by Michael Freedman, Niagara University
A 15-member advisory board formed to oversee a Niagara University-led initiative to transform the regional tourism industry was announced recently.
The Niagara Global Tourism Institute Advisory Board will be co-chaired by the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president, and Christopher Schoepflin, president and CEO of USA Niagara Development Corporation.
Its members include:
Rev. James J Maher, C.M., President, Niagara University (co-chair)
Christopher Schoepflin, President & CEO, USA Niagara Development Corporation (co- chair)
Hon. Paul Dyster, Mayor, City of Niagara Falls
Daniel Hamister, Senior Vice President & Chief Investment Officer, Hamister Group Inc.
Barry Freilicher, Senior Vice President of Business Development, Delaware North Companies
Christopher Glynn, President, Maid of the Mist Corporation
Deanna Alterio Brennen, President and CEO, Niagara USA Chamber of Commerce
Frank Strangio, Chairman, Niagara Tourism and Convention Corporation; Chairman, Niagara Falls Hotel & Motel Association
Duncan Ross, President, Arrowhead Springs Winery
Sam Ferraro, Executive Director, Niagara County Industrial Development Agency
Mark Thomas, Western District Director, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Dr. Bonnie Rose, Executive Vice President, Niagara University
Dr. Tim Downs, Provost and Chief Academic Officer, Niagara University
Mary Borgognoni, Associate Vice President for Operations and Outreach, Niagara University
Dr. Eddie Friel, OBE, Director, Niagara Global Tourism Institute (ex-officio)
“We are very pleased that an extremely talented and impactful cross-section of local leaders has volunteered to see this project through,” said Father Maher. “By bringing partners together from the sectors of government, business, education and tourism, we will collaboratively reestablish Niagara Falls as the bastion of hospitality and improve the quality of life for every citizen in this community.”
“It is both important and gratifying that the Niagara Global Tourism Institute is able to attract this very accomplished group of individuals to work on the startup and establishment of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute,” added Schoepflin. “We are especially grateful for the group’s collective willingness to serve the industry and community in this capacity.”
The NGTI, launched in September 2013, seeks to leverage the university’s significant history and resources in hospitality and tourism management to enhance Niagara Falls’ tourism industry, which has been identified as a key economic driver by the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council.
The program’s development also correlates with NU’s service-centered mission and the objectives of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who has made the revitalization of Niagara Falls a top priority.
For more information on the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, please contact Dr. Friel at 716.524.2575 or ude.aragain@leirfe.