I was born during the Blizzard of ’77. I quickly found out what it meant to be “from Buffalo”.
I have lived in Buffalo for 33 of my 36 years. The other years I lived in DC- which I loved- but can remember sitting in Cole’s with my college friends at Christmas being told that if I came home from DC that didn’t mean I was a failure. Little did I know it would the best decision I could have made for my life at that moment.
I truly believe Buffalo is hipper, more fun, stronger, more alive and growing more than it ever has in my entire life and yes, I am still choosing to leave.
I’m sure I will one day find myself in some bar in downtown Tampa, Florida as part of the Buffalo Backers watching a Sabres game, eating crappy wings and talking about which areas of the city we love the most. I will always love this region for the gifts it has given me and my family, and the people that make it up.
Many people said to me upon hearing about my departure, “It’s such a loss for our city and our region. You and Joe are assets to our community.” I understand that statement. Based on what we have accomplished and where we worked and volunteered our efforts, I get that- but I see so much more.
There are so many people in WNY doing bigger/better/cooler/more impactful/life changing work than Joe and I have done. Yes, we have worked hard. Yes, we volunteered our time. Yet I also know MANY young people doing just the same. So while there may be a “loss” with our departure, I challenge others to rise to the occasion and help fill the slight void left by our departure. I know you can do it.
I ask one big favor. When the Business First ranking of Most Powerful People in WNY comes out this year I’m relying on someone else counting the women and telling me all about it. What will the ratio of women to men be this year?
So here’s to Canalside, Duff’s Wings, my beloved Wegmans, Mighty Taco, Elmwood Avenue, my fellow fundraising professionals, sunsets on the waterfront, Lloyd Taco Truck and the amazing summers. But most of all I will miss the people. The good ones and the ones who have taught me lessons. I’ll miss walking into Starbucks on Elmwood and seeing smiling friends. Thank you to everyone that helped me grow as a professional and a person. Thank you to friends, family and everyone in between. I will miss the people most because frankly, the people make this an awesome place- the new waterfront is just a bonus.
I’m heading to the sun. Planning on building my own business and settling my family. You can follow all of my escapades on this blog.
Until my next visit Buffalo. I’ll miss you and your beautiful people, but I sure won’t miss your snow.