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Alison Russo

Alison Russo grew up in the Southtowns and currently lives in a suburb of Kansas City with her husband, Joe, and their two children. She works as a freelance writer and public relations/marketing specialist.


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South Buffalo native Lindsey Higgins never expected to call Stockholm, Sweden, home. But in 2012, Higgins found herself packing her bags to move 4,000 miles away, to a country some consider one of the happiest places in the world to live. “I fell in love with Stockholm pretty quickly after I moved here. It’s a beautiful city. I fell in love with the old buildings, and a…

Local News

As a teacher living in sunny Los Angeles, 45-year-old Patti (Lane) Gray enjoys walking to school each morning. The native Western New Yorker walks 3 miles each direction, and her students think she’s crazy. “I think they take everything for granted as far as the weather and the conditions that they have,” said Gray. “My students think I’m insane because I walk to and fr…

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Talk to most Buffalo expats, and they’ll tell you, aside from the people, the thing they miss most after leaving the Queen City is the food. That was the case for Tay Sidell, when she moved west with her family in 2016. So she decided to bring the food with her. That’s how Tay’s hot dog stand was born, turning Coloradans on to Buffalo’s most famous hot dog, Sahlen's.…

Gusto

Moving from Houston to Buffalo can be a pretty drastic change. But for Stephanie Williams and Jeff Morgan, it’s exactly what they needed. Williams' first impression of Buffalo was the November storm of 2014, when up to 7 feet of snow fell on parts of Western New York. She watched coverage of the storm on her local news and thought, why would anyone live there? About …

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Riding bikes, playing street hockey, shoveling snow off a stranger’s car and pepperoni with the burnt edges. That’s the Western New York that lives in Tom Doody’s heart, and that’s the experience he says you can’t get anywhere else. In 1998, Doody was fresh out of a college and struggling to find work in Buffalo. So he packed up his belongings and headed west for a job …

Local News

Growing up in Western New York, Alex Miecyjak spent a lot of time at the dental office where his mom worked. That time spent at Westermeier Martin Dental Care in East Aurora ultimately influenced his career choice. After a start in business school at the University at Buffalo, Miecyjak realized it wasn’t for him. He decided to pursue dentistry, so he made the switch to bio…

Gusto

Life has a way of coming full circle. For Gregg and Heather Stierheim, that phrase couldn’t be more true. The Stierheims first met in seventh grade, while on a church trip heading for Washington, D.C. Though Gregg grew up in the Northtowns and Heather in the Southtowns, over the years, the two became friends, seeing each other at various church events and mission trips.…

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As a flight attendant, Julianne Bruyer gets to travel to cities all over the country. But the one place she always wants to visit is her hometown of Buffalo. The Western New York native now lives in Littleton, Colo., with her husband, Mike, and stepdaughter, Hayley, working for Southwest Airlines. She first moved away from the Queen City at 23 to work with Southwest…

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After seven years in Chicago, Maura and Dan Devlin knew it was time to buy a house and commit to living in the Windy City — or move back to Buffalo, the city they would always call home. It didn’t take them long to decide on the City of Good Neighbors, the place they were raised and longed to raise a family of their own. “Our hearts were always here [in Buffalo],” Ma…

Local News

When Dave and Donna Ortolani’s four children moved away, they never dreamed three would end up back in Buffalo within two years of each other. The Williamsville residents always wanted their kids to experience the world outside of Buffalo. “We didn’t insist but we encouraged the kids to go away to school,” said Dave Ortolani. Both had been born and raised in Weste…

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Clad in her Buffalo Bills hat and bursting with Buffalo pride, Western New York native Alex DeSantis crossed the finish line of the New York City marathon at the end of last year. “I always have a Bills hat,” said DeSantis, who, after 11 years of showing her Buffalove throughout the Big Apple, traded the East Coast for the West Coast this summer and moved to Los Angeles…

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While Jessica Keltz had lived in Western New York off and on since 1997, it wasn’t until almost 20 years later that she realized it was where she wanted to settle. The Bradford, Pa., native attended St. Bonaventure University for journalism and later the University at Buffalo School of Law for public interest law. She continued living in Western New York after law schoo…

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Mark Topping didn’t grow up in Buffalo, but after four years living and attending college in the Queen City, he considers himself a “Buffalonian at heart.” Topping grew up in California, in the San Francisco Bay area and suburbs of Los Angeles. He ended up in Buffalo during his college years, when he did a national student exchange program in 1992 at SUNY Buffalo State.…

Gusto

With a passion for politics, Bryan Wandel wanted to be in the center of the action. So in 2008, he said goodbye to his family and friends in Buffalo, and headed for Washington D.C. But over the years, his calling shifted, and a move towards pastoral work eventually brought him back to the Queen City. Bryan began his political career as an intern in the Senate, then move…

Featured

Like many Western New York natives, Laura Habberfield felt drawn back to her hometown after several years living away. Habberfield initially moved away to Hoboken, N.J., in 2011 to pursue a job opportunity with Toys R Us. She was recruited for a position in the supply chain management training program after graduating from the University at Buffalo. She spent the nex…