Patrick J. Whalen has been named interim director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute.

Patrick J. Whalen, former chief operating officer of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus Inc., has been named interim director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, effective immediately.

A comprehensive search to fill the position on a permanent basis will begin in the spring.

The NGTI is a Niagara University-led initiative that seeks to leverage research and development to transform the regional travel and tourism industry.

“Mr. Whalen brings exceptional experience and contacts in the area of economic development, with specific expertise in business incubation, supply chain management and international trade. We are very pleased that he’ll be leading the next phase of our efforts to optimize the unique assets that exist in the Western New York region,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University.

The NGTI, launched in September 2014, has been funded, in part, by New York state through the USA Niagara Development Corporation and the New York Power Authority.

A 15-member advisory board oversees the institute, and gathers input from four subcommittees comprised of industry constituents that focus on four core components: research, technology, workforce development and business incubation. Whalen has been serving on the NGTI’s business incubation subcommittee.

Whalen, prior to his seven-year tenure with the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, served as president/owner of PJW Transition Services, division manager at UPS Supply Chain Solutions and founder/owner/president of Fulfillment Systems International, one of the more than 20 entrepreneurial ventures he has founded, co-founded or invested in. Throughout his career, Whalen has served in a professional leadership capacity for several organizations, including the Buffalo Niagara World Trade Center, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Logistics Council and the New York State Business Incubation Association.

Whalen is a graduate of the University at Buffalo’s School of Management Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership.

Last month, the NGTI announced that it will be hosting a professional development seminar by the Disney Institute on March 2, 2016, at the Niagara Falls Conference & Event Center.

For more information on the Niagara Global Tourism Institute, please contact Roscoe Naguit, assistant director, at 716.524.2576 or ude.aragain@tiuganr.

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