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Oishei Foundation names new president

Christina Oris is taking over for Robert Gioia who is retiring and she will be the first woman to lead the organization.
Credit: John R. Oishei Foundation

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The John R. Oishei Foundation Board of Directors announced on Monday they have named a new president. Christina Orsi will be the new president following the retirement of Robert Gioia in January after 15 years with the foundation.

Orsi will be the first woman to hold the position in the organization's history. She will take over the position on Jan. 24. 

She currently serves as the Associate Vice President in the Office of Economic Development at the State University of New York at Buffalo. She brings experience in economic development work for leading organizations that have improved Western New York. While at UB she helped advance its economic development mission.

“I chose to make Western New York my home and have spent my career advancing the growth of our community. From Rochester, I came for graduate school at the University at Buffalo, and never left. I fell in love with this community," Orsi said. 

"This town and its people have grit, and hearts that swell with pride for their neighborhoods, their home teams, their families and for the rich history, architecture and natural assets that make up this bi-national melting pot. I am relentless in rallying a team to help ensure that everyone participates in Buffalo’s revitalization. As the new leader, during what is inarguably the most profound time in recent history, I will be a catalyst for change, embracing innovation, inclusive of different perspectives and a collaborative connector with an unwavering mission that drives positive impact in our community. It is a privilege to help carry on the legacy of Mr. Oishei as an entrepreneur and philanthropist.”

Prior to joining UB, she provided strategic direction for the Western New York Regional Economic Development Council where she was important to the New York State’s Buffalo Billion economic development plan.

Oris also served with Invest Buffalo Niagara and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership supporting business growth and attracting investment to the area. She is also involved with the Greater Buffalo Racial Equity Roundtable, is a founding board member of 43North and of TechBuffalo, and a board member, Invest Buffalo Niagara, and Upstate Capital. She has also served on the board of Catholic Charities.