BUFFALO, N.Y. — Each Monday, we introduce you to a City Shaper — someone or a group of people making a positive impact on our community. This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik shows us how the CEO of a Buffalo-based company is spreading the word about Buffalo's resurgence.
"We created this wallpaper to reflect how we worked back then," explained David Herer.
Herer is the CEO of ABC-Amega — a company founded in Buffalo in 1929 — that does accounts receivable management, debt collection, credit reporting, and customer service work for companies around the world.
"My grandfather lived in New York City, and he was unemployed during the Great Depression, so he wrote to the founder of the company and begged him, please, if you have any job at all I'll do it. I'll move my family and I'll live and support you in Buffalo, so sure enough he was offered the job," says Herer.
Herer grew up in Williamsville and left for law school, but his love of Buffalo drew him back home in 1982 when he started working for ABC-Amega, which had become his father's company.
"My social life, my kids’ upbringing, my wife who is a cellist in the philharmonic, everything has been centered around the City of Buffalo, and I can't think of a better place to live," he says.
That's why it was so important for Herer to keep the company in Buffalo when it outgrew its third home on Main Street. On Labor Day in 2015, ABC-Amega moved into 500 Seneca becoming its largest commercial tenant employing 140 people.
"You saw all the open possibilities, and you looked out the windows and saw the city, it quickly occurred to us it would be a great spot and with the help of the developer's vision, and a number of architects and space planners, we quickly came up with a great plan and decided that we would move in," says Herer.
The office doubles as an art gallery and history lesson featuring memorabilia from the company's current and former spaces. Reflected in this decor is Herer's love of the arts. He serves on several boards.
"Without being a mega donor, you can meet the people who influence, who are responsible for our cultural community, not only meet them, but you can develop friendships and you can play an active role in shaping that organization," says Herer.
And Herer says recruiting is a breeze thanks to Buffalo's resurgence.
"There are enough companies now which are doing exciting things in Buffalo that are startups or like, in our company, have been here for a long time that believe that they can attract of talent, experience, motivation from anywhere and offer them a valid opportunity, not only to engage in a good company, but to have a great lifestyle. And 30 some odd years ago, when I first moved back that was a faint hope. Now it's very palpable," says Herer.
There are also nearly one-hundred loft apartments at 500 Seneca, as well as a restaurant in the atrium.
You can nominate a City Shaper by contacting Kelly Dudzik.
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