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BNE WOOING EXECUTIVES AT GALA IN DALLAS

Seven jazz musicians, five chefs and the local economic development chief will pitch the Buffalo Niagara region to corporate America during a party in Dallas tonight.

The Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, a regional marketing campaign, is holding a party for corporate executives attending the International Development Research Council's World Congress. The bi-annual event is the largest national conference for corporate managers and site selection consultants responsible for recommending locations for new factories, offices and warehouses.

The BNE is trying to build relationships with site selectors to promote the region's worker productivity, affordable real estate, low cost of living, proximity to Canada and quality of life. Several corporate representatives recently toured the region and were guests of the BNE at the Buffalo Bills game against the New York Jets Oct. 7.

Thomas A. Kucharski, who heads both the BNE and the Erie County Industrial Development Agency, also has private meetings scheduled in Dallas with executives from Fireman's Fund Insurance, Alcoa, Wyndham International, Cigna and The Staubach Company.

The ultimate goal of the BNE is to attract business investments and jobs here, although the organization's board recently dropped the target number of 50,000 net new jobs because of the weak national economy.

The BNE's bash is scheduled tonight at the historic De Goyler Mansion on the grounds of the Dallas Arboretum. Reproduction artwork from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery will be on display and wine from Niagara peninsula wineries will be served.

David Kane's Them Jazzbeards, a seven-piece jazz ensemble from Buffalo, will perform. The band waived its fee for the event.

Local chefs traveling to Dallas to prepare food for the event include Andy DiVincenzo from Billy Ogden's, Paul Jenkins from The Buffalo Club, Sam Reda of Brownstone Bistro, Mike Andrzejewki of Oliver'sand Bill Panzica from Butterwood Desserts.

e-mail: cbridger@buffnews.com

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