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State economic development leader Zemsky leaving day-to-day role

Howard Zemsky

New York’s economic development czar will be leaving his day-to-day leadership role, but will remain in control of big-picture decisions.

Howard Zemsky, a Buffalo-area developer, took on the role of CEO of Empire State Development Corporation in 2015, after previously serving in a leadership role on the western New York regional economic development council.

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“Howard’s original commitment to us was for two years, he’s served this administration and the people of this great state for eight — with no compensation mind you — and New York is the better for it,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesman Richard Azzopardi in a statement.

The agency will begin recruiting a new CEO, but there isn’t a timeline for Zemsky’s transition. He will continue to serve as chair of the Empire State Development board of directors.

Zemsky said in a statement that serving as the head of the state’s economic development arm has been an “honor of a lifetime.”

“I consider the governor a mentor, a boss and a friend, and I look forward to continuing to work together to grow the economy across the state,” Zemsky said. “The team at ESD rocks — I’m so proud of what they accomplish and to be associated with them.”

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