Long Story Short:
- Buffalo’s startup ecosystem is teeming with great opportunities at emerging businesses right here in Western New York.
- For candidates that are looking to get their feet wet in the startup world, who can they connect with?
- As Viaduct’s dedicated Talent Advisor, Chad Witherell is helping link Buffalo’s hottest startups with high-quality candidates.
- Keep reading to learn more about this interview with Chad and explore his professional journey.
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. During these years, I took advantage of great internships with the Boston Celtics, Buffalo Bills, and Buffalo Sabres. 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 little 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 Viaduct?
I’ve always had an interest in the startup community, so when I saw that Viaduct was looking for a dedicated Talent Partner, the opportunity immediately piqued my interest. After connecting with Christian Gaddis, Pete Petrella, and Tom Hausler, I got to learn more about the job. These three helped me understand the overall goal of Viaduct and made the organization’s mission clear: to build a talent community for the startup world. I knew that there are so many employment opportunities available for candidates, so getting to interact with them on a daily basis felt like a dream come true.
What are your primary day-to-day responsibilities?
In my role, my primary goal is to support our 43North portfolio. I work hand-in-hand with Christian Gaddis and the rest of the 43North team to serve the portfolio wherever needed. Some days, I spend a lot of time working with companies like Strayos or Magnusmode—two organizations that don’t have a full-time talent acquisition resource—to act as an extension of their team. Other days, I’m dedicating my time to organizations like HiOperator or Kangarootime by helping them boost their talent efforts and attract better candidates. No two days are ever the same, and that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy this job so much.
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. without having to deal with long lines or crazy wait times. It’s definitely got that “big city feel.” The 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!
Read more: Why Buffalo?
What excites you about the startup ecosystem?
I’ve really fallen in love with the startup community since I joined the team at Viaduct. 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. It’s the most rewarding feeling in the world knowing that you’ve helped positively influence a candidate’s long-term professional outlook.
Read more: What makes working at a startup special?
How excited are you to work with the incoming 43North cohort?
I’m extremely excited about the incoming 43North cohort. There are so many innovative startups with creative ideas and diverse founders that are going to infiltrate the city of Buffalo. The breadth of products and services being offered is tremendous, and these startups have the potential to make a huge impact on the Western New York area. I’m really looking forward to supporting the growth and development of this cohort.
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 email@example.com.
Want to browse the Viaduct job board? Check out all available employment opportunities here.
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