Univera healthcare’s Art wingerter named chair of Regional business attraction organization

Release date: 6/27/2017

Invest Buffalo Niagara announces new officer positions and governance structure

BUFFALO, NY – Invest Buffalo Niagara—the nonprofit, privately-funded economic development organization representing the eight counties of Western New York— has named Mr. Arthur (Art) Wingerter, president of Univera Healthcare, as chairman of its board of directors. Wingerter has been president of Univera Healthcare since 2009. Univera Healthcare is a nonprofit health plan that is part of a family of companies financing and delivering health services for about 1.5 million upstate New Yorkers. Based in Williamsville, the health plan serves members across the eight counties that comprise Western New York.

Wingerter replaces former chairman Randall L. Clark, who served with Invest Buffalo Niagara since the organization’s inception in 1999, then named Buffalo Niagara Enterprise. Clark served as chairman for two separate terms, and with his departure, Invest Buffalo Niagara has dedicated their conference room the “Randall L. Clark Conference Room.”

“On behalf of the Invest Buffalo Niagara staff, investors and board, I want to thank Randy for his many years of service to our organization,” said Tom Kucharski. “His ongoing support, since we were formed in 1999 – then called the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise – and charged with attracting businesses to this region, has continuously strengthened our work and relationships with businesses near and far over the past 18 years.”

Invest BN’s board of directors voted unanimously to appoint Wingerter as its new chairman. As chair, Wingerter will preside over all meetings of investors, the board, and the executive committee. He serves as ex-officio voting director, and will hold the role of chairman for a one-year term.

In addition to Wingerter being appointed as chairman, the board of directors named the following. Each election was unanimous.

·       Vice Chairman – Douglas Dimitroff, partner, Phillips Lytle, LLP
·       Treasurer – Robert Zak, president, Merchants Insurance
·       Secretary – Dottie Gallagher-Cohen, president & CEO, Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Invest Buffalo Niagara also announced a new governance structure for its board of directors, to ensure regional representation on the board and develop new growth opportunities for members. As part of the new, unanimously-approved governance structure, four general members will now serve on Invest Buffalo Niagara’s board of directors, with the ability to attend board meetings and carry a vote.

·       Marc Smith, director of economic development, Lockport IDA
·       Bill Heussler, chairman, WNY NYSCAR
·       Jim Whipple, CEO, Orleans County IDA
·       Craig Clark, P.E., PhD, executive director, Allegany County IDA

Additionally, two board-level investors were promoted to Invest Buffalo Niagara’s executive committee.

·       JP Bak, chairman, Bak USA
·       Ted Walsh, president and COO, Walsh Duffield

View the complete list of Invest BN’s board of directors here.


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.