Seneca Gaming Corporation embraces Buy Local Challenge

Buying local enables the growth of our regional economy and provides the opportunity for local businesses to come together and form new relationships.

The Partnership is committed to growing the regional economy, which is why we encourage our members to participate in the Buy Local Challenge.

To honor and recognize the companies that participated, we are featuring the Partnership member that made the largest purchase through the Buy Local Challenge this year: Seneca Gaming Corporation.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Catharine Walker, CEO of Seneca Gaming Corporation, to learn more about their commitment to buying local.

Q: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Cathy! We are proud to recognize Seneca Gaming Corporation for being the Partnership member that made the largest purchase through the Buy Local Challenge, contributing over $1 million to our local economy! We want to know what inspired Seneca Gaming Corp. to complete the challenge?

A: Last year, Seneca Gaming Corporation spent $46 million within 30 miles of our property and over $100 million in the Western New York region. We understand that buying local makes good business sense and spurs economic development in the region.

SRC_2C_PMSQ: Is there any difference between your efforts in local sourcing between last year and this year?

A: We focus on the proximity of our vendors and the great service they provide. That is what gives us a better product because I think that local businesses care more.

These are people that I see frequently; it isn’t someone you just get an email from once a month and I think that is what is the difference – it’s the people. They take great pride in their business and that shows through in their service.

Q: What do you look forward to gaining through participation in the Buy Local Challenge other than the knowledge that your action helps to grow the local economy?

A: We look forward to learning about the community. Through the challenge, we learn about other companies in the area that we can do business with, as they may have products that we need. It’s about learning more about what is out there, and that translates to being able to buy more from local companies.

Q: That’s great to hear, as that is definitely our hope — for companies to realize the wide array of talent and resources that are locally available. Can you please describe the local purchase you made? From what business did you buy from?

A: We put out a request for proposal (RFP) to local and nationally recognized advertising firms last fall. Prior to that RFP, our agency of record was not in Western New York.

Choosing a company to work with was an extensive process, as we reviewed sample products and qualifications and brought them in for interviews. Ultimately, we selected The Martin Group. We believe that The Martin Group provided an excellent advertising product and great service.

buy local logoIt’s so much easier when you can meet in person to discuss something. They are at our offices, or we go to theirs, probably four times a week at a minimum. The face-to-face communication has helped tremendously in our ability to execute our advertising and media plans.

Q: I couldn’t agree more. So, do you have any message you’d like to share with the community or your fellow Partnership members to encourage them to follow suit?

A: I really hope that others in the community will take advantage of learning about our experience and that of the other companies that participated in the challenge because there are so many terrific vendors in this community that we need to support.

We encourage you to show your commitment to our regional economy by completing the Buy Local Challenge.

Any questions? Contact Jennifer Lauria

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

BN360 kicks off to a great start

What do you need to attract Buffalo Niagara’s young professionals to an event? A cool venue, a DJ, food, drinks and a great crowd.

We had that in spades at last night’s Kickoff Celebration for Buffalo Niagara 360, our Young Professionals program.

BN360 spotlightsAt our seventh annual kickoff, young professionals from across the Buffalo Niagara region gathered at downtown Buffalo’s coolest new venue, the Apartments at The Hub.

Attendees networked, learned about our programs, and met this year’s Spotlight Professionals.

Our Spotlights were selected based on their professional success, leadership qualities and community engagement:

In addition to announcing our Spotlights, we announced our list of programs for the upcoming year:

  • Game Changers
  • BN360 Gives Back
  • Happy Hour For A Cause
  • Board 101
  • Skills for Success

“Our goal for the Buffalo Niagara 360 program is to provide opportunities designed to attract and retain highly-skilled talent, while identifying and grooming the next generation of our region’s top executives. Hosting the Kickoff Celebration allows us to continue to increase the stickiness of the region by highlighting the opportunities young professionals have for community involvement and professional development,” said Partnership President, Dottie Gallagher-Cohen.

To spread the excitement about the Kickoff and Young Professionals week, we hosted a Twitter contest.

Attendees who tweeted a photo from any event throughout the week using #BN360 were entered to win one round-trip ticket from Southwest Airlines!

bn360 photo win

Mark Branden’s winning photo!

Congratulations to Mark Branden, our lucky winner!

As evidenced by the smiling faces, our kickoff event was a great way to end a week of events geared towards interacting with our region’s young professionals!

We encourage you to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for “fun facts” and more information about each of our Spotlights!

Stay tuned for a blog post next week which will highlight everything we learned throughout the week of events.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Bi-national luncheon with Canadian Cabinet Minister

On August 22, we had the pleasure of joining the Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce as they hosted a bi-national luncheon in Niagara Falls, Ontario featuring keynote speaker the Honourable Rob Nicholson, Canada’s Minister of National Defense.

CanAm blog sept 17 photo1

Left to right: Jim Diodati, City of Niagara Falls Mayor; Joanne Campagna, Can-Am Council Chair; Honourable Rob Nicholson, Minister of National Defense; Jeff Cairns, President of Charlesway Corporation Limited; Kithio Mwanzia, Director of Policy & Government Relations, Greater Niagara Chamber of Commerce

The event was hosted in collaboration with the Partnership, the Great Lakes Metro Chambers Coalition and the Council of the Great Lakes Region.

The meeting brought together business, government and community leaders across the Great Lakes region.

The group was eager to discuss cross-border trade opportunities centered around one of North America’s most important trade corridors.

Attendees included representatives from manufacturing, logistics and warehousing, agriculture and agribusiness, marine transportation, defense and aerospace industries – all of which stand to benefit from leveraging bi-national export opportunities.

“As the presenting sponsor of the Partnership’s CanAm Council, our Bank of America team was pleased to see the terrific turnout of business leaders at this bi national event, who do so much to support the economic vibrancy of our local communities,” said Joanne Campagna, Senior Vice President, Bank of America, and CanAm Council Chair.

canam blog sept 17 photo2

Our CanAm Council Chair, Joanne Campagna thanking the Cabinet Minister after his keynote

In his keynote speech, Minister Nicholson discussed the progress that Canada and the U.S. have made in strengthening trade relations. He also expressed the importance of advancing the Regulatory Cooperation Council and Beyond the Border agendas.

Participation in this bi-national luncheon serves as a perfect example of how the Partnership, through the CanAm Council, continues to work on ways to further leverage our region’s proximity to the border.

Interested in learning more about our CanAm Council? Contact Bryan Roth.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Using local resources to grow international sales

Manufacturing is alive and well in Western New York. The local economy has a robust number of manufacturing companies in various industries with tremendous potential.

Regardless of the product being made, local manufacturers rely on sales to drive growth. However, if they only rely on sales within the U.S., then they miss out on substantial growth opportunities.

Larger manufacturing companies know this and are actively involved in international trade, including exporting, importing and sometimes acquiring foreign companies in their target markets.

Typically, the smaller manufacturers are the ones that hesitate when it comes to international trade because of their lack of experience in that realm.

WTC BN 2Admittedly, exporting and importing can be complicated.

A company needs to commit the time, financial resources and staff to ensure that they are:

  • complying with both U.S. and foreign standards and regulations
  • efficiently managing their supply chain operations
  • conducting market research to better understand which foreign countries represent a solid market for their goods/services
  • making sure they will get paid
  • attempting to understand and adapt to foreign business and cultural practices

Even if a company doesn’t currently excel at the functions above, that should not prohibit them from continuing to grow. With time and further knowledge, these functions can be improved upon.

Furthermore, the solution for small businesses is to make use of the numerous professional resources that exist here in Western NY.

Trade education seminars, in-house consulting services and networking with executives from larger companies can all help smaller manufacturers create and implement a successful international trade strategy.

WTC Erin Cole headshot

Erin Cole

Western New York is home to many successful companies, business executives and entrepreneurs and there are typically just one or two degrees of separation among them.

One thing small and large manufacturers alike can pride themselves on is their collective willingness to share experiences and expertise with others, resulting in a win-win situation for us all.

About the author: Erin Cole, Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), is the President and CEO of World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara, a Partnership member of seven years. Cole has significant experience in economic development and international trade which includes export/import, global market research, new market entry, export licensing and new business development.

Want to learn more about logistics and how to get involved in our Manufacturing Council? Contact Nadine Powell.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Transportation Infrastructure: a necessary investment

“Never waste a good crisis.”

This was the advice given to the Buffalo Niagara business community at the Partnership’s 2014 Transportation Summit in May.

Our region, along with the rest of New York State and much of the United States, is facing a monumental crisis, as the Federal Transportation Bill (America’s major source of funds for infrastructure construction and maintenance) is running on fumes.

transpo Buffalo freighter

Buffalo River Freighter

The current MAP 21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) transportation bill was set to expire Oct. 1, but the President and Congress have granted a temporary reprieve / short-term extension through May 2015.

The extension provides unsustainable stop-gap dollars for transportation projects, essentially by borrowing from pension funds.

However, without a long-term, funded solution, the extension is just a band-aid that will set our infrastructure further into debt and disrepair.

With this reprieve and a new deadline in place that follows the New York state budgetary sessions and leads into legislative sessions, the timing is ripe to take action to reform how we fund and develop our infrastructure projects.

Our May 2014 summit discussions provided a road map for reforms at every governmental level:

Federal:

  • We need to support an expanded, long-term transportation bill that invests in our infrastructure
  • The proposed Grow America Act (a new transportation bill) authorized $300 billion for transportation over the next four years

New York State:Transpo infrastructure blog infographic1

  1. We need to reform or replace the Gas Tax
    • Our transportation infrastructure is currently funded by a per-gallon Gas Tax (the more gallons we buy, the more infrastructure revenue we have)
    • The Gas tax has not been raised or adjusted for inflation since 1993
    • In 2014, we are driving more than we ever have before but because of fuel efficiency, we are buying fewer gallons of gas. This leads to a greater need for transportation infrastructure but less revenue to pay for it
    • Other states have replaced traditional Gas Tax with one of the following:
      • Tax based on vehicle miles traveled (currently in pilot testing)
      • Tax based on the percentage of dollars in sales (instead of gallons purchased)
      • Franchise tax on oil before it gets to the consumer
  2. Expand Design-Build and make it permanent
    • Presently, it is limited to five New York State agencies and terminates on December 31, 2014
    • Design-Build has saved $1.7 billion for the state in the past two years and makes projects 25-33 percent faster, and 4-6 percent cheaper
  3. Scaffold Law Reform: Insurance requirements, which are unique to only New York State, skyrocket the costs for transportation projects

Local:transpo buffalo train terminal

  1. One Region Forward is critical, as we need to prioritize our most important investments for future growth
    • Applications for federal dollars require consensus on the local level regarding priority projects

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is making transportation funding and project delivery reform a top priority for the 2014/2015 fiscal year.

Lead by our Transportation & Logistics Council, and in collaboration with our partners across the state and Great Lakes region, we will carry the messages from the 2014 summit.

transportation summit1

2014 Transportation Summit

As we have done on many critical issues, the Partnership will work closely with our elected officials to craft content for budget items and legislative priorities in order to make long-range planning for transportation investment a possibility.

The Buffalo Niagara economy has long been fueled by superior transportation, beginning with the Erie Canal.

At the turn of the century and during our economic height, Buffalo had the second largest railway network and the largest man-made inland port in the United States.

Our economy can’t return to prominence without a robust, forward-thinking network of infrastructure to move people and goods, and fuel business growth for the future.

Interested in getting involved in our Transportation advocacy efforts? Contact Bryan Roth.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Say Yes Buffalo: preparing Buffalo’s students for success

Students in the Buffalo Public Schools returned to the classroom last week, with more support and programming than ever thanks to Say Yes Buffalo.

say yes1In a recent presentation to Partnership members and staff, David Rust, Executive Director of Say Yes, provided an update on the new programming that Say Yes will be rolling out over the next few years.

Say Yes Buffalo provides locally funded tuition scholarships to nearly 100 colleges and universities.

Say Yes also provides a comprehensive support system for students who meet residency, graduation and admission requirements.

These academic, social/emotional and health supports are aligned with what educators know every child needs in order to achieve their full potential.

As the program grows, additional services will be rolled out over the next four years, including:

  • after school and summer enrichment programming
  • college coaching
  • mentoring programs
  • tutoring and academic assistance
  • legal assistance for families

say yes2In first year that Say Yes provided scholarships, there was a 9 percent increase in the number of students that matriculated to college when compared to the previous year.

In 2014, 96 percent of eligible students applied for Say Yes scholarships.

The support services that Say Yes provides help keep students in school and prepare them for post-secondary education.

There are many ways for employers, parents and individuals to support Say Yes: donate, volunteer as a mentor or provide a job or internship to a Say Yes student.

I urge you to attend a community leadership council meeting and learn how you can become involved in driving the success of students across the Buffalo Niagara region.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

The Partnership prepares for Primary Day

Tomorrow (Tuesday, September 9, 2014) is Primary Day for New York State elections, and Buffalo Niagara is privy to two hotly contested legislative races in the 60th Senate District and in the 141st Assembly District.

Generally, the Partnership does not engage in primary races (read more about our engagement policies here) – but two candidates are on the ballot tomorrow who we’ve identified as deserving of our early support: Senator Mark Grisanti and Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes.

Senator Mark Grisanti has consistently been one of the best advocates for taxpayers in Albany since being elected in 2010. He has a stellar record representing Buffalo Niagara, including:

  • leading the fight for UB2020
  • reauthorizing historic preservation tax credits
  • reforming ballast water regulations
  • passing manufacturer tax relief
  • extending the Brownfield Cleanup Program, the Partnership’s number one priority this year!

Grisanti photo1Grisanti and the Partnership have been close collaborators on economic development initiatives that have led to lower taxes, more jobs, cleaner neighborhoods and renewed economic opportunities in the Buffalo Niagara region.

Grisanti deserves to be re-elected, and if you live in the 60th Senate District and are registered Republican, you should give him every consideration for your vote.

In true bi-partisan fashion, the Partnership also recognizes the positive impact that Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes has had on Buffalo Niagara. Peoples-Stokes deserves your vote if you live in the City of Buffalo and are a registered Democrat.

Peoples-Stokes 2

Peoples-Stokes speaks at the Unshackle Upstate New E.R.A. press conference

Assemblywoman Peoples-Stokes has become a strong advocate for economic development and job creation in Buffalo Niagara and across Upstate, including her support for many long-standing Partnership priorities, including:

Coupled with her support for substantial tax relief for manufacturers and estate tax reform in this year’s state budget, Peoples-Stokes has established herself as a leader in the State Assembly and works to ensure Buffalo Niagara’s voice is being heard in Albany, especially in the downstate-dominated Assembly.

Regardless of your party affiliation or residency, the Partnership encourages everyone to get out and vote tomorrow!

If you need help finding out your polling place or who’s running in a primary in your neighborhood, visit the Erie County Board of Elections website here.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Gearing up for the political season

The political season is upon us and in our role as the region’s leading business advocacy organization, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is engaged in the process.

Like most organizations our size, we engage in political action which includes endorsements and financial support for candidates that support economic development for our region.

We have a very active economic development agenda, however New York State has a very unfriendly environment for business.

With higher taxes and a harsh regulatory environment, it is our job to be engaged and involved in advocating for policies that will result in job growth in Buffalo Niagara.

march 28 manfact blog post to use

The Capitol building

But how do we decide who gets our support and who doesn’t?

To help you better understand, I thought it would be helpful to give you some ‘behind the scenes’ insight into how these decisions get made.

The Partnership represents members with very diverse sets of opinions, who are bipartisan in every way. We engage in various races and look at each individual race to assess whether or not we should be involved, and which races require our engagement.

Generally speaking, we need a compelling reason to endorse a candidate.

Some are easy: a public official who is heavily engaged in a pro Western New York agenda gets our support without much formal process.

But when there is a wide open field, we ask all candidates to complete a survey which is often followed up by an in-person interview.

This is exactly what happened with the Buffalo public school board elections this past May. We invited every candidate and their campaign to complete a survey and come in for a discussion on their candidacy.

In the end, we supported three candidates for election that we determined were reform minded and qualified to lead the district. Two of them made it onto the ballot and won.

How does the interview process work?

quinn and pierce garphicThe interviews we conduct are led by a group of Partnership members – the “Political Roundtable,” a bipartisan committee made up of CEOs and government affairs professionals who understand what’s really happening in the political world. They make recommendations to our Executive Committee, who serves as our PAC (Political Action Committee) that must vote on every endorsement.

There’s often debate among the roundtable about what the Partnership should do and in some cases, when we are truly split as a membership, we decide not to endorse at all. (That’s what happened in the last gubernatorial election.)

The Partnership has different criteria depending on the type of race.

For example, our criteria for federal elections includes:

  • candidate support for the Partnership’s Regional Agenda
  • support for the Partnership’s Legislative Action Agenda items
  • a clear focus on Buffalo Niagara issues
  • the ability to deliver for Buffalo Niagara

We also have the criteria of “accessibility”: can we engage in a conversation with our federal elected official in a way that’s meaningful for the region?

In his last election, there was overwhelming support from our board and roundtable for Senator Charles Schumer. Although some of his macro-level policies do not exactly align with the Partnership’s agenda, he is a tireless advocate for Western New York.

Senator Schumer is also the type of elected official that is interested in hearing the details of what’s happening on the street and how he can personally fix it. That can be seen through his engagement on the Peace bridge. He always delivers for Western New York.

DGC blog sept 5

from left to right: Brian Sampson, Robin Schimminger, Pat Gallivan, Crystal Peoples-Stokes, Ray Walter, and Partnership President & CEO Dottie Gallagher-Cohen at the Unshackle Upstate New E.R.A. press conference

In New York State elections, we look at support for the Unshackle Upstate agenda (judged by the UU Legislative Scorecard,) our Regional Agenda and Legislative Action Agendas, engagement in the REDC process and accessibility to our members.

In local elections, we support candidates who support a pro-employer, pro-“smart growth” development agenda and someone who’s a strategic partner in advancing the Western New York economy.

We only engage in races for offices that are impactful to business development.

Very rarely will we engage in primary elections except for when the winner of the primary is very likely to be the winner of the general election or there is a stellar candidate that rises above the other candidates in the primary and general elections who warrants our early support.

Stay tuned for a blog on Monday on some of our primary election endorsement decisions, and mark your calendars to remember to get out and VOTE on Primary Day, September 9 and Election Day, November 5!

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Open enrollment: just around the corner

As summer turns to autumn, many of us in Western New York begin to shift our attention from festivals, concerts and weekends at the cottage to Buffalo Bills football, Buffalo Sabres hockey, fall foliage and the upcoming holidays.

2014 NEW logolargeWith all of the exciting seasonal changes in mind, many of us forget to consider one very important item: health insurance. Health insurance plays a large role in both our finances and our well-being.

November 15, 2014 marks the start of the Open enrollment period for medical insurance for an effective date of January 1, 2015. The enrollment period runs through January 15, 2015.

Open enrollment is the time of year when uninsured individuals can sign up for a health insurance policy. This is the only time during the year that folks without employer-sponsored health coverage can shop for medical insurance coverage of their own.

Those who are currently uninsured can sign up for a new health insurance policy only during open enrollment. Those who are insured can change their current policy to a plan that better suits them and their family; they also have the option of completely switching from one carrier to another, or opting-out of a current COBRA plan instead of waiting until the COBRA coverage is exhausted.

Open enrollment is a great time to shop for more affordable coverage, and the New York State Marketplace should be your first stop.

nystateofhealth2The NYS Exchange uses your household size and income to determine if you qualify for premium tax credits. Once the determination has been made, you have the option to choose the type of plan and the carrier that best suits you and your family.

If you have regular prescriptions and seek medical attention often, you may want to choose a Platinum level plan. If you just want to be covered in the event of a serious accident, a Bronze level high deductible plan may be the way to go.

Sound confusing?

It very well can be, so it’s important to have a trusted advisor with you every step of the way.

As the employee benefits manager here at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, I will work with you through the entire enrollment process.

I am licensed by New York State as a Life/Accident and Health agent and am also licensed and experienced with the New York State of Health Marketplace Individual and Small Business (SHOP) Exchanges.

dave palmieri headshot

David Palmieri, Employee Benefits Manager

Instead of calling the 1-800 number and waiting on hold to speak with a different agent every time, you can reach me locally and receive the personal service you deserve and would expect from your local chamber of commerce.

Allow me to help you secure the insurance you both need and desire based on your current budget and health history.

Have questions about Open Enrollment?

Please email me with the following information:

  • Name
  • Telephone number
  • Do you currently have health insurance?
  • If yes, is your insurance through an employer?
  • If no, do you plan on obtaining health insurance for 2015?
  • Would you like assistance shopping for insurance on the New York State Marketplace during open enrollment?

Note: I will compile all emails and begin responding in mid-September.

Want to learn more about our offerings?

Visit our website and feel free to call me at 716-541-1772 for more details about the offerings for health insurance coverage provided through the Partnership.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn

Buffalo Niagara Partnership Member Spotlight: Bonadio Group

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership represents nearly 2,000 members and a quarter of a million employees in the Buffalo Niagara region.

To celebrate our members and their accomplishments, we have started a Member Spotlight blog series and today we are proud to recognize and celebrate The Bonadio Group!

I had the pleasure of speaking with Rocco Surace, Partner with the firm, to learn more about what they do and why they’re happy to be a member of the Partnership.

Q: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. I’m eager to learn more about The Bonadio Group and your relationship with the Partnership – but before we get started, I wanted to congratulate you on being ranked No. 50 on the list (released by Accounting Today) of the 100 largest CPA firms in the country.

A: Thank you, Julia.

Q: So, tell me a little bit more about your firm. What’s the mission of The Bonadio Group?

A: Our mission is to serve our clients with the best quality and efforts that are humanly possible. We always try to go the extra mile for our clients by listening to their needs and desires, and providing them with excellent customer service.

BonadioGroup_PMSWe have grown considerably over the last 20 years both by acquiring new clients and through merging with firms that are similar in practice philosophy and client base.

We are now likely the largest firm in upstate New York, with more than 500 people. With our 150 people here, we are a Buffalo firm; we’re Buffalo people and we take care of Western New York.

It’s the synergies of a large firm that enable us to serve our clients better, with many areas of expertise we can call on. So, we say that we have big firm capability with a small firm personality.

Q: I love that slogan. So, how long have you been a member of the Partnership?

A: Well, our membership under The Bonadio Group name might only date back to 2010, but I am the former managing partner of Gaines, Kriner, Elliott, which was a Partnership member for years, back when you were still referred to as the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.

Tom Bonadio and I had been talking about possibly merging for quite some time and we decided to go forward to see what it would look like. As we met, there was never a reason to go back and say “no.”

We realized there were a lot of synergies in joining together, so we merged in November 2013 – not out of necessity, but rather out of opportunity to both become better and stronger.

Q: Since the merger, what benefits has The Bonadio Group received or experienced through its membership?

A: We belong for a lot of reasons. One of the main reasons is the Partnership is an organization that helps unify a single voice for matters of great significance to our area – everything from Unshackle Upstate, to elections, to the well-being of the business community. The Partnership is clearly the leading organization of that effort.

bonadio rocco headshot

Rocco Surace, Partner at The Bonadio Group

Similarly, the strength of the advocacy initiatives and efforts comes from the strength of the members – the business community. A healthy business community means a healthy environment for jobs and for growth.

What we want is to be fair – to allow businesses to sustain themselves, to be profitable, and grow. Then you throw the educational and networking opportunities on top of that and you have a very good forum to interact with the rest of the community. There is nobody as fully regional as the Partnership.

One of the things that is important to us, and we want to do more of this, is providing our young people with avenues to learn how to network and become involved in the greater community, not just at their employer.

The Partnership enables our young accountants to take the next step in their careers and personal development to get involved with the business community.

Q: It’s great to hear how passionate you are about providing young professionals with opportunities to get involved in the community. We actually blogged about the importance of doing so last week! So, what current challenges or opportunities do you face that you think the Partnership might be able to play a role in?

A: We see a large opportunity in becoming involved in the Advanced Manufacturing Council and look forward to seeing how we can further support the manufacturing community.

One reason why I’m a big believer in the manufacturing industry and council is due to the multiplier effect – every $1 invested is spent at least four times over, and long term manufacturing means good jobs and better benefits – especially when a business is doing well.

I think that’s what the manufacturing council is all about. They are trying to reverse years of a bad reputation and turn it into a positive spiral, which by the way, I think they have!

Things are getting increasingly better and that is why we are excited to be a part of that now.

Q: We are happy to have you involved! Are there any recent accomplishments that you’d like the community to be aware of? For example, I know you recently had an office move and were also rated as one of the top 10 firms for woman.

A: Yes, that’s correct. We recently did some remodeling and we had the opportunity to take over the rest of the floor at 100 Corporate Parkway, so we will soon be moving all of our employees under one roof at that location.

bonadio office 100 corp parkway

100 Corporate Parkway

Similarly, we recognized a long time ago that we would be foolish to not recognize the growing number of women in our profession and make sure that they realized they have equal opportunities. We feel strongly about everyone being treated equally, so we are very proud to be recognized for that.

This recognition is all about the professional development of our people along with our results – we have a large number of female partners who have risen through the ranks.

Bonadio & Co. has a history of being nationally recognized as a Best Place to Work as rated by our people. That was another great synergy we had, as Gaines, Kriner, Elliott was also consistently rated as a best place to work.

I think that speaks to how important we think our employees are. It’s not an effect to buy happiness; it’s about being successful, responsible and having fun. We recognize that to have fun, you need to treat your employees and your clients well – it’s a focus on all three legs of the stool: leadership, employees and customers.

Q: I agree. So, can you tell me a little bit about your decision to become the presenting sponsor of our Advanced Manufacturing Council? As one of the founding members of this council who helped us get to where we are today, what would you say you’re most excited about in regards to this opportunity?

A: Just to be back with the group! Timing is everything and we are looking forward to being involved as the presenting sponsor. We have a lot of experience with manufacturers – we know their pains and opportunities, so we are excited to be back with them.

Q: Are there any other current opportunities for employment or involvement with The Bonadio Group?

A: We’re always hiring. With 500 people, that’s a continual process.

I have a group that I’m responsible for to serve our commercial clients and we are currently looking for two experienced hires in the commercial world – everything from supervisory to management level.

Q: That’s great. So, what benefits are you most looking forward to experiencing in the upcoming year through your involvement with the Partnership?

NYW_0008

networking at the Partnership’s 2014 Annual Report

A: The benefit comes from the networking. The more people we get to know, the more encouraged I get and the more doors it opens. The networking aspect is huge.

We say that we are a big firm with a small firm personality, and that’s really what Western New York is. You don’t need to go through six degrees of separation here.

As you go out there and know more people, you are at an advantage to be able to help other people and it’s a win for everybody. That’s what we are about – building up the business community to be stronger, and we accomplish that by building relationships.

It’s great working in a relationship-based environment where everybody has an opportunity to win: our clients, our people, our firm, the business community and all the people who work there who in turn support the rest of our community – it’s quite the positive spiral.

image_print
Share!Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn