The World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara (WTCBN) Board of Directors are proud to welcome Erin M. Cole to the WTCBN staff. As the President and CEO for WTCBN, Ms. Cole’s significant experience in economic development and international trade will benefit companies throughout WTCBN’s territory that includes most of Upstate New York and Niagara, Ontario. Ms. Cole will be contributing directly to consulting, sales and new business development for World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and its members.
With experience that covers many aspects of international trade, including export/import, global market research, new market entry, export licensing and new business development, Ms. Cole will continue to implement and expand existing programs while creating new services that will allow members to further grow their international businesses.
WTCBN Chairman Kenneth Franasiak states, “We’re excited to have Erin leading our team and looking forward to her furthering the mission of WTCBN and adding value to the Membership and communities that we serve.”
Most recently, Ms. Cole served for four and a half years in Central Asia with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) managing economic development and regional trade programs. In addition to USAID, Ms. Cole previously worked for the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce in Russia and the Finger Lakes region of New York, respectively. Her expertise is private sector development with a focus on international trade and export promotion. She received international certification as a “Certified Global Business Professional” (CGBP) in 2007.
Ms. Cole began her career as a soldier in the U.S. Army working in Military Intelligence and Civil Affairs; she is a decorated Gulf War veteran. In 2009, she received an Executive Masters of Public Administration from Syracuse University’s (SU) Maxwell School and a Certificate of Advanced Study in Security Studies from SU’s Institute of National Security and Counterterrorism. A native of Buffalo, New York, Ms. Cole also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University at Buffalo. Outside of her U.S. Government service, Ms. Cole started her own small business selling female military collectibles and co-founded the Veterans for Common Sense NGO with fellow Gulf War veterans.