Falls native teaches leadership, provides a sense of mission

Niagara Falls native Robert Lowery has the Empower716 podcast that promotes small businesses in Western New York. (Contributed image)

He’s an author and podcaster, a leader who teaches others how to lead, and to live.

Robert Lowery has had his fair share of success. He graduated from Lasalle Senior High School in the Falls in 1995, got a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Buffalo State College in 2000, and worked for 15 years with the Boys and Girls Club.

After a brief stint, post-college, working in Lockport at a non-security detention facility, Lowery started at the Boys and Girls Club as a prevention specialist and worked his way through the ranks to become a Chief Program Officer.

In the latter role he worked with 120 staff at about a dozen sites, and was honored by the Boys and Girls Clubs of America in 2017 as Professional of the Year for the national organization.

After all the education, and the professional success at the Boys and Girls Club, Lowery decided to sail off on his own, having started a company from which he was teaching and mentoring, he decided that 2018 was the right time to go full-time as an entrepreneur.

The RL Experience, LLC provides consulting to non-profits and faith-based organizations on creating mentorship and after-school programs.

“With the onset of Covid, about 90 percent of my work is done online at home,” said the Cheektowaga resident who uses a Buffalo business address.

Working at home gave him a new project completed in July of 2021, a book entitled Effective Mentoring.

“It’s a book that focuses on building lifelong relationships, as a mentor, even as a parent,” Lowery said.

“I didn’t want to have a book signing, instead I wanted to have a gathering of community leaders,” Lowery said. So he did, he brought together several political and community leaders in Buffalo, and, from that, he decided to embark on his next venture.

Last October, he started a podcast called “Empower716.”

“I really wanted it to focus on entrepreneurship and business, especially in underserved communities. I wanted to make it a space where small businesses and business people could share stories and their backgrounds, where they could share strategies and tips.”

As would be expected of somebody with his background with the Boys and Girls Club, Lowery’s entrepreneurial spirit comes with a healthy dose of giving back to the community.

Every year, for the Mount Zion Baptist Church Community Expo, his company provides 500 backpacks for school children. In addition to the podcast, he also uses his social media platforms, including Facebook, Youtube and LinkedIn to provide cost-free content and exposure to others. All designed to build connectivity and provide networking opportunities.

Recently, his Empower716 podcast featured Niagara Falls native Avion Harris and his business “Avion’s Four Season Services”, as their young entrepreneur of the month.

He’s looking to continue to give recognition to Niagara County businesses and asks that people consider sending him nominations for those who may need a little exposure for their business.

Lowery can be reached through Empower716@gmail.com or by telephone at (716) 436-4008.

While the podcast is on break this month, he’s looking to bring it back in February.

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