The Power of Public-Private Partnership

The Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission and its non-profit partner, the Erie Canalway Heritage Fund work together with federal, state, and local agencies and organizations to plan for, encourage, and assist in historic preservation, conservation, recreation, interpretation, tourism and community development throughout the National Heritage Corridor.

Founding Legislation

Congressman James Walsh introduced legislation to establish the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor in 2000. Founding of the National Heritage Corridor marked the 175th Anniversary of New York State's creation and stewardship of the Erie Canalway for commerce, transportation and recreational purposes, establishing the network which made New York the Empire State and the Nation's premier commercial and financial center. Congressman Walsh's leadership and support, along with the leadership of Founding Chair Eric Mower, were critical to the early development of the National Heritage Corridor.

Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor Commission

Created by Congress in 2000, the federally-appointed Erie Canalway Commission is tasked with managing activities of the National Heritage Corridor. It receives financial support and technical assistance through the National Park Service, subject to annual Congressional appropriations.

ChairKal WysokowskiCanandaigua
Vice ChairHarry Sicherman
SecretarySusan Herlands Holland Ithaca (Sen. Gillibrand)
TreasurerCarl Blowers
Montour Falls (NY-23)
Secretary of the Interior Designee (ex officio)Gay VietzkeNational Park Service
Paul Beyer NYS Department of State
Fred Bonn NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Clinton BrownNY-26 (Buffalo)
John CallaghanAt-Large (Waterford)
Laura DiBettaNYS Department of Environmental Conservation
James FarrNY-25 (Rochester)
Sean KelleherNY-21
Dr. Cornelius Murphy, Jr.NY-24
Pieter SmeenkAt-Large (Fairport)
Mary Elizabeth StewartNY-20 (Albany)
Brian StrattonNYS Canal Corporation
Peter Wiles Jr.At-Large
Damali WynterNYS Agriculture and Markets
pendingNYS Department of Transportation
pendingEmpire State Development

Past Commission Chairs

Eric Mower, 2001-2008, Founding Chair and Emeritus Member
Joseph Callahan, 2008-2010
Judy Schmidt Dean, 2010-2014
Russell Andrews, 2014-2016
Pieter Smeenk, 2016-2019
Barbara Blanchard, 2019-2022

Erie Canalway Heritage Fund Board

The Erie Canalway Heritage Fund is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit that assists in carrying out the work of the Commission. The Heritage Fund secures additional private and public resources and helps implement the Corridor's award-winning Preservation and Management Plan.

Chair Brad Packard Getzville
Vice Chair Kate Morse
Secretary Mark Hettler Liverpool
Treasurer Erin Tobin Albany
Immediate Past Chair Judy McKinney Cherry Watkins Glen
Board of Directors
Carl Blowers Montour Falls
Bonney Hartley Williamstown, MA
Marilyn Higgins Canastota
Susan Herlands Holland Ithaca
Jack Leslie
Paul Neureuter Buffalo
Harry Sicherman Lockport
Kal Wysokowski Canandaigua
Past Heritage Fund Board Chairs
Tom Blanchard 2010-2018
Paul Neureuter 2018-2021
Judy McKinney Cherry 2021-2024