In our efforts to support sustainable communities around the Campus, it is essential that we keep an open dialogue with the neighborhoods that border the Medical Campus. I believe the buildings on the Medical Campus are not walls, but a catalyst of socio-economic change for Buffalo. That’s why a meeting like Four Neighborhoods, One Community is vital to creating a MutualCity, so we can work together to change our city’s future. – Marc Pope
The next Four Neighborhoods, One Community meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 20th in LEARN at the Innovation Center (640 Ellicott, 1st floor).
A Conversation with Marc Pope, Community Program Manager
Marc Pope recently joined the BNMC team as Community Program Manager, a newly created position. Marc will be responsible for overseeing programs that benefit local residents and community engagement initiatives. He will focus on programs designed to promote economic opportunity, including local hiring and purchasing, health and wellness and the Neighborhood Solar Partnership.
How does your varied background working in customer service and the political world intersect with your new position at the BNMC?
As Senator Tim Kennedy’s community liaison, I worked with many community stakeholder groups and had the opportunity to learn and listen so I think that experience will be very beneficial for my work with the BNMC. I have had a chance to get to know many residents in the neighborhoods around the Campus through my work with Senator Kennedy and other volunteer work. Because of that experience, I have a pretty good understanding of how the community views the Medical Campus and the issues that are important to them. I also think my experience working in the life safety industry and interacting with customers helped me understand how to work with varied audiences and most importantly, how to listen – skills that I believe will be important as I work to bring programs to our surrounding neighborhoods and to gain more understanding of the types of initiatives that are important to our closest communities.
What kinds of work will you do in this new role?
My role will be to help the BNMC team implement initiatives in the community and to help develop strategies to help move forward our community-based programs. Since I have strong relationships with our local elected officials and with community leaders and residents, I believe I can help move programs forward and help to promote them through channels that residents trust and rely on. I will specifically be working on economic opportunity initiatives that connect small businesses to the member institutions and that connect local residents to career opportunities on the Medical Campus.
As a native of Wilmington, Delaware and a relatively new transplant to Buffalo in 2014, what are your immediate impressions?
Buffalo’s rich history presents its greatest opportunities. There are lots of diverse neighborhoods and backgrounds that are celebrated like St. Patrick’s Day, Dyngus Day and Juneteenth that allow you to appreciate everyone’s heritage. I believe it’s important to continue to bring diverse communities together to build trust and continue Buffalo’s progress. From the arts to food, Buffalo’s cultural diversity is what unites communities. Having lived in cities like Wilmington and Philadelphia, I am excited to see the direction that Buffalo is heading in; making the city a sustainable place for everyone to live and work.
What attracted you to work at the BNMC?
I was interested primarily because I know the BNMC is doing a great job and I like the direction that it is headed. I want to continue to ensure that the community is aware of all of the positive things that are happening here and the positive impact that it has on the overall community. I am looking forward to the opportunity to continue building relationships between the neighborhoods and the Campus for the benefit of both.
What else keeps you busy?
Despite leaving Senator Kennedy’s office, I still have a love for politics, particularly the strategy part of it and I expect I will find ways to get involved in upcoming campaigns. I also am an entrepreneur, providing graphic design and social media services, and an author of soon to be two books. I strive to balance my time well so that I make time for my wife and two children. When you spend a lot of time in the public, having quiet time away from the crowds can be really important.