Buffalo, NY – The Erie County Industrial Development Agency has made permanent the interim appointments of its two leaders. The action was taken Wednesday at the agency's monthly board meeting.
Thomas Kucharski will serve as the agency's president and James Allen as its executive director.
Kucharski retains his position as president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. At the ECIDA, he'll focus on marketing the region. Allen will continue as executive director of the Amherst IDA. He'll be responsible for the ECIDA's day-to-day operations.
Agency Chairman William O'Loughlin describes them as two of the top development officials in the nation.
"Jim Allen and Tom Kucharski are both seasoned, successful development professionals," O'Loughlin said. "They have the respect of everybody in government, business and labor. These men are as good as it gets."
O'Loughlin said there is now a regional approach to economic development in the county. He said all IDAs are now working together.
"We have been talking deals with many companies," he continued. "In the past we were getting none. Now, we're going to get a few. We're going to start being on the winning side. The residents who have lived here all their lives are going to see big things happening."
Both Kucharski and Allen have been running the ECIDA on a pro-bono basis since last summer. They will now be compensated. Details will be worked among the three agencies.