Lucy A. Candelario was born and raised in Buffalo, NY and has spent nearly 30 years in the nonprofit industry, devoting herself to not only to the betterment of the City of Good Neighbors, but also to the people who call it home.
Ms. Candelario is a graduate of Grover Cleveland High School and the University at Buffalo, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree. She currently serves as Executive Director of Erie Regional Housing Development Corporation -- The Belle Center, one of the largest, all-encompassing human service agencies located on the Lower West Side of Buffalo. She took on this role after spending nearly 20 years with another crucial not for profit agency, West Side Community Services.
During her time as Executive Director at West Side Community Services, Ms. Candelario introduced sciencebased programming to the range of human services the center already offers. The youth-oriented programs still running offer opportunities for Buffalo’s most underserved kids to positively channel energy and relieve stress, and engage with role models and educational resources throughout the community.
Ms. Candelario’s leadership has never been more evident than this past year, when Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria’s 155 mph winds and in desperate need of assistance. In the weeks following the disaster, Ms. Candelario sprang into action here in Western New York, making the Belle Center a primary drop-off location for much needed donations. For two months, Ms. Candelario led volunteer efforts, oversaw local telethons, and managed donations, all while holding weekly meetings to inform the public on donations received and future plans to disburse them in Puerto Rico.
This type of leadership is no surprise to those who know her. Ms. Candelario’s involvement in the WNY community is extensive, with her serving as a member of the board of trustees for The Buffalo & Erie County Public Library, Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network, Inc., The Community Action Organization, West Buffalo Charter School, Buffalo Community Center Collaborative, the Hispanic Women’s League and MUDPIES Children Museum.
Above all, Ms. Candelario puts family first, and is the proud mother of Daniel and Victoria, grandmother of Daniel Jr. and Dominic, and mother-in-law to Dariana. Ms. Candelario’s favorite quote is by Helen Keller: “The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or touched – they must be felt with the heart.”