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Who: Sandra Wilkins, owner and CEO of Systems In Inc., owner of Raclettes restaurant and Buffaloaf bakery, and co-owner/developer of 537 Main St. What she's doing: Wilkins, a 53-year-old Niagara Falls native, took over her husband's 23-year-old computer software development firm in 2000 but after years of creating customized databases and other programs, she has turned …

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Manufacturers in the Buffalo Niagara region are facing a labor shortage. But they’re not just wringing their hands about it. As many of their older, experienced manufacturing workers head toward retirement, manufacturers say they don’t see enough younger people coming along with the right skills to take their place. They call it the “gray tsunami,” and say if the proble…

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Who Rachel Jackson, founder of Rachel's Remedies What she's doing: Rachel's Remedies makes comfort pads for breast-feeding mothers. The company recently partnered with a major brand to place two products in 1,600 national stores. Why she defines the entrepreneurial spirit: Through personal experience, Jackson found and filled a significant gap in the marketplace for …

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Is competition actually growing in Buffalo banking? It depends on your measuring stick. One statistic – deposit market share – screams “no.” Just two banks, M&T Bank and KeyBank, controlled a combined 79 percent last year. Compare that to our Thruway neighbor Rochester, where that same percentage was spread among the top six banks. But consider this: In 2017, …

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Who: Nicola Ballard, co-owner, Rudeboyz Artworks What she’s doing: Rudeboyz’ space at 527 W. Utica St. is a clothing and accessory boutique, art co-op and retail incubator. Owners Nicola and Qean Ballard make clothing, shoes and accessories using custom painting, screen printing, heat press and airbrushing. They also craft purses, wire-wrapped jewelry and artwork. The p…

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Banks serving the Buffalo Niagara region are gearing up for another year of competition, and many of them appointed new leaders in the past year. Here is a look at some of them. M&T Bank Shelley C. Drake, Western New York region president With about 47 years of experience with M&T Bank, it's hard to top Drake for longevity at the bank. Even the late chairm…

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Who: Joseph Francabandiero, owner, Dough Life What he's doing: Dough Life restaurants serve raw cookie dough that is scooped like ice cream and served in cones and dishes. The dough is made using treated flour and doesn’t contain eggs, which makes it safe to eat without baking. The first store, which opened at the Walden Galleria in May, drew lines 300 people long an…

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General Motors’ Town of Tonawanda engine plant is preparing for its next wave of production, with a new leader at the helm. In late 2016, the manufacturing complex was celebrating the news that GM would invest $296 million in the site for future engine production. As that new work ramps up, GM veteran Ram Ramanujam is settling into his new job as plant manager. Raman…

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At the opening ceremony last month of the new University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Dr. Michael Cain told the hundreds of people in attendance that the event marked a “long-awaited reunion.” It was a comment with deep meaning and historical roots for the school and city. From 1893 to 1953, the medical school operated just steps away fr…

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They say we’ll have self-driving cars in the future. Well, in many ways, the future is already here. Automotive technology is advancing every day to make driving safer, easier and more pleasant. Several of those futuristic features are already standard in today’s vehicles, or soon will be. Though Uber expects to have its Elevate pilot running in Los Angeles and Dubai…

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Many of the biggest issues in health insurance in 2018 took root last year: Skyrocketing prescription drug prices. Big changes in the way we pay for health care. The fate of the Affordable Care Act. Here is a breakdown of stories that are likely to develop throughout 2018: Drug costs: Prescription drug prices continued surging in 2017. Spending by the pharmaceutical …

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Who: Zachary P. Schneider, partner and CEO, Fifteen What he's doing: Fifteen, an advertising and marketing agency in Allentown with a wide-ranging clientele, was launched by Schneider and a partner in 2009. Schneider is also an investor in companies such as Circuit Clinical, Piston and Ru's Pierogi, and he has helped other startups secure funding and evolve strategicall…

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Advances in immunotherapy offer great optimism that new, effective ways to treat and prevent cancer are close to becoming reality for patients, the head of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center said Thursday, in a review of work at the cancer center. "The immune system has the power to treat cancer and maybe get rid of it before it starts," said Candace S. Johnson, t…

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The last five years have seen remarkable change in Buffalo. There are new parks on waterfront land that had been a symbol of the region’s dysfunction. People live in high-end lofts in buildings that once sat vacant. A solar factory has powered up where Republic Steel once stood. The list goes on. Four new buildings opened on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus in the …

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You might not have heard of the University at Buffalo’s Clinical and Translational Institute, but if you’ve been downtown, you’ve likely seen it. Behind the scenes, and with millions of dollars in investment, the institute is trying to reshape medical research in Western New York. It takes up about half of the 10-floor building that opened in 2012 on the Buffalo Niag…