GCEDC Professional Staff


The leadership team at the Genesee County Economic Development Center leverages our business, project management, and government experience to assist businesses in Genesee County.  From start-ups to growing businesses and major site selection clients, the GCEDC is ready to assist you make your business venture successful.   


Steven G. Hyde, MBA

President and Chief Executive Officer

Steve brings 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 to his leadership at the GCEDC.

Prior to joining the GCEDC, Steve held notable positions including 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.

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.

During his tenure as CEO of the GCEDC Steve has secured over 500 project “wins”, secured private sector pledged capital investment of over $2 Billion and pledges of the creation of over 5,000 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 for nearly two decades. In recognition of efforts that focus on regionally impactful projects, 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 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 on the boards of Invest Buffalo Niagara and Greater Rochester Enterprise, and previous served as chairman of the NYSEDC. 

Steve resides in Batavia with his wife, JoAnn, and has two children, Robert and Carissa.

Mark Masse, CPA

Sr. VP of Operations

Mark Masse 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 eight shovel-ready development sites as well as the overall operations and management of the 43,000 square foot Upstate MedTech Centre.

Mark is a graduate of LeRoy High School and Nazareth University 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 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 has also volunteered with the United Way, Junior Achievement, American Red Cross, and YWCA.

Chris Suozzi, MBA

VP of Business & Workforce Development

As the Vice President of Business & Workforce Development, Christopher J. Suozzi leads business attraction, retention, and expansion in Genesee County and across the GCEDC's 2,000+ acres of shovel-ready sites, including the STAMP Mega-Site.

Chris brings over two decades of corporate executive experience in supply chain and site selection management from world-class companies: United Parcel Service, American Tourister/Samsonite, Alberto Culver, Rich Products, and Rosina Food Products.

Chris has led the GCEDC’s business development success since 2007. 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. At STAMP, Chris has enabled over $1 billion of capital investment and 680 jobs by announced advanced manufacturing projects.

Expanding on these projects, Chris heads a collaborative workforce development and training partnership that swiftly deploys talent and training to manufacturing companies. As a youth career coach, “Coach SwazZ” actively engages with students in grades K-12, inspiring enthusiasm and exploration for STEM and skilled trades careers aligned with local job opportunities.

Chris is the Founding Co-Chairman of GLOW With Your Hands, serves on the board of the Genesee County Business & Education Alliance, and coordinates projects that have funded modern mechatronics lab equipment and a welding simulator. Chris has also established the first Senior Job Fair where manufacturers recruited pre-trained and industry-focused students, established multiple active pre-apprenticeship bootcamps, and expanded the Finger Lakes Youth Apprenticeship Program to Genesee County.

His academic background includes an AS from Genesee Community College, a BS in Industrial Engineering from Alfred University, and an Executive MBA from Jacksonville University.

Chris resides in Batavia with his wife, Lisa, and remains an avid member of Bills Mafia.

Lezlie Farrell, CPA

Chief Financial Officer

As CFO, Lezlie Farrell 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 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.  

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.

Jim Krencik

Director of Marketing and Communications

As Senior Director of Marketing & Communications, Jim Krencik oversees development and execution of the GCEDC’s communications and marketing strategy to support the continued growth and vitality of Genesee County’s communities, businesses and people.

Jim is a native of Niagara County and a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and political science. Prior to joining the GCEDC in 2018, he worked in the news media across Western New York, 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. He also serves on the City of Batavia Planning Board.

Jim is a graduate of Leadership Genesee's Class of 2020. He lives in the city of Batavia with his wife Lydia.

Penny Kennett

Operations Manager

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. 

She currently lives in Batavia.

Lauren Casey

Financial Assistant

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 six-year tenure.  She lives in Batavia with her husband Peter and three children.

Emma Jane Finch

Operations Assistant

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 Batavia, where she coaches soccer for the elementary kids during the summer and takes part in threat assessments for local school districts through Roberts Wesleyan.