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HAMBURG, N.Y. – Howard Zemsky, named the “region’s most effective leader” by The Buffalo News, will be the commencement speaker at Hilbert College’s 52nd annual commencement ceremony planned for 1 p.m. on May 11 at the Wesleyan Church of Hamburg at 4999 McKinley Parkway.
Zemsky, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority chairman and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s Western New York economic development expert, is a businessman turned developer whose renovation of a vacant building on Exchange Street – the Larkin Building – is credited with transforming an entire neighborhood. Recently, he was selected in a vote of the Buffalo Niagara leadership community conducted by The Buffalo News as “displaying the most leadership when it comes to moving the region forward.”
As managing partner of Larkin Development Group, Zemsky is actively redeveloping the Larkin District in Buffalo – or “Larkinville” – into a mixed use commercial, residential and retail district.
The 600,000 square-foot, 10-story Larkin Building is the centerpiece to “Larkinville” featuring completely rented office space, a First Niagara Bank branch, restaurants, day care center, conference center and fitness center. Zemsky has purchased dozens of lots and buildings in the district and is one-by-one restoring them into commercial office space and soon will be adding a residential component.
Zemsky has been the Chairman of Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority since March 2012. He has been the managing partner of Taurus Capital Partners since 2001. He is Co-Chair of the WNY Regional Economic Development Council and President of the Richardson Center Corporation and is Chair of the Buffalo State College Council. Zemsky also serves on the boards of Buffalo Place and the Michigan Street Preservation Commission.
Zemsky is a past President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Martin House Restoration Corporation. He is a director of MOD-PAC Inc. and Medical Recovery Management LLC. He is extremely active in the local community.
He earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and holds an M.B.A. from the University of Rochester.
Hilbert President Cynthia Zane, Ed.D., will confer bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees, as well as associate in applied science and associate in arts degrees to Class of 2013. In addition, President Zane will confer Hilbert’s first master of science and master of public administration degrees. Overall, nearly 275 graduates will receive their degrees. Baccalaureate graduates will receive degrees in accounting, business administration, computer security and information assurance, criminal justice, digital media and communication, English, forensic science/crime scene investigation, human services, liberal studies, paralegal studies, political science, psychology, and rehabilitation services.
Top student awards that will be presented at Hilbert’s 52nd commencement will include the:
• Lambert and Margaret Graham Award for a full-time returning adult student who has earned the highest cumulative quality point average.
• Kimberly Bruch Raczkowski Memorial Alumni Association Award for a graduate who reflects the spirit of Hilbert and its mission, and possesses strong leadership skills and demonstrates loyalty and dedication to others.
• Sister Mary Edwina Bogel Award to an outstanding female graduate in recognition of her character, intellectual achievement and devoted service to fellow students and the college.
• John Kissel Man of the Year Award to an outstanding male student in recognition of his character, intellectual progress, organizational ability, and participation in activities and programs.
Christopher Holoman, Ph.D., Hilbert provost and vice president for academic affairs, will be the master of ceremonies.
A reception for graduates, guests and others in attendance will be hosted by Hilbert President Zane in the Wesleyan Church atrium immediately following the commencement program.
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