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Industry News, June 2009

Chairwoman Resigns at Buffalo Niagara CVB

Jennifer J. Parker, the chairwoman of the Buffalo Niagara CVB, resigned her post, while citing the county executive’s increasing role in the agency’s operations.

Richard Geiger, president and CEO of the bureau, also recently resigned, amid pressure from Erie County executive Chris Collins. Drew Cerza, an event planner and founder of the National Chicken Wing Festival, was then appointed interim head by Collins, reportedly over the objections of some directors.

Parker is the third board member to resign from the CVB since Geiger's departure. Keith M. Belanger, an executive at M&T Bank, and the board’s vice chairman, William J. Bissett, president of Delaware North Cos. Gaming and Entertainment, also resigned.

Parker said in a statement that she was “saddened” by the “overreaching Erie County political involvement.”

Collins’ office stated it was looking forward to “new energized leadership that understands the need for accountability and the importance of effectively branding and marketing our region.”

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