Tonawanda News

June 6, 2013

Sabres hire Koelmel to lead HARBORCenter

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Former First Niagara head John Koelmel has a new job. On Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres announced they've hired Koelmel as president of HARBORCenter, the new development currently under construction next door to the hockey team's home rink, First Niagara Center.

Scheduled to open in September 2014, HARBORCenter will house two ice rinks, restaurant, parking and other amenities. A hotel within the building is scheduled to open in 2015.

As president, Koelmel will oversee the day-to-day operations of the complex.

“John is among the most well-respected professionals in Western New York,” Sabres owner Terry Pegula said in prepared remarks released by the Sabres. “He has a long history as a successful businessman in the region, which will serve him well in his new role. We’re excited to welcome him to the team and we look forward to his contributions as president.” Koelmel, who most recently spent more than 10 years with First Niagara Financial Group – including six years as chief executive officer and president – has nearly 30 years of management experience in his career.