Pandemic Changes Priorities

Erin Wilson
Community Manager, HANSA

When Erin, who grew up in Lockport and graduated from SUNY Buffalo State College, moved for a job in Yosemite National Park, she thought she would be there for 10 months. Instead, she met her now husband there, stayed for 5 years, and then spent 10 years living in his hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana.

​ Then came the COVID-19 pandemic – closed buildings, open streets, and empty bars. Like many across the country, Erin and her husband Derrick took stock of what was important.

“We made the decision that we needed to be closer to family,” Erin said.

The couple, along with their 3-year-old son, packed up and relocated again, this time back to Erin’s hometown. After over 15 years of being away, Erin was back home.

“I almost didn’t recognize the city,” Erin said. “I’ve always loved Buffalo, but it’s been amazing to see the transition that happened while I was away.”

They rent a place at Gates Circle, along one of Buffalo’s beautiful Fredrick Law Olmsted-designed parkways and close to Erin’s favorite place, the historic Forest Lawn Cemetery, resting place of President Millard Filmore, Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm, and singer Rick James.

Tell us about working at HANSA coworking and shared office space?

In New Orleans, I helped open a coworking space, managing the space’s daily operations. The fall before we moved, I read an article about HANSA opening in Buffalo and the coworking revolution making in-roads there. I got connected with someone there, and we kept in touch over the months.

The Community Manager position became available just as we were making the decision to relocate. I got the job, moved to Buffalo on April 2 and started work April 5. The timing was perfect.

Why is coworking a good solution for others relocating to Buffalo, potentially remote workers or entrepreneurs?

Coworking spaces offer flexible and customized solutions for its members. It solves problems for people, and when you’re able to listen to people’s needs and deliver a product that works for them, it facilitates trust and creates a solid foundation for community, which has become increasingly important for the remote & WFH workforce.

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