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Governor Hochul Announces Joan Kesner to Serve as Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chairperson

Kesner Will Lead Governor's Plans To Improve Access to Buffalo’s Waterfront, Including Transformational Redevelopment of North Aud Block

Leslie Zemsky and Sam Capitano Also Appointed to Serve on ECHDC Board

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Joan Kesner, formerly the Governor’s regional director for Western New York, will serve as chairperson for the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Board of Directors. The Governor appointed Kesner to the board and also recommended her as the next Chairperson of the ECHDC Board, which the board approved today. Leslie Zemsky, vice president and partner in Larkin Development Group, and Sam Capitano, business manager at Laborers International Union of North America, Upstate New York Laborers District Council, were also appointed to serve on the ECHDC Board. ECHDC is the state agency that supports and promotes the creation of infrastructure and public activities at Canalside and the Outer Harbor in Buffalo and works to attract private investment and enhance the enjoyment of the waterfront for residents and visitors in Western New York.

“Joan Kesner is a dedicated and talented leader who will focus the state’s efforts to revitalize our economy, starting at the waterfront,” Governor Hochul said. “As we ramp up efforts to encourage visitors, developers and investors to the water’s edge, Joan’s collaborative spirit and hard work will ensure continued progress on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation’s initiatives. I also welcome Leslie Zemsky and Sam Capitano to the board and am confident their expertise will be an asset to Buffalo’s waterfront moving forward.”

Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation Chair Joan Kesner said, “I couldn’t be prouder and more excited to continue the development projects that will bring more people to Buffalo’s waterfront. The waterfront and its development are a major priority of Governor Hochul’s and I look forward to working with her to transform this destination and continue the excitement, especially leading up to the bicentennial of the Erie Canal’s completion in 2025. I am excited to work with the talented and creative board and staff of ECHDC. We will work together to make our waterfront one we all can enjoy and be proud of. I thank Governor Hochul for this incredible opportunity and her strong commitment to Western New York.”

Read the full press release here.