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Registered and logged in users can post Milestones for free.

To post, go to Create Content > Blog Entry. Tag your post “milestones.”

Milestones include engagement, wedding and birth announcements as well as job promotions, military service and similar personal accomplishments of you and your family that you wish to share with the community.

November 11, 2015 - 1:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, liberty pumps, bergen.

Press release:

Rochester Business Alliance and KPMG, LLP, recently announced the 2015 Rochester Top 100 companies. These companies represent the fastest-growing privately held businesses in our region. Liberty Pumps, placing #24 on the 2015 list, has made the Top 100 list 15 of the last 18 years.

Celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2015, being named to the Top 100 for another year shows how our commitment to producing a highly innovative and quality product truly pays off.

“Liberty Pumps is a good choice for our customers because the product is innovative, it’s high quality and it’s made right here in the U.S.,” said Randall Waldron, vice president of sales and marketing.

During a brief conversation at the Top 100 luncheon with Charlie Cook, Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Rochester Business Alliance scheduled a visit to tour the plant in Bergen. After a brief conversation and a viewing of the new corporate video, Duffy was given a personal tour with Cook.

“The most important element is how you service the customer, and there is nobody in the industry that is better at it than we are,” Cook said.

(Photo of Charlie Cook, left, and Bob Duffy, courtesy of Liberty Pumps.)

November 6, 2015 - 1:22am
posted by Billie Owens in steve hawley, agriculture, Milestones.

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) was recently named to the Farm Bureau’s 2015 “Circle of Friends.”

The honor was given to state legislators who display a great deal of support for agricultural initiatives including voting for legislation the Farm Bureau supports and sponsoring bills favorable to the agriculture industry during the 2015 Legislative Session. Hawley has been named to the “Circle of Friends” every year since 2006.

“As the owner of our family-owned farm for many years, I know the importance of the agriculture industry to New York State’s economy,” Hawley said. “I am honored to once again be named to the Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” and take pride in championing its causes in the legislature.

Oftentimes, local farms are family-owned and their hard work ensures that fresh produce, poultry and beef are available to local vendors as well as across the state. In an industry where profits are not guaranteed year to year and flooding and drought are common, our farmers deserve our utmost support and consideration."

Hawley served as president of the Genesee County Farm Bureau while operating his own farm and has served on the Assembly’s Agriculture Committee since 2006.

November 1, 2015 - 11:40am
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, michael ranzenhofer, robert friedman.

Today, the law firm of Friedman & Ranzenhofer, PC ( announced it is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2015.

Founded in 1955, the general practice law firm has grown from one office in Akron to seven Western New York offices. Their other offices are located in Williamsville/Clarence, West Seneca, Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Batavia and Rochester. Michael H. Ranzenhofer and Robert Friedman are the firm’s partners.

October 30, 2015 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in ARC, Le Roy, business, Milestones.

(Submitted photo of NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presenting an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton, of Bessey Tools in Le Roy.)

Press release:

NYS ARC President Laura Kennedy presented an Employer of the Year Award to Jeremy Smowton of Bessey Tools, last week during NYS ARC’s Fall meeting in Albany.  Bessey Tools was nominated for the award by Genesee ARC to recognize its longtime partnership with the business whose United States headquarters is in Le Roy.

Smowton, vice president of Finance at Bessey Tools, reflected on the company’s association with Genesee ARC.

“We truly appreciate the hard work and effort the team from our local ARC provides for Bessey Tools," Smowton said. "They are a conscientious group that cares about the work they do, which we feel they do very well. At Bessey Tools, we are proud to have the privilege to serve our community through Genesee ARC. We look forward to a long standing future relationship.”

Genesee ARC has had a business relationship with Bessey Tools for the past 15 years and has had an onsite enclave at their factory since January 2013, employing 6 to 10 people daily.

Scott Jones, Genesee ARC director of Employment Services, said individuals work at ten different stations, assembling clamps, operating drill and hydraulic presses, packing and barcoding products.

“When Bessey Tools decided to move an assembly operation from Long Island to Le Roy, they asked Genesee ARC to handle the production because of our quality work and 15-year track record of excellence,” Jones said.

The Award presentation coincided with October’s 70th annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Genesee ARC is one of 54 Chapters of NYS ARC, the largest provider of services to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in the nation, offering supports encompassing all aspects of a person’s life from birth through end-of-life care.

October 30, 2015 - 1:43pm
posted by Billie Owens in tourism, genesee county, darien lake, Milestones, business.

(Submitted photo of Kelly Rapone, with the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, with Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, with their respective awards.)

Press release:

The Genesee County Chamber of Commerce and Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort both received awards recently for Excellence in Tourism Marketing from the New York State Tourism Industry Association.

The New York State Tourism Industry Association (NYSTIA) has recognized leaders in New York State’s tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment at the 2015 Tourism Excellence Awards. The winning individuals or organizations were selected on the basis of demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in travel and tourism.

Genesee County Chamber of Commerce earned the “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Statewide” for its Haunted History Trail of New York State program. Created by Genesee County Chamber of Commerce in 2013, it is the only statewide haunted tourism trail in the country. The program includes partnership with 30 tourism promotion agencies and promotes over 60 haunted inns, hotels, museums and more across New York State and was developed to draw tourists who have an interest in ghosts.

Darien Lake Amusement Park was recognized for “Excellence in Tourism Marketing -- Private Sector ” for their 2015 overall marketing program which focused on delivering an exceptional value and experience to season pass holders, daily visitors and overnight guests. Darien Lake Amusement Park Resort is New York State’s largest amusement park resort featuring over 50 rides and attractions including a 10-acre waterpark and a variety of overnight options including a hotel, cabins and a campground.

The organizations received their awards at the NYSTIA Tourism Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday, Oct. 22, at The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown. Kelly Rapone and Taylor White, Genesee County Chamber of Commerce, and Amber Ciesiulka, Darien Lake Theme Park Resort, accepted the awards at the event.

October 26, 2015 - 3:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, Milestones.

Press release:

Chicago--The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) is pleased to announce that the City of Batavia, NY, has received the GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for its 2014/15 budget.

The award represents a significant achievement by the City of Batavia. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity's budget serves as a policy document, a financial plan, an operations guide and a communications device.

Budget documents must be rated "proficient" in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award. The award was presented yesterday to City Manager Jason Molino whose leadership in budgeting has resulted in an increasingly improved bond rating and financial position for the City of Batavia.

City Council President Brooks Hawley said, “This is an important accomplishment for the City of Batavia. It marks a high point in our efforts over the past decade to make our budgeting process effective, efficient and transparent. I commend the City Council, Manager and Staff for setting and accomplishing such high expectations for our City.”

For budgets beginning in 2013, 1,424 participants received the Award; although Batavia marks one of only three cities in New York among the recipients. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.

“We will continue to strive to excel in our budgeting process” commented Lisa Neary, deputy director of Finance for the City who shared project management with Assistant City Manager Gretchen DiFante. “It’s important that the taxpayers are assured of our commitment to excellence and transparency in budgeting.”

The Government Finance Officers Association is a major professional association servicing the needs of more than 18,000 appointed and elected local, state, and provincial-level government officials and other finance practitioners. It provides top quality publications, training programs, services, and products designed to enhance the skills and performance of those responsible for government finance policy and management.

The association is headquartered in Chicago, with offices in Washington, D.C. The GFOA's Distinguished Budget Presentation Awards Program is the only national awards program in governmental budgeting.

October 21, 2015 - 4:09pm
posted by Billie Owens in law enforcement, Milestones.

(Submitted photo. Pictured, from left, are: New York State Sheriffs’ Association President and Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour, Genesee County Chief Deputy – Road Patrol Gordon Dibble, and Saratoga County Sheriff Mike Zulo.)

Press release:

On Sept. 28, Genesee County Chief Deputy Gordon Dibble, along with 53 law enforcement supervisors from 29 Sheriff’s Offices around the state, attended the 18th Annual Law Enforcement Division Supervisors’ Continuing Education Program. Participants are provided with training in the latest advances in law enforcement. As law enforcement supervisor, the Chief Deputy of the Sheriff’s road patrol is responsible for operations and administrative matters related to the road patrol division.

(Submitted photo. Pictured, from left, are: New York State Sheriffs’ Association Executive Director Peter Kehoe, New York State Sheriffs’ Association First Vice President and Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber, Genesee County Jail Superintendent William Zipfel, Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco, and Saratoga County Sheriff Mike Zulo.)

On Oct. 2, Genesee County Jail Superintendent William Zipfel, along with over 100 county jail administrators from 51 county Sheriff's Offices attended the Jail Administrators' Continuing Education Conference. The yearly conference brings corrections professionals from around the state together to share best practices and new trends impacting their jails.

Both conferences included a discussion by Clinton County Sheriff David Favro and Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill of the Sheriff’s response to the Dannemora escape.

Other topics discussed at the Law Enforcement Supervisors’ Conference included:

  • a discussion regarding body cameras for police by Niagara County Sheriff Jim Voutour and Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo;
  • an account of the Sullivan County drug bust by Sullivan County Sheriff Michael Schiff;
  • a recap of an Albany County investigation into the death of a child by Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.

Presentations at the Jail Superintendents’ Conference included:

  • Field Intelligence Officer Kirk Kingsbury of the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office presented on gang intelligence in county jails;
  • Thomas Diina, Erie County Jail superintendent, gave a case study on mental health services in county jails along with Daniel Antonius, Ph.D., director of the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at the University of Buffalo, and Ronald Schoelerman, director of Intensive Adult Mental Health Services, Erie County Dept. of Mental Health;
  • Orange County Jail Administrator Kenneth Decker presented on the use of Vivitrol in jails;
  • Deputy Commissioner Justin Pruyne of the Westchester County Department of Correction presented a case study;
  • Edward Bly of the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Office and Chuck Newman of the Schoharie County Sheriff’s Office moderated the round table discussion “What’s New in County Jails."

These conferences are part of a training series offered each year. They were held at the Gideon Putnam Hotel in Saratoga Springs and were sponsored and organized by the New York State Sheriffs’ Association and the New York State Sheriffs' Institute. New York State Sheriffs' Association (NYSSA) First Vice President and Herkimer County Sheriff Christopher Farber presented certificates at the close of the conference along with Saratoga County Sheriff Mike Zurlo and Rockland County Sheriff Lou Falco.

October 17, 2015 - 3:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in Notre Dame, batavia, business, Milestones.

Press release:

The Business Teachers Association of New York State awards the Julian A. Milkes Award for Outstanding New Business Educator each school year. Notre Dame High School is proud to announce that its Business Teacher, Lindsay Warner, is the recipient of the 2015 award.

The Julian A. Milkes Award recognizes exemplary efforts of new business educators early in their careers. Individuals must have made significant contributions to Business Education through some combination of program development, professional association activities, professional contributions (through presentations/publications), and civic and community involvement. They will have been involved in innovative, unique and novel programs and have shown extraordinary professional commitment early in their careers.

Retired principal Joseph Scanlan, Ph.D., said “Mrs. Warner has brought Business Education into the new millennium at Notre Dame High School.”

Lindsay’s hard work and diligence have resulted in Notre Dame obtaining college course accreditation for three high school business courses she currently teaches in conjunction with Genesee Community College.

“She is a mover and shaker who teaches business courses using real life business applications," Scanlan said. "Course requests for the courses she teaches are off the charts as the word has traveled quickly that her classes are indeed the real deal."

Warner also masterminded her senior-level marketing class’s participation in the Virtual Business Competition held at GCC in March. The Notre Dame “Cupcakery” team captured four first-place awards and one for second in the competition with 12 other regional schools. She planted the seed, encouraged them to do their best and oversaw their efforts.

Warner has also started a quality shadowing experience program, which is placing interested juniors and seniors in real-life career opportunities during the school year and summer vacation.

A Notre Dame High School graduate, she received her master's in Education from Nazareth College in 2009. She holds a NYS Professional Certification in Business and Marketing Education. She lives in Le Roy with her husband, Jeremy, and two young sons. Congratulations to Lindsay on this prestigious award!

October 6, 2015 - 2:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, tops market, Milestones.

(John Persons, Tops new president and COO.)

Press release:

As part of a long-term leadership strategy, Tops Friendly Markets has named John Persons, long-time Tops associate and executive, as president and chief operating officer while Frank Curci will continue to actively serve as Tops chief executive officer and board chairman, the company announced today.

“John’s appointment is the first step in an organized and planned effort to ensure we have consistent and experienced leadership to guide the future growth and success of Tops Friendly Markets,” Curci said. “Over the past eight years, John has played a significant role in building our organization and is committed to ensuring that Tops is providing the best value possible for our many customers.”

In his role as president and COO, Persons will oversee all store operations in Tops’ three-state geographic footprint and all sales, marketing and merchandising operations.

“I look forward as president and COO to working with all members of the Tops family – associates, vendors and suppliers – as we strive to provide Tops’ customers with what they want, when they want it, and saves them time and money,” he said. “I also thank Frank Curci and the Tops’ Board of Directors for the confidence they have placed in me as we continue to build a stronger Tops in the communities we serve."

Persons has been with Tops for more than 30 years, most recently serving as executive vice president of sales, marketing and merchandising. Prior to that, he was senior vice president of retail operations from 2007 to 2014 and vice president of retail operations from 2000 to 2007.

He has been a board director of the company since 2013, having been part of the management team, led by Curci, which bought out Tops from its previous owner, Morgan Stanley Private Equity, in December 2013.

Curci has served as president, chief executive officer and director of the company since December 2007 when Morgan Stanley Private Equity purchased Tops Friendly Markets from Koninklijke Ahold, N.V. (Ahold). He became chairman of the board of directors upon the 2013 management buyout, which returned Tops to local ownership.

Under Curci’s leadership, Tops has more than doubled the number of stores to 165 full-service supermarkets, expanded its geographic reach into eastern and northern New York, Vermont and northern Pennsylvania, invested more than $200 million in store renovations and updates, and created gourmet retailer Orchard Fresh in Orchard Park, NY.

#          #          #
Tops Markets, LLC, is headquartered in Williamsville and operates 165 full-service supermarkets – 160 company-owned and five franchise locations. With more than 16,000 associates, Tops is a leading full-service grocery retailer in Upstate New York, Northern Pennsylvania and Western Vermont. For more information about Tops Markets, visit the company's Web site at

October 5, 2015 - 11:46am
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Darien, gary graber, Michelle Krzemien.

Press release:

Hon. Gary A. Graber (past president) and Michelle Krzemien, justices in the Town of Darien, recently attended the 106th Annual Conference and Certified Advanced Training Program of the New York State Magistrates Association held in Niagara Falls Sept.  27-30.

More than 250 local judges from all areas of New York State took part in the four day event, which combines the State Magistrates Association Annual Meeting and Conference with the Advanced Training Courses as required by New York State for all town and village justices in the Unified Court System.

The major purposes of NYSMA are the maintenance and support of the local judiciary through education and coordination with the New York State agencies regarding laws and other matters affecting local courts, “The Courts Closest to The People."

NYSMA works closely with the Office of Court Administration to assure the training enhances the professional development of the judges and is relevant to the practical situations encountered in the local courts. In addition to the required courses there are many elective opportunities offered for those attending.

The keynote speaker at the banquet was Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul. Hon. Harold Bauman was sworn in as the 2016 president along with the officers and directors.

Presentations over the four day event were made by the Office of Justice Court Support, City, Town and Village Resource Center, Unified Justice Court System, The 8th Judicial District, Peter Gerstenzang, Esq., Commission of Judicial Conduct, Professor Heverly of Albany Law School, Service Education, Inc., Gerald Stern, Esq., Daniels M. Killelea, Esq. Maryrita Dobiel, Esq., Assistant Professor Al Chapleau of the College of St. Rose, Hon. James Murphy, Onondaga Supreme Court Justice, Hon. Michael Mohun, Wyoming County Court Justice, Hon. Sara Sheldon, Niagara County Supreme Court Justice, Selden Fritchner, Division Chief. CDL Division, FMCSA, Washington, DC., Neil Schoen Esq, Deputy Commissioner, NYS DMV, Office of Court Administration, DMV, Westlaw, Lexis-Nexis, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, NYS Office of Indigent Legal Services, Dept. of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement, NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, as well as many of our officers and directors of the New York State Magistrates Association.

September 17, 2015 - 4:50pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones.

Rob Paine, of Batavia, is now a Financial Advisor with Sage Rutty & Company in Rochester. He takes a holistic approach to every solution and strategy. With a strong focus on long-term portfolio management and design, he is sure to incorporate a thorough risk review for all his clients.

Rob’s achievements began long before Sage Rutty and Company. He has served two tours overseas in support of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, earning the Army and the Air Force Achievement Medals. After honorably serving his country, he graduated SUNY Brockport with a degree in Business Finance.

Rob lends his time and talents to his local community through dedication to our Meals on Wheels program and as an active volunteer with Batavia’s Crossroads House.

When he is not assisting his clients with achieving their financial goals or volunteering in the community, you can find him spending time with his family and friends. Rob holds licenses with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the New York State Insurance Department.

September 15, 2015 - 1:13pm

Rochelle (Shelly) Stein, Genesee County Legislator, will be honored next week by the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) for graduating from the NYSAC Pelletier County Government Institute. The ceremony will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at the 2015 NYSAC Fall Seminar in Lake Placid.

The NYSAC County Government Institute is an educational program established in conjunction with Cornell University. The Institute provides an educational program for county elected and appointed officials, to enhance the knowledge, skills and abilities of county officials. For more information, visit

Stein has served two terms as a Genesee County legislator, representing the Town and Village of Le Roy. She serves on the Human Services Committee and is highly engaged in the business of agriculture in the county and region. She seeks innovative ways to reduce the cost of government to local residents through collaboration and cooperation in all levels of government.

“The Institute’s vigorous curriculum prepares county leaders with the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the increasing demands of local government leadership in 2015 and beyond,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen J. Acquario.

Anthony Picente, president of NYSAC and Oneida County executive, agrees. “The County Government Institute equips county officials with the knowledge, skills, and tools necessary to address the challenges and opportunities of leadership, and to engage in civil dialogue with constituents as well as fellow leaders.”

The County Government Institute's comprehensive curriculum includes extensive course work on government ethics, building consensus in a political environment, principles of county budget and finance, and public sector labor/management relations. The courses are supplemented with electives, training sessions, and continuing education courses designed to support county leaders in serving their constituents.

“The Pelletier Institute gave me the opportunity to build on my previous local government experience, learning other styles of government and finding a path toward reducing conflict while providing necessary services at an affordable cost,” Stein said.

The New York State Association of Counties is a bipartisan municipal association serving the counties of New York State including the City of New York. Organized in 1925, NYSAC’s mission is to represent, educate and advocate for Member Counties and the thousands of elected and appointed county officials who serve the public.

September 10, 2015 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, Milestones, Justice Gary A. Graber.

(Photo provided by National Judicial College.)

Press release:
RENO, NV – The National Judicial College (NJC) is pleased to announce that the Hon. Gary A. Graber of the Town of Darien Justice Court in Darien, NY, has completed Drugs in America Today: What Every Judges Needs to Know, Aug. 25-27, 2015, at The National Judicial College in Reno, Nev.

This course provides a comprehensive review of intoxicating substances and the short- and long-term effects on litigants in and out of the courtroom, recent developments in the law, and options for sentencing and intervention.

“This newly developed course should be considered for attendance by all members of the judiciary handling these cases,” said Judge Graber, who is an alumnus of the NJC since 2003 and faculty member since 2008.

The National Judicial College was founded in 1963 and is the nation’s leading provider of judicial education. The NJC is housed in a state-of-the-art building on the historic 255-acre campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. For more than 50 years, the NJC has been offering courses to improve judicial productivity, challenge current perceptions of justice and inspire judges.

The NJC and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges assisted the University of Nevada, Reno, in developing one of the nations first master’s and Ph.D. in judicial studies programs. Both programs provide a formal academic setting in which trial judges can integrate technical and academic studies to attain an intellectual understanding of the American judiciary.

The NJC is also home to the National Tribal Judicial Center and an International Program. The College’s curricula include a Seminar Series, made up of courses that provide judges the opportunity to study diverse and interesting topics at historically and culturally rich locations across the United States. Web-based courses are also offered enabling participants to explore a variety of subject areas online.

The National Judicial College has an appointed 18-member Board of Trustees and became a Nevada not-for-profit (501)(c)(3) educational corporation on January 1, 1978. Please visit the NJC Web site at for NJC news, ways to donate, course information and more. Or, call (800) 25-JUDGE for more information.

September 1, 2015 - 12:45pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, GCC.

Press release:

Seven members of the Genesee Community College staff team have been recognized by State University of New York Chancellor Nancy Zimpher for outstanding contributions to their profession, the campus and the community. The Chancellor's Award for Excellence is given in recognition of consistently superior professional achievement and encourages the ongoing pursuit of excellence.

The following faculty and staff members earned the 2015 award and were honored at a reception last month on the Batavia Campus.

Award for Excellence in Teaching

Christopher D. Caputi, Ph.D, assistant professor, Physical Therapist Assistant Program – Caputi earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in Physical Therapy from D'Youville College and a post-professional doctorate of Physical Therapy from SUNY Upstate Medical University. He spent time at Wyoming County Community Hospital and Kenmore Mercy Hospital as a staff physical therapist and worked as a physical therapist for Guthrie Healthcare System in Sayre, Pa., and Crystal City Physical Therapy in Corning. He currently provides outpatient physical therapy evaluations and treatment for Sports Plus Physical Therapy in Batavia. Caputi joined the College in 2007 as an adjunct professor and quickly became a full-time faculty member in 2008. He is actively involved with students on campus as the academic coordinator of Clinical Education and advisor of the Physical Therapy Club. Caputi also currently serves as a member of the Academic Innovation Committee, Academic Senate and Global Education Committee at GCC. He is an Equity and Diversity representative and a College Foundation captain. He resides in Tonawanda.

Charles Scruggs, assistant professor of History – Scruggs came to GCC in 2007 after spending time as a tutor and substitute teacher for the Geneseo School District. He also held teaching assistant positions at SUNY Albany and the University of Notre Dame after earning his bachelor's degree in Politics from Princeton University and his master's degree in Political Science from SUNY Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs. Scruggs continued his education at the University of Pennsylvania, earning a master's of science in Education Degree in History Education in 2003. He has taught a dozen different courses at the College, both traditional and online. Scruggs serves on a number of committees at Genesee, including the Academic Senate, the Innovation Committee, the Global Education Committee, the Sustainability Committee, the Early Intervention Committee and the Online Faculty Advisory Committee. He has participated in professional programs at Cornell University, received a travel grant to participate in a NATO Advanced Studies Institute in Scotland and a PIER Institute at Yale University on the culture and politics of revolution in Latin America. He resides in Rochester.

Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities

Heather Jones, associate professor of Fine Arts – Jones was appointed to Genesee Community College as a full-time instructor of Fine Arts in 2008 and was promoted to associate professor in 2014. She participated in the development and programming of the Roz Steiner Art Gallery, working with architects in the gallery design and the Gallery Advisory Board to develop the gallery vision. Heather holds a bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from Alfred University and a master's degree in Fine Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). She serves on the GCC Sustainability Committee, Fine Arts Committee and acts as the chair for the Curriculum subcommittee. Heather has also developed new course curriculum for the College, including a 2D hybrid art course, an arts topic course and an international study abroad program. She is a working artist creating social commentaries on environmental issues and is the owner of two active small businesses. GlassFeather Studio offers arts workshops to the local community and Good Nature Press offers book packaging, writing, graphic design and illustration services. Prior to GCC, Heather taught as an arts adjunct professor for seven years at a variety of colleges and served as the director of Camp Stella Maris in Livonia until 2002. She resides in Conesus.

Award for Excellence in Faculty Service

Rebecca Dziekan, director of Health and Physical Education – Dziekan began her career at GCC as the College's athletic trainer and instructor of Health and Physical Education (HPE) in 1996. She took advantage of many professional development opportunities and became director of Health and Physical Education in 2007 and earned rank of full professor in 2011. Rebecca has created new courses for HPE programs and created two concentrations to the Fitness and Recreation Sport Management Program (Personal Training and Golf Management). Her service to the College is extensive as she is an acting member of the Academic Senate, CAST (Campus Area Safety Team), Assessment Committee, Athletic Hall of Fame Selection Committee, GCCA Faculty Rep and Secretary, Creativity Committee, General Education Committee and more. Her relationship with the community includes the development of the Genesee Sport and Wellness Camp in an effort to improve student skills in sports and the Play to Get Fit Challenge, which challenges third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in the GLOW area to record the most minutes spent physically active outside regular school hours in an effort to battle childhood obesity. Dziekan is a graduate of The (SUNY) College at Brockport, earning a bachelor's degree in Science, and Indiana State University with a master's degree in Science. She is a member of the Pavilion School Board of Education and head coach for Pavilion youth baseball, basketball and soccer.

Award for Excellence in Professional Service

Lyndsey J. Oliver-Farewell, technical specialist, Records Management – Oliver-Farewell joined the College in 2004 as a peer tutor at the Albion Campus Center. She held the position of technical assistant and associate at Albion and Medina campus centers before being hired as a technical specialist in Records Management in Batavia in 2010. In her current capacity, Oliver-Farewell is regularly relied upon to manage large projects with a high degree of accuracy. Of her many responsibilities, one is the management of the credit course schedule of approximately 1,500 sections each semester. Lyndsey earned an associate degree from GCC before continuing her education at The (SUNY) College at Brockport where she completed her bachelor's degree in Business Administration. She then went on to the University at Buffalo where she earned a master's degree in Education in Higher Education Administration. Lyndsey serves on a number of committees at GCC, including Academic Senate, Genesee Strategic Intelligence Committee, Challenge Scholarship Committee, New Employee Orientation Committee and GCC Strategic Plan Committee. Outside of the College, Oliver-Farewell is the owner of Sweet Pea's Cupcakery Café in Batavia and a Turbo Kick instructor in Albion. She resides in Medina.

Kathy L. Palumbo, director of Nursing – Palumbo has been the director of Genesee's Nursing Program since January of 2009 and prior to that, she taught in the program for 18 years. She is the only director of a program which prepares students for professional licensure. The Nursing Program admits and regularly graduates students twice a year, making it the second largest program of study at GCC. Palumbo supervises and evaluates 13 full-time faculty and staff, and depending on the semester, 25-30 part-time faculty, more than all other healthcare programs combined. A graduate of the University at Buffalo, Palumbo earned both her bachelor's and master's degree of Science in Nursing. Recognizing the importance of communication and connection to the surrounding community, she actively participates in a number of community organizations and activities. Most recently, she was invited to become a member of the Genesee County Health Department Quality Assurance Committee. She is also on several nursing advisory committees, including the University of Rochester, The (SUNY) College at Brockport, Daemen College and Roberts Wesleyan University. In collaboration with the Genesee County Health Department, Palumbo was responsible for organizing flu clinics and supervising student administration of the H1N1 vaccine to the community, including children, when there was an urgent need to immunize against the flu strain. She is also on the board of the Genesee Valley Nurses Association, which has been the recipient of grant funds to assist nursing students in the Rochester area with emergency funding, allowing them to continue their education. Palumbo resides in Darien.

Award for Excellence in Adjunct Teaching

Joyce A. Chizick, adjunct instructor of Art and Business – Since she began teaching at GCC in the fall of 2000, Chizick has taught a total of 12 different courses in a variety of disciplines including Art, Business Administration, Fashion Merchandising Management and Tourism and Hospitality Management. Her classes are dynamic and lively, using humor, singing, dancing, acting out different works of art, in addition to traditional group work, discussions and presentations. Chizick serves as a member of the Global Education Committee at the College where she has presented several programs and assisted in more than 20 others. She is also a member of the Fine Arts Committee, an advisor for the Western Art History Club, and has served as a mentor in the Honors Program. Numerous GCC campus events benefitted from Chizick's creative touch as she dedicates her time to activities such as the annual fashion show and Encore and other scholarship fundraising events. Chizick earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in Education from The State University of New York at Buffalo and also obtained a bachelor's degree in International Business from SUNY Empire State College. She resides in Lyndonville.

Timothy M. Palmer, adjunct instructor of History – Palmer has taught as an adjunct instructor for the College since 1992. He has held classes in traditional classroom settings, developed and taught online classes, traveled extensively to satellite facilities to teach, and has taken his enthusiasm and dedication into the New York State Corrections System, most notably Attica Correctional Facility. Palmer earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in History from The (SUNY) College at Brockport and taught as an adjunct professor at his alma mater from 1999 to 2011. A voracious reader, Palmer keeps up with current developments in his discipline spending three to four hours a day reading monographs and journals. He has authored several published articles that reflect his research interests and desire to keep in tune with the latest scholarship, which he brings to the classroom to the benefit of his students. His passion for teaching is obvious to the most casual of observers and in 1996, he was awarded the Genesee Community College Phi Theta Kappa Award for Teaching Excellence. In addition, Palmer earned the Art Lee History Award and Robert Griswold History Award at The (SUNY) College at Brockport and the Teaching Excellence Award, presented by the GCC Student Government. He resides in Greece.

Award for Excellence in Classified Service

Patricia Hume, executive secretary, Development and External Affairs – Hume, who joined the Genesee Community College staff in 2006, serves as the secretary to the College Foundation Board. She oversees the records and work flow of the office, and schedules all meetings and activities for the Board, which has nine committees and 31 members. Among its many functions, the Foundation Board organizes "Encore," an annual holiday tradition which is the major fundraising event for student scholarships and involves many of the College's departments as well as an extraordinary number of citizens from the region. Hume serves as the central liaison for "Encore" and is crucial to its long-running success. Hume is also responsible for the important and voluminous digital records held in the office's custody, which includes data entries on some 35,000 constituents, often appended with tightly secured personal information. She maintains an active presence at virtually all major College events and is willing to go beyond the scope of her position to help her colleagues. As an alumnus of Genesee Community College herself, Hume, class of 1988, is a strong supporter and booster of all things GCC. She resides in Pavilion with her husband, Ted, and son, Aiden.

August 16, 2015 - 2:53pm
posted by Billie Owens in Darien, Milestones.

Press release:

Darien Town Justice Gary A. Graber has been awarded a scholarship from the National Judicial College to attend the course "Drugs in America Today: What Every Judge Needs to Know" in Reno, Nev., Aug, 25-27.

Drug abuse is an ever-present issue that will appear with increasing frequency in courts around the country. The use of drugs not only affects the user on a personal level, but also has a profound negative effect on those who are close to, and interact with the user. No matter the type of case, they all have the potential to involve a participant who is under the influence of drugs.

As such, it is important for judges today to recognize and understand the drug issues that plague many Americans today, and to find ways to effectively manage the issue, so as to reduce recidivism. This course will provide an in-depth analysis on the science behind drug addiction, and will offer practical solutions for the judge to manage these types of cases.

This course will provide an in-depth analysis on the science behind drug addiction, and will offer practical solutions for the judge to manage these types of cases. The course will start with an introductory session on basic brain chemistry, and then will move to a thorough analysis of the physiological and psychological effects of specific categories of drugs. In addition, the course will provide practical skills in order to determine which type of drug(s), if any, a user might be under the influence of, and will offer different types of treatment options, which will cover psychological, behavioral, and social aspects.

The course will address several special populations, such as juveniles, those with co-occurring disorders, and veterans, and will provide examples of effective management and sentencing strategies for each group. Finally, the course will offer examples of effective solutions to bring about positive change in the drug user, while also providing effective sentencing options.

Justice Graber is an alumnus and faculty member of the National Judicial College located in Reno, Nevada.

August 4, 2015 - 12:37pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, 4-H.

Photo from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County. From left, back row: Timothy Adams, Ed Keller, Troy Johnson, Meg Thater; middle row -- Ashley Ehrementraut, Tucker Bezon, Melissa Keller, Julie Ehrementraut, Tamie Johnson; front row -- Michael Ehrementraut.
 For the first time in several years, the Genesee County 4-H Youth Development Program held a Master Market Showman Competition at the Genesee County Fair.  This competition is designed for Genesee County 4-H Market Program youth who won senior showmanship or overall showmanship in either beef, goat, sheep or swine market animal shows.

To be awarded the prestigious title of 2015 Genesee County 4-H Master Market Showman, qualifying 4-H youth must demonstrate the additional knowledge and advanced showmanship skills in multiple species.  The competition was held Saturday, July 25th in the main show ring of the Genesee County Fair.

4-H Market Animal Advisory Committee Leaders worked together with 4-H Club Leaders in selecting animals to be used for the competitions; four animals were needed for each youth participating in the competition. 4-H members exhibiting those animals at the fair were asked for use of their livestock by club leaders and the master showmanship competition coordinator.

Participating in this year’s competition were: Tucker Bezon (Beef Club), Ashley Ehrmentraut (Sheep Club), Michael Ehrmentraut (Goat Gang Club) and Melissa Keller (Swine Club). After showing each breed of animal (beef, goat, sheep and swine) and answering several questions asked by judges, the participant score cards were tallied.

The 2015 Genesee County 4-H Master Market Showman trophy and belt buckle was presented to Melissa Keller, of Corfu. Congratulations to Melissa and also to Tucker, Ashley and Michael, it was a very close competition! Thank you to all of the 4-H Volunteers and Club Leaders who assisted with the event and to the 4-H Youth who loaned their livestock -- without you this competition would not be possible.

July 31, 2015 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, genesee county youth court.

Bryce Rogers, a Genesee County Youth Court Member, was one of the 48 Youth Court members who applied for the Association of New York State Youth Courts Scholarship. The ANYSYC awarded two scholarships and Bryce was awarded one of them.

To qualify for the ANYSYC scholarship,the youth court member must be a graduating senior and a member of a Youth Court Program that paid membership dues to ANYSYC in 2014. The applicant must enroll in a two or four year program at an accredited college/university. The individual must be of good moral character, have demonstrated civic responsibility through volunteerism, and have a good strong desire to make a contribution to his/her community.

The process included an application, an essay includingeducational goals, career goals, why they are deserving of this scholarship,and what being a member of a Youth Court has done for them, along with two letters of recommendation.

On behalf of ANYSYC, Bryce was awarded $500 to put toward his college education where he will attend American University and dual-major in International Relations and Economics while concentrating in foreign policy and national security.

July 30, 2015 - 3:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Announcements, Le Roy, LRHS Class of '75.

(Photos and story submitted by Pat Lamon.)

The Class of 1975 at Le Roy High School held its 40th reunion at the Knights of Columbus hall on Friday, July 17th. The group had not been together as a class in 20 years. There were 57 class members who attended, some brought a guest.

The committee had extended an invitation to anyone who was ever part the Class of 1975 to join them; therefore an ad was placed in the Le Roy PennySaver. As a result the attendance was larger than anticipated. The attendees spent the evening catching up and sharing memories.
















Paul Zimmerman, who started the ball rolling for the reunion, had copied all senior photos and they were hung on the wall for all to see.

Other committee members who added their talents to the event were: Jamie Calmes, Sue Savoy Maher, Jean Curry Penepent, Laura Stefani Platt, Judy McWilliams Guminiak, and June Englerth Wallace.

Mr. Reed, class advisor, and Mr. Crowe, teacher, joined the class and some wonderful memories were shared. Mr. Reed gave a short speech and congratulated us on becoming fine adults.

A card was read from another of our class advisors, Mrs. Hermance Sherwood. She wrote, "Congratulations on your class reunion! The Class of 1975 was one of the best at LHS." Mrs. Hermance Sherwood also shared that she had so many fond memories of all the kids from the Class of 1975.

Copies of the Red & Black (the HS newsletter of the time) were available for all to read and reminisce over. Jane Heaman Darocha surprised us all with crystal-clear, original, black and white photos taken by the year book staff in 1975 that were in her basement all these 40 years.

Jane was the editor of the O-at-kan in 1975. George Henry read aloud the Senior Class Prophecy written in 1975 as well as a letter from Jeanette Downie, our exchange student from Australia, who was happy to extend an open-invitation to the class to come visit her Down Under!

A memorial table in the front of the hall was dedicated to the memory of the five deceased classmates. Framed photos of each were placed behind five, red votive candles. They remained illuminated all evening.

The next morning several of the class members joined together one last time to decorate and ride their float in the Oatka Festival Parade. “It was a truly memorable weekend,” Laura Stefani Platt said.

“We had such a wonderful time reconnecting that our class is planning two informal gatherings: Nov. 7, 2015 and May 7, 2016. They will be potluck dinners at my home,” Platt said. “Our class will always be remembered as a class with few cliques we all were truly lifetime friends."

The class has also started a Facebook page "Le Roy Class of 1975." The Internet enabled the class to find most of their members, some folks had not seen each other since graduation. Overall, the weekend was a huge success, it was a great time with great people and good food.

The class also collected $285 that will be given to the “Strengthen the Arm of Liberty Fund.”

July 25, 2015 - 2:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in Milestones, Le Roy, east bethany, batavia.

Approximately 2,700 students at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute were named to the dean's list for the Spring 2015 semester. The dean's list recognizes full-time students who maintain grade-point averages of a minimum of 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 and have no grades below "C."

Austin Kubiniec, of Batavia, studies Aeronautical Engineering.

Tyler Murtha, of East Bethany, studies Computer & Systems Engineering.

Lauren Pencille, of Le Roy, studies Chemical Engineering.

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America's oldest technological research university. For nearly two centuries, the Institute has been a driving force behind breakthroughs in engineering and science in virtually every arena--from transportation and infrastructure to business, medicine, outer space, and cyberspace.

As it approaches its bicentennial anniversary, the Institute continues to define The New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for teaching, learning, and research that uses advanced technologies to enable fresh collaborations across disciplines, sectors, and regions, in order to answer the global challenges of our day.

July 25, 2015 - 2:02pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, Milestones, Batavia Downs.

Press release:

Representatives from Batavia Downs are pleased to announce they have received two Romero trophies and two Honorable Mention plaques during the closing ceremonies of the Casino Marketing and Technology Conference in Las Vegas. This was the first time Batavia Downs had submitted any promotions to the conference to be judged.

Romero Awards honor excellence in gaming marketing and are named for gaming marketing pioneer John Romero, who passed away earlier this year. Awards are given in two size categories (above or below 1000 gaming positions) and 6 different marketing categories.  The winners are selected by a panel of expert judges.

Lindsay Matikosh, Batavia Downs’ Promotions Manager, was on hand to receive the trophies as they were awarded. The Diamond Trophy was Batavia's Diamond VIP promotion. Last Year's Collect and Win Promotion, "Construction Junction," received a Gold Trophy. Two online promotions: Facebook Friday and Promotions Bracket each received Honorable Mention plaques.

"These awards are to be celebrated by all our staff members," Matikosh said. "We like to say we have some of the best promotions among local gaming facilities, and to have an independent panel of experts tell us that they're actually some of the best in the world of gaming is great.”

“Front line staff in all departments helped remind our players about partaking in these promotions, and their popularity certainly contributed to winning these trophies,“ said Ryan Hasenauer, director of Marketing at Batavia Downs. “It was a total team effort and we are excited to have the trophies and plaques on display near Player's Club for all to see.”

Owned and operated by 15 Western New York counties and the cities of Rochester and Buffalo, Western Regional OTB is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 28 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility.




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