Member Spotlight: Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP

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.

Coming up on their 20th anniversary, we are proud to recognize and celebrate Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP!

Chiampou logoI had the pleasure of speaking with Mike Schaffstall, Partner at 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, Mike. I am eager to learn more about Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP and what your mission is.

A: Thank you, Julia. We’re happy to have the opportunity!

Chiampou Travis Besaw Kershner (CTBK) is locally owned, and our mission is to provide outstanding client service while also providing professional growth opportunities for our team.

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CTBK gives back during one of their many community outreach events

One of the reasons I am proud to be a part of this firm is our dedication to giving back to the community.

We participate in many charitable boards, fundraisers and our “Helping Hands” committee is a group that we have organized to give our staff opportunities to volunteer together throughout the year.

We have enjoyed great success in growing from a firm of three to a firm of over 90 professionals over the last 20 years. We have grown with our client base and have developed strong relationships with our clients that have enabled them to grow along with us as well.

Q: That’s great to hear. So, how long have you been a member of the Partnership?

A: We became a member in 1998.

Q: That’s a while! What benefits has Chiampou Travis Besaw & Kershner LLP received or experienced through its membership with the Partnership over the years?

A: We have participated in many Partnership events that have been informational and provided great networking opportunities with business leaders in the community.

We also like the fact that our younger professionals have been given opportunities to connect with the community through the Buffalo Niagara 360 program, which helps them increase their personal networks and learn more about the community.

DV IMAGEQ: We feel strongly about helping our region’s future leaders develop because it’s up to them to continue the momentum our region is experiencing.

A: We couldn’t agree more. We’re a people business, so it’s important for us to have our younger employees grow and develop their networks so that they can become better, well-rounded professionals.

Q: What current challenges or opportunities does CTBK face that you think the Partnership might be able to play a role in?

A: The economic development in the region is at a level that I’ve never seen here, but there are are still many economic challenges that New York-based companies face.

Q: Do you care to expand on that?

A: Definitely. The Partnership’s role in bringing businesses together to continue to work on these issues is crucial for Western New York in order for us to continue to build upon the success that we have seen locally.

Q: We agree. So, has CTBK had any recent accomplishments that you’d like the community to be aware of?

A: This month marks our 20th anniversary. This achievement has given us a chance to reflect on the growth that we have experienced, and to thank those who have supported us throughout the years.

CTBK group

CTBK team

Q: Congratulations!

A: Thank you. It was a great accomplishment. The growth is a testament to every one of our team members.

Q: It sounds like you are a very team-oriented company and that’s wonderful to hear. Are there any other current opportunities for employment or involvement with CTBK?

A: We are always looking for qualified, experienced candidates. We are also heavily involved with the local colleges and universities through campus recruiting.

We have an extensive campus recruiting initiative. Each year, we go to regional campuses with large accounting programs to offer young professionals with opportunities to start and grow their careers with us.

That’s one of the things I love about being at a Public Accounting firm — you get to work with people who are very energetic early on in their careers, and watch them grow and flourish as professionals.

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Mike Schaffstall

Q: Personal growth and development is something we feel passionately about. It sounds like you do too. So, what are you most looking forward to benefiting from as a member of the Partnership in the upcoming year?

A: The continued focus of the Partnership to help improve the business climate in Western New York so that our community can thrive and provide employment opportunities for our friends and neighbors.

Our team also looks forward to participating in Partnership events to further our mutual goal of helping the business community thrive.

Interested in learning how to get your company featured through our Member Spotlight blog series? Contact our Content Marketing Specialist, Julia Jornsay-Silverberg.

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Call for nominations – 2014 ATHENA Awards®

Do you know a female professional that is making a difference in our region?

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is excited to announce that we have opened nominations for the 2014 ATHENA Leadership Award®, and the ATHENA Young Professionals Award®.

The ATHENA Awards® are designed to promote and honor the valuable contributions being made to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.

The awards are given to individuals who demonstrate support for the goals of female professionals. These individuals provide significant and selfless assistance on behalf of women in the workplace.

I recently spoke with Tony Dvorak from The Superior Group and Mary Cornwell from Child & Family Services who nominated the recipients of the 2013 ATHENA Awards®. They provided great insight on the nomination process:

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Q: What did you think of our ATHENA nomination process? Did you enjoy it?

Lynne Marie Finn and Bridget O'Connell - the 2013 Recipients of the ATHENA Awards.

Lynne Marie Finn and Bridget O’Connell – the 2013 Recipients of the ATHENA Awards.

Tony: I found it pretty easy. I felt the open-ended questions gave me an opportunity to share the reasons why I felt Lynne was a strong candidate. It was also great that The Partnership shared the evaluation criteria, which prompted me to think of her in new ways.

Mary: When we sat down and started to think about what the award really meant and work through the nomination forms, it really made sense to us.  The descriptions and evaluation criteria really made it easy to work through. If you think about who ATHENA was as a person, a goddess of wisdom and justice, we felt Bridget was a perfect fit.

Q: Why did you decide to nominate someone?

Tony: I started more than ten years ago with the Superior Group, and Lynne Finn was integral in training and mentoring me. When it comes to leadership, it takes a lot of commitment to your yourself to continue to grow.

With high emotional quotients, great leaders adapt to business fluctuations, effectively motivate their staff based on their different personalities, and provide meaningful feedback. Lynne is just such a great leader.

Mary: To us, Bridget O’Connell was somewhat of an obvious choice. The award calls for someone who is a role model in the community.

Not only is Bridget a role model for other young professionals, but she is so active in the community outside of her normal work day. She lives and breathes justice and equality for children and that comes across in every aspect of her life; whether in her day job, volunteering or teaching.

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Guests of the 2013 ATHENA Awards Luncheon

Q: Why do you feel it is important to recognize female business leaders in Western New York?

Tony: Having this type of recognition vehicle is exciting to me because—boiled down—it’s simply the right thing to do. Lynne has always been a role model for me personally, and the ATHENA Awards® bring our community’s role models into the spotlight so that we can learn about and from them.

Mary: I believe it is important to recognize any type of leadership but specifically female leadership. We get caught up in our own jobs/lives, and the ATHENA Awards® are an opportunity to see what others are doing in the community and give us a chance to look at how we can help and using their time and talents to better WNY.

There are many awards given out in our region, but I think the ATHENA Awards® means something to our community and women leaders in our community. It gives young professionals something to strive to achieve.

Q: What can you tell an individual interested in nominating someone for the 2014 ATHENA Award®?

Tony: Leadership is tough to do right, and those who do it well really stand out. If you have someone in mind to nominate, be honest and share stories from the trenches. Talk about some of those defining moments when trust in your nominee grew, and your respect for her will guide you.

athena nomMary: Before you fill out the nomination forms, take a step back and really look at the story you want to tell about your nominee. Look at your nominee from all different aspects and share that story. Bridget was the first person we nominated, but we plan on nominating someone every year going forward.

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Have someone in mind  you’d like to nominate for this prestigious award? Nominate them today!

Nominations are being accepted until 12 p.m. on Friday, November 21st.

All nominations should be submitted to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and addressed to Sara Schumacher.

If you would like to request a nomination form, or have questions about the process, please reach out to Sara at 716-541-1759 or by e-mail.

Finalists will be announced in December, so stay tuned and mark your calendar for our 2014 ATHENA Awards Luncheon, which will be held on Thursday, March 19th at The Hyatt Regency Buffalo.

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BN360 Young Professionals Week roundup

More young professionals are recognizing the value in engaging in community activities and networking with others to create strong relationships, seek out job leads, and career advice.

BN360 spotlights

BN360 Spotlight Professionals

Since 2008, the Partnership’s young professionals program, Buffalo Niagara 360 (BN360), has served as the region’s premier young professionals program.

As we enter our seventh year of programming, our mission continues to be centered on the tenets of leadership development, business networking and community engagement.

Last week, BN360 hosted Young Professionals Week as a way to introduce members to the programs, strategic partners and sponsors. Up-and-coming venues, trending topics, great food, drinks and networking were at the center of each event.

The week started with “Who’s Who in Buffalo Niagara Professional Development” hosted at The Foundry. Various young professional and professional development groups gathered to display the work being done in the region.

Attendees learned how to become involved in the many organizations that are making positive changes to the Buffalo Niagara region.

Tuesday night, we collaborated with StartUp Grind at D!g for a fireside chat with Daniel Penberthy, a founding member of the NASDAQ as well as CFO & Executive Vice President of Rand Capital.

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Young professionals gathered at our KickOff Celebration

Audience members walked away with impressionable counsel from Mr. Penberthy regarding start-ups, entrepreneurship and most importantly, the power of networking: “Don’t underestimate your network!”

Social media and ethics was the focus of Wednesday’s event. We were joined by the Social Media Club of Buffalo and the Public Relations Society of America Buffalo Niagara Chapter for a panel discussion.

Attendees gained insight from local experts into the ethical challenges that social media presents and walked away with food for thought from the panelists regarding their organization’s social media policy.

“Just because speech is free doesn’t mean you get a free pass. Having a social media policy from the start is incredibly important,” said Tony Astran, President of the Buffalo Niagara chapter of PRSA.

We wrapped up the week with our seventh annual “Kickoff Celebration” hosted at the brand new Apartments at the Hub.

Many of the region’s talented young professionals, including this year’s ‘Spotlight Professionals’, joined us for food, drinks, and networking as we introduced this year’s program calendar which includes a return of the following programs:

  • Game Changers: presented by Alliance Advisorysave the date bn360
  • Happy Hour For a Cause: presented by Citi
  • BN360 Gives Back
  • Board 101

In addition to these familiar favorites, we also announced a new program that we are proud to introduce in accordance with Canisius College Center for Professional Development: Skills for Success.

We want to thank all of our sponsors, and attendees, who helped make Young Professionals week such a success.

We look forward to continuing another year of providing our region’s young professionals with resources and opportunities to continue to grow and flourish in Buffalo Niagara.

Register today for our first Happy Hour for a Cause to benefit Bunkers for Baghdad!

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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