James Johnson Headshot
James C. Johnson,
Executive Director
James C. Johnson has been the Executive Director of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency since March of 2011. During that time he has led efforts in Steuben County to facilitate business expansions at global manufacturers like The Gunlocke Corporation, Corning Incorporated, Advanced Transit Manufacturing, and HP Hood.

In addition, Johnson and his team played a key role in attracting Upstate Niagara to purchase and continue operations of the former Kraft/Heinz plant which was slated for closure.

With over 20 years’ experience in economic development, Johnson also sits on several local, regional and State boards and organizations involved with developing economic development policy and programs. Those organizations include, the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council, REDEC, AM&T, Southern Tier Regional Planning and Development Board, CSS Workforce NY and Co-Chair’s the Policy Committee for the New York State Economic Development Council.

Johnson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master of Arts in Community and Economic Development from SUNY Empire State College.

Johnson is involved with several community initiatives and organizations and lives in the Town of Caton with his wife Melissa and their son Jayden and enjoys camping and the outdoors.
Kathryn Forester Headshot
Kathryn J. Forester,
Business Manager/CFO
Kathy celebrated 20 years at Steuben County IDA in September 2017. As the organization’s Administrative Assistant and CFO, Kathy oversees office management, accounting and HR capacities. Specific to IDAs across the state, Kathy gathers and submits all required New York State documentation including the annual PARIS report

Prior to the IDA, Kathy spent seven years as a realtor and office manager for Lucy Knapp Real Estate. She started her career as a self-employed property manager.

Kathy received an Associate’s degree from Alfred State and has held a realtor license since 1990. She is also a New York State certified residential appraiser.

Kathy enjoys spending time with her family, including five grandchildren.
Jill Staats Headshot
Jill Staats,
Deputy Director of Operations
Jill joined the IDA staff in September 2015 to continue the agency’s outreach to the small business community in Steuben County. Prior to her tenure, she spent 12 years in commercial lending and credit analysis in the Corning-Elmira area.

Jill started her commercial lending career in Philadelphia after graduating from Susquehanna University. She currently serves as the Treasurer of the Corning Area Chamber of Commerce and volunteers for Junior Achievement and Big Flats Elementary PTO.

In her free time, Jill enjoys spending time with her children, cooking and visiting the many beautiful wineries of Steuben County.
JC Smith Headshot
JC Smith
Community Infrastructure Specialist
James “JC” Smith joined the IDA staff on a part-time basis in the spring of 2018 to provide guidance for Steuben County municipalities seeking upgrades to their water and sewer infrastructure. JC retired in January 2018 from the Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC), a New York State agency that provides low-cost capital, grants and technical assistance to communities engaging in water infrastructure projects.

During his 19 years at EFC, JC worked with numerous local governments in Western New York and the Finger Lakes region on water infrastructure projects, coordinated infrastructure funding activities between six state and federal agencies, and served as agency liaison to three Regional Economic Development Councils.

Prior to his tenure at EFC, JC served as the first Watershed Manager for Keuka Lake, and as Manager of the Wayne County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Board of Directors

Michael L. Nisbet Headshot
Michael L. Nisbet
Mr. Nisbet has been with TTA/Transitair for over twenty years and currently serves as Managing Director and CFO. He has over thirty years of financial and accounting experience as Controller, Vice President in charge of commercial loans, and Manager of Accounting in large industrial facilities and banks.

Mr. Nisbet currently is Board President of the Canisteo-Greenwood School, serves on the Board of Steuben County IDA and The Hornell Chamber of Commerce, and was past Board Chairman of Workforce NY serving Steuben, Chemung and Schuyler counties for over 10 years. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Business Administration & Economics, Empire State College, and Associates, Accounting, State University of New York at Alfred.
Joseph H. Huryski Headshot
Joseph H. Hauryski
Vice Chairman
Steuben County Legislature
Joseph Hauryski grew up on the family farm in the town of Campbell. Upon graduating from Ohio State University, he spent 32 years working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Now retired (if that’s what you call it), he and his wife Sharon tend to the family farm where they raise beef cattle.

Following in the footsteps of his father (who served on the Steuben County Board of Supervisors for 18 years) Joe ran for public office and has represented the Towns of Bradford, Campbell and Wayne, comprising County Legislative District 8, since 2008. As a Legislator, he served as a member of the Agriculture, Industry & Planning Committee and Chairman of the Public Works Committee. On December 14, 2010, Mr. Hauryski was elected Chairman of the Legislature by his peers and he continues to serve in that capacity.

In addition to his position of Chairman, Mr. Hauryski serves on the Board of Directors of the Steuben Rural Electric Cooperative, serving as the Board's Secretary; he is also on the Steuben County IDA Board of Directors, and the Southern Tier Central Regional Planning & Development Board.

Under Chairman Hauryski's leadership, Steuben County has been successful in staying under the State's 2 percent tax cap requirement, while maintaining most of the County's local programs. He also spearheaded the transitioning of Steuben County's form of government to a Charter County operating with a County Manager. He is well known for thinking outside of the box; he is always willing to listen to new ideas, and try different and innovation things to come up with a solution to problems.
Tony Russo Headshot
Tony Russo
Southern Tier Provisions
Tony Russo was born and raised in Bath, NY where he also attended Bath Central School. Upon completion of High School, he began full-time involvement into his family's business, Southern Tier Provisions. It was there he worked many years side by side with his father, James Russo. Their company specializes in Italian Food Distribution to the Northeast.

His involvement has been with every aspect including transportation, purchasing, sales, retail, commercial real estate, and management. He is very proud to have been part of their company since the age of 10 years old. His favorite thing about his career is the fellow business owners and sales people that he meets every day. Many of those people have become trusted friends. Tony and his wife Kimberly reside in Bath, NY where they raised four daughters.
Mark R. Alger Headshot
Mark R. Alger
Mark R Alger, former Steuben County Manager, is a native of Hornell, NY, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the State University of NY at Geneseo and a Master of Arts in Geography from Western Illinois University.

Mark’s career began in 1977 as a Research Coordinator for the National Association of Regional Councils in Washington, DC. In 1979, Mark left Washington, DC, and started his employment with Steuben County as a Senior Planner in the County Planning Department, and was appointed as the County’s Planning Director in 1981. In 1984, Mark was appointed Steuben County’s first Steuben County Administrator.

In December 1995, Mark was offered the position of Deputy Commissioner for Administration with the NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets in Albany, NY, a position he held for three years. In 1999, Mark returned to Steuben County to serve as the County’s Social Services Commissioner.

On September 25th, 2000, Mark was again appointed Steuben County Administrator, following the resignation of the previous County Administrator. In 2013, Steuben County adopted a charter creating the County Manager position which Mark was subsequently appointed to in 2014.

Mark served on the New York State Association of Counties Board of Directors and is a Past-President of the Association. He currently serves as vice-chair of the Village of Bath Municipal Utilities Commission, President of Institute for Human Services, and Jack Lisi Youth Award Board of Directors.
Michael J. Doyle Headshot
Michael J. Doyle
Pleasant Valley Wine Company
Michael J. Doyle is owner and President of the Pleasant Valley Wine Company/Great Western Winery in Hammondsport and has been involved in the New York wine industry for nearly 40 years. Pleasant Valley produces award-winning champagnes, table wines, ports and sherries under the Pleasant Valley, Great Western, Gold Seal, Widmer's, Autumn Frost, Brickstone Cellars, and Caywood labels.

Mr. Doyle holds a bachelor's degree from Williams College, a master's degree in business administration from the Darden School at the University of Virginia and a law degree summa cum laude from Syracuse Law School. Mr. Doyle practiced law with the Rochester firm of Nixon Peabody for four years before entering the wine business in 1976 as General Counsel for the then publicly-traded Taylor Wine Company. He subsequently served as general counsel of The Wine Spectrum, a subsidiary of The Coca-Cola Company, became president of Taylor in 1981 and served in that capacity until 1990.

Doyle is, or has been, a member of a number of not-for-profit boards including the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association, the New York Wine & Grape Foundation, and the Fred and Harriet Taylor Foundation. He served as a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Business Advisory Board during the Mario Cuomo administration. He has been a member of the board of the Business Council of New York State since 1983 and has served as a trustee of its Insurance Fund for more than two decades, including three terms as its chairman.

He grew up and attended schools in Clinton, New York and served as a Captain in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam conflict. His wife and partner of more than 40 years, Jana, died in 2007. He has three married children, all of whom attended colleges and live in upstate New York, and eight grandchildren.

He is a long time director and past chairman of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency and the Steuben Area Economic Development Corporation.
Christine G. Sharkey Headshot
Christine G. Sharkey
Corning Enterprises
Christine G. Sharkey is Director of Community Affairs for Corning Enterprises, the community and economic development arm of Corning Incorporated. She has been a Corning Incorporated employee for 36 years in a variety of financial roles prior to her assignment with Corning Enterprises in 2001.

She serves on a number of community boards including serving as Chairwomen of three boards: the Gaffer District, Corning Classic Charities (Wineglass Marathon), and the fund for Women of the Southern Tier. She also serves on the Three Rivers Development Corporation board as Vice-Chair. Chris and her husband John have two sons and reside in the town of Erwin.
Dean Strobel Headshot
Dean Strobel
Upstate Farms Cheese, LLC
Dean Strobel is the Director of Cheese Operations at Upstate Farms Cheese, LLC located in Campbell, NY. He was born and raised in Cohocton, NY where he graduated from Cohocton Central School. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the State University of New York at Geneseo. Immediately after graduating he began what has become a 38 year career in the dairy and food industry.

He has been responsible for the oversight and management of operations in New York, Maryland, Florida, Virginia, Wisconsin and New Jersey. He has been responsible for capital projects that have totaled well over $100 million over the course of his career. Dean also sits on the Board of Directors of the New York State Cheese Manufacturer’s Association. He, his wife Shelley (Olean, New York), and their two daughters returned to Western New York eight years ago when he joined the Upstate Niagara Cooperative.


The purpose of the Steuben County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is to advance the job opportunities, general prosperity and economic welfare of the people of the County.

The goal is to create and stimulate an economic climate that competitively positions Steuben County to attract a talented workforce, public and private investment in infrastructure and business development, and other compatible and diverse sustainable economic development opportunities. This will be accomplished by undertaking projects and development strategies that promote business development, and assist businesses to respond to opportunities, reduce risks, and overcome barriers to ensure long-term sustainability

Steuben County IDA will work openly and cooperatively with its stakeholders to leverage the county’s major assets and build the economic development capacity necessary to catalyze and sustain Steuben County’s economy. Stakeholders include Steuben County’s residents, workforce, municipal government entities, existing and prospective businesses, educational institutions and other organizations and agencies that can serve to enhance the county’s economic prosperity.

Public Documents IDA Application
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