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Buffalo Homecoming

With Buffalo Homecoming just around the corner, today we're featuring Jack Connors, event co-director and former president and publisher of Buffalo Business First. We cover everything from Jack's long career in the news businesses and the story behind launching Buffalo Business First to his latest gig spurring investment in the city he loves.


Uncertainty is the Trend

In this episode, Craig talks about The World Trade Center Buffalo Niagara and the extensive network of the World Trade Centers Association; his varied career in media, PR, economic development and government relations and how these experiences shaped him for the job he has today; and how blockchain technology is the future of trade and moving product.


Green New Deal

In this episode, Matt chats with Wayne Roberts, history buff and food policy expert from Toronto, ON. Wayne shares his thoughts on what makes a great food city and how immigration is the secret sauce; the importance of youth's voices on councils and in decision making; and the various food movements he's seen throughout the world.


Priced Out, Pushed Out or Stuck In

In this episode, Matt talks with Bridget Niland, Director of Project Play, about the impact of youth sports and how they help prepare kids for the 21st century economy; ways to encourage youth in the city to think about their play spaces differently, particularly through "free play"; and her thoughts on the role of technology and the future of sports.


If You Can’t Move, You’re Stuck

Matt talks with Sean Tuohey, self-described operator & dreamer, about bringing people together through sports and food. Sean grew up playing basketball in Washington, DC, and around the world, which led him to co-found PeacePlayers International, uniting people through sports. Sean currently owns a popular restaurant/gathering place in Buffalo, NY and is still working to help reimagine therapy through sport.


Small But Mighty Dollars

This week’s #TalkingCities guest is Marnie LaVigne, CEO of @LaunchNY, one of the most active seed funds in the country. @menstice and @MarnieLaVigne2 talk about the importance of “small but mighty dollars” to help companies and attract other investors, the need to help everyone build their networks, and teaching entrepreneurship at a younger age.


Theater is Art

Michael Murphy is the president of Shea’s Performing Arts Center, the only Tiffany-designed theater left in the U.S. He talks with Matt about knowing from the age of five that he wanted to be in the theater business. They also talk about how shows like “Hamilton” are helping to build a more inclusive theater community; how technology is changing the industry; and what it means to be launching shows here in Buffalo – including Mean Girls with Tina Fey this fall.


The Right to Food

Paul Taylor is the Executive Director of FoodShare Toronto, a non-profit organization that works with communities and schools to deliver healthy food and food education. Paul believes that "food is not the answer to food insecurity," in fact, there is "more than enough food in Canada to feed all of its inhabitants." Hear his thoughts on food equity and how Canada is shifting the conversation away from poverty and towards health and educational outcomes.


The Future of Work

Product Specialist may be the title on Pablo Pinto's business card, but his impact extends far beyond his role at tech startup and 43North winner, Car-less since 2012, Pablo credits Buffalo as a great place for cyclists, and believes cities should stop thinking about streets in terms of vehicles, but rather people. A holistic thinker with a passion for giving back, he talks about his travels across the globe, spending time in New York City, Boston, Ecuador, South Korea, Silicon...


Buffalo Keeps Getting Better

Hear from Dottie Gallagher, President & CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the regional chamber of commerce. They talk about the worldwide competition for talent, and the importance of the need for skilled immigration reform and policies around border issues; using Buffalo Niagara’s location as an asset to be globally competitive; tying the talent attraction approach to regional tourism; and the need for more women in leadership roles.


Taking Care Is Business

In this episode of #TalkingCities, Matt sits down with Holly Gagnon, President and CEO of Seneca Gaming Corporation. They speak on characteristics of a successful team, the gaming industry’s development and what it means to be a female leader in a traditionally male dominated industry. As a founding member of Global Gaming Women, Holly expresses her passion for encouraging and empowering the growth of women leaders within gaming world-wide.


Learning How to Learn (Quickly)

Will you answer his call at 3am? If so, you might be the kind of person Raj Suchak is looking for. A self-described “technical geek who likes to tinker,” after working at Salesforce for several years Raj started Cloud62, later acquired by Huron Consulting, to help companies get the most out of their investment in Salesforce. As he built his team, he got more and more interested in finding top talent. Instead of hiring on resumes or work experiences, he hired based on character, customer...


From Reactive to Operationally Excellent

Hear from Luis Taveras, CIO of the City of Buffalo on today's #TalkingCities podcast. Luis talks about his transition into government after spending his entire career working in the private sector; how he's transforming city hall from a reactive organization to one that's "operationally excellent"; and his thoughts on Open Data Buffalo and how a new Data 101 course will teach the public how to use the data provided to make a meaningful impact on their lives.


Destination Marketing Is Economic Development

This week on #TalkingCities we are joined by Patrick Kaler, chief Buffalo booster. Patrick moved to Buffalo several years ago to head up Visit Buffalo Niagara after spending time in Chicago, Lake Tahoe, and Loudon County (or “DC’s wine country"). He talks about becoming the youngest executive director of a destination marketing organization in the state of Illinois, and how he reacted when a headhunter pitched him a job in Buffalo, NY. He highlights his pride in how his team worked to get...


Creating a Digital Disruption

This week, Matt talks with Lorenz Gan, Chief Information Officer at New Era Cap. Lorenz is responsible for the strategy and execution behind the digital revolution at the iconic 98 year old global brand. They talk about his move from Australia in search of the "Big Smoke" - first London and then New York City. He played a leading role at luxury fashion house Burberry when its goal was to become the #1 digital luxury brand in the world, and he led the company through a number of fashion...


News Where You Are

Hear from Warren Colville, President of The Buffalo News, and self-described family man, army brat and wine connoisseur. Warren talks about the changing media landscape in the world of #fakenews; how to navigate the tides of technology by innovating and diversifying revenue streams; and his thoughts on the future of the newspaper business.


Problem Solving with Music

In this episode, Matt talks with JoAnn Falletta, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director, about falling in love with music as a little girl and what it felt like to play her first guitar; her travels around the country and world as a Conductor, and the role music plays in cities; and music's powerful affect on the brain and our lives.


Dairy & Data: A Dynamic Discovery

In this episode, Matt sits down with Bethany Deshpande, CEO and Co-Founder of SomaDetect, 2017 43North $1M winner. They discuss cows, the new wave of tech in farming, and life for Bethany growing up in Ontario. Bethany discusses the importance of data, consumer-focused design, and how her father discovered SomaDetect's technology almost by accident.


Embrace the Next Generation

Jeremy M. Jacobs, Chairman of Delaware North and Owner/Governor of the Boston Bruins, joined Matt for a wide-ranging Talking Cities this week. He spoke about taking over the family-owned company, started by his father, at age 28, and how his children and grandchildren are now leading the company into the future. He purchased the Boston Bruins and Boston Gardens in 1975, joking, "ignorance helped" in taking such a major leap. They talk about the role of sports in community development, as...


Uniting Unlikely Bedfellows to Improve Public Health

Dr. Gale Burstein, Commissioner of Public Health for Erie County @ecdoh, talks about Buffalo’s approach to combatting the national opioid epidemic by developing a task force of unlikely bedfellows; the unique opportunities of having such a large refugee population in Buffalo and Erie County; and her public health training in South Africa.