BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Each Monday, we highlight a Buffalo City Shaper - someone who makes our community a better place.
This week, 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik shows us how the COO of a non-profit works to bring businesses to Buffalo.
"It's just been exciting to be part of this renaissance. To be behind the scenes, and see, and be working with so many visionary people that have made so much happen in this community," says Jenna Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh and her team at Invest Buffalo Niagara recruit new businesses to come to Western New York. The non-profit is funded mostly by local businesses with job creation in mind.
Now the COO, Kavanaugh started as the Marketing Manager in 2007 after the company she was working for started sending jobs to Mexico. She recently played a big role in putting together the Amazon pitch.
"So, this became very public, but there are a whole bunch of other things going on in the background where you're trying to get companies to move here all the time, right?" asked Dudzik.
"That's one of the most exciting things about our role is that every day is different. We focus on targeted industries such as advanced business services, advanced manufacturing, agribusiness, life sciences, and logistics and distribution," says Kavanaugh.
Invest Buffalo Niagara works with companies of all sizes - from BAK USA to Pressure Drop Brewing and Welded Tube USA.
"We listen to their needs, and we create a business proposal for them because this is really first and foremost a data-driven approach, and then we're able, after they do that analysis, to talk about all the incredible amenities of our region," says Kavanaugh.
Kavanaugh also points to the continued development of Canalside and the anticipated opening of the Northland Workforce Training Center as signs of continued success for our region.
"I think that our perception of our community, ourselves, the perception of our community nationally, internationally, has dramatically changed, and it is inspiring, and I think many communities can learn from our efforts," she says.
In June, Invest Buffalo Niagara will host the International Economic Development Council Economic Future Forum in Buffalo.
If you'd like to nominate a Buffalo City Shaper, all you have to do is email your nomination to Kelly. Include the nominee’s email address and a short paragraph explaining why they should be featured on Channel 2 News at 5:30.