Kimberley A. Minkel is the Executive Director for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Formerly the Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality.
Kimberley A. Minkel started at the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority in October 2002, as its Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Niagara University in 1988 and an MBA from Canisius College in 1995.
As director of the Authority's HSEQ department, she worked to ensure the safety and protection of its workers, riders, the public and the environment. She oversaw the completion of an award winning $13.1 million environmental project for the Buffalo Niagara International Airport that uses wetland treatment technology for treating spent deicing fluid in storm water runoff. She has also co-authored several papers dealing with innovative approaches for managing storm water runoff at airports.
The BNIA is the first airport in the United States to use such a process. This project was awarded the Diamond Award in the Environmental Category by the NY branch of the American Council of Engineering Companies and a very prestigious Honor Award by the U.S. national ACEC.
She was unanimously selected by the NFTA’s Board of Commissioners to be its new executive director December 28, 2010. As such, she oversees a workforce of approximately 1,550 dedicated employees, with an annual operating budget of $202.3 million.
The NFTA operates the Metro Bus and Rail system, which provides approximately 26 million passenger trips per year, the Buffalo and Niagara Falls International Airports and the 1,033 slip Small Boat Harbor.
Under her leadership the NFTA earned a coveted Gold Standard award from the Transportation Security Administration for the Authority’s overall high security standards and practices based on a 2013 Baseline Assessment evaluation conducted by the TSA.
She is a member of various professional organizations, including the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s Board of Directors, Niagara Military Affairs Commission and B.U.I.L.D. She has previously served on the Board of Directors of the Peace Bridge Authority, the City of Niagara Falls N.F.B. Development Corporation and is a 2007 graduate of Leadership Buffalo.
David J. State
David J. State
David J. State is General Counsel for the Niagara Frontier
Transportation Authority. As such, he is responsible for the
functions of the Authority’s legal and property management departments.
State was an assistant state attorney general prior to joining the NFTA in April 2011. Prior to that he was an administrative law judge with the New State Office of Temporary Disability and a JAG Officer (Major) for the Trial Counsel, 42nd Infantry Division.
He has previous experience as legal counsel to numerous boards and agencies including the Buffalo Common Council, Preservation Board, Elevator Safety Review Board and the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
An Iraq veteran, he served from May 2004 to Jan. 2006 when he was mobilized to active duty in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and served with the Army Judge Advocate General Corps in Iraq.
He is a graduate of Buffalo State College and SUNY at Buffalo Law School.
He holds faculty positions at the University of Buffalo where he teaches Urban Development Law and Policy and at Erie Community College where he instructs on Business Law I and II.
He and his family reside in Buffalo, NY.
Chief Financial Officer
John Cox is the Chief Financial Officer
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority where he is
currently responsible for the development and implementation of the NFTA’s strategic plan relative to financial planning and management. He manages existing projects and helps to execute new programs and processes, such as Enterprise Resource Management and an environmental risk assessment.
Mr. Cox was Deputy Director of Finance / Accounting, for the City of Rochester, NY for the past two years. Prior employment included Comptroller/Director of Finance, City of Binghamton. He earned his bachelor's degree from Syracuse University and a master's degree in accounting from Binghamton University.
Christopher Ruminski, CPA
Director of Internal Audit and Corporate Compliance
Christopher Ruminski, CPA
Christopher Ruminski, CPA is the Director of Internal Audit and Corporate Compliance for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Chris plans and directs the NFTA’s internal audit program including the review, documentation, and improvement of financial controls; review of operational efficiency and program effectiveness; and the performance of audits of contracts to determine compliance with the terms of the agreements.
Chris started at the NFTA in 2016 as Manager, Financial Planning & Analysis and Cash Management – a position he held until becoming Director of Internal Audit in 2023. Prior to joining the NFTA, Chris was a Principal at a large regional western New York CPA firm.
Chris is a Certified Public Accountant licensed in New York State and holds Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Master of Business Administration in Accounting degrees from Canisius College.
Director, Public Affairs
Helen Tederous is the Director of Public Affairs for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. The Buffalo native oversees all internal and external communications for the NFTA, and provides the strategic direction to protect and enhance its mission to provide best in class public transportation for Western New York.
Before coming to the NFTA, Tederous served as Vice President, Corporate Communications for KeyBank, in that role she held leadership roles in both business and community communication initiatives.
Helen has two decades of experience in the media, as a producer, anchor, and reporter in television and radio. She worked for 12 years at WKBW-TV, the ABC affiliate in Buffalo, and WBEN-Radio. Active in the community, she has served on the board for Buffalo Prep and Every Woman Opportunity Center. Helen lives in Buffalo with her family.
Vice President, Engineering and Facilities Management
John Schaefer is the Vice President of Engineering
and Facilities Management for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
John is responsible for capital projects including design and construction, our facilities operations including maintenance, management and property development.
John started in the Engineering Department as a Project Manager in 2007. In the years since he has been promoted four times: Manager of Design, Deputy Director of Engineering, Director of Engineering and Property, VP of Engineering and Facilities Management. John is a Licensed Professional Engineer (P.E.) in the states of New York, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Colorado. He holds a BS in Physics from SUNY Fredonia and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from UB. Outside of the Authority, John volunteers with Wesleyan Fellowship Church, Youth Ministry.
Vice President, Human Resources and Talent Management
Karen is responsible for Human Resources Administration, Recruiting, Training, Performance Management, Medical Department and Employee Services.
Bio coming soon.
Director of Risk Management & Special Projects
Christine D’Aloise is the Director of Risk Management & Special Projects for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. She is responsible for protecting the financial assets of the NFTA against the adverse effects of accidental losses; establishment of Authority wide risk management programs and procedures; and determining whether to maintain or transfer risk exposures via contracts. Ms. D’Aloise is responsible for oversight of the nine professionals within the Claims Department and the Workers’ Compensation Department.
Prior to joining the NFTA, Ms. D’Aloise worked for Marine Midland Bank, N.A. as a Senior Auditor. She joined the NFTA in 1992, as an Auditor, and was promoted to Risk Manager in 1996 and subsequently to her present position as Director of Risk Management & Special Projects.
Ms. D’Aloise received a Bachelor of Accounting degree from Niagara University in 1989 and a Master of Business Administration degree from Niagara University in 1995. She is a member of the Risk Insurance Management Society and Public Risk Managers Association.
During her tenure at the NFTA she has been part of the reorganization of the Risk Management function. She has overseen the NFTA’s Enterprise Risk Management project, Environmental Risk Assessment project and Business Continuity Plan development.
Chief, NFTA Police
Brian Patterson was appointed as the fifth Chief of Police for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department on March 7, 2022.
Patterson brings over 20 years of law enforcement experience to the NFTA, including his previous role as Police Chief, supervising downtown Buffalo and its Business District. He holds a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Buffalo. In addition, he was on staff at Medaille College in the Social Sciences Department, teaching Criminal Justice classes.
Director of Aviation
Weitz joined the NFTA in 2005 as the Deputy Director of Aviation, where he managed all airport operations. Lee has 42 years of aviation experience working in various management capacities. Prior to his role at the NFTA, Lee worked for USAirways as the Director at the Hub location in Pittsburgh, and was responsible for all aspects of flight operations and Customer Service, directing flight operations of 400 departures per day which included numerous International and Cross-border destinations including Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe. Prior to overseeing the Pittsburgh hub operation, Lee spent time as a Director and General Manager in numerous east-coast cities including Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Newark, N.J. He currently serves on the Cheektowaga Chamber of Commerce and New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) Board of Directors. Served on both executive committees over the last 10 years. Weitz is a graduate of Wilmington University, Delaware, and a participant in the Canisius College MBA Mentoring Program. Lee lives in Clarence, N.Y. with his family.
Thomas George, PE
Vice President, Operations
Thomas George, PE
Tom George is the Vice President, Operations, for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) where he oversees NFTA-Metro Public Transit, Buffalo Niagara International and Niagara Falls International Airports (BNIA and NFIA), Health, Safety & Environmental Quality, and Information Technology.
Mr. George previously the Director of Public Transit for NFTA-Metro with responsibility for all transit functions, including administration, operations, capital programming, maintenance, and financial planning. Prior to that he was the Executive Director of the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition (NITTEC) providing overall leadership and management responsibilities for the multi-agency international coalition of transportation entities in Western New York and Southern Ontario.
Mr. George’s professional career includes over twenty years of working in transportation consulting on both the international and regional levels. Tom’s previous experience in design, construction and management for many modes of transportation includes public transportation, intelligent transportation systems, airports and other modes and facilities.
Tom is an active member of many professional affiliations including public transit and transportation associations.
Mr. George is a Licensed New York State Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering.
Vicky-Marie J. Brunette
Deputy General Counsel
Vicky-Marie J. Brunette
Vicky-Marie J. Brunette is Deputy General Counsel
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority where she focuses her litigation practice on the defense of personal injury matters and is also chair of the Systems Integrity Committee, which handles authority wide ethics and integrity issues. As Deputy, she also provides legal advice, counsel and opinions to the Board of Commissioners, Executive Director and Authority business centers in the areas of common carrier law; transportation law; public authorities law; public officers law; wrongful death; premises liability; motor vehicle accidents; No-Fault insurance and police professional liability.
Ms. Brunette joined the NFTA in 1994. Since that time, she has successfully tried numerous cases and has fully developed the litigation function of the Legal Department.
Ms. Brunette earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from St. John Fisher College in 1989 and a Juris Doctor from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 1994. She is admitted to practice law in both state and federal courts in New York.
Ms. Brunette sits on the Board of the Defense Trial Lawyers Association and is a member of the Erie County Bar Association, Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York and Women Lawyers of Western New York. She is also a graduate of Leadership Buffalo’s Class of 2008.
She resides in North Buffalo.
Chief Information Officer
Steven Duquette is the Chief Information Officer for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
He is responsible for operations and strategic planning for all Information Technology throughout the Authority.
The Information Technology department manages hundreds of servers, operational systems and business applications within the Authority.
Mr. Duquette has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a Master of Science in Software Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality
Jim Lavelle is the Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality (HSEQ) for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. Jim is responsible for ensuring the safety and protection of the NFTA’s passengers, employees, the public and the environment. His work delivers effective system & occupational safety, industrial hygiene, environmental, and sustainability programs and initiatives for the Authority. Jim began his career in the NFTA’s HSEQ Department in 2014 as the Safety Programs Administrator and has since served as Manager, Safety & Security and Deputy Director, HSEQ. Jim has his Transit Safety and Security Program Certification and is certified by the Federal Transit Administration with a Public Transportation Safety Certification Training Program accreditation. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology from Clarkson University and has nearly 20 years of experience in the safety and environmental fields. Outside of the Authority, Jim enjoys spending time with his family and coaching community youth sports.
Director, Public Transit
James Morrell is the Director of Public Transit for NFTA-Metro (Metro) with responsibility for all transit functions, including administration, operations, capital programming, maintenance, and financial planning.
Mr. Morrell was previously the Deputy Director, Public Transit, where he was responsible for the planning, development, and management of transit service programs, assisted with the development and implementation of policies and general operating procedures, as well as acting as a liaison with all Metro and NFTA support departments. His professional career includes over thirty years in the transportation industry.
He currently serves as Chairman of the City of Buffalo Planning Board, Vice-Chair of the Central Terminal Restoration Corp., and Past Chairman of Taste of Buffalo.
Mr. Morrell received a Bachelor of Arts in Design Studies and a Master of Urban Planning from the University at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning, Buffalo, New York.
Chief Diversity Officer
Dejuan is responsible for diversity, inclusion and employee engagement. Dejuan will also be responsible for Equal Employment Opportunity Compliance and DBE certification.
Bio coming soon.
Director, Government Relations and Development
Darren Kempner is Director of Government Relations and Development for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority. He is responsible for grants, government affairs and transit-oriented development activities for the NFTA. His works supports and improves the public transit and aviation systems and regional development patterns in Western New York by securing resources and aligning policy and practice.
Prior to his work at the NFTA, Darren served as Deputy Commissioner in the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning where he led county planning efforts. He has also worked with the WNY Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) to implement the Strategy for Prosperity, WNY’s regional economic development plan, served as a financial analyst for the University at Buffalo Regional Institute and the Erie County Fiscal Stability Authority and as a policy analyst for the Office of the New York State Comptroller in Albany. He increased his financial and public policy knowledge working as a financial statement auditor with KPMG’s audit and assurance practice and as a research assistant for The Dutko Group in Washington, DC.
Darren is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in New York State. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics/Accounting from the College of the Holy Cross and earned a master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University at Buffalo. He is a member of the Oishei Foundation Leaders Program and has received specialized training in public sector leadership, finance and administration through the GFOA Advanced Government Finance Institute, the Cornell School of Industrial and Labor Relations and the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.