Click on the name of a staff member to view his or her biography.

Mark S. Peterson,  President & CEO 585-530-6200
Laura Trost, Executive Assistant to Mark Peterson 585-530-6203
Winona Dixon,  Manager, Research and Information Systems 585-530-6206
Leah George, Managing Director, Business Development 585-530-6220
Staci Henning, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer 585-530-6211
Matt Hurlbutt, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer 585-530-6208
Ana Liss, Managing Director, Business Development 585-530-6205 
Carter Middleton, Business Development Associate 585-530-6217
Faye Pelow, Administrative Assistant 585-530-6204 

Staff Bios

Winona Dixon, Manager, Research and Information Systems Winona Dixon joined GRE in June 2003 as the Executive Assistant to the President and CEO. She currently serves as Manager, Research and Information Systems. In addition to these duties, Winona also manages numerous site search requests and development of proposals for national site selectors.

Winona holds a bachelor's degree in Business Management and a master's degree in Management and Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology, and is a graduate of the United Way's African American Leadership Development Program.

Winona Dixon

Leah George, Managing Director, Business Development  As a senior member of GRE’s business development team, Leah manages relationships with corporate executives, site selectors and regional economic development officials to attract private capital investment and new jobs to the 9-county Greater Rochester, NY Region. Leah also spearheads GRE’s international trade initiatives, which support business development efforts and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) opportunities. Leah manages GRE’s International Business Council, and co-chairs the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council (FLREDC) Global NY Work Team. The council and work team is comprised of industry experts in global logistics, finance, legal, tax, human resources, export compliance (ITAR/EAR), Foreign-Trade Zones (FTZs), government regulation, market entry, supply chain, and translation. The council proactively connects leaders of small and mid-sized companies to the resources they need to compete and win in the global economy. Leah and is an active member of the Upstate New York District Export Council (DEC), National Association of Foreign Trade Zones (NAFTZ), and the SBA Buffalo District International Trade Task Force. She serves on the Board of Directors at the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County.

Leah received the 2014 ‘Victor E. Salerno Award for American Enterprise’ and Excellence in Management, was featured as ‘Woman to Watch’ by the Democrat and Chronicle and Her Rochester in 2013 and received the Rochester Women’s Network Up & Coming Businesswoman’s Award in 2011.

Prior to joining GRE, Leah spent more than a decade as a broadcast journalist.  She graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a B.A. in communications, public relations and business and earned an M.B.A. from St. John Fisher College. 

Leah George

Staci Henning, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer   Staci Henning brings more than 25 years of marketing experience to her role as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. She is responsible for all aspects of GRE's marketing strategy and creative development including advertising, corporate communications, Internet marketing, and public relations. In addition, Staci manages the corporate budget and investor relations.  Staci also co-produces and hosts a weekly radio show, Eyes on the Future, every Saturday morning at 10 am on WHAM -1180. You can check out podcasts of the show here.

Prior to joining GRE in 2004, Staci served as Corporate Advertising and Branding Manager for The PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh, PA. During her tenure at PNC, Staci managed marketing programs to reposition PNC's brand as well as promote the company's personal banking, corporate banking and investment services.

Before entering the world of financial services, Staci worked as a Marketing Manager and Advertising Manager at MCI WorldCom in Arlington, VA. She managed numerous broadcast advertising campaigns for MCI Friends & Family as well as other MCI branded services. Staci's marketing campaigns have garnered industry awards for creativity as well as generating business results.

As an active member of her community, Staci serves on the JCC of Greater Rochester Board and the Camp Seneca Lake Advisory Council. Her community service contributions and leadership skills have earned her the 2015 JCC Young Leadership Award and the Jewish Federation of Rochester's 2012 Raye K. Aiole Young Leadership Award. 

A Rochester native, Staci holds a bachelor's degree in advertising from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Matt Hurlbutt, Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Matt Hurlbutt serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Greater Rochester Enterprise with responsibility for attracting new business to the Greater Rochester region. Matt guides business development strategies, organizational resources and outreach efforts to position Rochester as destination of choice for business investment. Matt works directly with corporate executives and national site selectors as they consider locations for investment and job creation. Matt was directly involved in bringing Alpina Foods, FedEx Freight, Foundation Financial Group, Intrinsiq Materials, Muller Quaker Dairy, Omni-ID and Quintel Solutions to the region. He also worked with Brand Networks, Concentrix, LiDestri Foods and Maximus as the companies expanded in the region. Matt also directs GRE's Economic Gardening effort and collaborates with state and local partners to leverage the region's assets in order to support innovation and economic growth.

Prior to joining GRE, Matt served as Managing Director of Finger Lakes Wired. The regional partnership was awarded $15 million through the US Department of Labor's WIRED initiative in 2006. The partnership represented more than 21 business, higher education, philanthropic, economic and workforce development organizations in the nine county region dedicated to transforming the regional economy.  Matt also served as Executive Director of RochesterWorks, Inc. from 2000 to 2008, where he was responsible for overall management of the workforce development system including strategic planning, resource development, marketing and new initiatives. He guided the creation of the non-profit corporation and workforce development programs from concept to implementation, designing its products and services. 

In 2001, Matt was named to the "40 under 40" list by the Rochester Business Journal, an award given to salute individuals with outstanding leadership and accomplishments for service in their jobs and the community at larger. He is a member of Pi Alpha Alpha, the National Honor Society of Public Affairs and Administration. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree from State University of New York College at Brockport and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, State University of New York College at Geneseo. He and his family live in the Town of Greece, New York.


Ana Liss, Managing Director, Business Development Ana Liss is the Managing Director of Business Development at Greater Rochester Enterprise (GRE). In collaboration with the GRE team and regional stakeholders, Ana works to help guide and implement business attraction and expansion projects that stimulate growth in the 9-county Finger Lakes region. She is passionate about fostering opportunity in the Finger Lakes through innovative efforts to bolster job creation.

After time spent as a TV news anchor and reporter, Ana developed interest in finding solutions to economic struggles faced by small- and mid-sized cities in New York. She left news to pursue graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed a fellowship at a regional think tank, the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia, and gained experience in best practices for shoring up regional prosperity.

Subsequent roles included serving as a consultant to fiscally-stressed communities for the Center for Governmental Research; launching and managing New York’s first Economic Gardening program for GRE; and the Empire State Fellowship, through which she served the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo as a policy advisor and analyst in Albany from 2013-2015.

She most recently worked for Cornell University’s S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management as Manager of Corporate Relations, nurturing the vital links between higher education and industry.

Ana holds an MPA from Penn and a magna cum laude BA in Journalism from the Ithaca College Park School of Communications; as well as an advanced MBA certificate in Innovation Management and Technology Transfer from SUNY Empire State.


Carter Middleton, Business Development Associate Carter Middleton joined GRE in 2013 as a Business Development Associate. He supports GRE's business attraction efforts as a member of the research team. Carter graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2012 with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Political Science and Economics.

Prior to joining GRE, he interned at the Center for Governmental Research, assisted in the University of Rochester's Science and Technology Entry Program, and spent eight months teaching in France. In his free time, Carter enjoys playing ultimate frisbee and spending time on Keuka Lake.


Faye Pelow, Administrative Assistant  Faye joined the Greater Rochester Enterprise team in 2017 as an Administrative Professional.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and International Studies from Nazareth College as well as a Master of Science in International Studies from St. John Fisher College and is currently pursuing her PhD in the Global and Sociocultural Studies program at Florida International University (FIU).  With a strong background in international affairs, cross-cultural communications and diversity initiatives, Faye brings an interdisciplinary approach and positive attitude to her work environment.

Prior to joining GRE, Faye worked for several years as a Human Resources Specialist and subsequently as a Legal Assistant locally in Rochester.  A confident public speaker, Faye most recently presented a paper at the Landscapes of Liminality conference at Trinity College in Dublin.  She is a member of Pi Gamma Mu and Sigma Delta Pi, the International Studies and Spanish National Honor Societies, respectively. 

Inspired by her extensive knowledge of higher education programs and a passion for supporting others, Faye created, implemented and managed a mentoring program for incoming graduate students at Florida International University.  In addition to her work at GRE, she is currently utilizing her five years of comprehensive teaching experience and advising expertise to serve as an Academic Coach for the GSS department at FIU.  She is also an active entrepreneur and runs her own successful online business.  When not in the office, Faye enjoys traveling whenever and wherever she can.

Mark S. Peterson, President & CEO Mark has an outstanding background in regional economic development, financial administration, and high-value fund raising. He joined GRE in March, 2005 and was appointed President & CEO in April, 2009.  Charged with the continued creation and execution of GRE’s strategic plan, Mark has proven himself to be a strong advocate for the Greater Rochester region, building a reputation amongst his colleagues as an exceptional leader and proactive change agent. By positioning the Greater Rochester region as a highly attractive target destination for businesses, continually marketing the region, raising funds, and attracting new business opportunities Mark and the GRE team have successfully recruited dozens of new companies, creating thousands of new jobs and more than $2 billion in new investment into the region.  

A certified fund raising executive (CFRE) since 1992, Mark has an impressive history of garnering substantial monies at several world-class nonprofit organizations totaling more than $120 million. In 2009 Mark was honored as the Robert A. Clinger Outstanding Professional Fundraiser by the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.  An engaging public speaker and conference presenter, Mark delivers up to 60 speeches annually.  In addition, he contributes his time and energies to several professional groups, serving in leadership roles at the New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) and the Center for Emerging & Innovative Sciences (CEIS). 

In 2011 Mark was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo as a member of the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council where he serves as a member of the Council’s Steering Committee. A proud alumnus of St. John Fisher College, Mark received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1983. He went on to earn his Master of Business Administration in Kent State University’s Executive MBA Program in 1994.  In 2014 Mark was recognized as St. John Fisher College's Beta Gamma Sigma Chapter Honoree in recognition of professional achievement and for demonstration of excellence and outstanding commitment to the values of Beta Gamma Sigma, which are: honor and integrity, pursuit of wisdom, and earnestness.  

Dedicated to giving back to his community, Mark serves on many community boards including as Chairman of the Board for CDS Life Transitions one of the region’s largest non-profit organizations.  In 2008 Mark helped found St. John Bosco Schools, a nationally recognized private school, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors. 

Mark Peterson

Laura Trost, Executive Assistant to the President & CEO Laura Trost joined GRE in 2015 as Executive Assistant to Mark S. Peterson, GRE’s President and CEO. Prior to joining GRE, Laura worked for most of her career as an Administrative Assistant for Nixon Peabody LLP.  She also worked as an Administrative Assistant for the Executive Director of Regional and International Advancement at the University of Rochester. Laura brings with her a multifaceted background with experience in team program and event coordination, project management, institutional advancement, prospect research, client service planning, patent work, and human resource administration.


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