Robert D. Gioia Named “Buffalo-Niagara Executive of the Year”

Release Date: September 10, 2009 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Robert D. Gioia, president of The John R. Oishei Foundation, has been named the 2009 Buffalo-Niagara Executive of the Year by the University at Buffalo School of Management.

The award will be presented at the 60th Annual School of Management Alumni Association awards banquet beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 5 in the Millennium Airport Hotel, 2040 Walden Ave., Buffalo.

Gioia was selected by a vote of past honorees and the board of directors of the alumni association, who cited his tireless community leadership, impeccable ethics and unflagging professionalism. Gioia follows in the footsteps of John R. Oishei, who received the award more than 50 years ago in 1955.

A Buffalo native and resident, Gioia began his career in 1970 as a part of the third generation operating the Gioia Macaroni Company. From 1992 to 2007, he was a principal with the Food Group of Strategic Investments and Holdings. Established in 1983, Strategic Investments and Holdings is one of the most experienced equity acquisition firms in the nation today.

Gioia was chair of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority from 1990-98. He pioneered the completion of the $120 million Buffalo-Niagara International Airport and was named one of The Buffalo News' Citizens of the Year in 1997 and 2007.

Gioia has served as president of the board of trustees of The Nichols School, president of the Martin House Restoration Corporation and chair of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. He also served as chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and as a trustee of St. Lawrence University.

In 2007, Gioia was appointed president of The John R. Oishei Foundation, Western New York’s largest private, charitable foundation. Also in 2007, Gioia was elected chair of the Western New York Health System (now Great Lakes Health System of Western New York).

Established in 1949, the Buffalo-Niagara Executive of the Year award is presented annually to an area resident or individual whose organization has a major impact on the region. Former recipients include Louis P. Ciminelli, Robert E. Rich Sr., Armand Castellani, Robert E. Rich Jr., Jeremy M. Jacobs, Burt Flickinger Jr., Seymour H. Knox III, Sal H. Alfiero, Robert G. Wilmers, Frank L. Ciminelli, Brian J. Lipke, Robert T. Brady, Frank S. McGuire and Carl J. Montante. Last year’s honoree was B. Thomas Golisano.

For information about the awards banquet, contact John Shellum, assistant dean of alumni relations in the School of Management, at 716-645-3224.

The Wall Street Journal has ranked the UB School of Management No. 9 in the nation among schools with strong regional recruiting bases. In addition, BusinessWeek has ranked the school as one of the country's top 5 business schools for the fastest return on MBA investment, and Forbes has cited it as one of the best business schools in the U.S. for the return on investment it provides MBA graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system that is its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Jacqueline Molik Ghosen
Assistant Dean and Director of Communications
School of Management