2018 Annual Gathering


Questions & Answers

Question: Where is the Annual Gathering being held and is there airport and transportation information available?

The headquarters hotel is the Hyatt Regency Buffalo Hotel and Conference Center, Two Fountain Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14202. A group rate is also available at the Embassy Suites Buffalo/Downtown, 2000 Delaware Avenue, NY 14202

The two hotels are located 9 miles/15 minutes form the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport. (BUF).

Transportation options from the airport to the hotels: 

To / From Buffalo Niagara International Airport:

ITA Shuttle Service - Contact: ITA Shuttle - 716-633-8294 (Phone is answered "Airport Taxi."). Cost: $21.00 one-way or $42.00 round trip.          

The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority (NFTA) also runs an Airport-Downtown Express Shuttle. This shuttle runs non-stop service between the airport and Buffalo's central business district, making its first stop in front of the Hyatt Regency Buffalo. One-way fare (in most cases) is $2.50. Service runs weekdays, approximately every 30 minutes during peak drive time.

Taxi – various taxi companies service the airport and the hotel. Please proceed to the Ground Transportation area on the lower level, outside of baggage claim. Cost: Approximately $35.00 to the hotel.

Attendees staying at the Embassy Suites may take advantage of their airport shuttle service, a direct 15-minute ride to Buffalo International Airport (at $10 per person per trip, hours are from 7 am-10 pm daily).

Uber and Lyft both operate in Buffalo and offer another transportation option.

Question: What is the attire for the conference?

Business casual attire is appropriate for attending sessions during the day. Buffalo, in mid-September, can be in the low 70s during the day and in the mid-50s in the evenings, so we recommend dressing in layers. Plan to bring some type of light sweater or jacket for use in the meeting rooms and for evening events. Check the Weather for more up-to-the-minute weather conditions, and plan your attire accordingly. 

Question: Is there a refund if I need to cancel my registration?

CCUSA recognizes cancellation of your registration may be necessary. Here are some guidelines for you to consider:

  • Cancellation notices must be sent in writing to CCUSA via email to events@catholiccharitiesusa.org. Phone cancellations will not be accepted.
  • Conference registration cancellations received on or before Tuesday, September 4, 2018 are eligible for a refund less $75 administrative fee.
  • After September 4, 2018, there will be no refunds given, but substitutions will be accepted.
  • CCUSA regrets that refunds will not be given to those who do not show up to the 2018 Annual Gathering.
  • Refunds will be issued within 30 business days of a written request in compliance with the above cancellation policy.
Question: Is there a Gala this year?

We have renamed the Gala to Local Host Reception to be a more accurate description for the event.

Join us at RiverWorks on Thursday, September 13th at 6:30 p.m. for a fun celebration of Buffalo! The evening will include a full-course meal, three-hour open bar, dancing, live music and so much more. 

Plan to attend on Thursday, September 13th, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Registration fee $50.

Question: Are there any special notices?

Catholic Charities USA reserves the right to make any changes or updates to the event schedule or program without liability.

CCUSA shall have the right at its sole discretion to decline registration. If registration is declined, CCUSA will refund the fees paid.

During the Annual Gathering, you may be photographed, videotaped and/or recorded. By registering for this event, you grant the right for photographs, videotape or digital recordings to be taken of you.You further authorize Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA), its assignees and transferees to copyright, use and publish the same in print and/or electronically in any form or format, including in combination with other photographs or recordings.

Question: Are there accommodations at the conference site for people with special needs?

The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center is accessible to persons with special needs. Contact your hotel directly if you need special guestroom requirements. CCUSA will make every effort to assist individuals with special physical considerations or dietary needs to fully enjoy the conference, if the request is received in advance. While completing on-line registration, please indicate your needs in the appropriate box and if needed, a CCUSA staff member will contact you. Or you may also email events@catholiccharitiesusa.org

Question: What is the closest hospital and 24-hour pharmacy to the hotel?

Buffalo General Hospital
100 High Street
Buffalo, NY 

CVS Pharmacy
432 Main Street
Buffalo, NY
M-F: 7AM-8PM
Sat-Sun: 8AM-6PM

Question: When will I receive my Continuing Education Credit (CEC) Certificate of Completion?

CCUSA staff will issue the CEC Certificate to attendees who have signed-in at the start and signed-out on the attendance log for that session. Attendees who have NOT both signed-in and signed-out at the conclusion of the session are not eligible to receive CEC. Certificates of Completion will be emailed to attendees within 30 business days of end of the conference.

Question: What should I do if I have a concern or complaint regarding the Annual Gathering?

Grievance Procedure: Any individual who has a complaint regarding any aspect of this Annual Gathering is encouraged to communicate in writing to CCUSA’s Senior Vice President of Programs and Services by emailing jbeil@catholiccharitiesusa.org within 30 days after the conference. CCUSA will conduct a review and respond in writing within 30 days of receiving the complaint. For more information about the grievance process please contact events@catholiccharitiesusa.org.

Question: How is the 2018 Annual Gathering being environmentally responsible?

Following the encyclical by Pope Francis’ Laudato Si’, Catholic Charities USA is further committed to protecting our common home. We come together this year in Buffalo, New York, for our 2018 Annual Gathering—September 12-14, the largest gathering of our ministry, and we encourage our participants and our vendor partners to work with us in reducing our carbon footprint.

CCUSA and the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center (BNCC) staff are working to make your time in Buffalo enjoyable and as “green” as possible. Here are some ways we will effectively accomplish our goals:

  • Our CCUSA meeting app allows us to reduce the need for printed program books while still sharing up-to-the-minute information to conference attendees
  • Presentation materials from speakers will be available through the meeting app
  • Extra signage will be produced using recyclable paper
  • Communication and marketing of the conference will be accomplished electronically and conference registrations will all be on-line eliminating paper registration forms

The Buffalo Niagara Convention Center is proud to do its part to be “GREEN.” The various departments within the Convention Center participate in "Green Initiatives" by completing the following practices:


  • Uses environmentally-friendly office supplies
  • Recycle printer cartridges
  • Purchase in bulk  

FOOD & BEVERAGE                

  • Plastic, cans, bottles, cardboard, paper are recycled and kitchen grease recycled into Bio Fuel
  • Encourages the use of “bulk” food and beverage products
  • Uses recycled products in concessions
  • Regularly participate in the local composting of food
  • Does not use Styrofoam products
  • Unused foods are donated to local food banks and shelters
  • Uses china, silverware and linen for their food events
  • Food is purchased from local sources whenever possible
  • Farm to table menu items available


  • Use energy-efficient lighting
  • 5% of the electrical load is USEPA certified green power
  • Light bulbs are energy-saving products
  • Restrooms have automatic faucets and soap dispensers and toilets are water conserving
  • Meeting room temperatures are adjusted based on the level of business so when rooms are not in use, energy is reduced
  • Use water stations in our meeting rooms
  • Purchase recyclable products and goods
  • Use environmentally-friendly cleaning products
  • Trees have been planted to offset electricity used at events
  • Have recycling receptacles throughout the facility
Question: How can I, as a conference attendee, further move CCUSA’s efforts forward?
  • In your guest room, re-use towels when you can and request linen changes every 2-3 days
  • Look for recycle bins throughout the hotel and make sure to dispose of any bottles, cans, and paper in proper receptacles
  • Download our meeting app to receive the latest up-to-the-minute information while at the conference
  • Share rides from the airport, or check the conference website for shuttle options
  • Use the recycling bins in your hotel guest rooms to dispose of recyclable trash
  • Attendees are encouraged to turn in name badges before departure for re-use by CCUSA at future events
  • We encourage you to use re-usable water bottles for use with water stations in the meeting area