Gretchen DiFante, City Manager, City of Pelham, was recently selected as a finalist for the 2019 Leadership Trailblazer Award. The Leadership Trailblazer Award recognizes leaders in local government who have championed and inspired other women to achieve as well. Gretchen joined the City of Pelham in August of 2017 and is the city’s first professional city manager and at the time the state’s only female city manager.
Ms. DiFante has held senior executive roles in private, non-profit and local government organizations. Those roles include the director of customer service for the $3 billion frozen food manufacturer, Rich Products in Buffalo, NY; executive vice president for P. W. Minor and Son Shoes in Batavia, NY, and Executive Director of Agape Counseling in Rochester, NY.
In 2010, Ms. DiFante was hired as a consultant to the City of Batavia to help create the municipality’s first data-driven strategic plan which in 2014 received ICMA’s Strategic Leadership and Governance Program Excellence Award for its significant effect on the city’s culture and strategic direction. DiFante was chosen as Batavia’s Assistant City Manager/Director of Administrative Services in 2014. In this role, she managed the city’s FEMA Community Rating System program which was awarded the highest rating in the state of New York, and she was recognized with an appointment to the New York State Storm Water and Floodplain Manager’s Association Board of Directors. Ms. DiFante, who is originally from Vestavia Hills, Alabama earned her BA in Communications from Auburn University at Montgomery and her MS in Management from Keuka College in New York.