11/19/11: Poloncarz Announces Transition Team Chairman and Executive Committee Members

Appointments Come From Across All Sectors of the Community and Reflect Poloncarz’s Commitment to Representing the Diversity of Erie County

Poloncarz Notes the Creation of His Transition Website on www.Erie.gov and Encourages Those Interested in Serving his Administration to Submit Resumes

ERIE COUNTY, NY—Today, Erie County Executive-elect Mark C. Poloncarz proudly announced the formation of his transition team’s executive committee.  This committee, led by businessman Michael Joseph will work closely with the current administration to ensure a smooth transition so that the Poloncarz administration can begin its work on behalf of the County’s taxpayers. 

Michael Joseph brings an incredible wealth of business experience to the transition team as the President of Clover Management, a real estate development and management company.  In addition, Joseph is an active member of our community, having served or still serving on a number of civic and non-profit boards including the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Jewish Federation of WNY, Buffalo Seminary, the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the University at Buffalo Foundation. 

“I am honored to have Michael Joseph serve as my transition team’s chairman,” said Poloncarz.  “Like me, Michael believes that County government serves an important role, namely to provide the highest quality services to taxpayers at the lowest possible cost.  I believe Michael’s experience in not only building a successful business but also serving as a well-respected civic leader in our community will help lay the ground work for my administration.”

Michael Joseph said, “I am honored to serve County Executive-elect Poloncarz as his transition team’s chairman.  This is an incredible opportunity to help chart a new course for our community and restore faith in good governance.  Mark did an exceptional job serving as our independent taxpayer watchdog, and I am confident he will make our County government more efficient and use our tax dollars more effectively as County Executive.  I am 100% committed to ensuring a smooth transition and setting the stage so that his incoming administration can hit the ground running on January 1st.”

Poloncarz and Joseph noted that the transition team will consist of an executive committee and six sub-committees representing the various areas of County government and resemble the committee structure of the Erie County Legislature.  These sub-committees include: Community Enrichment, Economic Development/Energy and Environment, Government Affairs, Health and Human Services, Public Safety and Public Works. 

More information regarding these committees and the transition itself can be found on the new transition website at http://www2.erie.gov/transition/ which was launched yesterday. 

In introducing the executive committee Poloncarz said, “In forming this executive committee, my goal was to ensure it reflects the incredible diversity of our community.  I will rely on the expertise and unique viewpoints that each of these members bring to the table to help me recruit an administration representative of all of Erie County.  I encourage anyone who would like additional information or is interested in serving our community under my new administration to visit the transition website and submit their resume.”

The executive committee is comprised of the following members:

Michael Joseph (Chairman)—President and Chairman of Clover Management, Inc.

Bernard Tolbert—Former Senior Vice-President for Security in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and retired Special Agent in Charge (Buffalo) for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Additionally, Tolbert has served on the boards of numerous community organizations, including: the United Way of Buffalo & Erie County, Medaille College, Cradle Beach Camp and Kids Escaping Drugs. 

Cindy Abbott-Letro—Former host of AM Buffalo, media consultant and community volunteer.  Abbott-Letro, a prominent leader in the cultural tourism sector, serves on the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and is the former Chair of the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Robert Fine—Founder and Chairman of the law firm Hurwitz & Fine, PC.  Fine has maintained an active role in many organizations including serving on the Board of Directors of the Roswell Park Cancer Institute, the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, the Erie County Industrial Land Development Corporation and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. 

Toni Vazquez—Owner and operator of Urban Family Practice, a small business medical facility serving more than 11,000 patients annually in a poor, multi-cultural community on Buffalo’s Lower Westside. Additionally, Ms. Vazquez is a lifetime member of the National Black MBA Association, member of the Hispanic Women’s League and a current board member of the Amherst Senior Citizens Foundation and Sister’s Hospital Foundation Gala Fundraising Committee. 

James Eagan—Executive Vice President and Partner of Midwood Financial Services, the largest privately held distributor of financial products and services via the bank and brokerage channels in the United States.  Eagan is a member of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority’s Board of Commissioners and the Board of Directors of Erie County’s SPCA. 

Lisa Ludwig—Actress, owner of production company Free Fall Productions and Managing Director of Shakespeare in the Park.  Ludwig is a leader in the annual Curtain Up! theater celebration, Vice President of the Theatre District Association and past Secretary of the Theatre Alliance of Buffalo.

Frank Mesiah—President, Buffalo Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and retired Regional Administrator in the Division of Equal Opportunity Development for the New York State Department of Labor. Mesiah is a member of several organizations, including: the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Legal Aid of Buffalo, Greater Buffalo YMCA and the Near East Side Health Task Force.

Brenda McDuffie—President and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League.  McDuffie currently serves on several Boards, including: WNY Foundation, Buffalo State College, Greater Buffalo Savings Bank, Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau and is on the Trustee Council for Kaleida Health Systems.

Kenneth Peterson—Executive Vice President of WHO Government Solutions.  In that role Peterson has specialized in the areas of education reform, alternative energy programs and affordable housing projects and has represented diverse clients like labor unions, employer associations, municipal housing authorities and others. 

Patty Devinney—Field Coordinator for the Western New York Area Labor Federation.  Devinney, a registered nurse, began her labor career more than 30 years ago by aiding in the unionization of the 800 nurses at the Buffalo General Hospital. 

Alisa Lukasiewicz—Special Counsel for Phillips Lytle LLP and former Corporation Counsel for the City of Buffalo.  Lukasiewicz has extensive experience in representing municipalities in all aspects of civil litigation, while concentrating her practice in the area of labor and employment law and education law.  She also serves on the Board of managers for the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and Board of Directors for the Casimir Pulaski Association.

Jonathan Rivera—Vice President and Branch Manager of HSBC Bank and former aide to Congressman Brian Higgins. 

Jennifer Parker—Founder and President of Black Capital Network, a small business consulting company providing strategic planning, public relations and graphic design services to support business advancement and development and owner of JacksonParker Communications, a public relations firm.  Parker is currently a member of the board of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, creator of the Harlem Book Fair BUFFALO and the Buffalo Book Fair, and has served on the board of WNED-TV, the Buffalo Niagara Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.