Business Development Specialist Essence Sweat Joins the UDCDA Team!

Essence is a Los Angeles native with deep familial roots in Buffalo, NY. She was raised by a creative and exuberant mother and analytical and strategic father. Her upbringing was a continuous lesson on the importance of integrating effective design and development into her approach to life.

In 2006, She received a BBA from Howard University in Business Marketing and Finance.

Shortly after she graduated from Howard University, Essence decided to relocate to Buffalo, New York. Here, she established Market Me, a design and development agency. Market Me ultimately brought hope and inspiration to over 100 business owners and organizations in the inner city that struggled to develop their brand and reach.

As a multi­faceted entrepreneur, Essence considers community development to be a professional priority. She is the co-founder of a predominant local grassroots youth organization that currently works with over 200 youth. Another project that spurred her professional development was a local historic park. When she discovered that the neglected park was the cornerstone site of the Underground Railroad, she immediately went to work forming the park’s Historic College. She brought together a multitude of great minds in Buffalo from across a myriad of professions. This work was the primary catalyst in the park receiving federal recognition as a national historic landmark and securing funding upwards of $2M.

When it was brought to her attention that the Bailey Ave district did not have a functioning business association for years, Essence helped reform this needed support system. The Bailey Business Association (BBA), with the backing of the UDCDA is now moving forward to procure significant funding for its business members and as well as providing businesses and the surrounding community with much needed resources and technical assistance. The Bailey Business Association is executing the visible improvement of numerous business facades, bringing businesses up to code, instating programs that encourage the active participation of business owners in the safety, cleanliness, and the quality and diversity of goods and services sold, as well as conducting events that serve the overall positive image of the corridor.

Undoubtedly, those Essence has worked with will attest that she operates with purpose and passion. Though she is quite driven, she maintains an inner sense of peace and a presence of patience. With deep humility and genuine reverence for her clients, colleagues and community, she initiates collaboration and forward movement. For more than 10 years she have worked tirelessly to inspire greatness and bring visions to life…this is her gift and her calling.