Commencement - May 15, 2015

Howard Zemsky to Address Class of 2015


The UBuffalo School of Architecture and Planning is pleased to announce that New York State economic development leader Howard Zemsky will address graduates at this year's commencement celebration.

Please join us for Commencement 2015 as we send off the next generation of architects and planners!

Friday, May 15, 2015 (5 pm, Center for the Arts, UB North Campus).

Howard Zemsky, President & CEO of Empire State Development and Commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development .

In January of this year, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Howard Zemsky to serve as president & CEO of Empire State Development and commissioner of the New York State Department of Economic Development.

Empire State Development, or “ESD”, is the economic development agency of New York State. Mr. Zemsky and his colleagues manage a broad range of programs, incentives and services designed to increase private sector investment and job creation in New York. The organization has a staff of over 450 people located in 12 offices across the state. Howard works closely with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and the respective regional co-chairs to implement the Regional Economic Development Councils, the Governor’s decentralized, collaborative and strategic approach to economic development.

Zemsky to Receive 2015 Dean's Medal

The Buffalo developer turned state economic development leader will receive the 2015 Dean's Medal in recognition of his contributions to the revitalization of the Buffalo Niagara region. Read more

Howard Zemsky has co-chaired the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council during the past four years and has worked closely on the Governor’s Buffalo Billion revitalization initiative. His company, Larkin Development Group, has redeveloped approximately 1 million square feet of historic building space in Buffalo since 2002, with a particular focus on reclaiming Buffalo’s earliest industrial neighborhood, the Larkin Historic District.


Under the joint leadership of Zemsky and UB President Satish K. Tripathi, and in partnership with the School of Architecture and Planning's UB Regional Institute, WNYREDC has engaged thousands of regional citizens in envisioning a more sustainable regional economy and building an award-winning strategic plan. Read more

In recent years Howard has chaired Western New York’s Transportation Authority, SUNY Buffalo State serving over 10,000 students, and he has served as President of the Richardson Center Corporation, a non-profit board charged with rehabilitation of the Richardson and Olmsted designed former NY State Psychiatric Hospital.

Mr. Zemsky has a Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a M.B.A from the University of Rochester.

He is a Brooklyn native, a product of Long Island and a resident of Buffalo where he and his wife Leslie have lived for 30 years with their three children.