Next Buffalo speaker

Yuki Numata Resnick

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November 9, 8:30am • UB Crosby Hall • part of a series on Restart

Welcome to our Buffalo Is Creative Changemaker of the Month of October  2018, celebrating the inspiring organizations working hard to make Buffalo better. Learn more about our project here:

We are happy to share the mission of Let There Be Light International based in Buffalo, a solar charity that’s helped more than 400,000 people in off-grid Africa gain access to safe energy in their homes and health clinics. Hear Executive Director Sarah Baird:

October’s theme is HONESTY

Honesty is the currency for connection. It’s a gift we give to each other that strengthens bonds and deepens relationships. Honesty is a practice where we start from the heart. Being honest isn’t always easy and being honest all of the time is impractical. Giving honest feedback or sharing our opinions requires sensitivity to the context and meeting others where they are—with kindness and empathy. Honesty is about providing the information that you would want if you were in a similar situation. Another way to look at honesty: it’s a flower born out of the soil of trust, connection, and conversations. The more we nurture conversations that breed trust and forge a connection, the more honesty becomes baked into the way we lead our lives. This month’s global exploration of Honesty was chosen by our Cardiff chapter, and illustrated by James Lewis. Thank you to Mailchimp, Adobe, and for empowering the global creative community. 

Welcome to our Morning Person interview series, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

This month we’re happy to share an interview with digital marketing specialist Nick Stutzman.

What is your special creative force? 

In Digital Marketing, there are so many different types of clients with unique audiences - so when I am looking to be creative, I try to become one with the potential customer or audience and think what would attract them to this business’ specific product, service or event. And that’s where I find the passion to be creative, as I get a thrill of being able to visualize and become the person we are targeting, in order to make the client’s campaign come to fruition.

In the spirit of October 2018’s theme, CMhonesty, how does honesty play into your creative practice? 

I think being transparent, honest, and upfront about the expectations of anything I do professionally is very important in the creative process. That way I feel confident that the client is on-board with the campaigns we are creating, and we are delivering on the promises we proposed. Everyone is held responsible when there is an honesty factor involved. 

What project are you working on right now that we should all know about? 

I was recently hired as the new Digital Marketing Specialist at Trellis Marketing. I am really excited to share my knowledge and expertise with this creative company, and help take the digital marketing capabilities to the next level!

Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired? 

When I was 19, through a series of unfortunate events, I found myself homeless. In Buffalo, there were only a few places to go when you’re in that position. So it might seem weird, but I sometimes drive by the Buffalo City Mission (where I stayed for a decent amount of time) and am reminded of all the experiences I had while I stayed there and how I never want to be in that situation again. But I look back at where I have came from, it then inspires me to stay passionate about my career, what I am doing currently, and the future endeavors I am working on. 

Meet JB Hutch, our CMbuf featured teammate of the month! Test out your best Monty Python quote on him at the next event.

Dog or cat?

Cat’s for sure, dogs are needy and loud and you have to pick up their poop. Cat’s are so low maintenance.

Phone call or text?

Text, unless you’re my mom or dad, I’m probably not answering.

Chocolate or vanilla?

Vanilla. No fuss, no flourish, just pure and delicious

Morning or evening?

Morning. A great morning means a day full of productivity.

Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook. Is Twitter dead yet? I haven’t used it in over a year.

Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

Ice Cream. The more fat the better!

iOS or Android?

Android! Apple used to be the company that was all about optimization and standardization, now it’s dongles, proprietary software, and planned obsolescence.

Big party or small gathering?

Small gathering. Big parties can be fun, but I prefer a small gathering with a few close friends.

Coffee or tea?

Tea. Black, english tea and a dash of milk, thats perfection. I have enough anxiety before inducing myself with a panic attack from a cup full of coffee.

Jogging or hiking?

Jogging. I used to run a ton, not so much lately, but I really get some clarity in your head from a good run.

Hamburger or Taco?

Hamburger, I’ve never seen a taco that had an egg, bacon, cheese.

Money or free time?

Free time. Money is great, but I only get it so I can pay for more free time.

Amusement Park or Day at the Beach?

Probably a day on the beach, although I do like an amusement park trip every now and again. Beaches are great for chilling, reading, and covering myself thick with sunscreen to preserve my pasty, celtic skin.

Toilet paper: over or under?

Over, what sort of savage says under??

Rain or snow?

Rain by a mile, snow is pretty but rain means its not too cold outside. There’s nothing like falling asleep to the soft grumble of a summer thunderstorm.

Singing or dancing?

I am perfectly capable of embarrassing myself at both. You might even get to get to experience it yourself if you get to know me well enough.

Horror Movie or Comedy?

Comedy. I don’t understand how people can be into horror movies. How do people have fun getting scared? I don’t know. They’re not for me. But good comedy spans generations. I’ll probably quote Monty Python until the day I die.

City or Countryside?

City. I’ve become obsessed with how cities are designed. How people get around, how they interact with their city, and the culture that they create. Cities are so full of energy and life.

Winter or summer?

Summer by a mile. I’m over winter already.

Beer or wine?

Beer. Although, I’m not into all these weird micro-brew, double-IPA, summer shandy…. I’ll take an (or two) ice cold Guinness any day.

Ninjas or pirates?

If my last 5 Skyrim playthroughs are any indicator, I love a good stealth archer, so I’ll have to go Ninja. All though pirates sure do know how to have fun.

September 2018′s theme is Chaos.

When you think of chaos, you might think of utter confusion, a jumbled mess, destruction, or Slack being down.

But previously the word “chaos” had a different meaning. In ancient Greece, writers and thinkers described chaos as more of an abyss, an empty void that existed before life. It wasn’t until the 1600s, when it was adopted by the English language, that it grew undertones of mass confusion or pain.

Life, by nature, is chaotic. And the human brain is beautifully designed to turn chaos into order. Whether through storytelling, art, or through the veneer of self-delusions, we’re built to handle the randomness and uncertainty of daily life.

When a tornado rips through town, one person may see chaos where another sees a fresh start.

So, then, a creative addendum: We are in control of the story we tell ourselves about the events that unfold before us. We can view chaos as a freight train hitting our soul or we can see it as a catalyst for clarity.

This month’s global exploration of Chaos was chosen by our Tijuana chapter and illustrated by ERABOY. September’s CHAOS is presented globally by MailChimp.

Meet Kelly Atkinson, our CMbuf featured teammate of the month! Not only is she our beloved host, but you can also challenge her to an Irish jig dance off if you’re brave.

  1. Dog or cat? Dog! …although ours is particularly cat-like. 
  2. Phone call or text? Text. Because, GIFs.
  3. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate. I might’ve whipped up a chocolate cake this evening specifically to enjoy a… (See #20)
  4. Morning or evening? Evening. I’m solidly a morning person once a month only :) 
  5. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook. Though for me, it’s increasingly becoming a tool to facilitate non-digital connections rather than online social networking. Hello, Buy Nothing Project.
  6. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Frozen yogurt. Alas, I’ve yet to find a Buffalo spot for that Froyo fix.
  7. iOS or Andriod? iOS, they’ve got me. I do, however, miss the indestructible Droid Incredible of yore. 
  8. Big party or small gathering? Yes. But then time to introvert later, please.
  9. Coffee or tea? Tea. Earl Grey’s my go-to, but a clean jasmine or nostalgic rooibos are close second’n’thirds.
  10. Jogging or hiking? Hiking. I ran, once.
  11. Hamburger or Taco? Either, if they’re great. But I’d always pass on a fast-food taco for a fast-food burger.
  12. Money or free time? Balance
  13. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? The beach! + all the sunscreen
  14. Toilet paper: over or under? Over. Says the patent.
  15. Rain or snow? I’m ok with precipitation that’s solidly what it is: a good rainstorm rather than drizzle and snow-globe snow, never sleet.
  16. Singing or dancing? DANCING. Fun fact: I was a competitive Irish dancer until fairly recently.
  17. Horror Movie or Comedy? Comedy. Never horror, unless it’s Guillermo del Toro, but even that takes some convincing.
  18. City or Countryside? City. Bonus: one with an accessible countryside.
  19. Winter or summer? Summer. I do love our four seasons and am excited for Buffalo to more whole-heartedly embrace winter. Snow patios, anyone?!
  20. Beer or wine? Wine, but I’m into a chocolaty stout occasionally. Bourbon though, really.
  21. Ninjas or pirates? Specifically the ninja Slackmoji.

Welcome to our Morning Person interview series, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

This month we’re happy to share an interview with plein air artist Kath Schifano.

What is your special creative force?

Joy? Or painting? Put me in a rusty alley and I will discover beauty. It is a result of a positive attitude and an ability to seek a better view of awkward or difficult situations.

In the spirit of September 2018’s theme, CMchaos, can you share an example of how the unexpected and/or the uncontrollable affects your work?

I am a plein air painter which means all outdoors is my office. My easel, brushes and painting are targets of the weather and location so bugs impaled in fresh sky paint is normal. A lovely breeze can send the whole setup into a creek or a wet oil painting face down onto the most unlikely surface. Planning for this involves tethers and weights, bungee cords and umbrellas. So, as a result of proper planning chaos is rarely in control. 

What project are you working on right now that we should all know about?

I am teaching myself Italian because I will spend a month next year as a resident artist at a lovely Tuscan villa in Italy.

Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired?

To the water, the Niagara, Buffalo River, Scajaquada Creek, or even a reflective puddle. Hopefully I will have time and paints or a sketchbook to preserve the inspiration.

Thanks, Kath!

Welcome to our Buffalo Is Creative Changemaker of the Month of August  2018, celebrating the inspiring organizations working hard to make Buffalo better. Learn more about our project here:

We’re happy to share the story of The iXpress Art Program of Aspire WNY who creates opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities to further enrich their lives by providing arts experiences. Learn more from Heath Bartel, an Art Facilitator at iXpress:

Meet Ciara Clemons, our CMbuf featured teammate of the month! She answered 20 questions so the next time you see her at an event you can bring her a mug of her favorite tea.


  1. Dog or cat? Well I’m not really into either, but if I have to choose: Dogs. I can totally see myself with a tiny Yorkie.
  2. Phone call or text? Phone call – gotta save my thumb energy for writing and blogging for The Crafty Jawn Co.
  3. Chocolate or vanilla? Vanilla– I have just now as an adult began to appreciate the pallet value of chocolate so I’m not totally against it, but I’m still a simple vanilla girl ‘til I die.
  4. Morning or evening? Evenings– despite how much I try to be a bright and early hustler my dosha is totally in vaca time. I come alive closer to the 2nd half of the day.
  5. Facebook or Twitter? Facebook- it keeps me connected to my family. My 70 year old Uncle Artie wouldn’t know know what to do with a Twitter. lol
  6. Ice cream or frozen yogurt? Ice cream. The aftertaste of frozen yogurt confuses me.
  7. iOS or Andriod? iOS! Android makes no sense.
  8. Big party or small gathering? I love both! Parties no matter the size are my jam. I love hosting.
  9. Coffee or tea? Tea. Chamomile with a splash of almond milk & both honey + sugar. Heaven.
  10. Jogging or hiking? Jogging helps me think and enjoy my surroundings. Running through neighborhoods I don’t live in is fun, too– I like to scope out houses for porch + landscape inspiration.
  11. Hamburger or Taco? Hamburger. Although I’m not too crazy on meat these days, when I do indulge a great well done blue cheese burger with all the fixings hits the spot!
  12. Money or free time? Free time– money is most certainly appreciated but time can never replaced. As a mom, time with my daughter, Nilah, is the most important part of my life.
  13. Amusement Park or Day at the Beach? Day at the beach- I am not a voluntarily get on rides just to be scared to death type of gal. Beach body + mimosas please!
  14. Toilet paper: over or under? Over. I get much satisfaction out a good ole’ toilet paper spin.
  15. Rain or snow? Rain. A good thunderstorm always reminds me of God’s power.
  16. Singing or dancing? Both! I sing a lot and dance in private of course.
  17. Horror Movie or Comedy? Comedy. Stomach hurting laughing comedy.
  18. City or Countryside? Ehh…I can do both. Having a balance of both would be ideal. There are moods when either can really cater to your productivity.
  19. Winter or summer? Summer. Snow and I aren’t cool.
  20. Beer or wine? Wine- it makes me really sleepy but beer I just can’t even.
  21. Ninjas or pirates? Pirates only because my mother is obsessed and I’m all about making her happy. 

Welcome to our Morning Person interview series, introducing stellar members of our CMbuf community. Make sure to update your profile for an opportunity to be featured on our blog, newsletter and social media accounts!

This month we’re happy to share an interview with Dennise Rodriguez, a UX Designer at PLS 3rd Learning.


What is your special creative force?

Being born and raised in a family-owned print shop in Camuy, a small town on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, my creative energy comes from my island upbringing and cross-cultural life experiences. Having worked, lived in, and traveled to multiple states and countries, I believe my creativity draws from things I have seen and experienced. I have used that explorative drive to help me excel as a Graphic Designer for various firms and agencies in FL and NY and now as a UX Designer at PLS 3rd Learning, and education firm in downtown Buffalo. I think the thing that makes my work special is my ability to use my experiences to come up with innovative designs that bridge the gap between functionality and design aesthetics.

In the spirit of August 2018’s theme, CMcommunity, can you share an example of how Buffalo and the community here is important to your work and life?

Because of Buffalo’s recent cultural Renaissance, I have had the opportunity to experience a variety of new places, peoples, and events in the city. When I moved from Florida 8 years ago, I went out of my way to find and join the art community. I met Marcus Wise, former owner of 464 Gallery, and quickly joined the Emerging Leaders in the Arts Buffalo (ELAB) group. Doing so gave me the chance to meet other artists, be involved in creative events like Music is Art and City of Night, and host my own solo art show. My involvement with this group helped me learn about other community groups like Girl Develop It! (GDI), Yelp Elite Squad (YES), Buffalo Scholastics Rowing Association (BSRA), The Foundry, and AAF Buffalo. Being apart of these Buffalo-based communities have helped me stay connected to and inspired by the city.

What project are you working on right now that we should all know about?

Since I started working as a UX Designer for PLS 3rd Learning, I have had the privilege to work on a variety of education-based projects. One of my favorite, large scale, projects I am currently working on is the Future Ready PA Index, a school evaluation tool for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. My role is to improve the user experience and functionality of this tool so that educators, parents, and students can use it successfully. I am really looking forward to seeing my company’s work go live later this year.

Where in Buffalo do you go to be most inspired?

I don’t think I necessarily have a specific location in Buffalo where I go to get inspired. The outdoors, in general, is my most inspiring place. I love that Buffalo has a lot of options for enjoying the outdoors (especially in the summer) some within a short drive or walk from my house in North Buffalo. I really like attending cultural events at Bidwell Park and Delaware Park, appreciating the history of Forest Lawn and Buffalo’s art galleries, exploring parks like Glen Park, the Tiff Preserve, and walking along the Outer Harbor. Having lived and traveled to many places in my life, having the ability to walk in such a historical beautiful city that is surrounded by a natural wonder (Niagara Falls) and parks is inspiring in and of itself. I really like the combination of nature and rustic architecture here. Though I have been here 8 years, I still think it is pretty cool that I can usually see wildlife every day, wave at giraffes while driving past the zoo, or admiring turn-of-the-century homes as if I am in a living museum. Buffalo itself is inspiring.

Thank you, Dennise!