Meet Emma, the BN360 Spotlight Professional for September 2020

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2020 BN360 Spotlight Professionals.

Each year, BN360 highlights 12 up-and-coming young professionals who strive for professional growth and development, care for their community, and are passionate about the future of the Buffalo Niagara region.

Emma Phillips

Planner | C&S Companies

Emma grew up in Genesee County, right outside of Batavia, NY. She went on to attend SUNY Fredonia, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a concentration in American Politics. Following an internship with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Emma knew she wanted a hands-on career that would positively impact the Western New York region. With that mind, Emma attended University at Buffalo for Graduate School and received her Master’s Degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a specialization in Community Development in 2018.

Immediately following graduation, Emma was able to stay in the area and started full-time at C&S Engineers in downtown Buffalo working in the Environmental Department as a Planner. She has now been with C&S for two years and works with clients across New York State assisting with planning projects, community outreach, environmental assessments, remediation, and development.

First Job: 

Emma started her career with C&S Companies and has continued to grow and develop professionally with C&S Companies today.

Greatest Professional Win:

Being awarded the Comprehensive Planning award from the American Planning Association Upstate New York Chapter at the 2019 conference for the City of Lackawanna Step 3 Brownfield Opportunity Area Final Implementation Plan.

Best Piece of Professional Advice:

Always have FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to your career. Be involved with everything including projects that are out of your comfort zone, building relationships with clients, and attending seminars or conferences. The more involved you are, the more you will learn!

Community Corner:

  • C&S Companies – Community Service Chair
  • Cystic Fibrosis Foundation of WNY – Social Media Chair (Tomorrow’s Leaders) , Mentor (Rising Stars)

Thoughts on living and working in Buffalo Niagara:

Living and working in Buffalo Niagara right now is empowering and exciting. Not only is new, equitable and environmentally conscious development happening everyday but our region is full of people who truly care about the City, its future and others.

My biggest hope for the region is that we maintain our much deserved reputation as the “City of Good Neighbors” (a Bills Superbowl win wouldn’t hurt either).

On Being a BN360 Spotlight Professional:

Being selected as a Spotlight Professional is an incredible honor. The 2020 class is full of individuals who truly give back to their community while trying to be the best that they can be in their professional roles. It is extremely gratifying to be recognized alongside them as well as motivating to keep giving back and to continue working hard to make Buffalo that much better.

Top 5 Favorites: 

  • Favorite Mural:Mark Twain and John T. Lewis by Eduardo Kobra on Hertel Ave.
  • Best Buffalo Hidden Gem: Left Coast Taco / Barrel + Brine
  • Go-to Buffalo Food: Paula’s Donuts
  • Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby: local festivals (Allentown Art Fest, Italian fest, Buffalo on Tap).
  • Place you would take someone new to Buffalo: Colter Bay and a Sabres game


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