Ronald Coan was unanimously selected this morning by the Erie County Industrial Development Agency's board of directors to be its new executive director.
Coan, the current Erie County economic development coordinator, replaces Richard T. Swist, who left the ECIDA in October to become the executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Coan was one of four candidates, including two in-house hopefuls, who were interviewed for the position. The other finalists were Dean J. Sallak, current ECIDA treasurer; Jo K. Nasoff, agency program development director, and Stanley Keysa, supervisor of the Town of Lancaster.
"We looked at about 70 resumes, including about 20 from out of town," said Don Chandler, co-chairman of the board's search committee.
Coan was the lone choice of both the search and executive committees and was approved by a board vote of 13-0.
"We saw as Ron's strength his ability to work effectively with the board, with the ECIDA staff, the business community and the various economic development groups throughout the county," said William A. O'Loughlin Jr., who is ECIDA board chairman and co-chairman of the search committee.
Coan, 42, has served three years as head of development for the county. A native of the Boston area, he came to Buffalo about 12 years ago as chairman of the urban studies program at Canisius College, where he remained until joining the county in 1988.
Coan said he is very happy and honored to be elected to the executive director's position, calling the ECIDA a fantastic organization, with a staff unparalleled in the county. He also said he intends to continue the agency's work in its two areas of strength, and to broaden its work if possible.
"We will continue to finance projects and use our experience in construction management, with Pilot Field as our benchmark," Coan said. "We also will be testing new approaches concerning economic development in Erie County which we can be involved with."
Three bond sales were approved by the board:
Derrick Manufacturing Corp., $1.5 million to construct a 45,000-square-foot addition to its current facility at 590 Duke Road.
Huron Court Partnership, $2.87 million to purchase and renovate the 31,180-square-foot former Church of Scientology of Buffalo building at 47 Huron St.
James Zaepfel and Peter Krog, $2.5 million, for the acquisition and renovation of the 72,900-square-foot former United Parcel Service building at 205 Dingens St. The two men, principals in the development firm Zaepfel-Krog Corp., also plan a 26,000-square-foot addition to the facility, with the warehouse-distribution center to be used by J&M Distributors.