When Mike Anderson (EMBA ’17, BA ’97) was named to Buffalo Business First’s 40 Under 40 list in 2014, he said one of several things he’d like to do in life is “get elected mayor of Buffalo.”
He may not yet hold the office, but Anderson has long been a kind of deputy mayor of community involvement: He served as a class chair for Leadership Buffalo, as a mentor for that organization’s youth program, and as a co-chair for the Carly’s Club and Roswell Park Cancer Institute benefit known as Rowin’, Throwin’ n Growin’ for a Cure.
Anderson says he learned the value of hard work and giving back while growing up in a working-class Irish neighborhood in South Buffalo. “My parents worked long hours and sacrificed to put me and my siblings through private Catholic schools,” he says. “I learned at a young age to participate and volunteer for many community events.”
Now, Anderson has begun serving in a new capacity, as president of the UB Alumni Association Board of Directors, where he’s been a member since 2008. As an undergraduate in the late 1990s, he didn’t have time for campus activities and events, he admits. Serving on the UBAA board changed all that.
“Whether it’s watching the UB Bulls winning their conference championships or listening to a sitting president of the United States speak at Alumni Arena, UB has so much to offer everyone,” says the KeyBank vice president, who even became a UB student again, completing an EMBA from the School of Management.
Ever the mayoral aspirant, he adds, “We are witnessing the rebirth and revitalization of an old Rust Belt city in Buffalo. This renaissance would not have taken place if not for UB’s commitment to Western New York. UB pride is felt by alumni and so many people here and around the world.”
Mike Anderson frequented Pistachio’s for lunches as a UB student; as UBAA board president, he appreciates how well Campus Dining & Shops and Three Pillars Catering provide tasty offerings for alumni events. “Jeff Brady’s team serves first-class appetizers and entrees,” he says.
Off campus, Anderson is a typical Buffalonian, citing Duff’s wings and Santora’s pizza as favorites—along with Potter’s Field Restaurant and Pub, his brother’s South Buffalo sports bar, which, he swears, “serves the best burger in Buffalo.”