President and Chief Executive Officer
Steve Hyde is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), a regionally focused economic development / industrial development agency located in the “Batavia Micropolitan” community of Genesee County which interconnects both the Rochester Finger Lakes and Buffalo Niagara regions in Upstate NY.
Steve has had extensive private sector experience in sales / business development, marketing, finance and management focused on building and growing enterprises in the technology and life science/medical device sectors. Notable positions include Vice President of Business and Technology Development for ResMed Corporation (a publicly traded Medical Device Manufacturer), Executive Vice President of Business Development for NetSetGo (an I.T. Services firm) as well as several management positions in Sales, Marketing, Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions at Xerox, IBM and NCR.
Steve has leveraged his private sector experience and focuses on driving significant economic development growth for his community and region following a tech based economic development approach to the market. A cornerstone of Steve’s organizational strategy has focused on shovel-ready tech and industrial park development along with high tech oriented workforce solutions as well as efforts to enhance the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. He has facilitated the formation of strong public / private partnerships enabling considerable regional economic growth.
Recently, Steve’s team completed securing funding and bringing a 250 acre site to full shovel-ready status. This site is New York’s 1st shovel-ready site dedicated to Food Processing and Agri-business. Within a year following the site becoming shovel-ready, Steve’s team working in collaboration with his regional and state economic development partners, has recently attracted two multi-national yogurt plants to the site including the $206M Muller Quaker Dairy (i.e. Pepsico) yogurt plant. Notably, Muller Quaker Dairy received its building permits in 15 days. In 2016 Dairy Farmer’s of America purchased the facility for new dairy operations in New York State. Steve has also been successful in securing in excess of $40 Million in funding while leading a team to develop a 1,250 acre shovel-ready Mega-Site, called WNY STAMP (Science &Technology, Advanced, Manufacturing, Park), focused on attracting global investment in advanced manufacturing, semiconductor, photovoltaic and the nanotechnology space. In 2015 1366 Technologies announced that they would build their first solar wafer manufacturing facility at the WNY STAMP site, investing over $720 million and creating 1000 new jobs.
These efforts, along with 433 project “wins” during his tenure, focused on building regional shovel-ready assets while securing investment commitments of some $1.06 B and pledged job creation of 4,240 jobs has enabled the Batavia Micropolitan Area (Genesee County) to be ranked by Site Selection Magazine as one of top 10 fastest growing Micropolitan Communities nationally the last 11 years running. In recognition of his efforts that focus on regionally impactful projects, Steve was honored by the New York State Economic Development Council as New York State’s Economic Developer of the year in 2012.
Steve earned his Associates degree from Genesee Community College; his Bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his MBA from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He sits on several boards including Chairman Elect of the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC). Steve is married and resides in Batavia with his wife, JoAnn, and has two college aged children Robert and Carissa.
Sr. VP of Operations
Mark Masse is a graduate of LeRoy High School and Nazareth College of Rochester with a degree in accounting, and is a certified public accountant in New York State. Mark had been with Freed, Maxick & Battaglia for fifteen years before joining the Genesee County Economic Development Center. He specialized in small business issues that deal with corporations, sub-chapter S corporations, partnerships and individuals. Those issues range from the preparation of Federal and State income tax returns to compiled or reviewed financial statements. Mark also had extensive experience in low-income housing projects financed by HUD and the USDA, and auto dealerships. During his years in public accounting he has gained experience in a number of industries that include construction, manufacturing and agriculture. Mark provides leadership and direct project management, working the organization’s civil engineering firm and finance staff, leading the way in the development, infrastructure deployment, financing and management of the organization’s portfolio of real estate assets including the center’s 7 shovel-ready development sites as well as the overall operations and management of the 43,000 square foot Upstate MedTech Centre. Mark is a 2002 graduate of the Leadership Genesee program and is the past chair of its funding, steering and curriculum committees as well as being a member of many design teams. Mark has successfully completed Leadership Genesee’s advanced facilitation skills training as well as participated as one of the instructors. Mark is also on the Economic Development committee and the Public Market committee for the Downtown Business Improvement District in Batavia. Mark has served as past President and Treasurer of the board of directors for Genesee County CASA for Children, Inc. a not-for-profit entity. Mark's also has volunteered with the United Way, Junior Achievement, American Red Cross, and YWCA
VP of Business Development
Christopher J. Suozzi has worked for GCEDC since 2007. Chris came to the Agency with 20 years of corporate executive experience in supply chain and site selection management from world class companies including; United Parcel Service, American Tourister/Samsonite, Alberto Culver, Rich Products and Rosina Food Products. He holds an AS from Genesee Community College, BS in Industrial Engineering from Alfred University and an Executive MBA from Jacksonville University.
At GCEDC, Chris role is in business development/sales. He uses a Tech Led Economic Development model in attraction, retention and expansion projects within Genesee County. GCEDC globally markets their 7 shovel ready sites including the 250-acre Genesee Valley Agri Business Park and 1250-acre Science & Technology Advance Manufacturing Park (STAMP). Also, Chris is heavily involved with workforce development programs (K-16). He assists in coordination/communication with local companies and institutions to include Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, Genesee Community College, Monroe Community College and Erie Community College.
Currently, Chris serves as the 2017 Chairman of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, plus the GLOW YMCA, Genesee Cancer Assistance and GCC Business School boards.
He lives in Batavia with his wife Lisa with three children and two dogs.
Chief Financial Officer
Lezlie Farrell is a graduate of LeRoy High School and SUNY Fredonia with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting. She is also a Certified Public Accountant in New York State. Before joining the Genesee County Economic Development Center, Lezlie spent six years working in public accounting. She specialized in audits and internal control reviews of government and not-for-profit entities, with extensive experience performing Single Audits. Lezlie’s experience also includes preparation of individual, partnership and corporate tax returns. Currently as CFO, Lezlie is responsible for directing, coordinating, and maintaining the accounting system for the GCEDC. She oversees cash flow planning, budget preparation, internal controls, procurement policies, and portfolio management, as well as grant and loan funds. Lezlie is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Public Accountants. She has volunteered for several tax seasons with VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance). She resides in LeRoy with her husband Andy and two daughters.
Director of Marketing & Communications
Rachael Tabelski is a graduate of Byron-Bergen High School, Class of 2000, and of SUNY Canton with a bachelor’s degree in Crime Scene Technology/Public Safety (2005). She obtained her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from SUNY Brockport in 2008. Prior to working for the GCEDC she was the Administrative/Legislative Assistant for Assemblyman Steve Hawley in his New York State Assembly District Office and an elected official serving as Councilman for the Town of Bergen. She has served the community in many capacities and is currently a member of The City of Batavia Planning and Development Committee, Batavia Kiwanis, and the Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) Business Development Committee. She is a graduate of Leadership Genesee (2009), a former member of the Vibrant Batavia Committee, former volunteer for Genesee Cancer Assistance, former secretary for the Bergen Business & Civic Association, and a former member of the Village of Medina Planning Board. Tabelski manages media communications, public relations, and government relations for the agency as well as formulating and executing the agencies communications and marketing plans. She is in charge of agency events and programs to support local businesses as well as the marketing activates related to the agencies active business attraction program. Tabelski also manages the marketing collateral, presentation material, social media accounts, web sites, and property listings for the agency. She currently resides in Batavia with her husband Adam and their son Adrian and daughter Anna.
Penny Kennett is a graduate of Pavilion High School, Class of 1993, of Genesee Community College with an associate’s degree in accounting, and D’Youville College in Buffalo with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. As office manager Penny manages operations, human resources, finances, administrational functions, and strategic planning for the organization. Penny is responsible for the organization and coordination of office operations, procedures, and resources to facilitate organizational effectiveness and efficiency. She also prepares monthly financial statements; cash management and monitoring; budget and audit preparation; financial compliance; oversees payable and receivable functions along with reconciliation of monthly bank statements, and invoicing. She is responsible for supervision of the board meeting process ensuring that all open meetings rules and regulations are followed; facilitating IDA project and compliance reporting; oversees project insurance and local labor reporting; data management through the agencies Customer Relations Management (CRM) software. She currently lives in Byron with her husband Billy and their two children Liana and Will “Bubba”.