The founder of what is now known as Career Partners International Buffalo | Niagara was Bob Caldwell. He introduced RW Caldwell Associates Inc. to the WNY business community in 1986. Bob was an HR executive who was given the charge of downsizing Bethlehem Steel to the tune of over 8000 people in the early 80s. Little did Bob know that he would face a similar fate a few years later. It was at that time Bob made it his mission to provide “Hope and Help” (hope for the future and help to get there) to displaced employees throughout the region.
Mark Weigel met Bob after a similar fate. After spending 23 years in senior-level Sales & Marketing roles in the food and beverage industry, Mark found himself between jobs for the first time. At this point, he learned of RW Caldwell Associates and how they could help him find his new career path.
Mark realized that throughout his career, he learned a valuable skill, Relationship Building. With his personal experience and relationship-building skill, he was now able to deal with candidates who had a desire to pivot in their career path as well. So in 2000, Mark joined the firm as the VP of Client Relations.
As time went on and Bob was getting ready to retire and prepared to complete another mission; “keeping it in the family.” Dottie Austin and Mark purchased the company and rebranded it to Career Partners International Buffalo | Niagara in 2007. Over the past 14 years, they have worked hand-in-hand to strengthen the brand through diversification of services and the addition/retention of key personnel. Those efforts resulted in doubling the size of the firm.
Mark’s favorite addition to the firm has been those key personnel. A diverse blend of personalities all dedicated to the success of the people that temporarily reside at the career center with them, on their way to a new future. They all take as much pride as the owners do in knowing they change lives every day by choosing this unique and noble work.
Over time, the team has impacted thousands of lives/families, all with their own stories. A story that hit home for Mark was a former corporate client, an HR executive for a bank. He loved to volunteer for Habitat For Humanity. “Nothing more satisfying than driving a nail into a piece of wood,” he would say. He fell deeply in love with the cause, and after much soul searching and “what if” conversations with Mark, left the corporate world after 30 + years to become the Executive Director of the not-for-profit.
As CPIBN reaches 35 years of delivering Hope and Help to displaced employees throughout the region, Mark is most excited about him and Dottie molding the firm’s future, so it can continue to be the guiding light for career pilgrims for the next 35 years and beyond.
He lives in East Amherst with his wife of 36 years, Laura. She is a former long-time operations specialist for Wegmans and is currently the GM and part-owner of Amherst St. Wine & Liquors in Buffalo. They have two children, Nick (30) and Bailey (27). Nick is a sales manager in the dental industry and lives with his wife and son in North Tonawanda. Bailey resides in the Upper West Side of Manhattan and is the Digital Platforms Manager for the New York Knicks.
Mark is an avid sports enthusiast and served the WNY youth baseball community in various roles for 24 years, most recently as District Chairman for American Legion Baseball in WNY. He stepped away last year to spend more time with his grandson, Xander.