Joseph M. Hanna, a partner based in Goldberg Segalla’s Buffalo office and a member of the firm’s most senior leadership, has been elected to the Board of Directors for the Business Council of New York State (BCNYS). The vote at the BCNYS annual meeting on Friday, September 25, 2020, signaled Joe’s official three-year tenure on the board.
The BCNYS, the leading business organization in the state, represents the interests of public and private companies, colleges and universities, local and regional chambers of commerce, and professional and trade associations across the state. Its members employ more than 1.2 million New Yorkers. As a member of the Board of Directors, Joe will work to advance the council’s mission to create economic growth, good jobs, and strong communities across New York State.
“The business community needs strong advocates in these uncertain times. As a close advisor to some of the largest employers operating in New York State, I know that executives are concerned about keeping their people safe, their businesses solvent, and their relationships with governments and regulators strong. I’m proud to be a tireless advocate for these companies in the courtroom, and I am confident I will be an effective voice for the broader business community in this new role,” Joe said. “Additionally, I’m eager to start working with my fellow board members and the executive staff to advance diversity and inclusion, both within the Business Council and across all sectors of the state’s business community. This has been a priority for my entire career, and I look forward to drawing on my own national network and experience leading diversity efforts in other organizations to accomplish positive change with the Business Council.”
Joe is a member of Goldberg Segalla’s Facilitation Committee—the five-member body responsible for overseeing all of the firm’s more than 400 attorneys in 22 offices across 10 states—and also serves as co-chair of the national Retail and Hospitality and Sports and Entertainment practices.
He is a commercial litigator and legal adviser recognized for representing national retail and restaurant chains, global hotel and hospitality enterprises, shopping centers, property owners, and developers. Joe also represents major-league sports franchises, professional athletes, movie studios, and others in the sports and entertainment world on a wide range of high-value matters involving licensing, contracts, and day-to-day business management.
In addition, Joe is a leading voice for diversity in legal and business communities. He is the founder and chair of Goldberg Segalla’s Diversity Task Force and has held multiple leadership roles in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). He has also held leadership positions on diversity-focused committees within DRI and the American Bar Association (ABA), where he served several years as co-chair of the Young Lawyer Leadership Program, chair of the Minority Trial Lawyer Committee, and editor-in-chief of Minority Trial Lawyer.
Outside his legal practice, Joe is the founder and president of Bunkers in Baghdad, a nonprofit that collects and sends golf equipment to U.S. soldiers and veterans worldwide to aid in recreation and rehabilitation from injuries.
With a national practice and industry-wide reputation for leadership, Joseph M. Hanna is consistently ranked among the top 10 attorneys based in Western New York in Business First’s annual Legal Elite, and in 2015, Joe was the youngest honoree ever to be named Lawyer of the Year in the Bar Association of Erie County’s 130-year history. He has received accolades that include the IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Awareness) Award, Minority Corporate Counsel Association George B. Vashon Innovator Award, the New York State Bar Association Diversity Trailblazer Award, and the University at Buffalo George W. Thorn Award. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including an AV Preeminent Peer Review rating though Martindale-Hubbell and frequently appears on lists such as Upstate New York Super Lawyers Rising Stars.