Category Archives: News

Meet VN Board Member Dionne Williamson!

You might wonder who some of the folks are directing Vision Niagara. We’re pleased to present Dionne Williamson who is one of this  year’s honorees at the 45th Annual Buffalo Black Achievers awards, a well deserved and prestigious distinction.

Ms. Williamson is a native of Western New York.  After graduating from Lackawanna Sr. High School she joined the United States Army Reserves, served eight years and earned the enlisted rank of Sergeant.  In her military position as a Personnel Records Specialist, she maintained personnel records-specifically beneficiary and life insurance policies, for enlisted members.  During this time she attended Medaille College and earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Management.

Ms. Williamson is no stranger to the world of entrepreneurship as well.  She owned and operated a handmade greeting card business for six years and pursued other entrepreneurial endeavors.  During this time she participated in the University at Buffalo School of Management’s Minority and Women Emerging Entrepreneurial Mentoring Program.  She is also a Certified Interior Design Consultant and received this certification from the New York Institute of Art and Design which has allowed her to further enhance her already creative design and organizational talents.

Ms. Williamson is currently the National Sales Director at Visit Buffalo Niagara.  She has been on the VBN team for 13 years.  In her position, she promotes Buffalo as a meetings and convention destination.  She has worked primarily with the fraternal and religious meetings markets as well as the military and family reunion markets.  Ms. Williamson was recently promoted and now handles the corporate and national association markets specializing in education, environmental, insurance, multicultural and cultural/fine arts just to name a few.

Vision Niagara is grateful for all the advice and hard work that Ms. Williamson donates to our efforts!

September Interview!

We are thrilled to present another important business #onNiagaraSt: West Side Pet Clinic! Joe Speranza, Office Manager, told us a bit about their work.

We love Dr. Susan Sickels, Co-Owner and Head Veterinarian. And we are grateful that co-owner Dr. Reed Stevens established the clinic here.

You can find them on Facebook.

What four words describe your project?

Low Cost Veterinary Clinic

Describe the work you do and the impact you are trying to make

We are a walk-in, pet wellness clinic on the West Side of Buffalo. When we began, our goal was to provide quality, affordable pet care, and educate clients on how to be responsible pet owners.

What brings you to the Niagara Street Corridor?

When we started this project in 2013, Niagara Street wasn’t booming quite like it is now. We wanted to open a brand new type of pet clinic: walk-in, high-quality, low-cost. There have been wonderful advancements in veterinary medicine, but as equipment gets better, prices get higher. Rising prices, unfortunately, left a lot of pet owners behind. We chose Niagara Street specifically because we recognized that the Upper West Side was a densely populated area underserved by Veterinarians, filled with well-intentioned pet owners who were quite frankly scared to take their pets to the Vet because of cost.

What are you noticing in Buffalo that deserves more attention?

The entire West Side deserves more attention. It is such a vibrant community and we are absolutely thrilled to be a part of it. Resurgence Brewing right across the street gets plenty of deserved attention, but lesser-known gems like the West Side Bazaar, and to a greater extent Ranchos Venezuelan restaurant need to be recognized!

What’s your favorite number and why?

13. It’s been my favorite number since childhood but I’m not sure why

We are the Tesla Corridor!

It’s official! Buffalo Common Council has designated Niagara Street from Busti Avenue to Vulcan Street as the “Tesla Heritage Corridor“.

The cultural and industrial history of our neighborhood includes groundbreaking research by Nikola Tesla proven here. In1896, the lights turned on in Buffalo for the first time powered by the mighty Niagara through AC currents. Tesla’s theories, research, and work changed the world. Kudos to Bill Zimmermann for pursuing this designation.

Bike Share on Niagara Street?

Bike lanes are on their way to Upper Rock & Black Rock on Niagara Street. We can’t wait! Plans include a cycle track for much of that distance.

So..how about a transportation hub that includes bike shares? Reddy Bike has reached out to us and will be figuring out the best locations. Yay!

Can you see Buffalo on this list someday for Best Bike Share Programs? We can!

Blue on Blue: thanks to Wastewater Treatment

Blue skies, river and wastewater treatment – it’s all connected and of utmost importance to our environment and health.

We were treated to an exceptional tour of the Sewer Authority Wastewater Treatment Plant by Alex Emmerson including an introduction to overall operation by plant supervisor, Mike Letina. Participants on the tour came from a wide variety of backgrounds, including a chemical engineer student at UB, employee of the Land Trust and curious city residents. It was fascinating to all.

We learned about sludge vs FOG (fats, oils, grease), WAS (waste activated sludge) and Mixed Liquor. Interested? Check out this messaging video made by New York Water Environment Association (NYWEA). And/or stay tuned for our next Vision Niagara tour later this year!

July Interview – Sports City Pizza Pub

We’re pleased to showcase our neighbor, Sports City Pizza Pub! Mike Rizzo and his son, also Mike Rizzo, created a great spot on Niagara Street with possibly the best chicken wings and pizza as well as an impressive line up of beers on tap. With multiple wide screens, it’s a great place to view sports events with friends and family.

What four words describe your project?

Pizza, Wings, Sports, & Beer

Describe the work you do and the impact you’re trying to make:

We provide a neutral location where anyone from the blue collar worker to the company CEO can come down, enjoy a simple meal and relax with a cold beer and friends.

What brings you to the Niagara Street Corridor?

The growth and potential for an area that’s had so much to offer.

What are you noticing in Buffalo that deserves more attention?

The historical corporation into what is being newly built and the preservation efforts without standing in the way of growth

What’s your favorite number & why?

1407, that’s where you’ll find the best pizza on Niagara St!

June Interview #onNiagaraSt

This month, we present our interview with new neighbors: Love In Motion Yoga!

Located at 1250 Niagara Street.

VN: What four words describe your project?

yoga, movement, community, collaboration,

VN: Describe the work you do and the impact you’re trying to make:

We bring yoga to the community – from basics to upper level classes, we make yoga accessible and fun, and collaborate with other business to share different ways to move with our students and promote the buffalo business community.

VN: What brings you to the Niagara Street Corridor?

We love the feel of the neighborhood.

VN: What are you noticing in Buffalo that deserves more attention?

The collaboration of small businesses – this uniting of places that could normally be competitors, and their owners recognizing that we’re stronger when we’re allied together. Also the idea of paying it forward – from long term partnerships with local charities to contributing to charitable and community-boosting events, people are looking for more fulfillment and a higher purpose, and using whatever platform available to make that happen.

VN: What’s your favorite number & why?

108 – it’s an auspicious number in yoga

Interfaith Consecration Ceremony @ Broderick Park

June 3rd, 2017 from 4-6 pm

Broderick Park

(Foot of West Ferry Street)

Buffalo Quarters Historical Society invites all to attend an Interfaith Consecration Ceremony to recognize the historical significance of Broderick Park and the role it played in the Underground Railroad.

Stormwater Options for Properties in the Corridor

One of the easiest ways we can  reduce water pollution is by eliminating excess paving and managing the runoff from our roadways. The Niagara Street project includes landscape elements to protect the Black Rock Canal and Niagara River.
If you own  property on Niagara Street, you have a choice of planter options to help reduce runoff AND beautify the streetscape. Click here to view how you can make that happen! How cool is that?
But what about maintenance, you might ask? The contractor is responsible to maintain the planters for two years after installation. Then, it’s on the owner to keep it up – just like it is now, with cutting grass, shoveling snow, etc. But…planters can actually be easier to maintain than other treatments. Click here to learn more about it.

City planners need to hear from you now as final designs are drawn up May and June 2017.

Contact Julie O’Neill if you have any questions at 716-851-4664 x. 4213 or
joneill@sa.ci.buffalo.ny.us