Renée Cieslikowski -
Moving from Buffalo to Charlotte
You can tell by the name alone – Ches-la-kow-ski – that I’m not from around here!
I was part of the group of 268 employees that “transplanted” from Buffalo in 1978.
My story begins when I went on my first (and only) interview as I was about to graduate from business school. I was so excited when offered the job at the Gold Bond Building Products headquarters of National Gypsum in downtown Buffalo. I thought I’d stay for a couple of years and then move on to something else.
During my early years at Gold Bond, I had the pleasure of meeting and knowing our founder, Mr. Baker. He had already retired but would come to the office a few days a week and dictate his memoirs to his secretary. I remember him as being such a nice man -- a true gentleman.
As you know, Buffalo has a reputation for its extreme weather and the winter of 1977 was a brutal one. We all had survived the famous “Blizzard of ’77” – when I left the office at noon on Friday and never made it home until 11:00 Saturday night – but that’s a whole other story.
My husband and I had just closed on our very first house in December and jumped head first into gutting and remodeling the kitchen. We took it down to the studs. Every weekend we worked tirelessly trying to get it done so we could move in.
But in early February – we were thrown a curve when Gold Bond announced the decision to move its headquarters to Charlotte, NC. At first, it was devastating news for all the employees who were born and raised in Buffalo. The thought of leaving family and friends and moving 1200 miles away was pretty scary. It was a tough decision but Mark and I decided – what the heck? Only problem was, our house was in shambles and we needed to get it finished and ready to sell.
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