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Brason, Zak Named to SUNY Buffalo State College Council

Brason, Zak Named to SUNY Buffalo State College Council

Posted: March 7, 2014

Todd Brason, '85, and Robert M. Zak have been appointed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as the newest members of the SUNY Buffalo State College Council.

“We are pleased that Todd Brason and Robert Zak will continue to serve Buffalo State in their new roles as members of the College Council,” said Interim President Howard Cohen. “Todd and Bob have been invaluable contributors to our mission for many years as members of the Buffalo State College Foundation. We are fortunate to have these two proven business leaders as the newest members of the council.”

Howard Zemsky, chair of the College Council, added, “We are looking forward to their service and very proud to have Bob and Todd on the College Council. I would also like to recognize Alphonso O’Neil White and Bill Bissett, who both served Buffalo State with great distinction for many years. Buffalo State and the College Council have benefited greatly from their service.”  

Brason, a 1985 graduate of Buffalo State, led WILLCARE from a single agency in Western New York to a regional home care provider with 15 branches in New York, Connecticut, and Ohio. He relinquished the title of chief executive officer in 2013 when he was appointed chairman, and continues to help shape the company in this new role. Brason has served as the chairperson of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers Inc. (HCP), and was an executive board member of the American Association for Home Care.

Brason is actively involved in community events in the Buffalo region as current chair of Erie County Medical Center Lifeline Foundation; as a board member of the American Red Cross–Greater Buffalo Chapter; and as a board member for the Buffalo Zoo.

He is a recipient of the Richard Z. Steinhaus Award given by HCP in recognition of outstanding contributions to the home care community.

Zak is president and chief executive officer of Merchants Mutual Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, known as Merchants Insurance Group. Property and casualty premiums for the companies total approximately $250 million. The companies are rated A- (excellent) by the A.M. Best Company. Zak is the organization’s primary representative to industry and agent trade organizations, community and civic organizations, government regulators, and insurance company rating organizations.

He joined Merchants in 1985 after a career in public accounting. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO in 1995, Zak held the position of senior vice president and chief financial officer. A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Zak earned both bachelor of science and MBA degrees in accounting and economics.

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