NFTA Management Team
Kimberley A. Minkel
Kimberley A. Minkel is the Executive Director
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA).
Formerly the Director of Health, Safety, and Environmental Quality.
Ms. Minkel has over twenty years of experience in the environmental and safety regulations business along with experience in compliance managing. She began her career in 1989 at Sevenson Environmental as the Health and Safety Manager, Data Information Manager, and Quality Assurance Officer. She was responsible for managing all field and laboratory data, initiating system audits, and conducted employee safety evaluations.
In 1992, Ms. Minkel became Manager of Environmental, Health, and Safety for Washington Mills Electro Minerals Corp. Following this, she became Manager of Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Compliance at Xerox Corporation. In both of these positions, she ensured compliance with Federal, State, and Local guidelines and managed employee accidents, including prevention, investigation, and behavior modification programs.
Ms. Minkel is a member of many professional affiliations, including West New York Safety Advisory Committee and Who’s Who of Professional Management. In the past, she served on the Board of Directors for the Peace Bridge Authority, and the City of Niagara Falls N.F.B. Development Corporation. She has also co-authored several papers including: 1) Design & Operation of a Very Large Vertical Sub-Surface Flow Engineered Wetland to Treat Spent De-Icing Fluids and Glycol-Contaminated; 2) Innovative Approaches for Managing Stormwater Runoff: Constructed Wetlands; 3) Sub-surface flow wetlands to treat glycol-contaminated stormwater from aircraft de-icing operations; 4) The Use of Large Subsurface Flow Wetlands to Treat Glycol-Contaminated
Stormwater from Airport De-Icing Operations; 5) In-Situ Bioaugmentation of Vadose Zone Restoration; and 6) Bioenhanced Remediation of Landfill Soils.
Ms. Minkel received a Bachelor of Science from Niagara University in 1988 and her MBA in Concentration Management from Canisius College in 1995. She resides in Lancaster, New York.
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 the Syracuse University 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
Deborah C. Leous was appointed the Chief Financial Officer
in 1998 for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA)
where she is now responsible for the development and implementation of the NFTA’s strategic plan relative to financial planning and management. Ms. Leous has continued to use her expertise to increase savings and efficiency in the Authority. She manages projects, such as the Airport Improvement Program, and helps to execute new programs and processes, such as Enterprise Resource Management and an environmental risk assessment.
Ms. Leous has over thirty years of experience in the finance and management fields. She began her career in 1979 as an Assistant Audit Officer at HSBC Bank and then as an Auditor for Frederick A. Ressler, C.P.A.
In 1989, Ms. Leous joined the Authority as an Auditor. Within a year, she assumed the role of Manager of the Audit division. She worked to develop the Authority’s internal audit programs, policies, and procedures that they use to this day.
In 1992, she was promoted to Manager of Accounting Services. In addition to overseeing the functions of the accounting, accounting information systems, and financial reporting departments, Ms. Leous designed and created new systems to help increase efficiency and reduce costs, such as an automated grants and project reporting system.
She is an active member in many organizations, such as Government Finance Officers Association and National Association of Female Executives. She enjoys supporting our deployed troops and serving as a member of the Canisius College Mentoring Committee. Ms. Leous has received many awards, including Canisius College’s Joseph Coppola Award for Outstanding Accounting Alumni and Woman of Influence (2003).
Ms. Leous graduated from Canisius College with a Bachelor of Arts in French and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and continued there to receive her MBA in Finance. She resides in East Amherst, New York.
Vicky-Marie J. Brunette
Deputy General Counsel
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.
Michael Bykowski is the Director of the Engineering Department
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) where
he manages the Design, Construction, and Facilities and Maintenance divisions. Mr. Bykowski has supervised the implementation of major capital projects within the Authority such as the administration of the Automatic Baggage System (BNIA) and the Runway 6-24 Safety Area Improvement (NFIA). In addition, he also directs construction personnel, develops capital budgets, and has become a member of the Request for Proposal selection committee where he helps to negotiate contracts for the Authority.
Mr. Bykowski has over forty years of experience in the engineering and management fields. His career began in 1968 where he worked for Occidental Chemical Corporation (OxyChem), the leading North American manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, chlorine and caustic soda. Here he participated in projects ranging from $60 to $300 million, designed electrical systems and ultimately became the Chief Electrical Engineer. In this position he played an active role as a member of the Chemical Manufacturers Association’s electrical code and standards task group and co-authored “Review of Chlorine Institutes Pamphlet No. 139: Electrical Safety In Chlor-Alkali Cell Facilities.”
After leaving OxyChem in 1995, Mr. Bykowski was contracted by Praxair Corporation where he continued to design systems and coordinate projects. Subsequently, he joined Carbide/Graphite Group, Inc (CGGI), where he served as Manager of both the Engineering and Maintenance Departments. He became a member of the Corporate and Plant Joint Improvement Committees and is credited with the establishment and organization of the CADD group, for the standardization of computer generated drawings. He also implemented new manufacturing techniques and inventory systems to improve the company’s efficiency.
Mr. Bykowski received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Detroit in Michigan. He is also a New York State licensed Professional Engineer. He resides in Lockport, New York.
Timothy P. Carvana
Timothy P. Carvana is the Director of Health, Safety and
Environmental Quality for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.
Tim came to the NFTA in July 2012, after working the past five years at the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority in Atlanta, GA., where he managed system safety and environmental programs for one of the largest transit systems in the country. Prior employment includes four and half years as an environment and engineering development planner at the Fulton County (GA) Board of Commissioners.
His responsibilities at the authority include promoting and further enhancing the organizational safety and environmental performance levels throughout the NFTA, in addition to developing industrial and occupational programs for employees geared toward the reduction in lost-time injuries and exposure to hazardous materials.
Tim holds a Bachelor of Science, Environmental Science degree from North Carolina A&T University, Greensboro, NC and a Master of Public Administration & Environmental Management degree from Troy University, Troy, AL.
Director, Risk Management and 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.
Director, Internal Auditing
Patrick J. Dalton is the Director of Internal Audit
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, where he oversees a team of two audit professionals. His responsibilities include performing a variety of audits for the NFTA, which include internal, lease and contract audits. He is also responsible for documenting and testing the NFTA’s internal controls over financial reporting on an annual basis.
Prior to joining the NFTA, Mr. Dalton worked for Ernst & Young as an Audit Manager. He is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in New York State. After leaving Ernst & Young, he joined the NFTA in April 1992, as an Auditor I and was promoted to Auditor III and subsequently to his present position as Director of Internal Audit.
Mr. Dalton received a Bachelor of Science (Cum Laude) in accounting from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He currently serves as President of the Association of Airport Internal Auditors and is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Mr. Dalton resides in Hamburg, NY.
George W. Gast
Chief, NFTA Police
George W. Gast was appointed as the fourth Chief of Police
for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department
on March 1, 2010. Gast began his law enforcement career in 1982 as a Patrol Officer for the Willoughby (Ohio) Police Department. In 1984 Gast entered on duty with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as a Special Agent assigned to the Waterbury Connecticut Resident Agency, New Haven Division. In 1986, Gast was selected from the ranks of the FBI to become one of fifty Special Agents assigned to the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). The HRT is a full time national level tactical team prepared to deploy to any location throughout the world to conduct a successful rescue of United States citizens who may be held illegally by domestic criminals or international terrorists.
In 1990 Gast was transferred to the Buffalo NY Office of the FBI where he served as the SWAT Team Leader, Principal Firearms Instructor, and was tasked with investigating organized crime, gangs, narcotics violations, bank robberies, and crimes against children among other federal investigations. In 1997 Gast was named a Supervisory Special Agent in the Buffalo NY FBI Field Office. In this capacity Gast was responsible for the supervision of the Violent Crime Major Offender Squad, the Organized Crime/Drug Squad and the Buffalo Violent Crime Career Criminal Task Force. Gast also served as an FBI certified undercover agent and functioned in numerous undercover operations throughout the United States. In November 2004, Gast retired from the FBI to accept a position as the Assistant Federal Security Director for Law Enforcement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Gast resides in Buffalo, New York.
Thomas George PE
Director, Surface Transportation
Tom George is the Director of Surface Transportation for the
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) where he
provides overall direction for NFTA Metro business group including public transportation administration, operations, maintenance and financial planning and administration
Mr. George was previously 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. NITTEC is a transportation management organization that provides technology and collaborative services to enhance the safety and efficiency of travel and the movement of goods and services throughout the region.
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, and many aspects of surface transportation including highway, facility and traffic systems.
He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Continental One and is an active member of many professional affiliations including the Transportation Research Board of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) and Intelligent Transportation Society of New York. Tom is also currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors for ITS-NY.
Mr. George is a Licensed New York State Professional Engineer with a Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan Technological University in Civil Engineering. He resides in Akron, New York.
C. Douglas Hartmayer
Director, Public Affairs
C. Douglas Hartmayer is the Director of Public Affairs and
Public Information Officer for the Niagara Frontier Transportation
Authority (NFTA) where he provides support with public relations, advertising, communications, graphic production, Web site support, community relations, and marketing materials.
Mr. Hartmayer is responsible for the distribution of information to the media, community, and also within the Authority. He requests interviews, organizes communication campaigns, and oversees the publishing of the in-house publication, The Transporter, for employees and community stakeholders.
As Public Information Officer, Mr. Hartmayer has prepared, responded, and supervised the organization in events such as terrorist attacks and Metro bus, train, and airplane accidents.
He currently serves on the Board of Director for the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mr. Hartmayer has been honored with the Buffalo Sertoma Club Man of the Year Award, Goodwill Industries of WNY President’s Award, National Conference of Community & Justice Brotherhood Award for Outstanding Citizenship in Business, NYS Association of Certified Football Officials Merit Award, Section VI football Official of the Year Award, the Michael J. Perry Referee of the Year Award and has been inducted into the Cardinal O’Hara High School Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame.
Mr. Hartmayer attended Memphis State University. He served in the United States Navy, where he earned a Presidential Service Medal. He resides in Clarence, New York.
Director, Human Resources
Director, EEO/Diversity Development
Linda Seay is the Director of Equal Employment
Opportunity / Diversity Development. She joined the NFTA in February 2006, as the Manager of Finance and Administration for the Surface Transportation Division. As Director of EEO/Diversity Development she is responsible for managing the authority’s DBE, MWBE, Title VI, Title VII and ADA programs.
Prior to joining the NFTA Mrs. Seay worked in the automotive industry for 33 years, her last assignment was Personnel Director for American Axle. She has over 30 years of experience in human resources and a strong background in labor relations.
She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business from Medaille College and a MBA from Canisius College. She is an active member of several community and international organizations and a past board member of the Buffalo YMCA, Junior Achievement and Medaille College Alumni Board. In recognition of her service to the community she has received several achievement awards.
Linda and her husband reside in Amherst, NY.
Director of Aviation
William R. Vanecek is the Director of Aviation for the
Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) where he
oversees all business and operational facets of both the Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BNIA) and the Niagara Falls International Airport (NFIA). Mr. Vanecek supervises a team of 190 airport professionals.
Prior to joining the NFTA, Mr. Vanecek received his Certified Public Accountant license in New York State and worked for Price Waterhouse. After leaving Price Waterhouse, he worked for AMR Corp in Dallas, TX where he served as the Vice President of Finance for Simmons Airlines, American Eagle’s largest regional air carrier.
Mr. Vanecek received a Bachelor of Science in both Accounting and Finance from the State University of New York at Buffalo and also received a MBA from the University of Texas at Arlington. He resides in Lancaster, NY.