Episode 095: The Top Challenges for Economic Developers This Year | Thomas Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara

Episode 095: The Top Challenges for Economic Developers This Year | Thomas Kucharski, Invest Buffalo Niagara 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Economic development is not for the meek of heart.” —Thomas Kucharski

If one person is not faint-of-heart, it’s Tom Kucharski. As the fearless leader of Invest Buffalo Niagara, which has grown to a regional power house under his leadership, Tom is also taking the helm of the IEDC Board of Directors this year. He joins Carla Sones for today’s episode of the America’s Jobs Team podcast.

Welcome to episode 095! Tom is a visionary and that becomes evident throughout today’s conversation. Whether he’s talking about the opportunities on the horizon as a border city with Canada or about the future of economic development, Tom looks at the past as inspiration from which to learn, and to the future with confidence and positivity. He dives into the issues which will undoubtedly come up for the profession in the years to come, but reminds us that we are well-trained and direly needed by our communities.

To hear more from Tom, his vision for economic development, and his thoughts on the role of family, tune in now!


Thomas A. Kucharski has served as President and CEO of Invest Buffalo Niagara since 2000. Under his leadership, Invest Buffalo Niagara has grown from a start-up initiative to an innovative regional economic development organization that has secured more than 400 successful project wins representing $4.4 billion in investment in the region and over 42,000 jobs created and/or retained.

From the onset, Tom helped Invest Buffalo Niagara form strong, enduring partnerships with business, development and academic leaders throughout the Buffalo Niagara region. Today more than 150 organizations work with Invest Buffalo Niagara to provide support and expertise to companies from the U.S., Canada and other parts of the world looking to set up shop in Western New York. Invest Buffalo Niagara was recognized with the inaugural “Best in Show” award for its “Are You Right for Buffalo” video that was selected from over 600 entries world-wide.

Tom has been a Certified Economic Developer since 1992. Before joining Invest Buffalo Niagara, he headed up the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation in Eastern Pennsylvania, and prior to that served as executive director of the Horizon Council of Southwest Florida, a regional public/private partnership that included Sarasota, Ft. Myers and Naples. He is recognized nationally for his work in the economic development industry and is often quoted and referenced in national publications such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes and Newsweek, as well as numerous trade and industry publications. Tom has served as a Board Member and Chair of various committees of the International Economic Development Council for over ten years.

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai