A Buffalo native, Robert Gioia began his career in 1970 as a part of the third generation of the Gioia family operating the Gioia Macaroni Company. From 1992-2007, Robert was a principal with the Food Group of Strategic Investments and Holdings, Inc., one of the most experienced equity acquisition firms in the nation today.
Robert has been a strong community leader dedicated to the betterment of the WNY region for decades.
He was Chairman of the NFTA from 1990-1998. He pioneered the completion of the $120 million Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. He was named one of The Buffalo News' Citizens of the Year three times, for the years 1997, 2007 and 2013.
Robert was Board President of Nichols School and the Martin House Restoration Corporation, Chairman of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, a Director of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and a Trustee of St. Lawrence University.
In January 2007, Robert was appointed President of The John R. Oishei Foundation, WNY’s largest private charitable foundation.
In 2007, Robert was appointed Chairman of Great Lakes Health which was established by the New York State Department of Health to implement Berger mandates involving ECMC and Kaleida Health.
In 2009 Robert was dubbed the Buffalo Niagara Executive of the Year by UB’s School of Management.
In 2012, Governor Cuomo appointed Robert to serve on the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation (ECHDC) and he currently serves as Chair.
In 2013 Robert received the Distinguished Citizen Achievement Award from Canisius College and the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Hope for Tomorrow Foundation.
In 2014 Robert received the Distinguished Service Award from the ECMC Lifeline Foundation.
In 2015, Robert was honored at the NFJC yearly Citation Banquet for his community service and was awarded the prestigious “Spirit Award” by the Kaleida Foundation.
He and his wife, Sally, have three children, Allison, Lauren, and Carolyn; and two grandchildren, “Lily” and “Jack.”