New York Governor Kathy Hochul has appointed Gary Siddall, ’12, president and CEO of the Aquarium of Niagara, as the newest member of the Buffalo State Council. Siddall, who earned a bachelor of arts in psychology from Buffalo State University and a master of arts in organizational leadership from Medaille University, serves as the senior executive of the aquarium with responsibility for the overall performance and planning of the organization.
“The addition of Gary Siddall to the Buffalo State Council will significantly benefit this university,” said Buffalo State University Interim President Bonita R. Durand, Ph.D. “His leadership, vision, and expertise will be an asset to the council. It is wonderful to see alumni of this university develop into leaders in our region, and continue to contribute to Buffalo State in meaningful ways.”
Starting as a volunteer in 2002, Siddall advanced through the aquarium’s zoological department and began serving as its deputy director in 2014. He was appointed to his current role in 2016 by the Niagara Aquarium Foundation Board of Trustees.
In his time as chief executive, Siddall has launched a full-scale revision of the Aquarium of Niagara’s strategic master plan and led the fundraising, design, and execution of $15 million in capital improvements, including renovated event space, the installation of a community welcome plaza, a Humboldt penguin exhibit, an immersive jellyfish gallery, and an interactive shark and stingray habitat. Most recently, Siddall championed the aquarium’s largest expansion project, “Great Lakes 360,” through a partnership with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation.
Siddall is a recipient of the 2019 Buffalo Business First 30 Under 30 award and has served in leadership positions on the boards of directors for Destination Niagara USA and the International Marine Animal Trainers’ Association.
“We are pleased to have Gary join the council,” said Buffalo State Council Chair Linda Dobmeier. “He brings new ideas and energy. We all look forward to working with him.”
The Buffalo State Council serves as the primary oversight and advisory body to the university, its president, and senior officers. Its duties include reviewing all major plans and activities of the university in the areas of academics, student life, and buildings and grounds; and making recommendations for the benefit of the university in matters of community and alumni relations. Members of the council are appointed by the governor and serve a seven-year term, while the student representative is elected for a one-year term. The council comprises 10 seats, which currently include eight community representatives and one student, with one vacancy.
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