Mercyhurst Magazine Summer 2016

Justice Colaiacovo After a successful law career in his native Bufalo, New York, Emilio Colaiacovo ‘98 took the logical next step last year and ran for judge. He began a 14-year term on the New York State Supreme Court on Jan. 1, 2016. While in private practice, Emilio focused on matrimonial and family law matters with the Bouvier Partnership in Bufalo, while at the same time handling numerous municipal and election law matters. He served as counsel to the Erie County (N.Y.) Republican Committee and in 2012 he was an attorney for the Mitt Romney campaign. “Once you become involved,” he says, “it’s hard not to be bitten by the bug of public service.” Running for judge gave him the best of both worlds, since he can advance his career within the law, the feld he loves. “It’s who I am,” he says simply. “It’s a new opportunity to learn more about the law,” he notes. “You can sometimes get pigeonholed in a certain area in legal practice, so it’s been refreshing to research and write about areas I’ve had less experience with.” Emilio received the Carpe Diem Award at his graduation, in recognition of his impact on campus. He was involved with just about everything, from student government to campus ministry to the Merciad , and worked as an RA. He was part of the Research Intelligence Analyst Program (RIAP), and he spent the summer following graduation as the frst-ever paid intern with the National Security Agency before enrolling in law school at the University of Bufalo. During his legal career, he was recognized as one of Bufalo’s Top 10 Lawyers in 2014 by Bufalo’s Business First Magazine and was a director of the Erie County, N.Y. Bar Association. Emilio and his wife, Kimberly, also a lawyer, live in Clarence with 6-year-old Brayden and 3-year-old Abrielle. Of the bench, he’s active with Bufalo’s Italian Federation. An avid Bufalo Sabres fan, he also coaches Brayden’s hockey team.

Building a coworking community Sean Fedorko is doing his part to combat the dreaded “brain drain” in Erie. Not only did the 2011 political science and philosophy grad come back to Erie to start his own business, but his business caters to other young entrepreneurs looking to do the same thing.

Radius also ofers desk space that can be used on an as-needed basis, plus private rooms for conferences and phone calls. It has expanded across the corridor to develop a space that will house both an art gallery and a classroom/board room for 30 to 40 people. Regular “cofee and consultation” days bring together lawyers, investment managers, CPAs and others willing to advise attendees as they establish their own companies. “Young people today are very serious about building their own companies,” Sean says. “By making the resources they need easily accessible, we can increase the odds they’ll survive. And these young entrepreneurs are the people who can save a city.” Space is rented on a month-to-month basis, and several companies have already grown enough to move into their own larger, more permanent spaces. Always on the lookout for new opportunities, Sean says he’ll also likely move on at some point. “Contented people drive me crazy. Once I get this venture to stability, I’ll probably turn the management over telecommunications policy, a feld in which he worked in Washington before heading back to Erie. Sean also holds a master’s degree in public policy and political theory from Indiana University Bloomington. to someone else and look for a new challenge.” Maybe he’ll step back into

Radius CoWork – the business he created with partner Bill Scholz – is the frst coworking space in Erie. Located on the ninth foor of the Renaissance Center, it provides inexpensive ofce space for small companies just starting out, freelancers and others now working remotely. Radius has drawn a lot of tech and digital creatives, like photographers and web developers, some fnancial professionals and even a couple of small nonprofts. Those who opt for the top level of service pay $230 a month, which gets them 24/7 use of a desk and chair, a pass to the adjoining parking ramp, and perks like top-of-the-line Wi-Fi, print services, basic ofce supplies and an endless supply of gourmet cofee. But Sean says the social and professional benefts are even more important. Radius tenants are part of both a real-world and a digital community. They meet people, who often become their mentors, collaborators and clients. Young business owners miss out on those “introductions, connections and collisions” if they work out of mom’s basement or the neighborhood cofee shop.


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