2016 Board of Directors

The Taste is a not-for-profit corporation and is run by an all-volunteer board of directors and an event coordinator. Planning for the Taste is year round and culminates at the largest two-day food festival in the nation. The purpose of the event is to showcase downtown Buffalo and the wonderful restaurants that call our region home.


Jen Mitri
Independent Health Foundation
1st Vice Chair
Ralph Basile
First Niagara Bank
2nd Vice Chair
Richard McDermott
Matthew Testa
First Niagara Bank
Luke Baecker
Arcara Zucarelli Lenda & Straka, CPAs PC
Assistant Treasurer
Amelia Hakes
Horizon Health Services, Inc.
Past Chair
Laura Jacobs


Jason Cane
P & B Capital
Erin Collins
Joseph J. Florczak
Ann Hackett
aHa! Designs
Amber Hartman
Rich Products Corporation
Mary Hermans
BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
Chris Hitchcock  CLH Consulting
Darcy Hitchcock  Cognigen Corporation
Joseph Lane
AXA Advisors
Thomas Mahoney
Elizabeth Mamot
AAA Western & Central New York
Tim Matthews
University at Buffalo
Thomas P. Muscarella Erie County Department of Health
Mark E. Reimann
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Matthew J. Reis
Tallinger Associates, Foodservice Design
Mark Zawodzinski
Five Star Bank


James K. Morrell
W. Morgan Smith
Buffalo Place, Inc.

Advisory Committee


Mac Hartman
Freed Maxick
Frank Sardina
First Niagara Bank

Sell-utions Inc.: Connie Wendling
Festival Coordinator

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