Empire State Development Announces Amanda Mays Joining Western New York Leadership Team as Regional Director

Mays joins Leadership Team alongside Stephen Gawlik, Steven Ranalli and Paul Tronolone

December 10, 2018

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced that Amanda M. Mays, who previously served as Senior Project Manager, will join ESD’s Western New York regional leadership team serving as Regional Director alongside Stephen Gawlik, Vice President, Poly & Capital Projects and Senior Counsel; Steven Ranalli, VP of Development at Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation; and Paul Tronolone, VP of Policy & Planning.

As the new Western New York Regional Director, Mays will manage daily operations of the Western New York office in Buffalo and promote economic development practices that both retain and attract businesses and create jobs in the region.

In addition, Mays will serve as Executive Director of the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council, where she will oversee the Council’s activities and implementation of the region’s Strategic Plan.

Mays, a Grand Island native, has worked as an ESD Senior Project Manager for almost two years where she worked on the development of and directly implemented several Buffalo Billion projects, totaling more than $100 million in state investments for projects around Western New York, and monitored more than 40 priority projects for Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Previous to joining ESD, Mays was Deputy Director of the Executive Office & Assistant Secretary of the Board at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. where she worked on governance, strategic planning, and cross-institutional initiatives.  She is a graduate of William Smith College and has a Masters of Urban Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

“It takes a strong team to drive New York State’s highly successful economic development strategies and I’m proud to welcome these talented professionals to help continue our mission of growing jobs and businesses,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner. 

Two other promotions are also being announced in the WNY ESD regional office:

Angela Panaro Rossi has been appointed Deputy Director, having previously served as Senior Project Manager for ESD in WNY, where she worked cooperatively with regional economic development partners and senior Empire State Development staff to develop coordinated proposals, retain and attract jobs and foster investment in the region.  Ms. Rossi will lead administration of and communication with the Regional Economic Development Council and direct the Consolidated Funding Application process and other regional office funding programs, as well as continue to oversee her portfolio of Buffalo Billion initiatives.  Prior to joining ESD, she served as Director of Projects & Programs at the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation where she was responsible for administering allocation of federal funds for economic and community revitalization of Lower Manhattan post 9/11. Ms. Rossi has a BS in Political Science from State University of New York College at Brockport and an MS in Urban Policy Analysis from the Robert J. Milano Graduate School, New School University.

Mo Sumbundu has been appointed Assistant Director, having previously served as a WNY ESD project manager.  Mr. Sumbundu will assist with administration of the Regional Economic Development Council and provide staff support for ESD initiatives. He will be leading outreach with the community and elected officials on ESD funding programs and serve as a liaison between the WNY Regional Office and ESD’s offices in Albany and New York City, in addition to maintaining a portfolio of economic development projects.  Prior to joining ESD Mr. Sumbundu worked as a Graduate Assistant in the president’s office of Buffalo State College, researching issues to support presidential initiatives and produce briefing papers as directed. He holds BA in Political Science and a Masters of Public Administration from SUNY Buffalo State.




Pamm Lent (ESD) | [email protected] | (716) 846-8309 | (800) 260-7313
Laura Magee (ESD) | [email protected] | (716)-846-8239 | (800) 260-7313