Re:think Buffalo: Alex Heringer

Alex Heringer is a living example of the American Dream fulfilled.

Born in the former Soviet Union, Alex eventually ended up in his family’s home country of Germany around the time of the fall of the Berlin Wall. As a teen, Alex became a professional soccer player in Germany.

One day at a bus stop in Germany, Alex spotted a girl in the crowd who stood out. That girl, Rose, also noticed Alex. She was from Western New York and spoke English. Thankfully, her companion, who spoke German, recognized Alex as a famous soccer player and managed to introduce them to one another.

Fast forward six months—destiny had it that they’d meet again—at a bus stop, no less—and from there, love blossomed.

They went on their first date to play pool because, as Alex would tell it, “you don’t have to talk much when you play pool.” There was a connection. They kissed. They stayed out late that night, ‘til 3:30am, and she had to go to the airport at 4am to catch her plane back to the States.

Alex worked hard to learn English, using lots of phone cards to call his Buffalo-area girlfriend for long, long talks. Eventually, he would visit her in the States for weeks at a time and vice versa. So much in love, he and Rose decided to marry and, even better, to call Buffalo home.

Besides playing soccer, Alex was passionate about helping people with insurance and wealth/portfolio management. So he enrolled in college in the Buffalo area, taking just 22 months to earn his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Then, he continued his studies in the Niagara University MBA Program, where he graduated with honors in 16 months. How’s that for German efficiency?

While still carrying more than a full schedule in graduate school, Alex joined Planned Futures Financial Group in Williamsville where he completed his investment and insurance licensing. He got the job because Rose’s dad was friends with Jim Ginnane, one of the owners of Planned Futures. Jim wasn’t planning on hiring anyone, but after meeting Alex and seeing his star potential, he couldn’t pass up the chance to work with and mentor such an ambitious young man.

Today, Alex and his wife live, work, and play in the Buffalo area, and they’re very much “pro-Buffalo.” Alex will tell you how passionate he is to call Buffalo home, how it’s an up-and-coming city in America, and how everything he wants and needs is so conveniently available locally. “And when the weather’s bad in the winter,” he smiles, “we can always take a cheap flight to Florida.” True!

At this time, Alex’s work with Planned Futures Financial Group involves a focus on providing personal and business financial planning for physicians, other medical professionals and professional athletes. His fluency in German, Russian and English makes him unique among area business people.

He still plays recreational soccer. He also volunteers his time for the local chapter of the American Cancer Society, serving on its board.

Alex remembers living in the old Soviet Union, where people were limited in what they could achieve. Here in Buffalo, NY, USA, Alex loves his American wife, his lucrative American job, his friends and family, sports and coffee. As a Christian, he’ll readily mention how he considers himself so “blessed” every single day of his life.

Alex Heringer is unabashedly pro-Buffalo. The next time you think “Buffalo’s dying and all the good ones have left,” remember this article. There are a lot more young, driven, nice people like Alex calling Buffalo home and spreading the word to people in other places about how beautiful Buffalo truly is. –Mark Weber

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