The leadership team at the Genesee County Economic Development Center has a plethora of business, project management, and government experience that they use to assist all types of businesses in Genesee County. From brand new start-ups to multi-billion dollar site selection clients, the GCEDC is ready to assist you make your business venture successful.
Steve Hyde is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC), leading the economic development activity for Genesee County, NY within the Buffalo-Rochester Tech Corridor.
Steve has had extensive private sector experience in sales, business development, marketing and finance focused on building and growing enterprises in the Information technology and medical device sectors. Notable positions include Vice President of Business and Technology Development for a medical device manufacturer and Executive Vice President of Business Development for a startup information technology services firm.
Steve has leveraged his private sector experience to develop eight industry-focused shovel-ready industrial parks, workforce solutions, and provides project based structured finance and incentives that have assisted over 500 economic development projects. He has been laser focused on the strategic goal of bringing manufacturing back to Upstate New York by way of business attraction and expansion activities.
A highlight of Steve’s work has been the successful development of the 250-acre Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park along with the 1250-acre STAMP Green Manufacturing Mega Site. The STAMP site has initially attracted more than $600 million of investment and nearly 700 good-paying jobs by way of sizable facility investment commitments from Edwards Semiconductor and Plug Power. Much of this was done in partnership with federal, state, regional, local municipal and utility partners.
His leadership has positioned Genesee County and the Batavia Micropolitan area to rank as a top 10 fastest growing micropolitan community in the United States for 19 consecutive years as ranked by Site Selection Magazine. Steve was honored by the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) as New York State’s Economic Developer of the Year in 2012.
Steve is a graduate of Genesee Community College, Cornell University, and Rochester Institute of Technology. He sits on several boards including currently serving on the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council and the boards of Greater Rochester Enterprise, Invest Buffalo Niagara and has previously served as Chairman of the NYSEDC. Steve is married and resides in Batavia with his wife, JoAnn, and has two children, Robert and Carissa and one grandchild.
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.
Prior to joining the GCEDC, Mark had been with Freed, Maxick & Battaglia for fifteen years and 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 8 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.
Christopher J. Suozzi has led the GCEDC's business development success since 2007. Chris came to the GCEDC 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.
As Vice President of Business & Workforce Development, Chris leads business attraction, retention and expansion projects for the GCEDC's 2,000+ acres of shovel-ready sites, including the Western New York Science & Technology Advance Manufacturing Park (WNY STAMP).
At the Genesee Valley Agribusiness Park, these efforts have enabled businesses to receive site permits in 15 days and enabled over $500 million of capital investment and 1,000 jobs at the regional dairy hub.
Chris also leads a coalition of workforce development and training partners that deliver his Genesee F.A.S.T. programs that rapidly deploy talent and training to manufacturing companies growing or improving their workforce. As a youth career coach, "Coach Swazz" leads programs to excite students on STEM and skilled trades careers, giving advice to students in grades K-12 to properly align students with the local job opportunities in their backyard today and for future opportunities tomorrow in our shovel-ready sites.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Jim Krencik oversees development and execution of the Genesee County Economic Development Center's messaging, stakeholder engagement, and marketing communications strategies to support the continued growth and vibrancy of Genesee County's communities, businesses, and people.
Since joining the GCEDC in 2018, Jim has led marketing for projects to grow career awareness among 25+ school districts in the GLOW Region; and support the small business community's recovery from the COVID pandemic.
Prior to joining the GCEDC, Jim worked for nearly a decade for Western New York news media publications, with a focus on business, agriculture and education.
Jim's focus as a volunteer has been on the development of youth leadership skills and the growth of arts & cultural based programs, including GLOW With Your Hands, Genesee County 4-H, and Leadership Genesee.
Jim is a native of Niagara County and a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. He is a graduate of Leadership Genesee's Class of 2020 and lives in the city of Batavia.
Lauren Casey is a graduate of Charlotte Catholic High School (Charlotte, NC) and John Carroll University (University Heights, OH) with a bachelor’s degree in Finance and a master’s degree in Business Administration.
Lauren joined the GCEDC in 2019, and as finance assistant is responsible for the agency’s accounts receivable and accounts payable functions, monthly bank reconciliations, and preparation of monthly financial statements.
She assists with grant draw requests and special projects and analysis as needed. She facilitates the organization of committee and board meetings by drafting agendas, distributing board materials to board members, tracking attendance and documenting minutes. She also assists in gathering and entering information into the Public Authorities Reporting Information System.
Lauren moved to Batavia in 2009 and joined the Habitat for Humanity of Genesee County Board of Directors in 2011, where she served as vice president and president of the Board during her 6-year tenure. She lives in Batavia with her husband and three children.
Emma Jane Finch is a graduate of Notre Dame High School and Roberts Wesleyan University with bachelor’s degrees in Homeland Security and Applied Intelligence and Psychology. Emma joined the GCEDC in 2023.
As an operations assistant, she is responsible for managing, organizing, scheduling, and maintaining information for the office. She provides assistance with organizing all committee and board of directors’ meetings, creation of board meeting agendas, compilation of the agendas and documentation of the minutes. This role includes data entry, including use of a CRM database, maintaining and tracking of worksheets, data analysis and reporting.
Emma now lives in Pavilion, NY where she coaches soccer for the elementary kids during the summer and takes part in threat assessments for local school districts through Roberts Wesleyan.