Brandye Merriweather made history earlier this week when Mayor Byron Brown announced that she would serve as the new president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC), making her the first Black woman to lead an economic development agency in the City Buffalo.
She will replace Peter Cammarata who is retiring after 14 years as president of the agency.
“I am honored to serve as President of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation. I look forward to furthering the incredible groundwork that has been laid through Pete Cammarata’s tenure at BUDC and infusing new innovations that will reflect Buffalo’s diversity and carry our City into the future,” said Merriweather.
Since joining BUDC in 2013, Ms. Merriweather, who formerly served as Vice President – Downtown Development for BUDC, has been responsible for the Buffalo Building Reuse Project and also spearheaded the Queen City Pop Up Project, downtown’s first pop up retail program. Most recently, Brandye has begun the implementation of Buffalo’s Race For Place initiative which focuses on talent attraction through placemaking, vibrant streetscapes and integration of smart cities technology. In addition, Brandye has worked closely with the City of Buffalo on securing millions in funding for infrastructure projects and has worked to develop and implement strategies to further the redevelopment of Buffalo’s downtown area and waterfront.
She received a Master of Business Administration from Medaille College.
Mayor Brown, who also serves as chairman of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s Board of Directors, also announcned that Rebecca Gandour is the Corporation’s new Executive Vice President. Ms. Gandour joined BUDC in 2020 after serving as the city’s director of development, bringing with her almost 10 years of real estate finance and development experience. “As Executive Vice President of BUDC, I look forward to being an integral part of the City of Buffalo’s major strategic development efforts as we continue working to build a City for all,” said Gandour.
“Their promotions (Merriweather and Gandour) highlight my commitment to diversity and inclusion, especially in leadership, as these two women serve as integral members of the city’s development team,” said Mayor Brown.
In addition, he announced the promotion of Art Hall to Senior Project Manager for the Northland Corridor redevelopment project.
BUDC will conduct a search for a Director of Project Development, focusing on the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Centennial Park project which begins construction next year, as well as the continued expansion of the Northland Corridor.