John R. Simon

D&C Strategic Development & Asset Officer


John R. Simon is Stavatti’s Chief Strategic Development and Asset Officer. Also the Executive Director of the World Weather Center, Mr. Simon was formerly the Managing Partner of ThoughtSigns, Inc. (“TSI”) and the President of StartSmartR Capital Corporation (“SCC”). TSI and SCC are technology companies that established business Partnerships in a variety of sectors to apply artificial intelligence and the AutoGnomic™ synthetic intelligence to products or processes to improve performance and relevance. Prior to TSI/SCC, Mr. Simon was the Chief Operating Officer/Chief Administrative Office of the Magical Lands of Oz Theme Park and Resorts (2005-2016); Mr. Simon has an extensive background serving both the Public and Private sectors.

Early in 2003, he acquired a small, new business, Asthma Freedom, Inc. (“AFI”), a respiratory solution company where he served as President and owner. AFI sold a variety of respiratory products around the world to distributors, wholesalers, and retail customers. Mr. Simon also is the founder of J. R. Simon & Associates, Inc. where he serves as President/CEO. J. R. Simon & Associates, Inc. is a consulting firm that provides services to enable companies to become competitive domestic and international businesses.

Mr. Simon would focus on international trade (specifically with Europe, Canada, and China), transportation, warehousing and distribution relating to international trade, company operational issues and component sourcing, and access to Federal, State, and local financial assistance. Prior to founding his company, John served for nearly 6 years as the Executive Director of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency (“NCIDA”).

During his tenure with the NCIDA, Mr. Simon’s accomplishments have included the implementation of a sectoral marketing program, the broadening and diversification of financial programs, the acquisition of a 158 acre industrial park, and the financing and construction of a 50,000 square foot “smart” multi-tenant/incubator building in the industrial park. He has been extensively involved in the promotion of the Niagara Falls International Airport as a hub for air cargo and air charter service.

Mr. Simon came to the NCIDA from the Empire State Development Corporation (“ESDC”) where he served as Director of Business Services and Corporate Secretary. At EDSC, John developed an extensive economic development and training background for 12 years with New York State. Prior to working for New York State, John worked in various educational related positions, including a training specialist for the State Education Department, a principal of a private secondary school, and numerous experiences teaching credit and non-credit courses at local colleges and universities.

Mr. Simon graduated from the University of Kentucky with a Master of Arts in Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Mr. Simon has also earned a Certificate in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo. Mr. Simon is a Founder of ThoughtSigns Enterprises, the founding corporate and development partner forming StartSmartR™, Inc. and the managing developer of the AutoGnomics™ technology, a class of Synthetic Intelligence technology that implements a theory of mind in a model that is both revolutionary and viable. He has served or is currently serving as Trustee and Treasurer of the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village, Director of Stavatti Aerospace, Ltd., the Chief Administrator for the Niagara Airport Development Corporation, a Board Member of the New York State Economic Development Council, a member of the New York State Business Industry Council Advisory Board, a member of the National Council on Urban Economic Development, a member of the Niagara County Community College Business Industry Council, Co-Chairperson of the Niagara County Economic Development Alliance, a member of the Niagara Frontier Industry Education Council, Board Member of the Western New York Regional Education Center for Economic Development, a member of the Erie-Niagara Regional Partnership, a member of the Niagara County Workforce Investment Board, and a member of the New York State Power Relicensing Executive Committee.