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Next Generation: Samantha Bonano, leading Buffalo Filter through years of change

The face of local manufacturing is changing. More women and minorities are stepping into prominent positions in the sector, leading plants and helping manufacturers grow, and in the past couple of years, new plant managers have been named at bedroom manufacturers and smaller operations alike. The trend also applies to places that train manufacturing workers for jobs and help companies innovate. Below is one of the names that is becoming more familiar in the local manufacturing scene; click here to see more.

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Samantha Bonano grew up around Buffalo Filter, and now she runs the business, as president and CEO.

As a youngster, Bonano helped out her father, Chris Palmerton, at the medical device company that he had bought out of bankruptcy in 1995. Bonano's responsibilities grew over time, especially after graduating from college. She worked in all different parts of the company and oversaw its pivotal move to a new facility, in Lancaster, in 2011.

Bonano remains passionate about the business, which makes surgical smoke evacuation technologies to protect health care workers and patients. "We have the opportunity to change the world," she said. Buffalo Filter has about 150 employees and generates annual sales of nearly $50 million.

Buffalo Filter was sold to Filtration Group in 2014 and is preparing to be sold yet again, to ConMed, for $365 million. ConMed praised Buffalo Filter's leadership in announcing the deal. Bonano said the company has benefited from its strong management team: "The teamwork here, it's a second family," she said.

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