The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to present the 2019 BN360 Spotlight Professionals, sponsored by Alpine Films. 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. Meet Paige Melin, the Spotlight Professional for July 2019.
Education Coordinator | Explore Buffalo
Paige Melin is the Education Coordinator for Explore Buffalo, Buffalo’s leading nonprofit walking tour organization. During her time with Explore Buffalo, Paige has more than doubled the number of school-aged children the organization serves, has raised more than $13,000 to develop new programs, and has provided free tours for more than 2,500 youths from all over Western New York.
Additionally, Paige serves as Board Secretary for the AIDS Plus Fund of WNY and as a member of the Burchfield Penney Art Center Poetry Committee, through which she curates the annual event Entropy: THE POETEXPO. She is also the host of the monthly 4th Friday Reading Series at Dog Ears Bookstore. Paige teaches poetry and writing with the Queen City Homeschool Collective and Young Audiences of WNY. She served as an editorial advisor for My Next Heart: New Buffalo Poetry (BlazeVOX, 2017), an anthology of Buffalo poets under 40. Her poems, reviews, and articles have been published locally in Karibu News, Yellowfield, the Buffalo News, Peach Mag, and Step Out Buffalo and nationally in Ursa Literary Review, Chebacco: The Magazine of the Mount Desert Island Historical Society, and Rain Taxi Review of Books.
First Job Out of School
After completing her B.A. at the University at Buffalo and while working to complete her M.A. at the University of Maine, Paige worked at Starbucks, earning a position as Shift Supervisor. Shortly after grad school, Paige joined the Explore Buffalo team in 2016.
Greatest Professional Win
“Growing Explore Buffalo’s partnership with Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) to become the largest district we currently serve has been a major achievement in my time with Explore Buffalo. We partner with BPS and First Student to provide free field trips for students in grades 4-6. In the 2017-2018 school year, we secured 26 buses to provide 19 free tours for 966 students from 12 Buffalo Public Schools. Some other highlights have included presenting the Keynote Speech at the Plurality Press Poets Retreat (2016) and interviewing the poet Ed Sanders about his opera Cassandra. Being named a BN360 Spotlight Professional is also a huge highlight & honor!”
Best Piece of Professional Advice
“It’s okay to keep moving around until you find the right thing. When you get there, you’ll know.”
Paige is a very active member of the Buffalo Niagara Community and beyond. She is involved with:
- AIDS Plus Foundation of WNY—Board Secretary
- Arts Partners for Learning Collaborators Circle—Member
- Burchfield Penney Poetry Committee—Member
- 4th Friday Reading Series at Dog Ears Bookstore—Host
Thoughts on Living and Working in Buffalo Niagara
“I feel so lucky to live and work in the Buffalo Niagara region! We have almost everything anyone could want in a great place to live and work—a vibrant arts and culture scene, great parks and opportunities for outdoor activities all year long, an affordable cost of living, a climate with all four seasons and no major catastrophic weather events, diverse and delicious food offerings… it goes on and on!”
Greatest Hope for the Region
“One major hope I have for the region is to see economic and development opportunities provide growth and success in all communities in our region.”
On Being a Spotlight Professional
“It is an honor to be named a BN360 Spotlight Professional! I am so grateful for this opportunity to highlight the work of Explore Buffalo and the other organizations I’m involved with, as well as to connect with other motivated young professionals across our community. Thank you so much to Ann Palmer, Explore Buffalo Board Secretary, for nominating me and believing in my work!”
- Go To Lunch Spot—Mercato in the Expo Market and the West Side Bazaar
- Best Buffalo Hidden Gem—Second Reader Bookshop and Revolution Art Gallery on Hertel Avenue
- Dream Vacation Location—Egypt
- Best Buffalo Activity/Hobby—Attending any of the awesome arts and culture events taking place all over the city
- Favorite “Buffalo” Food—Amy’s Place, Seitan “Wings”