James Brandys is a lifelong resident of Western New York. Brandys began his career at Merrill Lynch and recently began his 38th year with the firm. He currently serves as the managing director-investments in the Wealth Management Group.
Brandys has dedicated much of his life to Buffalo State. He sees fundraising as a team effort that starts at the top. Building on the groundwork laid by the "Endowing the Future" campaign, which Brandys chaired, Buffalo State's planned giving program increased its expectancy endowment to over $22 million and surpassed its $10 million goal. Brandys is a member of the the Peterson Society, Buffalo State's planned giving program, opening his home for the society's induction ceremonies, hosting informational receptions, and serving as ambassador pro tem for Buffalo State's planned giving program. The growth of the program is a direct result of his dedicated commitment to this committee.
Brandys was appointed trustee to the Buffalo State College Council in 1997 by the governor of New York State; an appointment that has been renewed twice, with his current seven-year term expiring in 2017. From 1990-2003, Brandys was a member of the Buffalo State Foundation Board of Directors, serving as both chair of the Board of Directors and Development Committee. In addition to serving on two Presidential Search Committees, Brandys is a current member of the Planned Giving Committee, Judicial Appeals Board and a long-time member of the Business Department Advisory Committee. He is also chair of the Television and Film Arts Program Local Strategic Advisory Committee and an active member of the Burchfield Penney Art Center's Board of Directors having served as chair.
Brandys was instrumental in establishing Buffalo State's Bridge the Gap Scholarship which raised over $80,000 for junior and senior students who are financially at risk. With his wife Joy, he co-chaired the college's 125th Anniversary Gala, which raised $35,000 for scholarships and the black tie gala "Night in Nairobi," which secured over $62,000 for scholarships. An active alumnus, Brandys is a Class Ambassador and co-chaired his 25th Reunion, during which he spearheaded the establishment of the Class of 1971 Endowed Scholarship Fund.
In recognition of efforts to further the mission of Buffalo State over the years, Brandys was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1999 and the Buffalo State Foundation Chairman's Recognition Award in 1991, 1999, and 2003. Buffalo State holds a very special place in Brandys's heart. It was outside the doors of Rockwell Hall where he proposed to Joy, his wife of over 40 years. They have two children, Melissa and Christian, and son-in-law John.