Seneca One DEEP DIVE: Connor Kenney + The Progress of Buffalo

Welcome to this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up-and-coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re soaking it all in with Connor Kenney, Development Manager of SAA| EVI.

BUFFALO, NY- Connor Kenney has seen a lot of progress working in commercial real estate and is very encouraged by the progress he sees here in Buffalo. 

Kenney, a developer who currently oversees SAA | EVI’s projects in New York State and throughout the Great Lakes, double dips as a commercial tenant and residential tenant here at Seneca One, a place that he saw as an opportunity to grow alongside the city in this new economic adventure.

“It’s great. As you mentioned, I live in the building as well. I think it takes me two minutes to go from my apartment door to my office,” Kenney said. “Between that, the food hall, and the bar in the lobby – I don’t need to leave much. Douglas has done an amazing job breathing life back into the building and creating a product type that, frankly, did not exist in this city before he came.”

Kenney fell backward into real estate development. He was on the verge of going to law school until a family member who worked at the University at Buffalo told him about the school’s Masters of Science in Real Estate Development program.

This piqued his interest, and in 2017, Kenney finished the program and has since been working in Real Estate Development. He started his career as a Real Estate Developer at PathStone Corporation in Rochester, NY. He was responsible for developing affordable and mixed-income housing throughout PathStone’s geographic footprint during his time there.

In 2020, his development efforts led to closing on a $44 MM, 157-unit Low Income Housing Tax Credit deal at the former Irondequoit Mall just outside of Rochester. His success caught the eye of one of the Co-Managing Members SAA | EVI, David Alexander.

“David lives in Miami now, but he grew up in Buffalo. We have an office in Miami and Baltimore, but our company was founded in Buffalo,” Kenney said. “We thought it was very appropriate to have an office here. Ernst  Valery and David Alexander, and Stuart Alexander before them, have done an awesome job building the company over the years. We have active projects in 9 states right now. That is not easy to do. I’m fortunate to be able to learn from them and grateful to them for trusting me and giving me a platform to do what I am passionate about. I’m excited to see what we can accomplish together in the future.”

Kenney has embraced his return to Buffalo, calling Seneca One home. He conducts business on the 29th floor at Serendipity Labs, and then when he is done, he takes the elevator down the main lobby and makes his way to his apartment.

The ease of access and peace of mind allow Kenney to grow SAA | EVI here in Buffalo. He has also enjoyed returning to his hometown and soaking it all in.

“I grew up in Buffalo. My family is here. I can’t predict the future and where life might take me, but I will always come back to Buffalo,” Kenney said.  “I’ve been fortunate to travel a lot personally, and I am usually out of town for work for a week every month. I’ve seen a lot of different cities. But Buffalo is a special place. There is no place like Buffalo.”

Kenney is proud of his city, proud to be here, and we look forward to seeing him continue on this successful trajectory.

Seneca One DEEP DIVE: Roger Orozco + The City of Good Neighbors

Welcome to the Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up-and-coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re swimming to shore with Roger Orozco, Facilities Manager of All Pro Parking LLC.

BUFFALO, NY: It’s a warm summer Friday night at Seneca One, and Roger Orozco is manning the grill.

Through the haze of smoke and the delicious smell of smoked meat is a sea of Buffalonians ready to feast on some Sahlen’s hot dogs after a night at the Buffalo Bisons’ game.

“I GOT TWO READY TO GO,” Orozco says, as a man and his young child approach the table to collect their free hot dogs. The process goes round and round for a few hours until everyone is fed. By the end of the night, Orozco has served 250 hot dogs to over 200 people, with a giant smile on his face.

Orozco is the Facilities Manager for All Pro Parking LLC for Seneca One, Larkinville, and the Buffalo Grand Hotel. He is also on the Buffalo Bills Committee. He wears many hats, and when he isn’t cooking hot dogs for the “City of Good Neighbors,” trying to keep folding tables on all fours at Bill tailgates, he’s helping the tenants and residents of Seneca One and the greater WNY community navigate their way through downtown Buffalo, something he takes great pride in.

“It’s the people at Seneca One that make it my special and favorite place,” Orozco said. “It’s cool to say that I work at the “red building.” Also, the vibe at Seneca One is a fascinating anomaly.”

Since taking over as Facilities Manager in 2014, Orozco has gone above and beyond to provide a positive atmosphere and exceptional hospitality to those of Seneca One. It doesn’t matter to him if the task at hand falls in line with his job description, he’s a team player with the same shared vision as the rest of the team here at Seneca One, and that is to maintain a high quality of life.

Need directions to the best restaurant in town? Roger has a list memorized and has no problem telling you what to order when you arrive. Need a pick-me-up or a motivational quote for the day? Roger is your hype man and always has some type of quote to lift you up on those days you might be feeling down.

He loves his job. He loves the people of Buffalo. He wants to see this city get back to its glory days, and as the Facilities Manager, he’s the first impression someone has of the Seneca One Community when they arrive. He’s like a public relations representative for the community of Buffalo.

“As a Buffalonian, it’s amazing to see the transformation of downtown Buffalo,” Orozco said. “From Canalside, Larkinville, Seneca One, all the family-owned pubs, and restaurants, we have a lot of hidden gems in our city. Buffalo is one of the countries best kept secrets.”

So, when you arrive at Seneca One for your next tour, event or just to check out the future of Buffalo, look for Roger and ask him about the building. You will understand just how much this city means to him.

Seneca One Deep Dive: Nicholas Kosinski + Odoo

For this week’s Deep Dive, we caught up with Nicholas Kosinski, Director of US East Odoo, a Belgium CRM software company that has is growing quickly in downtown Buffalo!

We hope you enjoy it!

If you’ve taken a drive down the 33 or on the 190 recently to the beautiful city of Buffalo, you might have seen a very unique billboard that you made you do a double-take.

“Sorry SAP,” in giant white letters complemented by a rich shade of purple, has everyone wondering what is going on?

Nicholas Kosinski of Odoo has joined us to tell you about the company’s journey through the small- and medium-sized businesses market, what they are doing and why you should apologize to SAP.

Seneca One: When considering moving to Buffalo, what attracted you to Seneca One, and how has Douglas and Seneca One helped Odoo grow?

Nicholas Kosinski: There are a few things. Firstly, the people here. The DD team has shown an overwhelming amount of support and enthusiasm for Odoo as a company and the mission that we’re on here in Buffalo.

Secondly, Douglas himself. His genuineness, his character, his work ethic, and his ability to get the job done has inspired me on a personal level since the day I met him. As much as he may be supporting me, I try to do everything that I can to support him in return. We’re neighbors, after all – and you know what they say about neighbors in this city!

SO: What has it been like watching Buffalo transform here at Seneca One?

NK: That’s a very difficult question to answer: it’s like asking me to describe what it feels like to watch David beat Goliath – how do you feel when the underdog finally starts to succeed? Ecstatic, maybe?

SO: We see the “Sorry SAP” signs on the 33 and the 190. What do they mean, and Why should the city of Buffalo keep an eye out for Odoo?

NK: SAP is Odoo’s biggest competitor, and we’re simply apologizing for eating up the SMB market and leaving them with very few if any leftovers! Like the story I mentioned above, in this case, SAP is Goliath, and Odoo is David – and we’re feeling ecstatic up here on the 26th floor!

SO:  What is next for Odoo?

NK: Hire, hire and hire some more!

We are happy to have Odoo here at Seneca One and hope you think of them the next time you see a “Sorry SAP” sign.

Seneca One Deep Dive: Kristen Zimmerman + Serendipity Labs

Welcome to this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up-and-coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re setting sail with Kristen Zimmerman, General Manager of Serendipity Labs.

Embedded in the DNA of the Seneca One community, high up on the 29th floor, is an oasis filled with businesses striving to grow and thrive at the brand new tech hub in downtown Buffalo.

On any given day, when you arrive on the floor, you see many faces. You see different people walking with a purpose, ready to attack the day with enthusiasm and poise.

But one thing that stands out among other things is a smiling face that greets you and is ready, willing, and able to do everything she can to make your stay at Seneca One the best it can be.

Kristen Zimmerman is the General Manager of Serendipity Labs, a coworking and flexible office space that is home to many startups, and small to medium-sized businesses here at Seneca One, and since February, Zimmerman has watched Seneca One transform and come alive with a new hustle and bustle.

“I was living in NYC and when I heard about the exciting things going on in Buffalo and Seneca One,” Zimmerman said. “I knew I wanted to be a part of it. The opportunity to run a coworking and flexible office space became an option and I knew there was no better way to move back and be involved in the community than this.”

Serendipity Labs was founded in 2011 with the idea to create professional workspaces with the flexibility businesses need today, all supported by on-site hospitality teams. They have 30-plus locations nationwide and on March 1, the coworking shared space found a nice spot on the 29th floor of Buffalo’s tallest skyscraper.

With all of the talk of large tech companies here at Seneca One, the flexible space is gaining traction and becoming popular among smaller businesses. It allows them the opportunity to grow as the once sleeping giant continues to ignite a Buffalo renaissance.

“Meeting new people and creating an environment where members find it enjoyable to come into work,” Zimmerman said. “The building may be known as a tech hub but it truly is an option for all companies small or large.”

Serendipity Labs offers monthly and daily access to Private Offices and a customizable suite for 1-50 employees, hybrid work styles with coworking plans, and Worktopia™  memberships for access across their network. They also offer Meeting Rooms, board rooms for up to 12, and collaboration space for up to 40 attendees in every location.

So, the next time you’re at Seneca One for a tour, a cocktail at our lobby bar, or just popping in to say “Hello”, ask for Kristen. She is always happy to talk about Serendipity Labs. Just be sure to greet the true Buffalonian with a “Go Bills!”

Seneca One Deep Dive: Verivend & The 1992 Dream Team

Welcome to this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up-and-coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re shouting “cannonball!” from the rooftops as we jump into Verivend.

Fact: Rodney Reisdorf, Aaron Santarosa, Jonathan Ebel, and Daniel Devlin want their clients to get paid.

This fintech quartet has had enough of email chains, physical paperwork, and mismanagement of finances. With that being said, they are not afraid to challenge financial traditional methods.

Friends, meet Verivend, a financial software company that has built a highly secure, cloud-based platform for the management of business transactions and reduces friction and risks between accounts payable and accounts receivable through a  designed invoicing system.

The team consists of Reisdorf, Co-Founder and CEO,  Satanrosa, Co-Founder and President, Ebel, Co-Founder and CTO, and Devlin, Chief of Sales. This group of innovators are no stranger to the fintech industry and mismanagement of business finances.

Leading off is Santarosa. He is the President of The Santarosa Group, the parent company of Buffalo Fuel, SGS Recovery, Frontier Fibers, and JAGG Electrical & Control, and has expertise in the commodities, transportation, and renewable energy industries. Then there is Reisdorf, who has a successful history in the B2B and B2C industries and is a results-driven leader results-driven leader of SaaS and enterprise software solutions. He also has deep expertise in architecting client service strategies from concept to completion, software platform and product development, operational process design, and building successful cross-functional teams.

Ebel is a seasoned software architect and proven technology leader. Before Verivend, he was Chief Architect at ACV Auctions, where he led and grew the Software Engineering team, created ACV’s Product team. Batting clean up is Devlin, who brings a wealth of experience in revenue growth strategy and P&L management. It’s safe to say that Verivend is Seneca One’s version of the 1992 dream team.

“Verivend’s founding team has had the fortunate opportunity to be part of several successful startups in the Buffalo area,” Reisdorf said. “We’ve always been passionate about solving real problems and building companies around doing just that. With our team’s combined experience of scaling successful companies and the value that Verivend brings to businesses of all sizes, taking this path in our collective career journeys was a no-brainer.”

Since 2019, Verivend has slowly garnered attention for its unique software-as-a-service platform that challenges traditional financial methods and offers a faster way for companies to pay and get paid. This means no more email chains, physical paperwork, or time wasted.

This allows businesses to predict and rely on their cashflow.

“Fintech is very hot right now, with many players in the space focusing on a number of areas in the financial services industry,” Reisdorf said. “There’s a major shift happening with both consumers and companies moving from the traditional ways of managing their finances to rapidly adopting solutions that save them time, offer transparency, and reduce fraud – all of which are why we started Verivend. We’ve built an incredibly robust software-as-a-service platform that offers the fastest way in the market for companies to pay and get paid. Our unique payment and transaction network powered by Verivend’s proprietary digital wallet allows instant B2B and B2C payments and unparalleled cashflow predictability and transparency. We’re very proud of what we’ve built and even prouder to be doing it in our hometown of Buffalo.”

Last spring, Reisdorf, Santarosa, and Ebel were looking for a vibrant and lively office space. They toured Seneca One and were floored by the welcoming atmosphere of Serendipity Labs, and the flexible shared co-working and office space right in the heart of Buffalo’s new aged renaissance.

Since their arrival, they have experienced a whole new level of growth and are confident that with a positive ecosystem here at Seneca One, their secure and affordable billing solution will ascend to new heights.

“Buffalo’s tech hub is a huge asset to not only the city, but to companies like Verivend,” Reisdorf said. “The access to other companies in all stages of growth thought leadership, and talent is invaluable to the success of Buffalo’s startup ecosystem. Not that we think starting a company (especially a fintech) is easy by any means, but being part of Buffalo’s tech hub and the ability to access others who have walked the path before us, or who are walking alongside us on the journey is an incredible advantage in guiding the growth and success of our company.”

Be on the lookout for Verivend as they continue to navigate through the world of financial business solutions. You may also find them at the Seneca One Lobby Bar talking tech with other entrepreneurs!

 

Seneca One Deep Dive: SkateSkins & Creativity in Hockey

Welcome to the Seneca One Deep Dive! The team at Seneca One identifies exciting up and coming people, projects, and companies to dive into and share with our audiences. This week we’re diving headfirst into Just Dishin and SkateSkins!

BUFFALO, NY: One is overcome with a feeling of exuberance when you step foot into the offices of  Just Dishin and SkateSkins at the top of Seneca One, Buffalo’s solo skyscraper. Perhaps it’s the density of up and coming companies growing together on one floor of the recently woken sleeping giant that is Seneca One, or it’s the friendly greeting and overwhelming excitement on the faces of Nick Ciavarella and Matthew Keeler, two young entrepreneurs that are this week’s Seneca One Deep Dive!

It’s not because of the gorgeous view of the waterfront and bustling downtown Buffalo, the giant throw rug of a Jordan 1 hockey skate (that nobody dares to step on), or the collection of exclusive New Era ball caps in the office that this team uses for inspiration. It’s the tangible passion and eagerness to push Buffalo forward that fills the four walls of their space high up in the tower of Seneca One. 

Ciavarella and Keeler are members of Just Dishin and SkateSkins; both are lifestyle and hockey companies looking to push the game of hockey forward with a focus on creativity. Just Dishin offers hockey-influenced streetwear as an e-commerce initiative as well as digital marketing services while SkateSkins offers customizable skate accessories that are close to being protected by their very first patent. 

On June 16, the dynamic duo and their other full-time teammate, Derek Hosken, made the move to Seneca One. Since their arrival, the team has taken full advantage of the collaborative collision here at Seneca One and has grown into their brand new space.

“I think [Seneca One] is a place where a whole team can get together and bounce inspiration off of each other,” Keeler said. “It’s a place where we can all come together, work on ideas and work on different projects that we’re all involved in and all want to see fulfilled.”

JustDishin was founded in 2012 by Keeler and Ben Madafferi in a small college dorm room at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. The idea was to help create a new wave of stylish fashion collaborations to the sport of hockey and to empower athletes to provide their flavor through their creativity. Since 2012, the passion and drive of Keeler and Madafferi led to a period of unexpected organic growth. 

In 2016, they added Ciavarella as Chief Operating Officer to help with media and digital marketing, and in 2020 they launched SkateSkins. In addition to Ciavarella, Keeler, and Hosken, JustDishin and SkateSkins have seven part-time employees, including Madafferi.

The group’s love for the game and appetite for fashion and expressiveness garnered the attention of Buffalo Bills tackle Dion Dawkins and Buffalo Sabres defenseman Rasmus Dahlin. Both are now clients of the design department at Just Dishin. These guys have even worked on projects with Toronto Maple Leafs’ superstar Auston Mathews

This lead to an opportunity to showcase their products on the Barstool Sports media platform, not to mention a special invite to visit the Barstool Studio which took place in early 2021.

“You’re going to get opportunities. You have to put in that time and that work,” Ciavarella said. “If you love what you do every day and follow your passion, I think there are a lot of good things that can happen. I think for our group as a whole, it [showed] our group that anything is possible.” 

From the Seneca One perspective, we highly recommend that you keep an eye on this young team of enormous talent not only in Buffalo but worldwide as their products begin to gain momentum in the hockey world! 

For more information, follow Just Dishin and SkateSkins on Instagram!