Mark E. Hamister used "maxed out credit cards and a dream" to strike his first business deal in the late 1970s, and almost bought the Buffalo Sabres in 2002, on his way to building a company with more than 500 people and annual revenues of more than $80 million, his son, Daniel, told The Buffalo News Saturday night. Hamister, founder, chairman and CEO of the Hamister Group, died Friday August 20 2021 after a brief illness. He was 69. Mark Hamister, the Chairman and CEO of the The Hamister Group, Inc., is a proven leader with a clear vision of where he wants to take his companies. He founded his first assisted living company, named 8678 Lake Street, Inc., in 1977. From the very beginning he focused on great service and high rewards for all constituencies. This company later evolved into National Health Care Affiliates, Inc. (NHCA), which was sold in 1996 returning a significantly above average return for its investors. Mr. Hamister is also an extremely active member of the community in the Buffalo-Niagara Region, serving as a member and/or officer of multiple Boards and Civic organizations such as: the Empire State Development Corporation, to which he was appointed Director by Governor Pataki and confirmed by the New York State Senate for a term commencing in 2005 and expiring in 2009; the Buffalo Niagara Partnership; the Buffalo-Niagara region Chamber of Commerce (formerly the Chairman); State University of New York at Buffalo Foundation (Trustee), and many more. Examples of Mr. Hamister's former board participation include: Independent Health Association, a large regional health insurance company (serves as Chairman of two Board Committees), Erie County Industrial Development Agency, Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (former Chairman), Buffalo Seminary, a private all girl high school (former Chairman), Shea's Buffalo Center for the Performing Arts (former Chairman), Committee for Tomorrow, transition team for the then newly elected Joel Giambra as Erie County Executive (Chairman), Buffalo State College Presidents Advisory Council, The Erie County Cultural Resources Advisory Board (Chairman), and The Police Foundation (Chairman). Mr. Hamister was predeceased by his wife, Sharon, and a brother. He is survived by his mother, Jane Hall Hamister; two brothers; three children; and four grandchildren. Hamister's daughter Katie Hamister is executive director of the Hamister Family Foundation, which serves nonprofits in education, health care and economic growth. Daniel Hamister, who has served as executive vice president and chief investment officer at the Hamister Group, will take over as company president and CEO. His succession had been in the works for a decade and he was slated to take the helm Nov. 1 2021.