A Humble Pride

Francesco Lagutaine
Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, M&T Bank

Francesco is no stranger to moving. Originally from Italy, Francesco has spent a decade working in Europe, a decade in the U.S., and a decade in Asia. But with his 14-year-old son on the brink of high school, Francesco and his wife Marianne, along with their two other sons, were looking to settle down somewhere in the U.S.

“I’ve lived in New York City, Singapore, and London,” said Francesco. “It was time for something more human and comfortable.”

Francesco was recruited to Buffalo by M&T Bank to lead their marketing efforts. He was convinced by the job and his wife visited Buffalo to see if they were convinced of the city, having never even been previously. The verdict was a strong yes.

“There was a lot of positive energy in Buffalo. I found that same spirit of transformation at M&T Bank as I was seeing throughout the City of Buffalo,” said Francesco.

The family of 5 ended up in a Delaware Park neighborhood home, which in itself was exciting for his sons.

“My kids only really knew mega cities, so living in a house was a big deal for them,” Francesco said. “They’ve loved the space and they’ve really loved the weather.”

What is your favorite part of Buffalo so far?

Definitely the people of Buffalo are a special group of people. We found an incredibly friendly city.

Places take the behavior and character of the people. New York would be different place without New Yorkers. Buffalo has a humble pride. There are other cities with an arrogant, exclusionary pride. Buffalo is a humble pride. They really want you to enjoy Buffalo. They’re really friendly, from the crossing guard that helps my kids cross the road to the pizza owner we met on our first meal out in after moving.

What was important in your move?

I was particularly nervous for my kids. Schools were important to us. Our boys are 8, 10, and 14 so we wanted great schools for them to attend.

We also wanted them to be able to safely walk to school so that we weren’t full time drivers. It’s a 4-minute walk to drop my 8-year-old off in the morning. ​

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