The mission of the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC) is to support the growth and prosperity of the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station (NFARS) and its personnel, creating a positive economic impact on the Western New York Community.

NFARS is the last federal U.S. Air Force base in the State of New York and the largest federal facility in the region.

Today NIMAC continues in the task of serving as a liaison between all levels of government and the NFARS. NIMAC is an apolitical and Hatch Act compliant organization allowing free communication between NIMAC, elected officials and military leadership.


RLL_6332Board of Directors

John A. Cooper Sr., Chairman
Bill Wagner, Vice Chairman
Col Kurt Hammer, USAF Ret., Secretary
Fred Caso, Treasurer
Col Robin Pfeil, USAF Ret., Director
Col Thomas Keough, USAF Ret., Director
Col Richard Muscatello, USAF Ret., Director
Col John Higgins, USAF Ret., Director
LTC William Ross, USAR Ret., Director
LTC Conrad Tota, USAR Ret., Director
LTC Jeff Glatz, USAF Ret., Director
LTC Joel D’Aloise, USAR Ret., Director
Peter Bacola, USAR, Director
Gary Hunt, Director
Brad Schumacher, Director
Jerry Slipko, Director
Gary Strenkoski, Director
Richard ‘Jay’ Anderson, Director
Mayor Art Pappas, Director
Legislator David Godfrey, Director
Executive Director NFTA, Kim Minkel, Director
Supervisor Robert Cliffe, Director
Russell Petrozzi, Director

Special Counsel:
Col Walter Gordon, USAF Ret.
CMSGT Norm Pearson, USAF Ret.

NIMAC’s First Chairman – Merrell A. Lane (8/5/47 – 8/16/14)

Merrell Lane photoMerrell graduated from LaSalle Senior High in 1965. He then attended N.C.C.C. and graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in 1967. He served as a Staff Sergeant in Vietnam in the U.S. Army, 1st Cavalry Division where he served from January 1969 until his honorable discharge in August 1970. He then continued working at the funeral home until his retirement in 2010.

 In 1995 Merrell was asked by the Chamber of Commerce to chair a new committee, the Niagara Military Affairs Council (NIMAC), to lead the community in efforts to keep the Niagara Falls Air Base off the base closure list. He continued until stepping down in June 2014 due to his health, but remained active as vice chairman. He was honored by numerous community groups for the work he did in 2005 during the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure).


Commanders Program

The Commanders Program is a series of five events that take place at various local military installations that give you a hands on experience as to what the military brings to our community. NIMAC is looking for a select group of leaders in business, education, government and non profit organizations across the Buffalo Niagara region to take part in this program. For more information on the program contact NIMAC at info@nimac.org for a nomination form. Download the brochure to learn about this once in a lifetime experience.