Economic Development and Public Policy Council

As a Suburban Chamber with a Regional Vision, we are committed to creating smart growth by supporting a Community Development Plan that will provide a blueprint for adaptive re-use of underutilized or outdated properties.

The Chamber also promotes issues that foster growth and prosperity in the business community and annually releases its Public Policy Agenda, an aggressive strategy for a stronger, more vibrant region.

Goals and Objectives

  • To review current status of town’s economy as it relates to employment, building vacancies and job creation.
  • To develop consensus for need for in-fill projects that may increase parcel density.
  • To work with regional economic development agencies to promote our findings and instigate investment.
  • To interface with the membership to solicit policy issues at all levels of government for our consideration.
  • To host Public Officials Briefings with our elected officials, on both sides of the aisle at all levels of government, for the purpose of nurturing relationships and communicating our positions.
  • To develop an Annual Public Policy Agenda that identifies the issues we will be supporting.

Click here for 2019 Public Policy Agenda 

2019 Economic Development and Public Policy Council

Lorrie Abounader
Invest Buffalo Niagara

A.J. Baynes
Chamber President/CEO

Michael Pietkiewicz

Mary Grace Welch
National Grid

David Beaton
Kelton Enterprises, LLC

Lisa Blair
Inspire Dental Group

Richard Cahlstadt
M&T Bank

Edward Damico
National Fuel

Michelle DeBergalis
McGuire Dev. Co.

Byron DeLuke
TM Montante

Colleen DiPirro
Chamber Senior Advisor

Rick Glogowski
Keller Williams Realty

Ellie Grenauer
Park Tavern

Leah Halton-Pope
Roswell Park

Craig Harris
Daemen College

Kevin Horrigan
People Inc.

Michael Hughes
Kaleida Health

Donald Ingalls
BlueCross BlueShield of WNY

Darren Kempner

Kevin Kennedy
National Grid

David Mingoia
Amherst IDA


Barbara Olsafsky
Blou Designs

Roberta Rifkin
Independent Health

Suzie Rivo Solender
Solender Services, LLC

Megan Toohey
University at Buffalo

Jennifer Tuttle

David Tytka
Uniland Dev. Co.

Timothy Vaeth
The Pike Company

Jesse Wendell
Wendel Companies

A.J. Wright
BlueCross BlueShield of WNY

Mickey Zablonsky
NOCO Energy Corp.

Laura Zaepfel
Uniland Dev. Co.

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Thanks to @eatfreshcatch for a fun #BusinessAfterHours! Good food and great networking! 
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#buffalo #amherst #boulevardmall #wnyredevelopment #letsgrowtogether #wnyrealestateGreat training by @facebook on how to use @facebook and @instagram to help small businesses grow. Thank you to @ignitebflo and @forty3north for holding the presentation at the beautiful @barrelfactory! .
#letsgrowtogether #chamberofcommerce #socialmediamarketing #businesstipsTalk about Monday Motivation! Great turnout for Lunch Mob at @fat_bobs! Great food;great networking!
#bbq #mondaymotivation #chamberofcommerce #businessideas #networking #letsgrowtogetherGreat ProNet seminar on mastering social media! Thank you to @meggieerbs and @erinwkbw from @wkbw for sharing your digital expertise! .
#socialmediasavvy #chamberofcommerce #letsgrowtogether #learningtheropes #businessideasCongratulations to Laura Zaepfel, VP of Corporate Relations for @uniland_development, who is the new Chair of the @amherstchamberofcommerce Board of Directors for 2019! We look forward to your leadership!
#boardchair #leadership #chamberofcommerce #probusiness #letsgrowtogetherWelcome Board of Directors for 2019! The Chamber looks forward to partnering with you to make our community #BusinessStrong! Thank you to @repbrianhiggins for administering the oath.
#swearingin #chamberofcommerce #boardofdirectors #partnershipRecord turnout for our Annual Luncheon! Thank you to the 400 business people who joined us as the Chamber unveiled its Public Policy Agenda for 2019.  #probusiness #advocacy #getconnected #annualluncheon #chamberofcommerce