Founded in 1915, CGR has been delivering expert support to the public, nonprofit and private sectors for a century. Originally, we were incorporated as the Rochester (NY) Bureau of Municipal Research, and were established by founder George Eastman with a mandate to “get things done for the community” we call home. Although our passion for delivering promising solutions has never changed, both the geographic area and clients we serve have broadened dramatically. Today we have a national reach and can be found working with a diverse range of agencies, organizations and communities.
In an arena served almost exclusively by for-profit consultancies, CGR stands apart. Since our founding, we have operated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, a status that insulates us from political bias and holds us accountable to our clients’ true shareholders – the communities they serve – positioning them as more desirable places to live and work.
Just like our clients, we’re in the business of making a difference.
Dr. Joseph V. Stefko was named President and Chief Executive Officer by CGR's Board of Trustees in August 2012. The tenth CEO in our distinguished 103-year history, he oversees the strategic direction of CGR's industry-leading work in government and education, economics and public finance, health and human services, and nonprofits and communities.
His comprehensive approach to community problem solving and unwavering focus on matching the organization's capabilities to client needs has helped CGR transform from a regional consultancy to a leading national consultancy. Over the past five years, CGR’s revenues and staffing have each grown more than 30 percent. CGR is highly regarded for delivering targeted, strategic analysis and counsel to municipal governments, school districts, economic development agencies, higher education institutions, foundations and community organizations. Its project footprint has spanned 15 states over the last decade.
Dr. Stefko has more than 20 years’ experience on issues of government management, public finance, efficiency improvement and restructuring. Prior to being named President and CEO, he served as CGR’s Vice President and Director of Public Finance, managing engagements involving local government fiscal management, restructuring, municipal consolidation, service delivery and strategic planning. In these positions he contributed to CGR's significant geographic growth, securing and delivering major projects throughout the northeastern U.S. From 2010 to 2012, he served as project director for the landmark municipal merger in Princeton, NJ, one of the nation’s most prominent recent consolidations and New Jersey’s largest in nearly a century.
Earlier in his career Dr. Stefko served as a senior staff member to the emergency fiscal control board appointed by the State of New York to monitor the finances of the City of Buffalo and its dependent agencies, including the Buffalo Public Schools. In that capacity he provided budgetary oversight and strategic management assistance for an annual spending portfolio of more than $1 billion. During his tenure, the board's guidance contributed to more than $230 million in direct budgetary savings and a quadrupling of fund balance reserves, helping earn the City five credit increases from Wall Street rating agencies.
From 2011-2017 he served on the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council, the national body that advises the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in the standard-setting process for financial reporting by public sector entities in the U.S. In addition, he is a member of the Board of Directors of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association; the Rochester (NY) Area Community Foundation's ACT Rochester Advisory Committee; the Conveners Panel of ROC the Future; and the New York Research Advisory Committee for the United Way's ALICE Project.
He has been recognized as a "40 Under Forty" honoree twice – in 2005 by Buffalo Business First and in 2015 by the Rochester Business Journal. In 2016 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Rochester Chapter of the University at Buffalo Alumni Association.
A native of Buffalo, Dr. Stefko earned B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University at Buffalo, State University of New York.