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Crosby Elected Chair of Kaleida Health Board of Directors

Released: 6/7/2022 6:00:00 AM

Gary Crosby has been elected chair of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors.

Crosby, one of Western New York’s most influential business leaders, has served on the Kaleida Health board since 2017.

“Serving on the board of Kaleida Health is a great honor for me,” said Crosby. “It is such an important community asset, and the board, together with management, are totally dedicated to the organization’s mission to advance the health of our community.”

Crosby served as the president and CEO of First Niagara and then as a board member with its successor, Key Bank, after the two entities merged. He retired from the Key Bank Board of Directors in 2021.

Crosby joined First Niagara in 2009 as chief administrative officer (CAO) and then served as chief operating officer (COO) from 2010-2013 before his elevation to CEO. Today, he serves as the president of the First Niagara Foundation, the legacy philanthropic arm of the bank that dates back to 1998. He also serves on the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo and AAA of Western and Central New York.

After a very successful career in the private sector, Crosby was asked in 2004 to assist the struggling City of Buffalo School District, stepping in as chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO). His leadership helped the district stabilize its financial position and overall operations during particularly challenging fiscal times.

Earlier in his career Crosby was a partner with venture capital firm Seed Capital Partners and a founding shareholder of ClientLogic Corporation, serving as CFO and COO. He has also held senior financial leadership positions in banking and manufacturing and was a CPA with KPMG Peat Marwick. He was born and raised in Buffalo and is a magna cum laude graduate of Canisius College.

Crosby succeeds former chair Frank Curci, whose term expired last month. Curci joined the Kaleida Health board in 2012 and served as chair since 2016.

“He probably doesn’t get enough credit, but Frank really led the organization through a remarkable transformation this past decade,” said Bob Nesselbush, CEO of Kaleida Health. “Particularly during COVID, he was a steady hand, very supportive, and he was a true advocate for our workforce. We cannot thank him enough for his service.”

Mary Lou Rusin, RN, EdD, former chair of the nursing department at Daemen University was elected vice chair of the Kaleida Health Board of Directors. Chris Ross, principal with Lawley Insurance, was elected treasurer and Timothy McEvoy, deputy general counsel with Delaware North, was elected secretary of the board.

Also elected to the Kaleida Health Board of Directors for the first time are Thomas Beauford, Jr., president and CEO of the Buffalo Urban League, and John Persons, president and COO of Tops Markets.

Beauford is a business executive with over 20 years of leadership experience in private industry and community board service. He was appointed to his current role in August 2020. Prior to that, he was vice president at M&T Bank in the Risk Management and Regulatory Affairs division. He is a board member of the Univera Regional Advisory Board, Visit Buffalo Niagara, Northland Workforce Training Center, Minority Bar Foundation of WNY, and the National Black MBA Association of WNY — where he is the immediate Past President.

Persons has been with Tops for 37 years, and his roles have encompassed oversight for various aspects of the organization, including operations, sales & marketing, real estate, and information technology. He was named president and COO in 2015. Outside of Tops, John has served on the board of numerous Western New York not-for-profits, including his most recent tenure as board chair of The Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.