000 jobs created and/or retained.

“It’s an honor to have been elected Vice Chair of IEDC,” said Kucharski. “This organization is vital to the success of all economic developers. I’ve enjoyed my work with the organization over the last ten years and am excited to continue to help advance its important next chapter.”

From the onset, Kucharski 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.

Kucharski has been a Certified Economic Developer since 1992. Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, he led 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.

His other professional accomplishments include serving as a board member and chair of various committees of the IEDC 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.


About International Economic Development Council

The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is a non-profit membership organization serving economic developers. With more than 5,000 members, IEDC is the largest organization of its kind. Economic developers promote economic well-being and quality of life for their communities, by creating, retaining and expanding jobs that facilitate growth, enhance wealth and provide a stable tax base. From public to private, rural to urban, and local to international, IEDC’s members are engaged in the full range of economic development experience. Given the breadth of economic development work, our members are employed in a wide variety of settings including local, state, provincial and federal governments, public-private partnerships, chambers of commerce, universities and a variety of other institutions. IEDC’s members create high-quality jobs, develop vibrant communities and improve the quality of life in their regions. www.iedcONLINE.org.


Invest Buffalo Niagara is the area’s leading private sector economic development and business attraction organization, focused on research, marketing, and business development outreach.  With exceptional community connectivity, Invest Buffalo Niagara’s staff provides comprehensive services and project management for companies looking to expand or relocate.  From research all the way through ribbon-cutting, Invest Buffalo Niagara is the primary point of contact for economic development in the eight-county Buffalo Niagara region. Learn more: buffaloniagara.org.