It was first back in 2006 that a number of local activists reawakening the idea of a Buffalo homecoming of sorts. It was a joint collaborative between Buffalo Rising and Revitalize Buffalo, with a number of community leaders at the helm, including Marti Gorman and Amy Maxwell (who is very missed – Amy passed away in June of 2017). The initiative was called Buffalo Old Home Week, and was a boomerang event that mimicked many of the same dynamics that took place 99 years earlier, in 1907, when an event of a similar nature first occurred (with the intention of bringing back expats into the fold).
Over the years, Buffalo Old Home Week transitioned into Citybration, which is still active, but doesn’t run any sort of city-wide homecoming event along the lines of Buffalo Old Home Week.
But now, another group is stepping up to organize a mass homecoming. The newfound initiative is called Buffalo Homecoming, and it’s being rolled out by Buffalo Business First, along with several Western New York corporate leaders, with the intentions of tapping into the successes and talents of Buffalonians who have left the nest.
Buffalo Homecoming will seek to identify and bring between 100 and 150 accomplished expats back to the region to highlight local revitalization efforts and investment opportunities.
The marquee, three-day homecoming event is slated for Sept. 11-13, 2019. It will features events and activities designed to get expats to reconnect with Buffalo, and hopefully invest into the city’s bright future.
“Buffalo Business First is honored to help spearhead the inaugural Buffalo Homecoming effort and we’re extremely grateful to all those sponsors who have already stepped up to support this worthy initiative,” said John Tebeau, Publisher, Buffalo Business First. “We believe this event will be a dynamic way to reconnect former Western New Yorkers to the people and projects that are shaping Buffalo’s future and making it a better place to live and work. After participants experience Buffalo Homecoming, we are confident that they’ll also be inspired to assist and contribute in fueling the area’s resurgence.”
Buffalo Homecoming will track and report expatriate engagement and any business expansions, relocation, investments, new ventures, real estate purchases, and other activities that take place as a result of the initiative.
“Buffalo Homecoming will be the perfect opportunity for expats to rediscover, reimagine, and reinvest in their hometown,” continued Tebeau. “We also welcome other members of the Western New York business community to participate in the initiative by joining us as sponsors, volunteers, venue hosts, or by connecting us with appropriate out-of-town Buffalonians who would be interested in applying to attend.”
One of the signature strategies of the Buffalo Homecoming action is and invitation-only event that will identify between 100 and 150 accomplished expats who will have the opportunity to return to Buffalo as part of an “Invitation to Invest”. The expats from varied business and cultural sectors will be a re-introduction to the city’s economic landscape, along with the network of people who can help to realize actions.
This ‘Invitation to Invest’ will include specific opportunities along with contact information, and be provided to all attendees to spark new partnerships, investments, and collaborations.
Diamond sponsors for Buffalo Homecoming include the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, Delaware North, M&T Bank, and The Martin Group. Premier sponsors include Invest Buffalo Niagara, 43North, KeyBank, Pegula Sports & Entertainment, Launch NY, and Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. Gold sponsors include the University at Buffalo, Buffalo State College, Daemen College, Canisius College, Nardin Academy, WNY Impact Investment Fund, Bank on Buffalo, Northland Workforce Training Center, the City of Buffalo, Erie County, NOCO, Phillips Lytle LLP, Hodgson Russ LLP, and Dopkins & Company LLP.