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NFTA names first female chief

By Joyce Kryszak


Buffalo, NY – The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority has a new executive director. And for the first time in the agency's history it is a woman.

45 year-old Kimberley Minkel said she is excited - and humbled by the appointment. The NFTA's former director of health, safety and environmental quality was appointed unanimously by the NFTA board. She has worked for the NFTA for eight years.

The mother of two has an MBA from Canisius college and more than 20 years experience in compliance management working in both the private and public sectors. NFTA aviation director William Vanecek also was a finalist for the executive director post.

Minkel replaces Lawrence Meckler who retired after 34 years, the last 12 of those as executive director. Two other long-term administrators also retired. Minkel said rebuilding the agency's knowledge base is one of her priorities.

Minkel will earn $170,000 a year in in her new job. She said there are a number of priorities she will pursue, including funding issues and promoting green practices. Minkel said that means a thorough study of the NFTA waterfront property before any reuse plans are pursued.

She said more study also is needed before any decsiions are made on whether or not to extend the metro rail line.