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by Chanel Rowe
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Power 96.5 Wufo Radio

By: Dwayne Landers

The leading minds in Western New York’s business community are collaborating to create a brighter economic future for the region.

The 2023 Industry Leaders Forum, organized by the region’s chamber of commerce, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, is a series of 90-minute in-person meetings that take place throughout the year and are focused on a key economic sector. The forum will offer insights and targeted solutions to today’s business challenges.

“Western New York’s companies are adapting to a changing economy in a post-pandemic world,” said Seth Piccirillo, director of economic development for the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. “The decisions made in the next 12 months will shape the future of individual industries and the economy as a whole. Strong and collaborative leadership has never been more critical to the Buffalo-Niagara region.”

Key market sectors

The Industry Leaders Forum is available only to members of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. It features members from key sectors such as finance and insurance, healthcare, tech, development and construction, manufacturing, hospitality, energy, telecommunications, transportation and logistics. Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees is considered its own category.

The group will provide an annual meeting in each sector, in which industry-specific data will be analyzed on a regional, national and global level. 

The program concludes with a large meeting called the Summit, which will convene companies and leaders from all sectors so they can review annual economic trends and plan for the future.

Additionally, events will offer best practices and insights on key issues such as workforce retention and development and advocacy issues and priorities for each sector. It also offers value as a networking opportunity.

“As a business owner, you want to be at the table where decisions are made, and the Industry Leaders Forum is that table,” Piccirillo said. “This offers so much value to business leaders who want to help make decisions that will shape their region and economy.

An engine for economic development

The Industry Leaders Forum aligns with the overarching goals of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, giving a voice to the region while driving innovation and thoughtful dialogue.

“The Buffalo Niagara Partnership is the most powerful voice for business in Buffalo-Niagara,” Piccirillo said. “Bringing decision-makers together and advocating for the region has, and always will be, key strengths of the organization.”

The forum will offer insight and understanding of the unique challenges that each sector faces, as well as the value of collaboration to meet them. Strategy will be guided by input from thought leaders and strategic partners, and forum participants will receive a quarterly newsletter and regular updates on decisions that impact the economy.

“Part of what we do as a chamber of commerce is to make sure our advocacy efforts are completely in line with what our companies are facing,” Piccirillo said. “The Industry Leaders Forum is a way to connect and influence others. There’s so much value and power in getting people together who can help make decisions and impact regulations and policies that are important to their business and the economy.”

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