Uniland Development Co. co-founder Nancy R. Dobson is retiring next month from the Amherst-based developer, more than 42 years after she teamed up with Carl Montante Sr. to form the company.
Dobson, executive vice president of one of the region's largest real estate firms, blazed a path early in her career as perhaps the only woman active in developing and leasing commercial real estate in Buffalo.
She negotiated nearly 2,000 leases during her career, and helped drive many of Uniland's most significant projects, including the region's largest office development, CrossPoint Business Park in Amherst, whose tenants include Geico Corp., Bank of America Corp. and Fidelis Care.
She will formally step down Dec. 16, after which she plans to spend more time with her children and grandchildren in other states. Her husband, Arthur, died in 2013 after a bicycling accident in Europe.
“I’m really going to miss the people – our Uniland associates, the brokers and other business partners, our vendors and, of course, our clients,” Dobson said. “It has been a wonderful experience. Yet, I’m looking forward to this new chapter in my life.”
Dobson and Montante co-founded Uniland in 1974 after sub-leasing a warehouse. She later became director of property management and then vice president of marketing, before rising to her current role, where she managed commercial leasing for the company's portfolio of 6 million square feet of space.
“Her skill and fairness in negotiating and her infectious sense of humor are well-known by all who know her,” Montante said. “More than any other individual, Nancy’s contributions to the organization have made it the success it enjoys today.”
In addition to her accomplishments in real estate and her significant influence in the Western New York business community, she has also made a mark philanthropically. She has been honored with lifetime achievement awards and women's leadership awards from business and nonprofit organizations, and she will remain active in leadership with People Inc., Christ the King Seminary and Nativity of Blessed Virgin Mary Church.