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A longtime marketing veteran from economic development, real estate and business circles has joined the Buffalo Niagara Partnership as a senior executive.

The Partnership has named Therese J. Hickok as its new vice president of marketing and engagement, luring her away from her role as senior marketing manager for Uniland Development Co. She will work with new president and CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen to achieve the organization’s mission.

Gallagher-Cohen said Hickok will work to communicate the extent of the Partnership’s work, which the CEO acknowledged is not well-understood by most people.

“It’s about helping me bridge the gap in the community between what the Partnership’s brand is and the work we actually do,” Gallagher-Cohen said. “The product is better than the brand here. The work that we do is just better than what people know.”

As a result, despite its achievements, the group has suffered some image problems, with some questioning what it really does.

“The Partnership has a very strong reputation and we certainly enjoy a lot of support from our members. But I think there are very few people that understand the depth of all that we are involved in,” she said. “And we have not done a very good job of communicating that.”

Hickok’s new job is a return of sorts to one of the first stops in her career. Prior to Uniland, she served as director of communications at Buffalo-based health insurer HealthNow New York, but previously she was director of marketing and communications at the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise – the private-sector-funded economic development organization that shares space and staff with the Partnership. She has also worked at E-3 Communications and for the City of Buffalo.

email: jepstein@buffnews.com