BSRA Updates

BSRA JANUARY ’18 NEWSLETTER

BSRA Awarded $1 Million Grant from the
Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation!

A good holiday season turned into a GREAT holiday season when we received word in December that the BSRA was awarded a $1 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation that will be used for the construction and management of our new rowing center under construction at 405 Ohio St. Please visit our website for the exciting details!

Meet BSRA President
Mark Kostrzewski

Mark has been a lifelong resident of Western New York. He attended Canisius High School, a Jesuit College Preparatory School in Buffalo, and graduated in 1970. He then attended Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., graduating in 1974 Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree. 

Upon graduating, he moved back to the Buffalo area and entered the insurance business with Mass Mutual Life Insurance Company at the Williamsville district office of Cochrane & Flynn Associates.  

In 1980 he became a partner of Cochrane & Flynn Associates and achieved his CLU and ChFC designations. 

Mark’s practice focused on qualified plan (design, implementation and administration), non-qualified deferred compensation, split dollar and executive bonus plans.  

In 1991, Mark was offered an opportunity to purchase the General Agency of National Life of Vermont in Buffalo. In the ensuing year, he expanded his business (MBK and Associates, Inc.) to include Rochester and Syracuse as well. The firm provided full financial planning services to businesses and professionals. It included life insurance, investment and employee benefit planning, college retirement distribution and executive compensation planning, doing business in upstate New York and north west Pennsylvania. 

During this period, Mark was active in the company’s Franchisee Association and became the president of its Executive Committee in 2004 and served until 2006 in that capacity. At that time he negotiated a buyout of his business interest from National Life of Vermont. The re-founding of MBK & Associates, Inc. has allowed Mark to focus specifically on executive compensation planning and succession planning strategies. 

Mark is a member of several financial industry associations including The Advanced Association of Life Underwriters (AALU), Society of Financial Service Providers (FSP) and Estate Analysts of Western New York. 

Mark has also been active in the community, serving on corporate and charitable boards, and is currently involved with the Buffalo Scholastic Rowing Association, and is the chairman of redevelopment of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in heart of the Elmwood Village in Buffalo.  

While at Cornell, Mark was a four-year varsity member of the Cornell University Heavyweight Crew Team from 1970-1974 and continued to row after graduation as well as coaching at his high school alma mater as the head rowing coach in the 1990s. He helped develop the Canisius High School rowing program into a national presence in the high school rowing community. 

Mark enjoys playing golf and rowing in his spare time. He and his wife, Laure, have four grown children and also enjoy traveling to see their two grandchildren. 


A Message from Our President

As we enter our eighth year of operations on the Buffalo River, we are both excited and thankful to be part of the downtown renaissance and revitalization of the Old First Ward. We are especially excited with the prospect of being able to finish our 16,000-square-foot permanent boathouse on Ohio Street thanks to the continuing and generous support of many individuals and organizations in our community. In particular, the recent award of the $1 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation will enable us to complete our flagship structure.

We look forward to continuing to expand the footprint of the rowing in Buffalo and Western New York, and helping young men and women prepare for rowing and life one stroke at a time.

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Sustaining Membership Update


In 2018, Sustaining Members will receive a free walkway brick when they renew! Please contact Hilary Epes Oballim at (716) 982-4067 or hilary.epes@gmail.com for details.

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Mark Your Calendar:
Important BSRA Dates

• January 6: Team BSRA Boys and Girls Information Meeting at the Old First Ward Community Center (OFWCC).

• January 9: First Team BSRA Boys practice at the OFWCC from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

• January 14: First BSRA Master's practice at OFWCC from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

• Team BSRA Girls Winter Training: Contact Coach Kim Lonas at kimberlylonas@aol.com for details.

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO OUR BSRA FAMILY!