GCEDC Board of Directors

The GCEDC Board of Directors is comprised of seven volunteers that span the continuum of expertise in business, financials, and law. Each director is appointed by the Genesee County Legislature and serves a six year term. No member can serve more than 12 years consecutively. If you are interested in serving on the GCEDC Board of Directors please contact your legislator for more information.



PB.pngPaul Battaglia- Chairman

Term Start Date: June 30, 2013

Term Expires: June 29, 2019

Battaglia, of Batavia, NY, is the managing director of the Batavia Practice Unit of Freed Maxick CPAs, P.C. He has been responsible for firm engagements that involve governmental entities, manufacturing companies, agricultural enterprises, commercial enterprises and non-profit organizations. Mr. Battaglia has extensive experience in mergers and acquisitions, negotiations, design and implementation of financing plans, estate planning and business succession planning. In addition, he has the responsibility to ensure that the missions, goals and objectives of the Firm are attained.  Mr. Battaglia’s leadership qualities and skills have been recognized in the community through his involvement and recognitions in several community and non-profit organizations. He has served on many boards including United Memorial Medical Center, Catholic Health System, Batavia Rotary Club, United Way, Private Industry Council, Business Education Alliance, Genesee Chamber of Commerce, Genesee Wyoming BOCES and the YMCA. He has also received many service awards for his community activities.  Mr. Battaglia graduated from St. Bonaventure University. After graduation he accepted a position with the Buffalo office of the international accounting firm of Price Waterhouse & Company, where he held the position of audit manager. During his career there, Mr. Battaglia had extensive experience with and was responsible for audit engagements of many clients in areas of manufacturing, local government, retailing, food processing and distribution, transportation, and non-profit organizations.  Mr. Battaglia left Price Waterhouse & Company in 1980 to start his own firm, which became known as Battaglia, Andrews & Moag, P.C. He was Managing Director of Battaglia, Andrews & Moag, P.C. when the Firm merged with Freed Maxick Sachs & Murphy to become what was formerly known as Freed Maxick & Battaglia, P.C.  Mr. Battaglia is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, the Institute of Management Accountants and the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts.


PZ.pngPeter Zeliff- Vice Chair

Term Start Date: February 28, 2014

Term Expires: June 30, 2022

Peter H. Zeliff is the Senior Executive Vice President and COO of EIF Renewable Energy Holdings, LLC which wholly owns Innovative Energy Systems of Oakfield, New York, an independent developer and energy provider specializing in the recovery and utilization of landfill gas. In addition to founding Innovative Energy Systems, he also developed a proprietary gas pretreatment system which is utilized at all his projects. With over twenty years of experience in the landfill gas industry, he is responsible for the management and financial operations of the company as well as oversight of the engineering, design, permitting, and construction of the company’s landfill gas energy recovery projects. He has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is active in a variety of civic and cultural organizations, and he is the Chairman of the 2012 WNY Aviation Adventure Camp. He also volunteers for Wings Flights of Hope, Veterans Airlift Command and the Special Olympics Airlift. He has been married to Kathy for 37 years, has two children and 9 grandchildren.


JR.pngJohn L. Rizzo

Term Start Date: April 26, 2012

Term Expires: June 30, 2018

Rizzo, of LeRoy NY, has been a lifelong resident of Genesee County and currently serves as Senior Vice President General Counsel & Corporate Secretary for Five Star Bank in Warsaw, New York.  Previous to his appointment to his current position he spent nearly 35 years as the Genesee County Attorney while also maintaining his private law office located in LeRoy, New York.  Rizzo served as counsel to New York State Senator Walter J. Floss and New York State Senator James T. McFarland during their tenures in office.  Rizzo began his law career serving as a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Rochester and clerked in the United States Attorney’s Office in Albany, New York.  His passion for law has lead him serve as a volunteer with many community associations including the American Bar Association, American Trial Lawyers Association, *The New York State Bar Association, New York State County Attorney’s Association, *Delegate to the Eighth Judicial Convention, the *Paulo Busti Cultural Foundation, Director of the LeRoy Rotary Club, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, President and Director of the Stafford Country Club, as well as many other local groups.  Rizzo is the father of Nicholas J. Rizzo and Jeffrey R. Rizzo.


CY.pngCraig Yunker 

Term Start Date: July 1, 2014

Term Expires: June 30, 2020

Craig Yunker is a managing partner of CY Farms headquartered in Elba, New York.  CY Farms is one of the largest crop farms in Western New York growing turf, corn, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, onions, and green peas.  The farm encompasses more than 6,000 acres in Genesee County.  Yunker is also owner of Batavia Turf, a turf farming operation in Batavia, and CY Heifers, a 4000 head replacement heifer business that raises calf’s for local dairy farms.  CY Farms employ over 50 people locally and has been in operation since 1963.  In addition to running CY Farms Yunker is active within the community.  He is the past Genesee County legislature chairman serving from 1984-1991, a former Trustee of Genesee County Community College, a current Director of Tomkins Financial Corporation/ Bank of Castile, and a current Trustee of Cornell University.  Yunker holds a BS degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University and a MS degree in Resource Economics from the University of New Hampshire.  He currently resides in Elba with his wife Kimberly and is a proud father of three children and grandfather to two grandchildren.  


MG.pngMatthew Gray 

Term Start Date: July 11, 2015

Term Expires: June 30, 2021

Matthew Gray is a successful entrepreneur owning and operating five restaurants between New York and North Carolina.  Gray owns the Batavia based Alex’s Place, a destination restaurant best known for their award winning BBQ ribs, friendly atmosphere, and great location.  The other four restaurants owned by Gray, Buffalo Brothers Pizza & Wing Co., are located in the Raleigh, North Carolina metro region.  Gray is the acting marketing manager as well as the organizational development leader with regards to financial and operational systems for the North Carolina locations.  Gray is a graduate of Leadership Genesee (2011) and a former member of the Genesee County Stop DWI board.  Current community service includes Genesee County Economic Development Board Member, City of Batavia Planning and Development Committee member, City of Batavia Community Garden Board President, Leadership Genesee Steering and Curriculum Committees and Genesee Amateur Hockey Association Mite 8U Coordinator.  Gray resides in Batavia with his wife Jennifer and his two children, Leo and Lillian.  

todd-bender-300x277.pngTodd Bender

Term Start Date: August 9, 2017

Term Expires: June 30, 2023

Todd J Bender is the co-founder of The Igniter Group, LLC; a point-in-time investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of underperforming companies that are seeking the help and support of performance enhancing equity partners that provide capital and infrastructure to realize their business potential.  He has executive-level management experience working at Fortune 500 companies before joining a partnership in a startup company in 2000.  After successfully building and selling that start-up in 2005, he turned his attention to the acquisition of other companies.  The Igniter Group has a combination of startup and acquired companies operating within their current portfolio.  Mr. Bender is a passionate visionary with outstanding record of delivering bold concepts, strategies, and products to achieve significant revenue / margin gains and sustainable growth for small to Fortune 500 entities. He has expertise in developing and directing all aspects of new business initiatives and is a seasoned professional who blends entrepreneurial spirit with business savvy and exceptional technical acumen (including e-business) to lead organizations to optimal profitability. Mr Bender is a keen, insightful analyst, adept at identifying new markets and providing strategies / tactics for expedited penetration and expansion. He is a persuasive communicator, adept at initiating and forging key relationships and negotiating major deals. He is a dynamic team manager, proficient at training and motivating top-level sales professionals to achieve peak performance levels.  Bender holds a BS with High Honors in Business Management and Decision Sciences from RIT.  He serves as President of the GCC Foundation Board, Board Member of the Wireless Franchise Association, past President of Notre Dame Board of Trustees, church board member and volunteer, member of the BPOE and Civic Club.  He has been married to Kathy for 25 years and has three children.  

2018-02-01 15.58.08.jpgAndrew Young

Term Start Date: January 1, 2017

Term Expires: December 31, 2017

Legislative Liason



GCEDC Governance & Nominating Committee- Established pre 2002
John Rizzo- Chair

Peter Zeliff

Paul Battaglia

Craig Yunker

GCEDC Employment & Compensation Committee- Established pre 2002
Todd Bender- Chair

Paul Battaglia

Michael Davis

Matthew Gray

GCEDC Audit & Finance Committee- Established June 27, 2006
Matthew Gray - Chair

Paul Battaglia

Todd Bender

Michael Davis


GCEDC STAMP Committee- Established March 6, 2014
Pete Zeliff- Chair

Craig Yunker

John Rizzo

Paul Battaglia


GCEDC on Twitter

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