Entries Tagged as 'buffalo'

why voice-over meet-up groups are so valuable

A meeting on the Buffalo, NY Voice-Over Meetup group (from l-r) Robert W. Taylor, Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Peter K. O'Connell, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich, Randye Kaye amd Glad Faith Klassen

A meeting on the Buffalo, NY Voice-Over Meetup group (from l-r) Robert W. Taylor, Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Peter K. O’Connell, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich, Randye Kaye and Glad Faith Klassen

Voice-over talents are a closeted bunch.

Meaning whether in our homes or studios, we spend a lot of time in booths (closets) churning out voice stuff.

It’s great but who do you bounce business, technical or performance ideas off of if you work by yourself? Where are your checks and balances coming from?

It was 2009 when my friend and fellow voice-talent (the lovely and talented) Doug Turkel invited me out to his Voice-Over Mastermind Group in Miami, FL. So I hoped in my private jet that afternoon and join Doug and his pals for what was my first official meet-up group. As with most things Doug, it was terrific.

From that moment forward, I wanted to start some kind of group like that in Buffalo, NY.

But Mrs. audio’connell and I had a child. And another. And another. A bunch of FaffCons later, I still didn’t start my meet-up group. Then finally, after attending a voice-over class that just wasn’t filling my needs, I did what all good leaders do to get things done.

I delegated.

See, I was not going to be able to organize a meet-up group with my family and professional commitments. I’m the guy that had always put this stuff together but this time it wasn’t going to happen and I knew it. But it didn’t mean stuff couldn’t happen. With the advent of FaffCon, more Buffalo voice talents attended together, we realized the power of what we could do and we all wanted to do it.

So I contacted local voice talents and fellow Faffers Dan Lenard and Leslie Diamond and said “help”.

Leslie offered up her house, Dan made some calls, we shared notes on who to invite (lots of people) and in August 2013, we held our first meet-up. I think 5 people showed up. I was stunned there weren’t more with so many talents around.

What I came to understand was that these were the committed ones, the ones who wanted to try. And our monthly meetings have been going on since. And growing!

Our troupe now includes: Robert W. Taylor, >Leslie Diamond, Dan Lenard, Chris Nichter, Jen Deyo, Fred Filbrich and Glad Faith Klassen.

To be clear, this meet-up is not like my traveling lunch dinner tours that Bob Souer and I have made famous over the years.

The Buffalo Voice-Over Meetup Group created our own agenda: reviewing successes, talking about challenges, picking a specific industry related topic and everyone just sharing info. Sometimes one of us volunteers to talk about a subject we know a little more about. We take notes….and we work on scripts. We group direct and one on one direct.

And we remember that we are not alone. Our families may sometimes question our career choices but in a meet-up, we are among those who get it. Meet-up members understand the incurable disease of voice-over performance. And for just those few hours every month, you get to talk shop where nobody looks at you funny. Usually.

They are fragile eco-systems, these voice-over meet-up groups, because they live and die by the quality of the talent (performance and business-wise) in the group. It should be a group, not something led by one individual. Plus people come and go…the success of every meeting is not guaranteed. Which is why everyone who is in an on-going, effective and most importantly interactive meetup group should be very thankful. I know I am.

why buffalo niagara sales and marketing executives really matters

Dear BNSME Members,

You are a part of a successful, historic and exclusive professional association that sales and marketing executives in bigger cities can only dream of joining because they just don’t have the resource that we have here (a resource we sometimes take for granted).

Like the region whose name we share, the Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives has been a precious gem for our active and involved members since 1942. While other professional associations have sprung up and died off along the way, BNSME’s unique tools for enhancing the professional development of our talented members has kept the association thriving for over 70 years.

BNSME is so special because, by design, it’s not for everybody – only those individual who have achieved business success and are continuing to thrive in their careers can be members. Our members must meet a specific executive criteria, they must be sponsored by a current BNSME and their application must be voted on by our board of directors.

The critical result of this vetting process is that our BNSME members get to network with and learn from their true peers. Executive-level men and women who have closed the big deals, who have interacted with top business leaders around the world and who have faced similar business and organizational challenges. Over these past seven decades, our members have often supported each other as trusted professional resources that they might not have ever enjoyed without their BNSME memberships.

Leads are established here, business gets done here, and lifelong friendships are fostered here today, just as when the association began. I know this for a fact because I have received and shared leads, closed deals and made lifelong friends directly as a result of my membership. But it’s not because I tried to plaster every hand presented to me at a meeting with my business card and an elevator speech.

What’s my BNSME secret? How come I can walk into a BNSME meeting and be known and welcomed by almost everybody there (unless I haven’t met them yet)?

I am actively involved in BNSME. Committees, dinner meetings, events…I’ve joined, participated and I’ve interacted.

I continually reach out to the new faces I see at meetings and I reconnect with the familiar faces. I focus on them…their lives, their likes and their challenges. I try to listen more than I talk (which, as an Irishman, is no small task for me).

In short, I try and treat each member the way I would like to be treated. I try not so much to make a contact as I do a friend.

As we all know, when given a choice, people would rather do business with friends.

Not always am I perfect at it but I’ve only been a BNSME member for 24 years, I still need to work at it.

I was reminded of all this today and encouraged to share my thoughts while attending a BNSME past presidents luncheon. That’s a picture (above) of just some of the association’s past leaders…you’d be hard pressed to find more loyal supporters of the BNSME mission than this group and I’ll guarantee you’d easily make a friend or two as well from that group.

The gentleman (in the truest definition of that word) in the blue blazer seated in the above picture is not only the longest tenured member of BNSME, he’s also one of the greatest sales and marketing executives this city has ever had and the greatest friend BNSME has ever known. No one in BNSME ever secured more members, chaired more committees or helped more people professionally and personally.

Every person in that picture, as well as many more who were sad they couldn’t attend, owe Bob Sommer an unfathomable debt of gratitude for sharing his talent and his time with BNSME. The association was and still is one of his great passions. We are lucky to have him in our group.

So as you think about your career and how Buffalo Niagara Sales and Marketing Executives can be an important part of it…maybe consider how Bob has built his respected and beloved reputation within BNSME (hint: the answer doesn’t involve longevity). Maybe some of his examples can help you make the most out of your BNSME membership experience.

I hope it does because I know it can.

Best always,
– Peter

wben buffalo adds a frequency and maybe a new logo

So word came down on Twitter today (isn’t that where all news comes from that isn’t already on Facebook…what newspaper?!!) that heritage AM station WBEN/Buffalo was going to be simulcast on another station in the Entercom cluster, WLKK-FM (107.7). The Lake, as the station was known, hadn’t really moved the needle among listeners or advertisers.

So now WBEN will be heard on AM 930 and FM 107.7 – with this news came what seems to be a new logo. Variations of the old WBEN logo have been around for a decade or more.

The new logo – if it is indeed the final version – is bad. Vague city scapes and big call letters (meant to infer how the station covers or engulfs the city with its coverage) never work. They also reproduce badly in newspaper ads and on the web.

I listen to the station and I don’t have to look at the logo so I suppose I shouldn’t care – except it’s a logo and I notice these things. You’d hope a station group as big as Entercom would have a bit more graphic moxie to produce (or even steal from another one of their stations in another market) a logo better than this one.

Maybe this new logo is just a draft.

Kinda like this one I whipped up pretty fast:

some buffalo horn tooting

The historic Shea's Performing Arts Center in Buffalo, NY

I know you might not think too much about Buffalo, NY because, well many of you do not live here.

And I know you remember we have/had a football team and we get snow (much like about 1/2 of the United States).

But we also have some amazing weather (from May through October), restaurants, architecture and more.

So if you’ll allow me to take about six minutes from your life, I’d like you to watch a little bit about my city in this video (a production I had nothing to do with). The National Preservation Conference is coming here in 2011 so they made a promotional video to promote attendance. Maybe this video will help you get a better sense of what my town is like.

Kudos to the Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau for their work on this project.


“i feel the earth move under my feet” – earthquake in buffalo, ny

USGS Earthquake Intensity Map - Ontario-Quebec Border Region

If you ask Connie Terwilliger or Amy Snively or Dave Courvoisier or maybe even Jeffrey Kafer, they’ll likely share more than a couple of stories about being in an earthquake.

I’ve never been in one, until today.

Yes our little hamlet (once a thriving metropolis – but that a story for another blog post) Buffalo, NY had an earthquake today. A real live one.

As you can see from the map, we were not near the epicenter but I very clearly felt it at my desk. As I said on a Facebook post today, it felt like “just a constant rumble of a very large truck on a bumpy road for about 7-10 seconds….long enough to make you think it wasn’t just a very large truck on a bumpy road.”

Here there was no damage here from the quake but a heck of a curiosity factor (and maybe even greater respect for their power). There may have been tremors in the region before (I guess there is a fault line in or around Lake Erie) but I don’t think it was so clearly felt by as many people as this one was.

Blizzards we get, high winds we get, hot we get. Earthquakes…not so much. Here’s hoping it’s not a trend for the future.

Here’s what it looked like live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada during a press conference where video was rolling. A little NSFW language from a newser who was clearly a little shocked by the realization of what’s happening. Sorry about the commercial at the beginning.

on february 12, 2010, please wear red for remembrance

<em> Firefighters battle flames from the wreckage of Continental Flight 3407 on February 12, 2009 where 50 people died</em>

Firefighters battle flames from the wreckage of Continental Flight 3407 on February 12, 2009 where 50 people died

On Friday, February 12, 2010, many people might wear red to signify St. Valentine’s Day on Sunday. But I’d like to ask you to wear red on Friday for another reason.

Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the crash of Continental flight 3407 from Newark to Buffalo where preventable pilot error caused the death of 50 people. The families affected by the crash (and there are many) will walk Friday from the site of the crash to Buffalo Niagara International Airport in memory of those they lost.

Additionally, the families have asked that people everywhere (not just in Western New York) wear red on Friday to remember those that died and those whose lives were changed forever.

Flying is not safer today than it was one year ago. It seems no one is willing to truly address the problem.

Maybe a little symbolism will help get their attention.