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43North Announces Alex Gress As New Executive Director

Media Release

WNY native looking to build on 43North’s successes and add to Buffalo’s renaissance

Gress brings more than 20 years of international finance and early stage investment experience

BUFFALO, NY – Today, 43North, the $5 million startup competition, announced that Alex Gress will soon join the organization as its Executive Director. Gress comes to 43North with more than 20 years of international finance, capital markets and early stage investment experience with a background in building and leading high performing teams.

43North, which is part of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Buffalo Billion initiative, attracts world-class startups to grow their companies in Buffalo, NY. Since launching in 2014, 43North has funded 37 companies, which have gone on to raise more than $70 million since becoming winners of the competition.

“I look forward to welcoming Alex Gress as 43North’s new Executive Director. With his wealth of experience and passion for Buffalo, I’m sure he will take 43North to new heights,” said Bill Maggio, who chaired the search committee for the Executive Director position. “I’d like to thank my fellow search committee members, including Eric Reich, Norma Nowak, John Gavigan, Sharon Randaccio of Performance Management Partners and Scott Stenclik of Aleron, for their excellent work in selecting Alex.”

A Western New York Native, Gress built his career in New York, London and Toronto for more than 15 years, before returning to Buffalo in 2013 to serve as Senior Vice President and Corporate Treasurer for First Niagara. There, he was responsible for leading teams managing corporate and bank funding, interest rate risk, capital and liquidity planning, product pricing, and the investment portfolio. Gress assisted First Niagara in its acquisition by KeyCorp.

Said Gress, “Several years ago, my wife and I made the decision to move back to my hometown of Buffalo after being away for close to two decades. Not only did we want to raise our family here, but we really wanted to contribute to Western New York’s resurgence. I am honored and thankful to have the opportunity to lead 43North, continuing to build on its strong foundation and assist it to its next level of success. I’m excited to help accelerate the growth of Buffalo’s sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Gress comes to 43North from KeyCorp, where he most recently served as the Chief Market Risk Officer, following the First Niagara acquisition. In this capacity, Gress managed teams that oversaw the market and price risk that impact Key’s income and the value of its balance sheet, including approximately $3 billion of customer trading positions and a $28 billion investment portfolio.

Gress began his career at Price Waterhouse LLP in its capital markets practice in New York in 1995. He then held various domestic and international senior leadership capital market roles in structured and principal finance at JPMorgan Securities, CIBC World Markets, Wachovia Securities and Lehman Brothers, working in New York and London.

In 2008, Gress formed J.E.N. Advisory, Inc., a private investment and advisory company based in Toronto to provide merchant banking services such as seed capital investments, new business development, strategic and financial planning, and institutional fund raising for early to medium stage operating companies.

A former Certified Public Accountant, Gress graduated Magna Cum Laude from Fordham University with a bachelor’s in Accounting. He is involved in various Western New York cultural and educational organizations, including serving on the Board of Managers for The Buffalo History Museum as Treasurer and on the Finance and Investment Committees for Canisius High School.

Gress will join 43North by mid-March. He will succeed John Gavigan, who led 43North for three years.

Tags: 43North, Alex Gress, Bill Maggio

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