Long Story Short:
- Buffalo’s startup community is bursting with great opportunities.
- Whether you’re a candidate looking to get your feet wet or ready to dive headfirst into the startup world, you need to know who you should connect with.
- We want you to meet the team starting with Forge Buffalo’s Talent Advisor, Chad Witherell.
- Chad is all about helping candidates link up with Buffalo’s hottest startups.
- Keep reading to learn more about Chad, his role with Forge Buffalo and to explore his professional journey.
I’ve always had an interest in the startup community, so the opportunity to work with 43North’s portfolio companies immediately piqued my interest.Chad Witherell on the opportunity to work with 43North
Where did you grow up? Do you have Buffalo roots?
I grew up in the Southern Tier not far from Fredonia in a small town called Perrysburg. I’m an alum of Forestville High School, where I graduated with about 50 kids in my class. For college, I studied at Ithaca College, where I received my undergraduate degree in sports communications. I took advantage of great internships with the Boston Celtics, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo Sabres during these years. I loved my time in college and my exposure to such cool opportunities. Earlier this year, I completed my MBA with a concentration in business analytics from St. Bonaventure University.
Tell us a bit about your professional background. How did you get into recruiting?
I began my journey in recruiting back in 2009 when I joined TEKsystems in their Rochester office. I had a lot of friends that worked at the company, so I figured it was a good place to work. Plus, I hoped to get more exposed to IT. This experience helped to lay the foundation of my recruiting career. I loved being able to help people evolve their careers and discover new jobs. It was an extremely gratifying opportunity for me.
After TEKsystems, I was in the process of moving back to the Buffalo area when a friend referred me to Crossfuze—known as Inergex at the time. I accepted a corporate recruiting job within the organization and stayed with the company for over seven and a half years, where I had the opportunity to shape its growing team and execute the recruiting function. This was another awesome experience that has helped to enhance my career as a recruiter. Even after leaving my full-time role at Crossfuze, I’ve been able to continue supporting the company’s growth through my independent business.
How did you find the opportunity at 43North and Forge Buffalo?
I’ve always had an interest in the startup community, so when the opportunity to work with 43North came up I was very intrigued. After connecting with Christian Gaddis, Pete Petrella, and Tom Hausler, I learned a lot more about the job. These three helped me understand the overall goal of Forge Buffalo and made the organization’s mission clear: to build a talent community for people looking to join startups and connect them with the fastest-growing companies in our community.
What are your primary day-to-day responsibilities?
As an extension of 43North, Forge Buffalo’s primary focus is supporting its portfolio. But we also serve as a resource to Buffalo’s growing startup and tech ecosystem. I work hand-in-hand with Christian Gaddis to pipeline talent, post and manage job descriptions, concept blog posts and other ways that we can help candidates find their role. Some days, I spend a lot of time working as an extension of companies that don’t have full-time talent acquisition resources, like Strayos or Magnusmode. Other days, I help boost the talent efforts of organizations like HiOperator or Kangarootime to help them attract better candidates.
What’s your favorite thing about working with 43North?
I have two. The first is having the ability to help people change the course of their careers by joining a startup. The second is being able to help a founder or other team member find a key part of their team that will help accelerate the company’s success.
What’s been your favorite part about moving back to Buffalo?
For me, Buffalo has always been super livable. You can do almost anything in Buffalo that you can do in other cities around the U.S. Our quality of life here is so high and flies under the radar across the country. And being able to start my family in Western New York has been incredible. People really mean it when they say this is a great place to raise kids!
What excites you about the startup ecosystem?
I’ve fallen in love with the startup community since I joined the team at 43North. People are always open to connect with you—they love watching each other succeed. In Buffalo, the startup ecosystem is tight-knit but also not exclusive—it’s for everyone. Forge Buffalo has been an integral cog in that wheel. By showing candidates that pursuing a job with an early-stage startup can be an incredibly worthwhile opportunity, we’re helping to grow the community. In my role, I can see firsthand the impact that making a connection can have on someone’s career. Knowing that I’ve positively influenced a candidate’s long-term professional outlook is the most rewarding feeling in the world.
How was your first 43North Finals Competition?!
There was a lot of excitement leading up to the annual 43North competition, and it didn’t disappoint.
Forge Buffalo kicked off Finals week with the 716 Career Fair. We brought close to 50 companies with more than 450 active open roles to Seneca One Tower and invited the full Forge Buffalo talent community to join us. The event was a huge success and
Leading up to the competition, I dove into information about the 19 finalists to learn about who they are, what their company does and what they’re all about.
What do you want people to know about you?
I like to think of myself as an extremely accessible person. If anyone wants to talk about working at a startup, I’m always willing to grab a coffee and have a conversation. My goal is to show people just how viable a startup career can really be. I’m passionate about this community and willing to help anyone in need—all you’ve got to do is ask!
Interested in connecting with Chad to explore opportunities with Buffalo’s emerging startups? Shoot him a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to browse the Forge Buffalo job board? Check out all available employment opportunities here.
Ready to get started with a startup? Create your free account and upload a copy of your resume so startups can find you!