IDA announces departures, additions to board and organization

Cory Duckworth

The Chautauqua County Industrial Development Agency is adding new members while saying goodbye to others within its board and organization.

The Tuesday meeting of the IDA Board of Directors was the last one for Cory Duckworth, Jamestown Community College president who’s served five-years on the IDA board. In June of last year, Duckworth announced that he’d be retiring as president at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year.

Duckworth, who’s from Salt Lake City, Utah, began serving as JCC’s eighth president in August 2013. Duckworth expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to serve on the IDA board.

“I came in as college president, and to have a sense of what’s going on in the economic world around you is incredibly valuable,” Duckworth said. “I’ve appreciated that opportunity. The staff has been incredible to work with. I express my appreciation to everybody associated with this board.”

Duckworth and his wife, Elva, will be going to Madagascar where they will serve three years as presidents of a mission comprised of 12,000 members. Duckworth said upon announcing his retirement as JCC president, his church in Salt Lake City reached out to him regarding the opportunity.

“We’ll be doing leadership training for missionaries and taking care of the their physical and spiritual needs while we’re there,” he said. “Then we’ll go back to Utah and spend more time with our grandchildren and children.”

As for a new JCC president, Duckworth told the board that the school has identified a candidate and negotiated an arrangement. As to who it’ll be, Duckworth said SUNY in Albany will announce the next president in early May. That individual would begin in June.

IDA Chief Executive Officer Mark Geise announced the addition of Gary Henry, owner of Fancher Chair, to the board. Rich Dixon, IDA chief financial officer, said Henry is a perfect fit for the board.

“He has a great manufacturing background,” Dixon said. “He’s done a lot since he’s taken over Fancher with automation and things and moving the company forward. We’re very excited he’s able to join us.”

Within the IDA, Geise announced that Lawrence Taylor, business development manager, will be retiring after 33 years in the department. Geise said Taylor’s been a tremendous asset while Dixon said he’s done a fabulous job for the citizens of Chautauqua County.

Geise also announced the addition of Kayla Burgess as finance assistant with the IDA. Burgess, who replaces Melissa Slaven, was previously a staff accountant with Buffamante Whipple Buttafaro.