Steven G. Hyde, MBA
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 NY which serves as the connection of the Buffalo-Rochester Metro Corridor.
Steve has had extensive private sector experience in sales, business development, marketing, finance and management focused on building and growing enterprises in the technology, life science and 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 information technology 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 with a focus 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 efforts focuses on developing industry focused shovel-ready industrial parks, fostering high-tech oriented workforce solutions, enhancing the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem and placemaking activities related to downtown revitalization. He has facilitated strong public private partnerships enabling considerable regional economic growth.
Recently, Steve’s team completed securing funding and bringing a 250-acre site, The Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park (Ag-Park), to shovel-ready status. This site is New York State’s first shovel-ready site dedicated to the food and beverage industry. Working in collaboration with his regional and state economic development partners, the Ag- Park has attracted two multi-national yogurt plants, including the $206M Muller Quaker Dairy (MQD) facility and Alpina Foods. Notably, Muller Quaker Dairy received its building permits in 15 days. In 2017, HP Hood purchased the MQD plant, pledged an additional $200M in improvements and expansions, and will be manufacturing shelf stable fluid milk products in 2018. Steve has been successful in securing over $40 Million in funding for the Western New York Science & Technology Advanced Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP), a 1,250 acre shovel-ready campus development project designed for global investment from the advanced manufacturing, semiconductor, photovoltaic, optics/photonics and bio-manufacturing sectors.
During his tenure as CEO of the GCEDC Steve has secured 449 project “wins”, secured private sector pledged capital investment of $1.3B and pledges of the creation of 4,240 jobs. His leadership has driven the Batavia Micropolitan Area (Genesee County) to be ranked by Site Selection Magazine as one of top 10 fastest growing Micropolitan’s nationally the last 14 years running. In 2018 Site Selection ranked the Batavia Micropolitan as the second fastest growing Micropolitan in the Country. 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 currently serving as Chairman of the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) and serves on boards of two regional EDOs, Invest Buffalo Niagara and Greater Rochester Enterprise. Steve is married and resides in Batavia NY with his wife, JoAnn, and has two children, Robert and Carissa.
Mark Masse, CPA
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 working with 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 with 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 has also served on the Economic Development committee and the Public Market committee for the Downtown Business Improvement District in Batavia, as well as serving as a Board member for the Batavia Development Corporation. 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.
Chris Suozzi, MBA
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 leads business and workforce development. He uses a Tech Led Economic Development model in attraction, retention and expansion projects. Chris is responsible for land sale transactions for GCEDC’s seven industry specific shovel-ready sites including the 250-acre Genesee Valley Agri Business Park (Ag Park) and 1250-acre Western New York Science & Technology Advance Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP).
With assistance from Chris, Muller Quaker Dairy (MQD) received their building permit in 15 days at the Ag Park. In 2017, HP Hood purchased the MQD facility and is undergoing expansion. In total, the Ag Park has attracted over $450 million in private capital investment. Chris leads food and beverage industry attraction and expansion to include recent investments at OATKA Milk Products, Yancey Fancy, Bonduelle, HP Hood and Alpina Foods.
Chris focuses business development and sales efforts on attracting on attracting multibillion dollar investments to the WNY STAMP campus from the advanced manufacturing and semiconductor industry’s. Over 10,000 jobs are forecasted to be created on the WNY STAMP campus.
Over his career at GCEDC, Chris has assisted in securing 449 projects “wins”, secured private sector pledged capital investments of $1.3B and pledges of the creation of 4,240 jobs. He works directly with companies to advance their application through the GCEDC Board of Directors and assist them in all aspects of their project.
Also, Chris leads the agency’s efforts in aligning and cultivating workforce development programs (K-16) including the STEM 2 STAMP initiative, food and beverage program alignment and mechatronics training. To advance business and workforce development in the region he works directly with local companies and notable institutions to include Alfred University, Alfred State University, Cornell University, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Rochester, University at Buffalo, Syracuse University, Genesee Community College, Monroe Community College, Finger Lakes Community College, Niagara County Community College and Erie Community College.
Some of Chris’s volunteering roles include Chairman (2017) of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, GLOW YMCA, Genesee Cancer Assistance, GCC Business School and Strategic Planning Boards, Business and Education Alliance Board.
He lives in Batavia with his wife Lisa with three children and two dogs.
Lezlie Farrell, CPA
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). Lezlie served as Treasurer for Sunshine Nursery School in LeRoy for 4 years. She resides in LeRoy with her husband Andy and two daughters.
Rachael J. Tabelski, MPA
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.
Tabelski specializes in government relations, public relations, communications, economic development planning and project management, business and policy research, statistical analysis and business intelligence.
Tabelski continues to lead marketing and public relations efforts for the WNY STAMP site which has the potential to attract billions of private sector investment and 10,000 jobs onsite, as well as coordinating lobby efforts, developing messaging and strategic outreach campaigns that has led to a $33M state allocation to the WNY STAMP project. Tabelski is responsible for direct public relations and stakeholder communications and outreach for GCEDC's seven greenfield corporate parks in various stages of development including land acquisition, environmental, infrastructure deployment, permitting and private sector construction. This includes synthesizing information to engage constituents in complex multi-faceted projects and act as liaison to utility, municipal, regional and state government officials to advance economic development.
Tabelski was an integral team member to create the first PILOT increment Financing (PIF)/ TIF district in New York State that established an infrastructure investment fund to transform distressed neighborhoods and has resulted in the attraction of a developer to a three-acre abandoned downtown brownfield site on the order of $22 million investment. In 2017 Tabelski Co-authored a winning application resulting in $10 million Governor’s Downtown Revitalization Award to the City of Batavia and further facilitated project development.
She leads the GCEDC's activities related to marketing, media, and public relation strategies that involve social media, website, video, printed materials and national tradeshow presence and has launched many successful marketing campaigns as project manager including START-UP Genesee “Think & Drink” Entrepreneurial Series, creation and launch of NY Loves Food Industry, and team member of the NY Loves Nano program. In addition, Tabelski customized and implemented a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to track thousands of leads and manage a sales pipeline and is also responsible for on-going training and system management.
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. 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 two children, Liana and Will “Bubba”.
Elizabeth "Betsy" Richardson
Betsy Richardson is a graduate of Batavia High School, Class of 2007, and of Genesee Community College with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts and Applied Associates degree in Accounting. As Staff Accountant, Betsy assists with financial management of the organization, including accounts payable and accounts receivable, account reconciliations, preparation of financial statements, and grant reimbursement. She also assists in the operations and administrative functions of the office, including document retention, records compliance with State regulatory bodies, and all functions associated with the Agency's Board meetings, including online compliance. Betsy attends the Batavia Assembly of God Church and volunteers with their children and student ministries. She currently lives in East Pembroke with her husband Andrew and their dogs Oliver and Lucy.