Introducing Emily Burns Perryman, finalist for the 2019 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is pleased to introduce you to the finalists for the 2019 ATHENA Awards,® which recognize contributions made by individuals to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.

We’ll profile each finalist in the weeks leading up to the awards ceremony luncheon on Tuesday, June 4, at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center. Check back every Wednesday to meet these exceptional women and learn more about their important work in the Buffalo Niagara region.

And if you’d like to attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon, the region’s most prestigious event dedicated to the professional accomplishments of those who work to advance women, you can get tickets here.

Meet This Week’s ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® Finalist

Emily Burns Perryman
Director of Marketing & Public Relations
Trocaire College

Emily Burns Perryman is the director of marketing and public relations at Trocaire College, and the co-founder and president of Unite By Night. She helped co-found the organization to dedicate 12 months of professional service and volunteerism to Western New York nonprofits that align with its values in support of diversity and inclusion efforts.

In 2017, Emily received the May C. Randazzo Outstanding Practitioner Award, granted annually by the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), for her dedication and commitment in the PR field. Emily has more than 15 years of experience executing community relations, corporate communications, marketing, media relations, PR, government relations, and digital strategy.

In addition to Unite By Night, Emily’s volunteer activities include serving as a board member for the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York (NFJCWNY). She is also a member of Allentown Arts Festival, Inc., and has provided pro bono work for numerous organizations including the Erie County Department of Health and Western New York Women’s Foundation.

First Job

At 16, Emily worked as an office assistant at Color Tech Photo Lab in Amherst, NY. She also was a babysitter.

Career Highlights

Emily says among her greatest career accomplishment has been gathering her skills, work experience, and education, and, with several close friends, creating Unite By Night, an official 501(3) organization intended to address the critical issues most important to the community. She is also proud to come home to Buffalo after time in New York City, establish herself in Buffalo as a working professional, and build roots in the community through involvement, engagement, and activity.

Best Piece of Advice Given Regarding Her Career

“Do what you can in the time that you have. In other words, we can’t have it all, we can’t do it all, and so, we must focus on the things we can do, in the time that we have available in our lives.”

Advice to Give to a Woman Just Starting in the Workplace

“Be strong, diplomatic and kind, and be thoughtful about the way you treat and interact with people. Be open to new ideas and opportunities; appreciate diversity of thought and perspective. Seek out mentors, but don’t be afraid to provide knowledge and insight to those who can learn from what you have to share.”

About being an ATHENA Award® Finalist

“Being named a finalist for the ATHENA Young Professional Award® makes me incredibly proud and thankful for this amazing recognition of course, but it also makes me very appreciative of the opportunity to be part of an annual assembly of powerful, hardworking, strong, smart, resilient, creative and compassionate women. When we come together and communicate, connect and collaborate, we can powerfully support the principles of truth and love, justice and peace, nonviolence, equality, and care for one another.”

On Buffalo Niagara

“I enjoy living and working in the Buffalo Niagara region first because my family is here. Also, you have the ability to be entrepreneurial and make your own way. Then there’s our winters! They are long and cold, often brutal, and an inconvenience. However, to quote a song lyric: ‘We were born to endure this kind of weather.’ We always make it fun and help one another out. Truly, we are the City of Good Neighbors.”

Favorite Spot in Buffalo

“Every single location featuring public art within every boundary of the city. It’s a diverse and beautiful collection, and representative of the amazing people, experiences, cultures, religions, and stories that we all have to share as Western New Yorkers.”

Lightning Round: Added Insights
  • Guilty Pleasure: “Any reality series on Bravo, selfies, and curating my Instagram account.”
  • My Superpower: “Empathy that drives my advocacy, aspirations, and action.”
  • Best Describes Me: “Creative and collaborative problem solver, fashionista, life learner, world traveler, purposeful, and passionate working mother of two. Full of Buffalove.”
  • Most Likely To: “Take on another project when there are already 1,000 balls in the air.”
  • Best At: “Big, creative ideas and connecting people to collaborate on unique projects.”


Attend the ATHENA Awards® Luncheon

The ATHENA Awards® Luncheon is the region’s most prestigious event recognizing the professional accomplishments of exceptional individuals who are dedicated to the advancement of women. Be there when the winners are announced.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019
11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Buffalo Niagara Convention Center
153 Franklin Street | Buffalo, NY 14202

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