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Home > About BNE > Press Room > Press Releases > NYSEDC names Al Culliton of the Erie County IDA 2011 Economic Developer of the Year

FOR RELEASE:                      CONTACT:     Brian T. McMahon
May 26, 2011                                                     518/426-4058


 
 
NYSEDC names Al Culliton of the Erie County IDA 2011 Economic Developer of the Year


State's leading development group also chooses 14 directors, gives marketing awards
 

Al Culliton, executive director of the Erie County Industrial Development Agency (IDA), has been named 2011 Economic Developer of the Year by the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC).
 
The award was to be presented Thursday, May 26, at the NYSEDC's annual meeting in Cooperstown. Also at the annual meeting, NYSEDC chose 14 directors and presented its annual awards to recognize achievements in business marketing among the state's leading economic development organizations. (See details, below.)
 
"Through two decades at the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Al Culliton has shown an unwavering devotion to Erie County and Western New York and unflagging energy and creativity in his quest to improve the region's prosperity," said Brian McMahon, executive director of NYSEDC. "He has advanced his organization, his region, and our profession in countless ways, and New York is fortunate and honored that he makes his contributions here."
 
Culliton served as ECIDA's Chief Lending Officer beginning in 1992 and advanced to Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Operating Officer. In his tenure at ECIDA, he has managed the operations and economic development programs of the Advanced Training Center, ECIDA, Industrial Land Development Corporation, Regional Development Corporation and several other affiliates, as well as ECIDA's venture capital investments.
 
Since Culliton became its Chief Operating Officer in 2006, the ECIDA has assisted projects with total investment exceeding $1.5 billion.
 
During his tenure, ECIDA's affiliate lending program made some 577 loans for just under $100 million and grew to more than $21 million in assets. He also helped create an innovative RDC loan program which allowed for structured participation loans with local commercial lenders.
 
Culliton also helped initiate the ECIDA’s participation in the SBA Micro Lending program, which since 2002 has made more than 51 microloans totaling more than $1.1 million for small startups in Erie County.
 
Under his leadership, the ECIDA also launched a minority entrepreneurship loan/scholarship program aimed at creating entrepreneur opportunity in the minority community, oversaw creation of a venture fund that targets early-stage investment in the technology sector, and helped shape the organization's adaptive reuse policy.
 
At the helm of the IDA, he has shown a commitment to regional initiatives in development and the development profession. For example, he has worked with six Erie County IDAs to create a uniform tax exemption policy that ranks projects based on regional economic development priorities. He also helped facilitate a regional IDA marketing campaign with seven local IDAs, and he helped organize an effort in Western New York to oppose a controversial tax on IDAs.
 
Before joining ECIDA, Culliton worked for 14 years as a bank commercial lender and manager, six years as Chief Financial Officer for several distribution companies, and several years in secondary education. A member of the boards of the Empire State Certified Development Corporation and of NYSEDC, Culliton earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Fordham and an MBA from Canisius College.
 
NYSEDC directors
 
At its annual meeting, NYSEDC also elected a new director, appointed two others to fill vacancies, and reelected 11others to new two-year term. The newly elected director is:
 
• John Twoomey, Executive Director, NY Association of Training and Employment Providers.
 
Reelected directors are:
 
• Steve Finkle, City of Kingston Office of Economic Development.
• Jim Griffin, City of Hornell IDA.
• Mike Tucker, Center for Economic Growth (CEG), Albany.
• Maureen Babis, New York City IDA.
• Ray Fountain, St. Lawrence County IDA.
• Don Alexander, Jefferson Co. JDC.
• Arthur Hamlin, National Grid.
• Mike Huvane, New York Power Authority.
• Pat MacKrell, NYBDC.
• Sandy Mathes, Green County IDA.
• Marnie Lavigne, University of Buffalo.
 
NYSEDC also appointed two directors to fill board vacancies:
 
• Ron Hicks, Executive Director, Rockland IDA.
• David Hochman, Executive Director, Business Incubator Association of New York State.
 
Marketing awards
 
At its annual meeting, NYSEDC recognized organizations in two categories of budget commitment for their marketing achievements in several categories. Budget level A represents a higher marketing budget.
 
Development Brochure, budget level A:
• Best in Class: County of Chautauqua IDA.
• Best in Class: City of Amsterdam.
• Certificate of Excellence: Development Authority of North Country.
 
Development Brochure, budget level B:
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley EDC.
• Best in Class: Westchester County Office of Economic Development.
• Certificate of Excellence: Center for Economic Growth.
 
Printed Advertising Material, budget level B:
• Best in Class: Westchester County Office of Economic Development.
• Certificate of Excellence: Hudson Valley EDC
 
Multi-Media Advertising, budget level A:
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley EDC.
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley EDC.
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley EDC
 
Multi-Media Advertising, budget level B:
• Honorable Mention: Orange County IDA.
 
Printed and Electronic Newsletter, budget level A:
• Certificate of Excellence: Genesee County EDC.
 
Printed and Electronic Newsletter, budget level B:
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley EDC.
• Best in Class: Operation Oswego County.
• Honorable Mention: Orange County IDA.
 
Web Site, budget level A:
• Best in Class: City of Amsterdam.
• Best in Class: Ontario County Office of Economic Development.
• Best in Class: Development Authority of North Country.
• Certificate of Excellence: Genesee County EDC.
 
Web Site, budget level B:
• Best in Class: National Grid.
• Best in Class: Westchester County Office of Economic Development.
• Certificate of Excellence: Erie County IDA.
• Honorable Mention: Hudson Valley EDC.
 
Annual Report, budget level A:
• Certificate of Excellence: Genesee County NYSEDC.
 
Web Site, budget level B:
• Best in Class: Hudson Valley NYSEDC.
• Honorable Mention: Operation Oswego County.
 
About New York State Economic Development Council
 
The New York State Economic Development Council is New York's principal organization representing economic development professionals. Its 900 members include the leaders of IDAs, local development corporations, commercial and investment banks, underwriters, bond counsels, utilities, chambers of commerce and private corporations. NYSEDC's mission is promoting economic development, encouraging sound regional development practices, conducting professional education programs for its members.
 
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