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Gov. George E. Pataki has chosen his slate of local leaders to guide the state's economic development efforts in Niagara Falls.

The announcement Wednesday came less than a month after Pataki announced the formation of USA Niagara Development Corp. The local business, community and government leaders will serve on the board of directors and on an advisory panel to USA Niagara Development Corp. The new agency is a subsidiary of Empire State Development Corp., the state's tourism and economic development arm.

USA Niagara was created to promote economic development and tourism in Niagara Falls, as well as leverage private investment in the city. Pataki's choices for the panel were announced Wednesday by Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano during a luncheon celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Gargano, who was named chairman of the board of directors of USA Niagara Development, said the advisory board members represent "a cross section of people who have a major interest in the area and who come to the panel with different expertise."

Serving on the board with Gargano are Erland E. Kailbourne, chairman of the board of the John R. Oishei Foundation; John Long Sr., chairman of the Conservation Fund Advisory Board; Joan Aul, chairwoman of the Niagara Falls Chamber of Commerce; and Steven Brown of Brown & Co.

The advisory panel members include James Glynn, president of Maid of the Mist Corp; Stan Rydelek, president of the Niagara Falls Convention and Visitors Bureau; Kevin Schuler, executive director of the Niagara Business Alliance; the Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, president of Niagara University; Antonette Cleveland, president of Niagara County Community College; and Ellen Grant Bishop, president and chief executive officer of Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center.

Also, William Swan, CEO of First Niagara Bank; William Stoner of the Citizens Campaign for the Environment; Dennis Gleason, Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. regional manager; Vincent Laurendi, vice president of Adelphia Cable; and Anthony Brindisi, a local businessman.

Mayor Irene J. Elia and Niagara County Legislature Chairman Clyde L. Burmaster are the two government representatives appointed to serve on the advisory panel.

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