Monday, July 25, 2011
Millennials, sometimes known as the "Echo Boom", are the children of America's 70+ million baby boomers. As the baby boomers begin turning 65 in 2011, their children are entering the workforce.
These new workers are different than any group we have known before. Typically thought of as being born after 1982, they don't remember President Reagan or the Challenger, and can barely recall a time without easy web access. Sometimes known as the Peter Pan Generation, they are stereotyped as not wanting to grow up and being reluctant to set out in life without their parents. They've been called the Trophy Generation, as just showing up at little league was enough to bring home some hardware. Experiencing formative years in the booming 1990s, millennials hold high expectations, and are expected to change jobs much more frequently than their parents or Gen-X cousins.
Check out these videos and see what your thoughts are. Do you have millennials in your office? How has it changed your company?
You can read about recruiting, employing, and marketing to this huge segment of our economy here.
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. That's a thank you for ReCharge NY, part of your budget (which cut spending by 10% - I guess that deserves a "thank you" too...), a thank you for SUNY2020, and a thank you for the 2% property tax cap. When you became Governor almost 8 months ago, we and our Upstate partners would have been thrilled with any one of these accomplishments - you've delivered them all. So thank you!
What's equally impressive - it seems you're not quite finished. With the roll out of "Phase II" aka NY Works, you've compiled a real, sensible plan to economic development, job creation and revamped state operations with a $1 billion commitment to making New York "Open for Business". Needless to say, well done.
With that being said, we're bummed that you'll be unable to join us for our Accelerate Upstate event occurring August 4 & 5. (We understand scheduling conflicts, though.) Seems to me, the Accelerate agenda goes hand in hand with NY Works. We've hustled to bring in presenters that will discuss ways to use Upstate's assets to better New York as a whole. We aren't focusing on the Upstate/Downstate divide - that's been done before. We want to figure out how we can best thrive in a state where about two-thirds of the population lives south of the Tappen-Zee Bridge. We get that's never going to change- and we are ok with it.
Accelerate Upstate is going to be about how we can be the best one-third we can be, which will undoubtedly improve the rest of New York State. Your approach to the duties of the Governor thus far, especially with the NY Works plan, seemed to be a match made in heaven with Accelerate, and we look forward to presenting our findings to you after the event concludes and we compile all the great ideas and discussions that will take place.
Again, thank you for orchestrating one of the best legislative sessions this state has ever seen. We look forward to continuing to work with you as the NY Works plan develops and we really become Open for Business.
PS- Governor, if you decide to show up to Accelerate Upstate, we PROMISE we'll act surprised. We might even jump up and down a little.
Monday, July 18, 2011
If you are using Twitter for your business, you have no doubt used Twitter to promote an event or product. But, have you ever thought about live Tweeting from an event itself?
Live Tweeting is a great way to give an insider's view of your event. People hear directly from you what is happening when it is happening. It's also a great way to emphasize important points and drive followers to learn more about you by sending them to your website.
We often live Tweet from our bigger events (think Innovate or ATHENA). In fact, we'll be live Tweeting from our next big event, the Accelerate Upstate conference, on August 4 & 5 (follow us on Twitter @BNPartnership and look for the #Accelerate hashtag).
But sometimes it is difficult to determine when live Tweeting is appropriate. Here are five tricks for getting the most out of your live Tweeting.
- Pick the right event. Ideally, the event you want to live Tweet would be interesting to the vast majority of your followers. For us, we tend to live Tweet from our signature events and a few of our other events where the messaging is of interest to people who couldn't make the event.
- Create a #hashtag for your event and start using it weeks in advance as part of your Twitter promotion. Hashtags are a great way to put your Tweets into categories.The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or a topic in a Tweet. We're using #Accelerate for the Accelerate Upstate event.
- Tweet as often as is needed, but not too much. Keep Tweets to a minimum ... hit only the high points. If you feel like you need a lot of Tweets from the event, start a separate account just for that event. If possible, start that new Twitter account well before the event and try to recruit followers who might be interested in that event to follow the new account. But you should only set up a new account if you are prepared to use it!
- Follow regular good practices on Twitter. When you find a relevant, useful tweet from someone else at the same event, retweet them. Reply to people who ask you questions. Thank people for helping you out. (Twitter is a great way to thank sponsors and other presenters ... we'll be thanking all of our sponsors at #Accelerate Upstate, especially title sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York).
- Don’t #go #hashtag #crazy in your Tweets at the event. It’s OK to use a hashtag in moderation, as in one or two at most per Tweet, but anything more than that will annoy your followers.
- If possible, post photos, quotes from people at the event and any observations that you truly think will be useful to your followers.
These are just a few tricks to get you started on live Tweeting. Do you have any others?
Friday, July 15, 2011
Being a Buffalo nut who optimistically (and realistically) views the future of Downtown as a huge success story, I took the liberty to go on-and-on about all of the new projects underway, and the hundreds of millions of dollars in private investment that are making a strong foothold in Downtown. I expected to be met with the same disgusting self-inflicted pessimism that I tend to run into when detailing Buffalo’s under-appreciated (and unsung) successes, but I encountered a refreshing point of view on this sunny scorcher from my brother’s girlfriend – a 21 year old college grad visiting Buffalo for her first time. “I think it could be really cool down here,” she said as we sat on a bench in Lafayette Square, “but you can tell it’s not meeting its full potential.”
If you’ve been Downtown recently, you’ll recognize things are happening. Both large and small projects are taking shape on the heels of organizations and developers who understand the regional value of Downtown, and the tremendous assets it boasts. Decades of sprawl and disinvestment in urban areas has left many cities to deal with a lot of the same issues we are facing (we’ll leave that issue for a separate blog), but the cities who are doing the best (economically and otherwise), are those who understand the lynchpin role their downtowns play in the future and success of their region.
I could go on and on about how and why downtown is so critical to our region – the world class architecture and long entrenched spirit of innovation, its history and current presence as the regional hub of commerce and business, its role as the cultural and entertainment center – but I think everyone reading this innately understands and agrees. After all, Downtown is the gateway to our region and our face to the world. Most importantly, Downtown offers some of the most compelling opportunities to drive our region’s economy forward.
The Tishman building on Lafayette Sq. - plans are currently in the works to convert this office building into a mixed use development, similar in concept to Uniland's highly acclaimed Avant building on Delaware Ave.
The Hotel Lafayette on Lafayette Sq. - Rocco Termini's Signature Development is in the process of converting this historic hotel into a mixed of residential and a "one-stop-shop" wedding boutique.
There is plenty of literature and demographic trend analysis out there that chart the fundamental shift in lifestyle preferences that is beginning to take hold in our nation’s cities and shows no sign of stopping. The approximately 80 million people that fall within my generation (I’m 24), overwhelmingly prefer to live in vibrant, walkable urban centers. According to a recent Brooking’s study, over 88% of college graduates would prefer to live in a vibrant, walkable urban environment. Additionally, a recently released CEOs for Cities Report, reported that over 63% of college grads choose the city they want to live in before they begin searching for jobs. I can attest to this as I have seen friend after friend go city hunting before job hunting.
The other large demographic constituent is the baby boomer generation (approx 70 million nationwide), whose kids have moved out and therefore no longer need their big sprawling suburban castle, and instead are downsizing for walkable and highly serviceable urban environments. I can vouch for my parents when I say that this lure is circling in their heads (they currently live in the suburbs).
While our region is beginning to understand the economic benefits of reinvestment strategies in our tradition urban areas (take the Village of Hamburg as an excellent example), there are still principle impediments that face these communities, and most of all Downtown. One of, if not the most, fundamental barrier to the influx of private investment in downtown, is the building stock. Years of disinvestment and neglect have left numerous old and impressive buildings in a state of under-utilization or vacancy. As a result, the process of rehabilitating and reusing some of these magnificent structures puts developers in the red as the money needed to upgrade older building systems, remediate environmental issues such as asbestos, and dance around modern building codes adds substantial costs to their proformas that cannot be recouped with market rents (or at least just yet). As a result, these buildings are in limbo – too unfeasible to privately tackle either through demolition and new construction or through adaptive reuse and rehabilitation.
Acknowledging this issue, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, at the behest of Mayor Byron Brown, has undertaken the Buffalo Building Reuse Project, in order to identify strategies on how to better match our current building supply, with demand – creating a more vibrant regional center. With the assistance, knowledge, and vision of over 40 subject matter experts, we have been working to develop effective solutions, while building off of the International Award Winning Queen City Hub: A Regional Action Plan for Downtown Buffalo, the City’s comprehensive planning document for Downtown.
The project kicked off in March and final recommendations and strategies will be together sometime late fall. Check back next week to get a more comprehensive understanding of where we are in the process, and get a glipse of the strategies we are pursuing.
In the mean time, to prime the pump, check out some of these related articles:
Monday, July 11, 2011
In Greek mythology, Athena was known as the goddess of War, Wisdom, Strategy, Strength, and Heroic Endeavor. Athena was regarded as the protector of civilization and with her companion Nike, the goddess of Victory, it was believed Athena protected the heroic on the battlefield and bestowed victory upon those who revered justice, serving as the essence, the prototype of the contemporary career woman.
Often described as strong, fair and merciful, Athena served as an early role model for women throughout time. Each year, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership recognizes individuals from our community who exemplify the leadership traits of the goddess Athena. This year, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership will honor two local professionals with the 2011 ATHENA Leadership Award and the 2011 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award at a luncheon in November. The ATHENA Awards committee is currently seeking nominations for these honors.
The ATHENA Leadership Award honors an individual in our community who has attained and personifies the highest level of professional excellence, demonstrates support for the goals of women professionals, and provides significant and selfless assistance on their behalf. In 2010, the Partnership recognized Sister Denise Roche, President of D’Youville College with this honor. This award is dedicated to promoting and honoring the valuable contributions being made to advance the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara region.
The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award recognizes emerging women leaders across professional sectors for exemplary leadership. It actively supports and celebrates the ATHENA mission of supporting, developing and honoring women leaders, inspiring women to achieve their full potential, and helping to create balance in leadership worldwide. This award honors women between the ages of 25 and 40 who excel in their chosen field, devote time and energy to their community in a meaningful way, and serve as role models for young women. Last year, Amy Schmit of University at Buffalo Center for Excellence was named the 2010 Athena Young Professional. Both honorees are exemplary leaders who continue to advance the status of women throughout the Buffalo Niagara region.
If you are interested in learning more about the ATHENA Award’s, or how to nominate a professional dedicated to advancing the status of women in the Buffalo Niagara Region, visit www.thepartnership.org/athena or call 716.541.1759 for more information. Nominations will be accepted until noon on Friday, July 22nd for consideration.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Well, that's kinda what we're doing - on August 4 and 5, the Partnership will be hosting an event called Accelerate Upstate in downtown Buffalo. We're inviting stakeholders from across Upstate from every sector - that's business, labor, government, not-for-profit, special interest groups and everyone else - to get together for two days... Not to talk about the problems with Upstate - we've spent enough time doing that - but to talk about solutions and opportunities. What assets does Upstate New York possess that make us an attractive place to live, work and invest, and how do we - and by "we" I mean taxpayers, employers and government leaders - make the most of them.
Because the reality of the situation is that for the rest of eternity, 2/3 of this state's population is going to live east of the Hudson River. We may lament that fact, but it is what it is. Which means that our lack of political clout isn't likely to change. So how do we live within that world in a way that will lead to economic stability and even prosperity? Well, we need everyone in the room to come up with a plan for doing so.
You can find a list of the speakers we've invited to Accelerate Upstate here - we think it's a strong and influential list, and since I booked all of the speakers I've had the privilege of talking to them about the event. They're not coming because it's a speaking opp. They're coming because it's a topic that's needs to come to the forefront. And while we're going to be doing a lot of "talking" for those two days, we're also going to be turning that dialogue into action. All of the comments from speakers, panelists and attendees will be compiled into an Accelerate Upstate action agenda to be delivered to Albany after the conference.
Of course, while they're here we want the attendees of Accelerate Upstate to see Buffalo, so we've set up a unique schedule where the conference's "breakout sessions" are being spread throughout downtown. In addition, we're hoping that the conversation will flow from meeting rooms to our Accelerate Upstate networking reception aboard the USS Little Rock (overlooking the final concert in the 2011 Buffalo Place Summer Concert Series at the Erie Canal Harbor Central Wharf).
We all have our opinions on what needs to change to make Upstate New York vibrant, keep our children from moving away and see more jobs being created. Don't waste your ideas over hot dogs and potato salad so they're forgotten by the time the badminton racquets are pulled out. Join us on August 4 and 5 in this collaborative community effort to Accelerate Upstate.
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
The final event for this year is taking placing Tuesday, July 12th at the Buffalo Yacht Club ... great food, great networking and a fabulous setting on a Buffalo summer night ... what more can you ask for!
If you're new to the event, let me give you the rundown. You visit as many "Exec" tables as you can, have the exec sign your "game" card and turn it in for a chance to win some fabulous prizes, including a wine dinner for six at the Buffalo Yacht Club! It's as simple as that!
Not sure what to talk to the execs about? Ask them about their business. Ask if they have any interesting projects they are working on. Ask what's on the horizon for their company.
Check out the list of next week's execs:
Ken Jagodzinski, Director of Marketing, Upstate NY, Verizon
Richard Kincade, WNY Operations Manager, UPS
David LaRoche, Account Supervisor, Manzella Marketing Group
JP Midgley, CEO, Avalon Document Services
Jamel Perkins, Vice President Information Technology, Delaware North
John Prizner III, Director of Development School of Management, UB School of Management
Bill Shepard, Vice President of Group Services, The Creative Problem Solving Group
Bob Stelianou, Principal, Trautman King Markwart Associates, PC
Heath Szymczak, Partner, Jaeckle, Fleischmann & Mugel, LLP
Earl Wells III, President, E3 Communications, Inc.
Register online today!
Friday, July 1, 2011
Happy Canada Day to our friends and neighbors to the North (and West!). Our binational location is one of many things that makes life and business in Buffalo Niagara so unique. We continue to find new ways to improve our border crossings, knowing that collaborating with you is a key aspect of our growth. While we might disagree on hockey teams, we appreciate seeing you at our sporting events, malls, and festivals. Happy 144th Birthday!