Mark C. Poloncarz

Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz presented the next steps to build on progress made in the county’s economic development efforts over the past five years as a guest speaker at the Daemen College Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series.

The county executive reviewed several key sectors for growth included in 71 new initiatives identified in his plan, “Smart Economy 2.0: Focus on Inclusion,” an update to his original economic development plan released in 2013.

Poloncarz emphasized during his presentation at Daemen that the county’s economy has improved since the first plan was launched, pointing out that “of the 64 initiatives in the original plan, half have been completed with another 28 near completion. The updated economic development strategy focuses on new efforts and shared opportunities with the goal of ensuring inclusivity for all residents, whether they live in the county’s urban, suburban, or rural areas.”

In another lecture, Andrew H. Card, Jr. talked about his 30-plus years in politics and provided insight on his service as the second longest serving chief of staff, a role he held from 2001–06 under President George W. Bush. He described witnessing first-hand the daily burden a president carries and his role as chief of staff to ensure the president was able to focus on making “unbelievably tough decisions for the country.”

At Bush’s side on the day of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Card also gave a rather poignant and personal perspective on that experience, calling it “the day that changed the world.”