Downtowners' Speaker Series

Entrepreneurship in Buffalo
Luncheon and Panel Discussion

  • Date: Monday, December 4, 2017
  • Time 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Location: The Buffalo Club – Fireside Room
  • Dress Code: Coat & Tie
  • Cost: $35/person until November 30 and $45 after. Includes lunch.

Join Canisius High School alumni and friends for a panel discussion about the start-up industry and entrepreneurship in Buffalo.
Featuring Bret Blakely from OnCore Golf, Sam Russo ’01 of Lorraine Capital, and Jack Greco from ACV Auction – winners of the 2015 43 North competition.


The Panelists:

Bret Blakely: OnCore Golf – Vice President & Co-Founder

Bret went to Canisius College and earned a B.A. in communications and a minor in marketing/advertising. Being told he was always so outgoing, Bret realized every kind of business needs someone who can communicate with others effectively.

He has always been drawn to creative interests and was fascinated by his marketing and advertising classes which prompted the minor in those fields. Bret has worked for several international advertising agencies.

He began his entrepreneurial journey by co-founding OnCore Golf with Steve Coulton. His branding and marketing talents are what has shaped the vision for OnCore and helped it develop its own image to stand out from the competition.

OnCore golf balls, featuring OnCore’s proprietary Soft Cell Technology, are USGA certified and were recently featured of Golf Digest’s 2017 Hot List.

Sam Russo ‘01: Lorraine Capital

Sam is an entrepreneur and executive involved in a number of high-growth businesses. In addition to investing in multiple early stage startup companies, he is also a co-founder of LenderLogix, a growing technology company disrupting the residential mortgage industry.

Sam has operated several successful companies, playing key business development, financial, and operational leadership roles. A native of Buffalo, he has enjoyed community involvement through the Canisius High School Alumni Board of Governors, Hasek’s Heroes, the Ride for Roswell, and Leadership Buffalo.

As Operating Partner with Lorraine Capital, Sam ensures portfolio companies have the strategy, teams, structure, reporting, and accountability necessary to drive growth. He has a B.S. in accounting from Canisius College and is a licensed (inactive) CPA in the State of New York.

Jack Greco: ACV Auctions – Chief Financial Officer & Co-Founder

John (Jack) Greco is co-founder and acting CFO/COO of ACV Auctions, a national digital dealer to dealer automotive auction platform. Prior to, and as part of this role at ACV, Greco was instrumental in the founding and early development of 50+ startups, spending over a decade in the venture capital world.

In addition to ACV, Greco dedicates time to advising regional early stage and family owned businesses as the Founder and Principal of Cupule Ventures, as well as serving as a board member to the Monroe Community Hospital Foundation and Beta Phi Alumni Association.

All of this comes second to the pride that comes from being a devoted father to his very adventurous two-year-old son, Little Jack. He has an MBA from the Simon School of Business Administration and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester.