BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each week in our City Shapers segment, we introduce you to someone who is having a positive impact on our community. This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik shows us how one Western New Yorker is inspiring up and coming entrepreneurs.
"I go and help organizations to get unstuck, or learn new ways to do things, or look at ways of doing things differently," says Anthony Billoni.
Kenmore native Anthony Billoni has had a big impact on Western New York's non-profit scene. Not only is he the Director of Tobacco Free WNY at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, he's also a consultant in Creativity and Change Leadership. He has a degree in Creativity and Change Leadership from SUNY Buffalo State. It was the first Master’s program of its kind in the country.
"The guys that put that together were the people that invented the term brain storming, so you could say brain storming is another Buffalo invention," says Billoni.
Billoni says he has had a very interesting career that has led him to meet people from all sorts of backgrounds. That includes presenting at an annual convention at the University at Buffalo called the Creative Problem Solving Institute. Four-hundred people come from all over the world to talk about how to use creativity to grow business.
"It's basically looking for novel and useful ideas when you don't have any. I mean, that's really the path that creativity leads someone on, and that was started here in Buffalo, and I couldn't be more proud about it," he says.
Billoni says theater and the arts were, in his view, the first scenes to take hold and grow in Buffalo, but he is also inspired by the work being done on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and at 43North.
"I think we're hitting some levels of critical mass. There's lots more work to be done. And there's never any reason to let up. I think more energy than less, there's no time to coast here yet. We're still in the growing phase," says Billoni.
Through his coaching and mentoring, Billoni is helping to shape Western New York's future, and it's one he says is very bright.
"I just kind of wake up every day thinking what can I do to help another person or another organization. So, when I see them, you know, not necessarily taking my advice, but I see a light pop on above their head or see the willingness to add a little more energy to what they're doing, I think I've done something right," says Billoni.
If you'd like to nominate someone to be a City Shaper, just send Kelly an email.