The NYS Women, Inc. Buffalo Niagara Chapter (BNC) is proud to partner with WKBW-TV to showcase successful local women who have given back to the Western New York community. “Women In Leadership” honorees are established women business owners or professional/working women who have exhibited leadership, enterprise, and excellence in their business or profession and give back to the Western New York or greater community. The goal of the program is to recognize women who have succeeded both in the business and charitable arenas and help inspire others to follow in their path.
Each month throughout the year a woman business owner or working woman will be featured on AM Buffalo. Each June, BNC and WKBW-TV will recognize all our honorees at an annual event.
Established woman business owner or working/professional woman who:
- Exhibits leadership, enterprise, and excellence in their business;
- Gives back to Western New York or greater community with volunteer service
Women In Leadership Application
November 2019 Honoree
Joe Lang Foundation
Edla Collora and her children started the Joe Lang Foundation in 2007 to honor her late husband, who was known for his compassion and help to people in need. Joe came from East Side housing projects, one of four boys to a single mom. Joe, a latchkey kid found an outlet in sports: because of his athletic talent, he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox, but passed up the opportunity to play professional baseball for a full scholarship to LeMoyne College. He couldn’t stay away from alcohol, however, and drank his way out of school. He went on to bartending and bouncer jobs in Western New York.
Joe was diagnosed with brain cancer in July 2006 and died that September 2006. In his final months, Lang’s family learned a lot more about a man they thought they knew. Strangers from all walks of life began coming to their house when they learned he was ill. They waited in lines to see him at the hospital; 1,000 showed up at his funeral. It turned out that Lang, as a bartender, had given quite a few troubled souls a helping hand in the course of his life, befriending them, lending them money or finding them jobs.
She serves as the executive director of the Joe Lang Foundation, which provides funding for other nonprofits that share its mission to help those who may not have the means to get where their dreams want to take them. Past projects include fundraising of $100K for the Eggertsville Community Center to provide after school programs and a gym for local youth. They also raised funds for a computer lab in Buffalo schools.
Edla is proud watching her children take charge as they have grown up, they have continued with their father’s legacy, as she says, “He was a very giving man.” She is currently developing a program focused on improving youth skills and abilities through the culinary arts called, Kids in the Kitchen in WNY.
Edla volunteers with, and serves on the board of directors, for the Educators of America; its primary focus is education. It provides teachers with the tools to engage kids earlier enough to understand the importance of an education, and helps teachers to be better educators.
Edla Collora is the site coordinator for downtown Lockport-based Harrison Place. Operating out of the former Harrison Radiator headquarters and manufacturing complex, Harrison Place has 500,000 square feet of industrial, office and commercial space offering incubator programs to assist startups focused primarily in manufacturing, technology, and artisan enterprises.