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creativity conference

October 10, 2018 - 3:23pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, creativity conference, news, batavia, business.

Photo: Trace R. George, GCC Class of 1993, will give the keynote address at this year's Creativity Conference. He owns VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo.

Submitted photo and press release:

The Business and Commerce department at Genesee Community College has announced its sixth Creativity Conference to be held Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Batavia Campus.

Under the theme of "Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone," the conference this year will serve both aspiring entrepreneurs as well as existing business owners looking to take their business to the next level. 

All attendees will have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of our community's leaders through the stories of their own startups and ventures. The conference will include workshops on "How to use Social Media to Grow your Business," "Building Creative Teams," "Developing a Creative Organization," "Personal & Organizational Impact of Creative Style" and more!

GCC has collaborated with the Startup Genesee Committee to put together an agenda full of learning and networking opportunities, inspirational stories and education. Giving the keynote address will be owner of VSP Graphic Group from Buffalo, Trace R. George, GCC Class of 1993. 

Small business owners or employees, entrepreneurs and the general public are invited to attend the conference and workshops. The cost is $39 per person, which includes a continental breakfast and delicious lunch. For GCC students, faculty and staff, the conference cost is $25 per person.

Seating is limited, so register today! GCC faculty and staff are encouraged to contact The BEST Center to register. Students are asked to register through their instructors.

Whether you are launching a new endeavor to taking your successful business to a bigger platform -- let GCC be a resource for your idea and your path to success! GCC offers both an associate degree and a certificate program on Entrepreneurship. Check out the options here.

For more information, contact Director of Business Programs Lina LaMattina at (585) 343-0055, ext. 6319, or via email: [email protected].

February 21, 2018 - 2:48pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, business, GCC, creativity conference.

Press release:

Genesee Community College is excited to share the details of the fifth annual Creativity Conference: Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone taking place Wednesday, Feb. 28 at the Batavia Campus. Do you have a hobby or passion? Ever consider turning it into your own business? Then you won't want to miss this conference!

"So many people in the world dream of being their own boss. What they don't see is just how realistic that opportunity is!" Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., director of GCC's Business Programs. "This year, every piece of the creativity conference has been carefully aligned to inspire those creative business ideas and show participants just how far their entrepreneurial aspirations can take them."

The Creativity Conference will open for participants to check in at 8:15 a.m. in the Conable Technology Building lobby. The conference cost is $49 per person. For GCC students, faculty or staff, the conference cost is $25 per person. Registration includes a continental breakfast and delicious lunch.

Seating is limited, so register today at www.genesee.edu/best under "View our classes now!"

At 9 a.m. the conference will begin with keynote speaker, Erica Swiatek. She will address the link between creativity and entrepreneurship. Swiatek has made her living doing just that as one of the founders of Innovate Faster, a training, consulting and facilitation company based in Buffalo. Innovate Faster offers training courses on the creative process, enhancing teamwork, managing change, customer service and much more. Details on Innovate Faster are available at www.innovatefaster.com.

Swiatek's own creative thinking and ideas have come to fruition in her business, 3600 Escape, a company located in Buffalo that hosts groups in one of two specially dedicated Escape Rooms. Participants select either the "Conspiracy Theory" or the "Mineshaft" room and then are locked inside!

They have to work as a team to find and put together clues to escape the room -- and they only have 3,600 seconds to do it! Swiatek has now taken this concept on the road allowing her to perform the escape room experience for companies and corporate events on their premises through a package of creative characters, clever clues and utilizing the participant's own spaces.

The escape room experience can be done just for fun, or as a real-life learning tool. Swiatek's post-experience debrief session breaks down the steps and actions taken by individual participants during the exercise to help them understand the personality traits that they draw from while working to solve a problem.

Learning about one's strengths and tendencies is a powerful way to unite a team, helping them to understand each other better and to work together more efficiently. More information is available at www.3600escape.com.

Swiatek earned her master's degree in Creative Studies and is currently an adjunct professor at Buffalo State College. At both Innovate Faster and 3600 Escape, Swiatek blends her expertise in the fields of innovation, learning and development to design activities, courses, programs and experiences to facilitate innovation, professional development, change management and teambuilding.

Certified in Myers-Briggs, DiSC and FourSight assessments, Swiatek draws on these tools to help participants problem solve, communicate and understand each other better.

From 10 a.m. to 12:45 p.m., Swiatek's will host a special escape room experience right here at GCC! Participants will work in small groups to look for clues, propose hypothesis and race against other teams to solve the problem first.

At the end of the session, Swiatek will breakdown the skills and tools used by each personality type to help participants better understand their individual problem solving strengths. Anyone registered for the conference can sign up for this special breakout session which costs an additional $15 per person and is limited to 30 participants, so sign up quick! 

For those not attending Swiatek's escape room experience, there will be nine unique and inspiring breakout sessions featuring entrepreneurial leaders from our region to share stories of their own startups, answer audience questions, and inspire the next generation of great new ideas.

Conference participants will be able to select three of these sessions to attend. Each session will be offered at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and noon.

Among the breakout sessions will be:

  • Rashaad Santiago, special effect/ makeup artist, Face Off-Season 6 Winner (2014)
  • Sue Fuller, owner of Della's Chocolates in Medina
  • Trace George, owner of VSP Graphic Group in Buffalo, (the official graphic company for the Buffalo Bills) and GCC Alum
  • Shawn Ramsey, owner of Canalside Tattoos in Medina
  • Maureen Spindler, owner of The Village Photographer in Hilton and GCC's own visual communications specialist/photographer

Additional sessions will be available and session schedules are subject to change.

At 12:45 p.m., everyone will come together for a sit-down lunch, provided by American Creative Dining, served in the centrally located William H. Stuart Forum.

After lunch, the team from Startup Genesee will conduct a powerful wrap-up session for all conference attendees with giveaways and a very exciting announcement sure to help take entrepreneurial ideas to the next level!

The Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone conference, presented by GCC, is made possible through partnership with the Startup Genesee Committee and the Ain Center at the University of Rochester's ongoing support for the "Year of Entrepreneurship" series.

Behind every great business is a great idea! Let GCC be a resource for your idea and your path to success! GCC offers both an associate degree and a Certificate program on Entrepreneurship. Check out the options at https://www.genesee.edu/academics/programs/business/entrepreneurship/.

January 28, 2016 - 1:46pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, creativity conference.

Press release:

Enhance your creativity and creative problem solving skills with insightful and inspiring presentations at the third annual Creativity Conference at Genesee Community College. Save the date for this one-day only event on Wednesday, April 13, from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The day features a keynote speaker and numerous 50-minute workshops. Cost is $99 which includes lunch. Registration is available online at http://www.genesee.edu/events/creativity-conference/.

Under the continued leadership of GCC Director of Business Programs Dr. Lina LaMattina is coordinating the successful conference again this year. The featured keynote address will be given by Sandra Turner, CEO of Viggi Kids, a business dedicated to the "whole child approach" that is based on design thinking in the creation of stimulating play environments. http://www.viggikids.com/

Anyone who attended GCC's Creativity Conferences in the past shouldn't hesitate to enroll again, particularly for professional development engagements.

"Creativity is a skill that needs to be continually nurtured and developed," LaMattina, Ph.D., said. "This year, we will have three specific creativity tracks for participants to explore and engage in: Community, Business and Education (kindergarten through higher education)."

Planning is under way for the dynamic workshops that are offered throughout the day, and proposals for 50-minute presentations that broadly or specifically teach and reinforce design thinking and creativity/creative problem solving are being accepted through March 25. To submit a proposal online go to: http://www.genesee.edu/home/events/creativity-conference/submit-your-proposal/.

"To successfully compete in the 21st century, we all need to enhance our ability to think and solve difficult problems creatively. Design thinking helps us all to deliberately focus on our end user, our customer, our patient, our client, those individuals that we are most trying to reach and impact. Design thinking builds on creative thinking and adds power to our work." LaMattina said. "Don't miss this chance to get out of the office and recharge your creative battery so you can you be more deliberately creative in all aspects of your life!"

March 26, 2014 - 2:22pm
posted by Billie Owens in business, GCC, creativity conference.

Press release:

Anyone who has ever doubted their own creativity, or questioned the impact of creativity in the workplace or in a classroom should attend the one-day Creativity Conference at Genesee Community College on Tuesday, April 15. The conference runs from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is open to all and features engaging sessions targeted for the business world and academia.

"Every one of us is creative in our own way, every day," said Lina LaMattina, Ed.D, director of GCC's Business programs.

She is so committed to helping people explore and understand their own creativity that she and her colleagues organized a one-day conference to focus on creativity in the workplace and in education coinciding with Creativity and Innovation Week, which is April 15-21.

"We hope the sessions and discussion generated at the conference will stimulate and expand upon a global conversation about creativity," LaMattina said. "Some people are intimidated by the idea of creativity and it restricts their thinking. We want to show them how they can be deliberately creative in their professional, academic and personal lives."

The conference will feature a keynote address by John Fredericks, Ph.D, executive director of the Center for Executive Leadership and Change at Daemen College. He is recognized as a distinguished leader of the internationally renowned Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI) for his work in facilitating creative problem-solving leadership.

A dynamic group of presenters with diverse backgrounds and skills will be leading the various sessions. From patent holders to fashion and textile experts, improv practitioners to industrial designers, performing artists and comedians to an English professor, as well as inventors to innovators -- all will be participating in the Conference providing an exciting lineup of vibrant topics.

In the Education Strand, the following sessions have been scheduled:

  • Teaching Techniques to Encourage Creative Thinking, presented by Lynn M. Boorady, associate professor at Buffalo State College;
  • Enhancing Expertise with Imaginative Thinking: Weaving Creativity into your Content, presented by Sue Keller-Mathers, associate professor of Creative Studies at Buffalo State College;
  • What might creativity look like in my students? presented by Pamela Szalay, cofounder the Beyonder Youth Program at Buffalo State College;
  • Using the Concept of "Yes, And" to Promote Creative Thinking, presented by Jane Fischer, cofounder Improv Connections, and Beth Slazak, a member of the Applied Improvisers Network;
  • Facilitating Learning Communities, presented by Mitchell R. Alegre, adjunct professor of Management and coordinator of Special Projects at Niagara University;

Sessions focused in the Business Strand include:

  • Options Thinking: Empowering Individuals to Make Better Decisions, presented Barbara Shine, former GCC Business professor and retired director at The BEST Center who continues to work as a consultant;
  • Innovation and the Start-Up Company, presented by James Burns, product design and development consultant with patents in optical systems, antennas and consumer electronics;
  • Igniting Imagination and Removing Inhibitions to Creativity in Business, presented by Maryanne Arena, GCC's director of Fine and Performing Arts, and Norman Gayford, GCC professor of English.

"Our 21st Century economy demands creative thinking skills in order to survive and thrive in the workplace," LaMattina said. "We invite everyone to come, explore, learn, discuss and get ready to implement creativity tools, techniques and best practices in your organization."

LaMattina initiated the idea for the conference along with her GCC colleagues Barbara Shine, Valerie Bello and Judith Littlejohn and other members of the Creativity Innovation Committee. They received funding for the event from two GCC Foundation grants: the President's Innovation Award Program and the Stuart Steiner Leadership Award.

"We hope this conference will both reinforce and build GCC's foundation for generating and applying creative thinking throughout all aspects of college life," LaMattina added.

Registration is $99 per person for the full day, which includes lunch as well as morning and afternoon refreshments.

For details or to register go to: http://www.genesee.edu/events/creativity-conference/. The schedule is subject to change and additional conference sessions are still being developed.

For further information contact Lina LaMattina:

[email protected] or call 585-343-0055, ext. 6319.

February 11, 2014 - 1:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in GCC, creativity conference.

Press release:

A conference on creativity and creative problem solving will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday April 15 at Genesee Community College.

In preparation for the conference, organizers are seeking examples of creativity in the areas of business (for profit or not) and K-16 education to share with people in our region.

The goal is to broaden the conversation around the application of creativity and innovation.

Our business track includes the use of creativity within all organizations, both for-profit and nonprofit. In the education track, we intend to share best practices, tools and techniques in teaching K-16 students how to think creatively within and across disciplines.

We hope you will join us in this critically important conversation either as a speaker or an attendee.

We invite proposals for 50-minute presentations/workshops that broadly or specifically support the conference theme of creativity/creative problem solving.

Please submit your proposal using the following link:


For questions or additional information, contact: Lina LaMattina, Ph.D., at:

[email protected]

or 585-343-0055, ext. 6319

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