Financial Services Consultant
Mr. Assad is a financial services professional with more than 25 years of experience in domestic and international commercial and investment banking.
He is a proven leader and finance executive with board director level experience in formulating, communicating and executing strategic plans and business initiatives for start-ups, existing and distressed operations.
Mr. Assad most recently served as Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer of Carver Bancorp, Inc. He joined as a member of the executive team executing an organizational and strategic restructure of this retail commercial bank with specific responsibility for rebuilding the bank’s balance sheet and loan generation capabilities. He came to Carver after serving as the President and Director of New York National Bank which he also restructured and restored.
Previous to that, as Vice President of Popular Community Bank, Mr. Assad was instrumental in establishing the business development team focused on financing affordable and market rate residential housing, community facilities and commercial real estate projects utilizing private and public funding including bonds, housing tax credits, New Markets Tax Credits, mezzanine financing and private equity. Prior to Popular, he was Vice President for Credit Communal de Belgique in New York City, where he managed over $2 billion in proprietary and client investment portfolios for the Belgium based, $200 billion commercial bank. He has also held international corporate finance positions with Morgan Stanley and UBS Securities and has advised the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
Mr. Assad has consulted on a range of projects from international business strategies for Fortune 500 companies to advising on community economic development. He is a member of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, National Society of Hispanic MBAs and past member of non-profit boards including Promesa (now Acacia) and Jobs for Youth.
Mr. Assad holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Harvard College and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Kevin J. Donovan
Labor Relations Consultant
Kevin Donovan was hired at General Motors Tonawanda Forge in 1971 as a press operator. He was elected to his first Union office in 1976 for the United Auto Workers, Local 846. He advanced in the Union through the years being elected to such offices as Trustee, Financial Secretary, Shop Steward and eventually Local Union President. His responsibilities ranged from guarding the fiscal integrity of the Local Union to administering both Local and National Collective Bargaining Agreements.
An ardent proponent of worker involvement and empowerment in the work place, Kevin helped negotiate many Local agreements that instituted those concepts and brought about changes in the way the Union and Management at the Tonawanda Forge dealt with each other. From these changes grew a mutual trust and respect between the Union and Management, which helped the plant survive many of G.M.’s plant closings in the 1980’s and its subsequent sale to American Axle.
Kevin chaired the UAW National Negotiating Committee, which reached a historic first agreement with American Axle in February 1997. In June of that year, he was promoted by the United Auto Workers International Union to Director of Education for Region 9. In August of 1998, he was again promoted as Area Director of Western New York and Western Pennsylvania for Region 9. In 2006 he was appointed as Assistant Director of Region 9 which encompasses the states of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. He served in that position until his retirement in 2009.
In 1999, Kevin with other Western New York Labor Leaders formed the Western New York AFL-CIO Economic Development Group (EDG) for the purpose of creating high road sustainable jobs in our community. As Chairman of the EDG he has led an initiative that renovates inner city homes using underrepresented minority groups. He also served as the Co-Chair for the WNY Relicensing Consensus Committee, which successfully negotiated with the New York Power Authority to relicense its Lewiston, N.Y. power plant.
Kevin has a B.S. degree from SUNY College at Buffalo. He is an alumnus of Leadership Buffalo and serves on numerous boards and committees throughout the community. Kevin has also taught Industrial Relation Seminars on “The Changing World of Labor-Management Relations” for Cornell University, the United Auto Workers, General Motors and American Axle.
Maureen Millane, PhD
President, Transformation Consultants
Associate Vice President, Community Engagement, Daemen College
Dr. Maureen Millane is President of Transformation Consultants, a known collaborator who builds sustainable partnerships across a broad range of constituencies. Recognized as a progressive, results-driven leader with solid corporate and not for profit experience, Maureen is creative and entrepreneurial, comfortable with ambiguity, and open to possibilities.
Dr. Millane is an honors graduate from Cornell University (BS in Hotel Administration), Canisius College (MBA), and the State University of New York at Buffalo (PhD in education, leadership & policy. She also completed the Executive Education program at Harvard University in performance metrics for nonprofit organizations.
Consulting work has supported the following organizations: The John R. Oishei Foundation, Health Foundation of Western & Central New York, Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, AAA Western & Central New York, Olmsted Center for Sight, Buffalo Hearing and Speech Center, Explore & More Children’s Museum, Child Care Resource Network, Healthy Community Alliance, Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, WNY Grantmakers & Rochester Grantmakers Forum, Mental Health Association of Erie County, Compeer Buffalo, St. Mary’s School for the Deaf, Allegany Western Steuben Rural Health Network, Young Audiences of WNY, Buffalo & Erie County Naval Park, SPCA of Erie County, CEPA, Just Buffalo Literary Center, Buffalo Arts Studio & Hallwalls, Amherst Chamber of Commerce, People, Inc., Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Elmwood Village, Hilbert College, BISSNET, King Urban Life Center. In addition, she provides executive coaching mid to senior level managers. Maureen was the facilitator for the 17 colleges & universities, resulting in the creation of the WNY Service Learning Coalition.
In addition to her consulting work, Maureen serves as Associate Vice President for Community Engagement at Daemen College overseeing the Global Programs Office, Gacioch Center for Veterans, Service Learning, Career Services and the Saffrin Center for Sustainable Communities and Civic Engagement. Previously, she was Associate Dean for Canisius College Wehle School Business responsible for the Center for Professional Development, the Canisius Amherst Conference Center and the Women’s Business Center, which she founded with a $1.5 million ($750k matching) competitive federal grant. Before joining Canisius, Dr. Millane was Resident Manager of The Pittsburgh Hilton Hotel with annual revenues of $25 million, oversaw a $12 million renovation program and recognized for having employees with the highest productivity in the region. She served on the opening teams as Towers Manager of the Chicago Hilton & Towers, Director of Human Resources for the Seattle & Park Hilton Hotels, the Warwick Hotels in Houston and started her career in Organizational Development at Marriott Hotels Corporate Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Honors include: NYS Council for the Humanities Scholar Facilitator, NYS Women, Inc. Leadership Award, Business First Bizwomen Mentor, CIP Community Award for supporting young adults with Asperger’s Syndrome and other Learning Differences, Every Women Opportunity Center Award of Excellence, I. Joan Lorch Award, Buffalo Spree Magazine Western New York’s Most Powerful, The Rev. Thomas E. Fleming, S.J. Distinguished Service Award, Di Gamma Award, Paul Harris Fellow, YWCA Management Award, and the Amherst Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award.
Community involvement includes: Board of Directors, Treasurer and Chair of the audit committee for the Washington Internship Institute, Board of Directors for the Amherst Senior Citizens Foundation, Immediate past Chair of The Women’s Group, Leadership Buffalo, and a docent at the Albright Knox Art Gallery.
Previously, Maureen served as Chair of the Governance Committee, and Secretary for the P2 Collaborative of WNY Board of Directors, on the President’s Council of Cornell Women, the Board of Directors for the Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York Board of Directors, PBS WNED-TV Buffalo/Toronto Advisory Board (Your Life, Your Money) and President of the Buffalo Rotary Foundation.
Patrick J. Whalen
Executive Director, Niagara Global Tourism Institute
A serial entrepreneur who has started over 20 businesses in a variety of industries, Patrick J. Whalen is currently the Director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute and Managing Partner of Capstone Scientific, LLC and Executive Vice President of the Canadian American Border Trade Alliance.
Pat served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC) for nearly eight years until November 2015. In addition to managing the BNMC’s day-to-day operations, Pat was their unofficial “entrepreneur–in-residence.” As such, Pat worked to foster collaboration and job creation both on the campus and throughout the bi-national region.
Among the businesses Pat has started is Fulfillment Systems International (FSI), a technology driven logistics services provider. FSI grew from a one-man startup in 1985 to a firm with annual sales of $20 million and over 200 employees in five locations in Canada, Europe, and the USA before being sold to UPS in 2000. It is now part of UPS Supply Chain Solutions.
He currently sits on the board of directors of the Association of University Research Parks; World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara; Canadian American Border Trade Alliance; Western New York Public Broadcasting WNED | WBFO; Kaleida Health Foundation; Continental 1; and Blue Cardinal Capital.
Pat was the secretary of the Direct Marketing Industry Working Group in Washington, D.C.; and has served on the boards of the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority; Rotary Club of Buffalo (twice); the American Red Cross Buffalo Chapter; Bi-National Tourism Alliance; Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Alumni Association (twice) and Buffalo Niagara WorldConnect.
He was also the co-chair of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Logistics Council and conceptualized and co-founded Come-to-America which seeks to utilize the Buffalo Niagara region’s logistics assets to attract international companies.
A Rotarian since 1986, Pat was an organizer of the new Rotary club on the BNMC, and served on their board of directors during the club’s inaugural year.
He is a graduate of the University at Buffalo’s School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership and attended Canisius College.
Mr. Kilcullen has over 30 years or experience in financial and operational management, and has held senior management positions in the real estate manufacturing, pharmaceutical, and non-profit business sectors. He has negotiated private debt and equity placements, mergers and acquisitions, supply contracts, and research and development funding arrangements and has experience in financial and tax transaction structuring and investment portfolio management.
Mr. Kilcullen is currently employed by Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. where he oversees real estate operations, finance, accounting, risk management, information technology, and human resources for the company and its affiliated entities. Prior to joining Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Mr. Kilcullen served as Vice President of Finance for Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation, COO and CFO for the Albright Knox Art Gallery, and as Chief Financial Officer for FEI Shares, Inc. a privately held pharmaceutical company. He graduated summa cum laude from Niagara University with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Accounting. He is a member of the Finance Committee for the Martin House Restoration Corporation, a member of the Finance Advisory Committee for the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo, ia a past board member of Lockport Ice and Sports Center, Inc. a past member of the Niagara University Accounting Advisory Board, and is a past Board member and former President of the Board for the Newfane Central School District.
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