Press Release

Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Adds Seven New Board Members, Including Thurman and Patti Thomas

By April 1, 2019 November 14th, 2019 No Comments

BUFFALO, NY  – The Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, which governs both the Buffalo Museum of Science and Tifft Nature Preserve, announced today the election of six members filling five seats on its Board of Managers for three-year terms: Thurman and Patti Thomas (occupying one seat), Herbert F. “Buck” Darling III, Carolyn Hoyt Stevens, Jenae Pitts and Simmone Washington. The Board of Managers has also elected a new Board Chair, Dave Busch.

Thurman Thomas is the vice chairman of the New York State Tourism Board, president of 34 Group and ambassador for the Buffalo Bills organization. Thomas enjoyed a successful 13-year career as the principal running back for the Buffalo Bills, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Patti Thomas is the CEO of 34 Group, a New York State-certified MBE specializing in the design and installation of broadband systems and general construction.

Herbert F. “Buck” Darling III is the president and co-owner of Herbert F. Darling Inc., of Williamsville, NY. He graduated Clarkson College of Technology, now Clarkson University, with a bachelor of professional studies degree in business management and civil engineering, and is board member of the Pile Driving Contractors Association and Construction Employers Association of Central New York. Darling’s father, Herbert F. Darling, Jr., transitioned off the Board of Managers in 2018.

Carolyn Hoyt Stevens is the director of development at The Park School, overseeing fundraising programs, alumni relations and external relations for the School. She earned a B.A. from Hamilton College and a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Hoyt Stevens was elected to the Board of WNY STEM Hub in 2018 and is a past board member of Planned Parenthood of Central and Western New York and the Maria Love Convalescent Fund.

Jenae Pitts is the managing partner and co-founder of OneTen Capital, a Buffalo-based venture capital and operational consulting firm focused on engineering and hardware-based portfolio companies looking to scale. Pitts holds an MBA from the Simon School of Business and a B.A. in international relations from the University of Denver. She currently sits on the board of WNED / WBFO.

Simmone Washington is the director of business and enterprise services at the Northland Workforce Training Center, an institution of higher learning, which serves as an inner-city extension center for Alfred State College and SUNY Erie. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Buffalo State College, and earned a Master of Arts degree in organizational leadership from Medaille College. Washington also received a Not-for-Profit Management Certificate from the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo in 2018.

Dave Busch is the senior vice president, chief sales officer of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and has sat on the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Board of Managers since 2017. Busch currently serves as Chair of the Tifft Nature Preserve Standing Committee, where his leadership was instrumental in the development and approval of the Preserve’s new 2019-2020 strategic plan. He graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Amherst Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Byron W. Brown has formally appointed Oluwole A. (OJ) McFoy to represent the Mayor in his ex-officio seat on the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Board of Managers. McFoy is the general manager of the Buffalo Sewer Authority and serves as Chairman of the Buffalo Water Board. McFoy is a licensed engineer and an advocate for STEM education.

The Thomases, Darling, Stevens, Pitts, Washington and McFoy join the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences Board of Managers as three members, Judith Feld, Karl Krebs and Laurie Dann, end their service.

These additions come on the heels of the state’s recently-announced $2.6 million East Side Corridor Economic Development Fund grant for crucial building improvements to the Buffalo Museum of Science, specifically the restoration of the historic north entrance and limestone façade. The Buffalo Museum of Science is also in the middle of its 2018-2020 strategic plan, which is centered around the Museum’s commitment to raising the level of science literacy and engagement for all in Western New York.

For additional information about the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences, the Buffalo Museum of Science, and Tifft Nature Preserve, visit www.sciencebuff.org.



Rooted in the belief that science creates opportunities and shapes our world, the Buffalo Museum of Science is a non-profit educational institution dedicated to providing relevant science programming to learners of all ages in the Buffalo Niagara region. Through interactive science studios and exhibits designed for multi-generational learning, the Museum showcases its extensive collection of more than 700,000 specimens and artifacts representing all facets of the natural world with an emphasis on Western New York. With a focus on raising the science literacy in the Buffalo Niagara area and beyond, the Museum offers hands-on workshops, camps, panel discussions, guided tours and enhance learning opportunities for its guests and community. Opened in 1929 in Buffalo’s Olmsted-designed Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, the Museum recently installed its eighth interactive science studio marking the completion of the Museum’s 9-year-long transformation of its guest experience. The Buffalo Museum of Science is governed by the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences alongside Tifft Nature Preserve in South Buffalo, a 264-acre urban wetland preserve on reclaimed former industrial land. Learn more at www.sciencebuff.org.


Tifft Nature Preserve is a 264-acre urban wetland preserve and wildlife refuge on reclaimed former industrial land in South Buffalo’s Outer Harbor. A leader in environmental conservation and a regional birding destination, Tifft provides year-round outdoor recreation and educational programming for children and adults. Governed by the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences alongside the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Preserve features five miles of beautiful trails, diverse habitats, boardwalks and a newly-renovated Herb & Jane Darling Environmental Education Center. For more information, please visit www.tifft.org.