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43North expands staff as it ramps up marketing, development

The startup competition 43North has grown its staff with five fresh hires to ramp up its marketing and development efforts.

The organization on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus recently hired:

-- Peter Petrella is lead staffer for strategy and development. He is responsible for building relationships with local and national businesses to generate partnerships for 43North. He previously served as business development and marketing director at Kaleida Health and formerly worked in business development for the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. Petrella succeeds Jon Spitz, who was named managing director of Z80 Labs, a technology incubator on the Medical Campus.

-- Lauren Rivett is working as 43North's new director of incubation, where she creates opportunities for growth and development among the 29 companies in 43North's portfolio. She most recently served as state Sen. Tim Kennedy's chief of staff, managing his Buffalo and Albany offices, drafting legislation and building coalitions of community and statewide support for Kennedy's initiatives.

-- Nate Benson is working as digital media manager in a new role, creating video, audio and digital content centered around the annual competition and its winners. Benson worked as a journalist at WGRZ-TV, creating its weekly Innovate WNY series, focused on the area's startup, manufacturing and research ecosystems. He also covered breaking news for the station's morning "Daybreak" program.

-- Kim Speier joined as content marketing manager, another new position that is promoting the annual 43North competition and growing a culture of entrepreneurship in Buffalo through a variety of marketing channels. She also collaborates with 43North's winning companies on marketing and public relations projects. She previously served as an inbound marketing specialist for Mainstreethost and a sales and marketing analyst for Superior Group, focusing on social media marketing.

-- Lee Locklear is its new events coordinator. He is a May 2017 graduate of Canisius College, where he was a dual major in marketing and psychology, with a minor in international management.

Four of the five hires are for new positions, except for Petrella.

"It is an expansion of the in-house marketing team," said Peter Burakowski, director of marketing at 43North.

The new hires bring 43North's staff to 12.

43North's budget is funded primarily through the state Buffalo Billion economic development program, as well as grants from Empire State Development and the New York Power Authority.

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