Professional ProfileMichelle has decades of steadfast leadership experience in the public and private sectors. Based on her experiences, she has a unique perspective on the most effective solutions to the challenges of job creation, global economic growth, and generating new business opportunities. Michelle’s commitment to the community is reflected in her involvement with initiatives focused on public and private sector collaborative efforts involving education, economic development, legislative policy and new business development. She has also been highly engaged in policy formation, non-profit work and unlocking potential through sustainable philanthropy. Michelle has worked throughout her career to champion innovation, entrepreneurship, education initiatives and policies that would enable the local economy to achieve sustained grown and long-term prosperity.
While attending college, Michelle’s career began at a bank working on FHLB financial filings and real estate tax escrow assignments. Her private sector experience spans over 20 years working as a corporate executive for Western New York’s largest developers and forming her own women-owned corporation of which she continues to own today. Her roles included top management positions and responsibility for several high-profile real estate projects with numerous fortune 500 corporations.
She also spent approximately 10 years in the public sector working on both sides of the aisle including two democratic Mayors and one Republican County Executive. Her introduction to the public sector began with a position working for the City of Buffalo’s economic development arm. During that time the agency was modeled throughout the U.S. as one of the most successful city economic development entities. It received national recognition for various economic development projects including our affordable housing programs. The agency had an aggressive slate of programs aimed at diversifying the City’s economy including expansion of Community Development Block Grants used for City revitalization projects and assistance with entrepreneurship to ensure that the City is well-represented in the fields of tomorrow.
The programs included industries such as retail, finance, science, technology, engineering and manufacturing (STEM). Incubator spaces and business development services were created for startup companies and international marketing plans were implemented to increase international business creation. She also assisted with efforts that included implementation of several of the Administration’s most ambitious area-wide redevelopment projects, bringing new housing, hotels, historical structure rehabilitation and job opportunities to under-served neighborhoods. She also worked hard to position City properties and assets to generate revenue along with working on projects to increase job creation and new business development opportunities. She navigated through politics, bureaucracy and changing administrations by focusing on her ability to bring people together regardless of their political views.
In County government, Michelle worked on administrative and operational issues for a county budget in excess of $1 Billion dollars as a member of the County Executive’s senior management team. She worked with other Commissioners to identify ways to increase efficiencies and reduce costs County-wide which resulted in millions of dollars of savings. She was then assigned to oversee a public works department that included real estate portfolio/asset management, program development, policy creation, economic development projects, buildings/grounds/security, utility aggregate, capital projects and other administration initiatives.
Michelle is a former SUNY Erie Board of Trustee where she served as Vice Chairman and Chair of several committees. She also works as an adjunct professor at SUNY Erie and is also a former instructor at SUNY Buffalo State College. In 2010, Michelle was one of three distinguished education administrators selected by SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher to represent Erie County in the SUNY Group of 200 that was charged with developing a strategic plan for New York’s SUNY school system. Michelle also volunteers at SUNY Buffalo’s Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership as a mentor/reactor for private business enterprises where she also sits on the alumni board of directors.
Throughout her career, she has served her community as a member, director and/or board officer for more than 33 local, regional, state-wide, and national associations, task groups, public bodies and organizations providing leadership in strategic planning, workforce development, fund raising, economic development, board development, corporate social responsibility, governance, equity and diversity.
Buffalo Business First ranked Michelle number 66 on their list of the 125 most powerful women in 2018. She holds a MS in Higher Education Administration and a BS in Business from the SUNY Buffalo State. She also holds several licenses and certifications. Michelle has personal knowledge of the challenges facing business owners today. She is founder of American Realty Group, a commercial consulting corporation focused on creating successful strategic real estate planning for all stakeholders.
- All Property Types
- All Types
- Government Facilities
- Low-rise/garden (1-3 floors)
- Office Park
- Office warehouse (2-5% office)
- Office/service facility (5-25% office)
- Research and Development (office/mfg)
- Single tenant
- Warehouse/bulk distribution
- Asset/portfolio management
- Landlord Rep
- Tenant Rep