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Mayor Brown Appoints an Interim BERC President

About a month after he announced the resignation of Brian Reilly as commissioner of Buffalo Economic Renaissance Corporation, Mayor Byron Brown is announcing the new interim president: Dennis M. Penman. For now Penman will serve as president of the organization, which works to revitalize neighborhoods, strengthen new businesses and boost the economy of the City of Buffalo. 

Penman was unanimously approved for the position by the BERC board, with whom he met early yesterday to discuss his position and his plans for the agency. “I am pleased to have the full support of the Mayor and the BERC Board to improve the agency’s overall delivery of economic development services and to provide the much needed opportunity for job growth and investment in the city,” Penman said.
In his announcement, Brown noted Penman’s experience in economic development and record of leadership in local organizations. “He knows well the development opportunities and challenges in Buffalo, particularly from the vantage point of small and medium-sized businesses, and he has a demonstrated an ability to achieve positive outcomes on a broad range of development projects,” Brown said. 
Penman is currently the Executive Vice President of M.J. Peterson Real Estate, LLC, for which he coordinates development projects throughout the region. (The firm has no current business with the City of Buffalo, so this is not a conflict of interest.) Penman also serves as vice chair for the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. Previously, Penman was a chair for the Erie County Development Agency for two years. He said he expects to continue his successes in this new position.
The position of president has been vacant since John Riccione was terminated late last summer. Peter Cutler, the mayor’s spokesperson, said filling this position at the same time as Reilly’s resignation is merely coincidental. Reilly has served as commissioner of the BERC since July 2008 when Richard Tobe left the position. Reilly will continue his duties as Commissioner of Economic Development, Permit and Inspection Services.
(Top photo by Matthew Biddle.)
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