Dr. Dennis Kessler

NYSIF Commissioner Dr. Dennis Kessler, SJD

Dennis Kessler, S.J.D., brings to NYSIF 30 years of experience in restaurant ownership, real estate and human resource development and co-owns Kessler Restaurants LLC.

At one time, Kessler Restaurants was the largest franchisee in the Friendly’s Restaurant chain, and, coupled with the company’s numerous Burger King operations, employed approximately 3,000 people in central and western New York. The company now specializes in commercial real estate development. 

Dr. Kessler holds the Edward J. and Agnes V. Ackley endowed chair as Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester Simon Business School.

Dr. Kessler is a former member of the board of trustees of the University of Rochester Medical Center and past chair and commissioner of the City of Rochester Civil Service Commission. He is currently a member of the board of directors of Excellus Blue Cross/Shield of Western New York, president of the Rochester Police Foundation, an advisory board member to Junior Achievement and an inductee in the Rochester Business Hall of Fame Class of 2006. 

Dr. Kessler holds a BS from the City University of New York, MA in sociology from John Jay College, MSL from Yale Law School and LLM & SJD degrees from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law.

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