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Distinguished Alumni


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Distinguished Alumni

2019 Distinguished Alumni Dinner to be held on Thursday, November 7th, 2019 at the Holiday Inn in Johnstown.  For a reservation, call 518-736-3622 x8020.

Nominate a Distinguished Alum!  Click here: Distinguished Alumni Registration Form

2018 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Joel Chapin, David Schroeder, Dr. Robert Kruger

Joel Chapin, David Schroeder, Dr. Robert Kruger

Joel Chapin

An alumnus of FM, Joel Chapin has been a professor of Fine Arts and the Director of the College’s Perrella Gallery at FM for approximately 28 years.  Growing up in the north country of New York, he developed his two passions; nature and art.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Printmaking from Skidmore College and a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting from University at Albany which landed him a job as curatorial assistant at Albany’s Institute of History and Art.  Joel then took a position as Gallery Director for the College of Saint Rose in Albany.  He also was curator of eight exhibitions as Director of the Picotte Gallery at the College of Saint Rose from 1984-1986. After that, he took a position as a teaching technician for Empire State Theatre Institute.  In 1990 Joel accepted a position at FM and has been a curator of 57 exhibitions at FM’s Perrella Gallery including; John Van Alstine’s “Mirror to the Mountain” sculpture, Larry Poon’s “Recent Works,” Jules Olitski’s “Small Mountains”, Jonathan Singer’s “Botanica Magnifica,” and Caroline Rammersdorfer’s “Inner-View Expanded.”

In 2014 Joel launched a study abroad experience at FM guiding students and community members to Peru, Belize and London.

A recipient of the “Chancellor’s Award” for Excellence in Teaching and Montgomery County 4-H Leader of the Year, Joel’s permanent collections can be seen at the State University of New York and The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls.

Joel married his wife Linda in 1987.  They have one daughter, Sarah and three sons; Benjamin, Ian and Lucas.

Dr. Robert Kruger

LtCol (ret) Robert Kruger, MD, FACP is a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine and teaches geriatric medicine to resident physicians and USUHS medical students.  A graduate of Amsterdam High School; he has an associate’s degree from FM, a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Plattsburgh, and his Ph.D. from University of Vermont College of Medicine.

Dr. Kruger joined the US Air Force and served as a medical laboratory technician and laboratory officer for 12 years after earning his bachelor’s degree.  He completed his internal medicine residency at Keesler Air Force Base MC and geriatric medicine fellowship at Madigan Army MC.  He was assigned to Wilford Hall Ambulatory Surgical Center, Lackland AFB, TX to serve as geriatric internal medicine subspecialist.  Dr. Kruger deployed with US military forces twice to Bahrain and again during Operation Enduring Freedom within days after the September 11th attacks on America.  Dr. Kruger is one of three geriatric internal medicine physicians with the US Air Force.  He retired from active duty in 2003 but continues in practice at Wilford Hall.  Dr. Kruger is a medical acupuncture physician, and he also teaches “Battlefield Acupuncture” to military and VA providers as a safe and effective means to relieve pain in support of the military’s effort to deal with the opioid crisis in America.  Dr. Kruger lives in San Antonio, Texas with his wife, Pam.  They have one daughter, Kimberly Benavente, MD and most recently became grandparents to twin girls; Olivia and Isabella.

David Schroeder

David Schroeder teaches at Miami Dade Community College as a professor teaching composition, creative writing and screenwriting.  He also consults at the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex (MAGIC).  A graduate of Gloversville High School, he has an associate’s degree from FM and earned an M.A. in American Literature at the University of Miami.

At 18, a paralyzing spinal cord injury resulted in him becoming a quadriplegic. In 2001, he received the Peter H. Clayton Endowed Teaching Chair for teaching excellence.  He has studied 42 post-graduate courses in screenwriting with professors Tom Musca “STAND & DELIVER” and Paul Lazarus “WEST WORLD” at the University of Miami.

David has 13 medals in the National Wheelchair Games and a world record in the wheelchair marathon.  He is a six-time member of the US Disabled Sailing Team, and circumnavigated Manhattan in a kayak.  His freelance writing includes magazine features, technical writing, and most recently screenwriting.

David won the Golden Palm Award, presented at the 2013 Beverly Hills Film Festival.  He has won ‘Best Screenplay’ 63 times for 6 different scripts since 2010.  He produced his award winning short screenplay, “THIS MODERN MAN IS BEAT” which world premiered in London at the Raindance Film Festival, and won the Jury Award in the 2016 Nice International Film Festival (premiered in 19 countries, 126 film festivals, and won 105 Best Awards, so far).  David is married to his wife Pilar and resides in Miami, FL.

2017 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Neal Packer, Sue Nigra, Stan Kucel

Neal Packer, Sue Nigra, Stan Kucel

Stan Kucel

Stan Kucel graduated from Mayfield School District, went on to FM to earn an Associate’s degree, and continued at SUNY Brockport to earn a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics.

After a decade of working with his father, Stan Sr., Stan Sr. retired and his son Stan became the sole owner. Stan added Lincoln Log Homes and Star Steel Buildings to the always available services of stick framed homes and remodeling and commercial work.

As times changed so did his focus. Always looking to diversify, he added Distinct Home Designs, Inc. to accommodate the needs of current consumers.  Distinct Home Designs, Inc. offers high quality modular homes as a cost-effective alternative to stick frame building while still offering custom prints and quality materials. Quality and customer satisfaction is number one with Kucel Contractors, INC.

Stan feels that starting an education at FM is a wise choice for students looking to pursue a college education. FM offers affordable and quality programs; always pursuing and implementing new degree options to meet the needs of current students and potential future students.

Stan is a member of the Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, Better Business Bureau, Board Member of Parkers Field Foundation and the Mayfield Presbyterian Church. He and his wife of 38 years, Janet, have two daughters, Kaile Sager and husband Chris Sager of Moyock, NC, and Stacie Warner and husband Brandon Warner of Johnstown.

Sue Nigra

Sue Nigra, a 1987 graduate of FM, spent her formative years in Gloversville and Johnstown. She credits FM with helping her define her education goals. Sue reached her goals at the College of Saint Rose in Albany where she graduated magna cum laude with a BA in Public Communications.

The first part of Sue’s professional life began in local television news. For close to 20 years, she worked at WTEN and WRGB as a reporter and anchor. Working in broadcasting provided Sue with a solid   foundation for a rewarding career in communications and business.

In 2006, Sue was named Director of Communications at Bellevue Woman’s Hospital in Niskayuna. She played a major role in saving the hospital from closure through the highly publicized Bellevue is Here to Stay media campaign. Following Bellevue, Sue worked for several years as Director of Communications at the New York State Chapter of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which represents more than 4,000 physicians. Today, Sue is Director of the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts in Gloversville. Founded by Lexington, the Center is named for Sue’s late father Paul Nigra, who served as Lexington’s Executive Director for decades.

Sue has been active with Northeast Parent and Child Society, United Way, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Red Cross, Make-A-Wish, and the ALS Association. She lives in East Greenbush with her husband Joe and daughter Elizabeth.

Neal Packer

Neal Packer is the CEO of Hill & Markes. Inc. and has been with the company since 1975. A graduate of Amsterdam High School, he has an Associate’s degree from FM and a B.S. degree in Accounting from Thomas College in Waterville, Maine.

Before beginning his career at Hill & Markes, Neal worked for Stulemaker and Roache, an accounting firm in Albany. He is actively involved with community giving as he and his wife Andrea have made donations to community projects in the arts and education and health including Proctors Theater, the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation, and the Schenectady Jewish Community Center on the top of the list.

Neal has been involved with the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York. He is on many committees for Network Distributors, an industry association. He is a member of Vistage, a group of CEO’s from the capital district whose purpose is to help each other as leaders in their business and community. As a past President of the Schenectady Jewish Community Center, Neal is passionate and committed to maintaining the vitally important services that the JCC provides to every age in the Schenectady Community.

Neal and Andrea were recently recognized by the Crohn’s Colitis Foundation for the efforts on behalf of the organization. Neal has been honored by the Schenectady Jewish Community Center.  Network Distributors recognized Hill & Markes as a top distributor in the country for 2015.  Ensuring the business continues, Neal is now passing the torch on to his son Jason Packer.

2016 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

William Winsman, Dr. Emily Etzkorn, Ambrose C. Schaffer

William Winsman, Dr. Emily Etzkorn, Ambrose C. Schaffer

Dr. Emily Etzkorn

Dr. Etzkorn attended Fonda-Fultonville Central School and after graduation, worked for a time before deciding to become a registered nurse. In 1982, Dr. Etzkorn entered St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing and Fulton-Montgomery Community College. The institutions had an agreement where the nursing students took many core classes at the College.

Following attainment of her RN degree, Emily worked as a Medical/Surgical and ICU nurse at Johnstown Hospital and then a Coronary Critical Care nurse at Albany Medical Center. Wanting to fulfill her goal of becoming a health care practitioner and changing her sites towards a medical degree, she returned to school at SUNY Albany, graduating Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She then attended Albany Medical College and graduated Cum Laude with her MD in 1994. She proceeded into a dual residency in Adult Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at Albany Medical Center which she completed in 1998. She then moved to Amsterdam to practice medicine, opening her own primary care medical office there. She currently resides in Amsterdam with her husband Jerry.

Ambrose C. Schaffer

After graduating FM, Mr. Schaffer went on to earn a B.S. in Chemistry from the University at Albany. He is now the Research and Development Manager for Functional Coatings at Coventya Inc. Coventya is a global supplier of specialty chemicals for the metal finishing industry. The technology center in upstate New York, where Ambrose is located, is primarily focused on Electroless Nickel coating technologies. Coventya is the leading supplier of this technology in the U.S. As R&D Manager, Ambrose’s primary objectives are to manage key research projects and personnel and drive strategic product development initiatives for both local and global Functional technologies. Ambrose started with Coventya as a research and development chemist in 2006 and since then has done extensive research on high phosphorus electroless nickel predominately for data storage applications. He has authored and presented multiple technical articles at industry conferences on the subject, and holds two patents for electroless nickel technology.

In his free time, Ambrose is an avid runner and has completed six marathons. He also enjoys hiking the Adirondack Mountains and cycling.   Ambrose and his wife, Leah, live in Canajoharie with their daughter, Aleah, and son, Elijah.

William T. Winsman, Sr.

Mr. Winsman is a lifelong resident of Palatine Bridge.  A graduate of Canajoharie High School, Bill earned an A.A.S. in Business Administration from FM and attended SUNY IT in Utica, majoring in finance.  He has worked in the financial services industry 29 years, starting his career at Central National Bank (1988-1990).  He worked as V.P. and Financial Advisor at HSBC (1993-2003).  He transitioned to First Niagara/Key Investment Services in 2005, as First Vice President Financial Advisor, and is currently lead partner of the Winsman, Hellert, Fleischmann Group at Key Bank.

Bill has consistently served his community.  He served as a volunteer EMT and Board member of the Mid County Volunteer Ambulance Corp during the 1990’s, Utica Zoo Board First Vice Chairman and Chair of the Risk Management and Investment Committees, serving from 2007-2016.  He joined the Montgomery County Office for Aging Board in 2014, and is currently serving as Board President as well as a Board member for the Office for Aging Foundation Board.

Bill and his wife Roberta (also a graduate of FM) have two sons, William Jr. and Joseph.

2015 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Susanne Guttenberg, Dave Northrup

Susanne Guttenberg, Dave Northrup

Susanne Guttenberg

Susanne, a 1977 graduate of FM, was born in Havana, Cuba. Her family left Cuba when she was a year old; Guttenberg spent her formative years between the Caribbean, the eastern seaboard, and New York City. In her teen years, Guttenberg began modeling and graduated from a professional children’s school in New York City. She retired from the modeling profession when she met and married her husband, Paul, and moved to Amsterdam.  When the youngest of their four children began school, Guttenberg fulfilled one of her longtime dreams; she applied and was accept to FM’s Nursing program.

Shortly after graduation, Guttenberg had the unique opportunity to become a member of the initial mental health team that established the culture of St. Mary’s hospital in-patient mental health unit.

Dave Northrup

Dave grew up in Amsterdam and graduated from high school there in 1964. He was a member of the first class to graduate FM in 1966.

After spending thirty years teaching English, Northrup is now enjoying a second career as a writer. His short stories have been published in both print and electronic journals, and a number have been collected and published (in 2013) under the title The Memory of Broken Things. This past year Northrup expanded his work to include nonfiction by editing a history entitled The Mohawk Valley originally written by Hugh Donlon, an Amsterdam newspaperman and columnist of the first half of the twentieth century. He is donating the proceeds from the sale of the Donlon book to the Walter Elwood Museum of the Mohawk Valley in Amsterdam.  More information can be found at www.davenorthrupbook.com.

Northrup resides in Rochester, NY, with his wife Janet.

2014 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Wally Hart, Terri Easterly, Dr. Erik Wert

Wally Hart, Terri Easterly, Dr. Erik Wert

Terri Easterly

Terri began at FM in 1980 taking secretarial courses, after which she began work as a secretary in Johnstown Knitting Mill Co. She relocated to San Diego, CA where she joined a law firm as a Legal Secretary and returned to Fulton County continuing her career but it was soon put on hold to raise two children (Matthew and Ashley).

Wanting to further her education, Easterly enrolled in FM’s business program where she earned Distinguished Graduate and was a member of PTK. She re-entered the workforce, earning her real estate license and joining Coldwell Banker, Arlene M. Sitterly, lnc. ln 2005, she became the co-owner of Coldwell Banker Arlene M. Sitterly, lnc. She was honored as Realtor of the Year in 2006-2007.

Easterly serves on the Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation Board of Directors, the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce serving as Chairwoman for the last three years and the City of Johnstown Planning Board. She is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Capital Region Board of Realtors, Capital Region Multiple Listings Services, the Fulton County Board of Realtors and Commercial and lndustrial Real Estate Brokers.

Easterly and her husband Bill live in Johnstown with their boys Banker, 8 year-old Golden Retriever and Zeus, an 18 month-old Leonberger. The Easterly’s are very excited and proud of their new grandson Landon William Halter who just turned two months old.

Wally Hart

Wally has been committed to the Fulton County community for over 20 years, and more as a business owner, community leader and resident. Currently he is Executive Director of the Lexington Foundation. His previous positions include serving as President and CEO of the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce and owner of the famous Wally’s Diner in Downtown Johnstown.

Hart returned to Fulton County in 1993 after a career in New York City working in the design and development business with clients that included Ralph and Ricki Lauren, Beverly Sills, Paul Simon, Calvin Klein and Nurit Kahani. He has committed himself to the community beginning with a five-year term on the Johnstown School Board beginning at age 19, also serving as the Board President. He has served on numerous boards and committees including the Johnstown Public Library, Fulton County EDC, Johnstown Business and Professional Association, Foundation of FM, Foothills Youth Services, St. John’s Church Vestry, Literacy Volunteers, Arkell Museum/Canajoharie Art Gallery, Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation/Colonial Health Care,

Mohawk Valley Economic Development Council, Governor’s Small Business Task Force, Governor’s Healthcare Advisory Council, Business Council of NYS Board of Directors and others.

Together with husband Bill Crankshaw, they live in Gloversville where they enjoy entertaining and fundraising for a variety of organizations. Gardening, decorating, and renovations to their Historic home are full time activities.

Dr. Erik Wert

Dr. Wert attended FM as an Early Admission student, graduating in 1992 with an A.S. in Liberal Arts: Math & Science degree. He continued his education at Union College, Schenectady, graduating in 1995. During that time, he worked at General Electric Research and Development Center. He went on to Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine graduating in 2000 with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, completing his Internship and Residency in Internal Medicine at McLaren Medical Center, Lansing, Michigan.

Following residency, Wert entered into private practice at Capital Internal Medicine Associates. He was the assistant and associate Medical Director for Internal Medicine Residency. Wert serves on multiple committees and retains the position of Pharmacy Director for McLaren Medical Center.  He is currently enrolled at MSU School of Public Health to earn his Masters in Public Health.

Recently, Wert left private practice and joined the Ingham County Health Department as the Medical Director of the Community Health Centers. He also serve as the Deputy Medical Director of Public Health at Ingham County Health Department.

2013 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Trudy J. Venette, Tom DiMezza, Hon. Traci DiMezza

Trudy J. Venette, Tom DiMezza, Hon. Traci DiMezza

Tom DiMezza

Tom is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County.  Born and raised in Amsterdam, Tom graduated from Wilbur H. Lynch High School and earned an Associate’s degree in Accounting from FM in 1975 and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Russell Sage Colleges.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and served with the Third Infantry Division, 2nd /39th Field Artillery Unit in Schweinfurt Germany.  Upon returning, DiMezza joined the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Corrections Department, moved on to road patrol; and, in 1980, joined the Amsterdam Police Department where he retired as a Detective Lieutenant in 2009.

DiMezza continued serving his community in many capacities; he was the Finance Officer for the Town of Amsterdam for ten years; and, in 2000 was elected the Town Supervisor.  He has served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and as Personnel Chairman. He served as bookkeeper of the Town of Glen and for the past 19 years, as the Clerk-Treasurer for the Village of Fultonville.

His memberships include the NYS Government Finance Officers Association, NYS Society of Municipal Finance Officers, NYS Municipal Clerk’s Association; Rotterdam Son’s of Italy, a 25-year member of the Elk’s Lodge 101 of Amsterdam, and Amsterdam Knights of Columbus Lodge 209. He has served on the Board of Education in both Amsterdam and the Fonda-Fultonville School Districts and currently serves on FM’s Land Acquisition Committee.

DiMezza is a Master Police Instructor and occasionally teaches at the Zone 5 Police Academy in Schenectady.  Currently, he operates his own private investigation company, AAMS Investigations, which he named after his four children of whom Tom is so very proud: Amy DiMezza, Anthony DiMezza, Michael DiMezza, and Sarah Dennie. He is also the proud grandfather to three beautiful grandchildren: Gia, Enzo and Viviana.  In July 2014, he and his wife, Kathleen, will celebrate their 34 year wedding anniversary

Hon. Traci DiMezza

After graduating from FM in 1989, Hon. Traci DiMezza attended Siena College, where she earned her B.A. She went on to Quinnipiac University Law School earning a Juris Doctorate. After being admitted to the bar in January 1996, she began work as a criminal appellate attorney with the Schenectady County Public Defender’s Office. In the fall of ’96, DiMezza opened her own practice which concentrated in real property law, appellate law, and civil litigation. She was later trained and qualified to serve as a Fulton County Law Guardian, representing children and youth in a variety of family court proceedings.

In the fall of 2012, after 17 years of practice in her field, DiMezza became the very first woman to be elected as Gloversville City Court Judge. Her term runs from January 2013 through January 2023.

DiMezza is a member of Soroptomist International of Fulton County and serves as Chairperson to the Youth and Scholarship Committee. She is a member of the Gloversville Woman’s Alumni Club, dedicated to offering scholarship funds to young women in our area. Prompted by her passion for protecting the youth of our community, DiMezza created, and continues to sponsor the Gloversville Middle School’s “S.U.B CLUB” (Stand Up to Bullying), a monthly recognition program dedicated to raising awareness about the effects of bullying, and awarding students for their positive attitudes. She serves on the Executive Board for the Miss Fulton County Scholarship Organization which has proudly awarded over a quarter million dollars in scholarship money to young women in Fulton County. She is a member of the Woman’s Rosary Society of the Church of the Holy Spirit and she volunteers regularly at Friday’s Table, a food pantry and soup kitchen; a member of the American Association of University Women; and a member of Friends of the Gloversville Library.

Married for 15 years to her husband, Joe, they have two daughters, Honor and Ella.

Trudy J. Venette

Trudy graduated FM in 1987, with Honors, with an A.A. in Liberal Arts. She continued her studies at Russell Sage earning a B.S. in Healthcare Administration, again with Honors, and was awarded the Richard Mattox Award for Outstanding Public Administration Student, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with High Honors, graduating Cum Laude. Venette began as a nursing assistant, working her way up to Administrator and CEO in Long Term Care Corporations. She has Nursing Home Administrator Licenses in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Florida, Hawaii, and Texas.

Her career has dealt heavily with turn-around/transition management of Long Term Care facilities. She has taken the responsibility to change, and further develop, a number of facilities for both short and long term assignments. While in these under-performing facilities she has met with incredible challenges involving anything from foreclosure, Union strikes, and clinical declines, to general mismanagement issues; all of the facilities have met with tremendous success, both financially and clinically, and have received recognition on Local, State, Federal and corporate levels.

Venette has been interviewed and quoted in numerous publications, including The San Antonio Business Journal, and was on the cover of NSIDE MD. A resident of Helotes, Texas, her hobbies include photography, travel, and flipping houses.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Steve Serge, Al Turo, Alexa Barnoski Serfis' Mother standing in as Alexa could not attend

Steve Serge, Al Turo, Alexa Barnoski Serfis’ Mother standing in as Alexa could not attend

Alexa Barnoski Serfis, Ph.D.

Steve Serge, Al Turo, and Alexa Barnoski Serfis’ mom as Alexa could not attendAlexa earned an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from FM in 1986. She continued to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry from SUNY Oneonta, and both a Masters and Ph.D. in Chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Alexa has been a Chemistry Professor at Saint Louis University (SLU) for 18 years. She has an established research program in biophysical chemistry, and many of her students (both graduate and undergraduate) have been co-authors on peer-reviewed publications. Her leadership roles are many, serving as the Director of Pre-Professional Health Studies, Director of Advising for the Medical Campus, and as Associate Dean in the Graduate School. She is a consistent role model and mentor to young women as she takes minority high school girls under her wing to work in her research lab. She has also developed a chemistry program for Girl Scouts in the St. Louis area which involves forensic science activities for their “Interest Project.”

Steven Serge

Steve graduated from FM in 1993 with an A.A.S. degree in Business Administration/ Management. Prior to this, he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from SUNY Cortland. He graduated from the Advanced Management Institute through the YMCA of the U.S.A. and also earned Senior Director Certification. Since 1995, Steve has served as the Chief Executive Officer for The Fulton County YMCA where he provides visionary leadership and outstanding management for the multifaceted agency, with an annual budget of $2.8 million and an endowment of $1.5 million. He was the recipient of the National YMCA’s Association of YMCA Professionals (AYP) educational scholarship which financed his A.A.S. degree from FM; he is the two time recipient of AYP’s National Award of Administrative Excellence; and, he earned Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship Award by the Glove Cities Rotary Club, the highest honor awarded. Steve serves as both a member and officer of the Johnstown Hospital Foundation Board and the Wells Nursing Home. He is past club president and current board member for Glove Cities Rotary Club, and belongs to both Pine Brook Golf Club and Royal Mountain Ski Center.

Albert Turo

Al graduated from FM in 1972 with a Liberal Arts and Sciences: General Studies (Math) Degree and went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Math Education from SUNY Potsdam. His past careers included Math Teacher and Assistant Principal at St. Anne Institute in Albany; a sales rep at Sofco; Executive Director of Catholic Charities in Amsterdam; and currently, Vice President of Planning and Development at St. Mary’s Healthcare in Amsterdam where he is an enthusiastic partner and leader for initiatives that will improve the lives and the health of those who are less fortunate in our community. His community service is vast as he serves on boards for St. Mary’s Healthcare Foundation and Advisory Board, Albany Diocese Commission on Aging, Albany Diocese Peace and Justice Commission, Community Health Center of St. Mary’s Healthcare and Nathan Littauer Hospital, Advisory Board for Amsterdam Homeless Shelter, United Way of Greater Amsterdam, past president and current member of Amsterdam Rotary, and co-chair of Amsterdam Rotary’s Variety Show for 10 years, to name a few.

2011 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Pierre Alric, Angelo Graziane, James Landrio

Pierre Alric, Angelo Graziane, James Landrio

Pierre Alric

Pierre attended Fulton-Montgomery Community College from 1965-1966 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University at Albany. He is an executive business professional with over 40 years experience in diverse markets. He is the proprietor of Pickett Memorial Company in Gloversville and has developed a consulting alliance to promote enterprises in both public and private sectors. His past professional positions include Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NYS Higher Education Services Corporation; Director, Office of the Chairman, for National Education Loan Network; and Senior Legislative Staff in the NYS Assembly and Senate, to name a few. Pierre is current President of Association of Council Members and College Trustees of SUNY, serves on the Board of Trustees Executive Committee for LaSalle School in Albany, and is a member of Local Advisory Council for FMCC/HFM Board of Cooperative Educational Services.

Angelo Graziane

Angelo graduated from Schenectady’s Linton High School and went on to earn an A.A.S. Business Administration Degree from FM in 1975 and a B.S. in Business Management and Economics from SUNY Empire State College. He served in the United States Army and is a Vietnam Veteran. Angelo’s 41-year work career was with the Golub Corporation (Price Chopper) where he started as a night crew employee, unloading boxes and stocking shelves, and retiring as a Regional Vice President for the corporation. Angelo has participated in many community affiliations and currently serves on two boards of directors; he is president of the Foundation Board of St. Mary’s Hospital and belongs to the Pine Brook Golf Club Board. An avid golfer, Angelo is a long-term member of the Rolling Hills Country Club. He and his wife, Jackie, reside in Fonda.

James R. Landrio

Jim earned an A.A.S. Business Administration Degree from FM in 1980 and an Innkeeper’s Degree from Holiday Inn University. His career at the Johnstown Holiday Inn began in 1973 where he now serves as General Manager; and, since 1989, has been named Executive Vice President of Crest Enterprises, Inc. His board of directors’ service to the community includes Fulton County Economic Development Corporation, Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Nathan Littauer Hospital Foundation. For the past ten years, Jim has served on FM’s Board of Trustees as both Vice Chairman (2006-2008) and Chairman (2008-2010). He has received past recognitions including both the Tourism Partner Award and the Presidents’ Award from Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce as well as the New York Community College Trustees Leadership Award. Jim and his wife, Kelly, reside in Gloversville.

2010 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Michael Decker, Joseph Iannoti, John A. Monteiro, Professor Jim Hinkle standing in for Rebecca Preston who could not attend, Jack Aernecke (Keynote), and FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger

Michael Decker, Joseph Iannoti, John A. Monteiro, Professor Jim Hinkle standing in for Rebecca Preston who could not attend, Jack Aernecke (Keynote), and FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger

Michael Decker

Mike, Class of ‘81, was presented with the Excellence in Not-For-Profit Management. Decker was recently appointed Chief Executive Officer – Elect of Liberty headquartered in Amsterdam. Liberty, a private, not-for-profit organization is supported by 950 employees and provides residential, day, clinical, vocational, transportation, and family support services to individuals with disabilities and others in need in Montgomery County and the State of Delaware. With Decker’s assistance, the agency has been named one of only 200 in the world to be accredited by the Council on Quality and Leadership. He is Board Treasurer/Secretary for ANCOR, the nation’s developmental disability provider association and a Board Member of New York State Industries for the Disabled, a statewide board supporting the employment of individuals with disabilities. Decker has served on the board of numerous local organizations including the Montgomery County Industrial Development Agency, Greater Amsterdam Board of Education, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, and the YMCA.

Joseph Iannotti

Joe, Class of ‘86, was presented with the Excellence in the Professions Award. Iannotti, a Senior Engineer at G.E. Global Research Center, created his first patent while employed at Electro Metrics; the patent was for a chain mail grounding of test platform for EMI testing. Since then, Iannotti has devised a methodology for technical problem solving leading highly technical programs through to production supporting medical imaging, energy, and military systems. He is Six Sigma certified (an integrated, disciplined proven approach for improving business performance) with Level II certification in TRIZ (method of inventive problem solving). Iannotti is very active with Boy Scout Pack 67 in Glenville, NY where he has been treasurer and den leader for the past three years. He also provides expertise to FM’s curriculum development in support of the Electrical Technology Program and Demonstration Clean Room activities.

John A. Monteiro

John, Class of ‘77, was presented with the Excellence in the Professions Award. Monteiro serves as Deputy Commissioner for New York State’s Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) where he is responsible for overseeing OPWDD’s workforce composed of over 23,000 employees located throughout New York State. He currently is redesigning New York State’s vision for the employment of New Yorkers with developmental disabilities. Monteiro was involved with the relocation and redesign of the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register, a 24/7 call center where child abuse is reported by New Yorkers. He was recognized by former Governor Pataki for his work during the 911 tragedy in New York City and was appointed by Commissioner Ritter as Deputy Commissioner of the second largest New York State Governmental Agency (OPWDD). Currently, Monteiro is Assistant Varsity Soccer Coach at Voorheesville High School and Coach of the New Scotland Youth Soccer Club. He is a Board Member and Past President of Colonie Youth Center and Past Chair of New York State Personnel Council. He served on the Board of South Colonie Central School District for 15 years as both president and vice-president. Monteiro was also a member of FM’s nationally ranked soccer team of the 70’s led by Dr. Andrew DiNitto, former FM coach and retired professor.

Rebecca Preston

Rebecca, Class of ‘98, was presented with the Emerging Professional Award. Preston is Production Coordinator II for ESPN in Bristol, Connecticut. Preston’s love of sports brought her to ESPN where she worked long, grueling hours on a per diem basis until she was hired for her current permanent position. In 2008, Preston received a CableFax Award for X Games 13, Best Surprise Ending, SKB Big Air and in 2005 won an Emmy for Winter X Games 9, Outstanding Live Sports Special. Preston currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Johnstown High School Museum and manages the museum’s Facebook page which she created. She has also volunteered with Mountain Valley Hospice and helped to organize fundraisers and special events such as Kids Cope Camp. ESPN and Disney teamed up to sponsor a “Volunt-ears” program which allows employees to give back to the community with such activities as knitting scarves for the Special Olympic participants, helping families in Bristol who are in need over the winter holidays, and partaking in the sneaker recycling programs; all of which Preston participates.

2009 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

Lisa Queeney-Vadney, Michael Campos, Stephen Tomlinson

Lisa Queeney-Vadney, Michael Campos, Stephen Tomlinson

Michael J. Campos

Mike, a member of FM’s first graduating class of 1966, will be receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award. A teacher at Fonda-Fultonville Central School for 30 years, Campos has been involved in Martial Arts for 40 years, and is currently the Director of Zen-Do Kai (ZDK) Martial Arts in Johnstown.  While teaching full-time, Campos started his martial arts business part-time which has grown to an organization of over fifty clubs nationally and internationally.  Over the years, Campos has organized tournaments, seminars, an awards banquet, and other events designed to provide new opportunities for all ZDK members.  Campos is very involved with the community as he has been a member of the NOAH program since 1996; a presenter at the CHOICES Conference at FM for the past 20 years; organizes a ZDK Toy Drive each year for Gloversville’s Salvation Army; and has raised over $40,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.

Lisa Queeney-Vadney

Lisa, Class of ’78, will be presented with the Excellence in Business Award. For nearly 30 years, Queeney-Vadney has been with Wachovia/Wells Fargo Advisors LLC in Johnstown where she is a Private Investment Management Financial Advisor and Vice President of Investments. She has earned the titles of Certified Financial Planner, Certified Fund Specialist, and New York State Licensed Life, Accident and Health Insurance Agent to name a few.  Her day to day routine includes developing an asset base of over $65,000,000 and assembling an average of over $500,000 in new assets monthly.  Queeney-Vadney currently serves on Fulton County EDC’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Board’s Loan Committee; Fulton County Community Services Board; and as a member of Soroptimist International of Fulton County.  She has been Treasurer and Secretary to the Friends of the Mayfield Library; Chair of Adirondack Foothills YWCA Board of Trustees as well as Publicity Committee Chair to Fulton County’s Insurance Women’s Association.  Queeney-Vadney finds it imperative to give back to her community through pro-bono work and volunteerism.

Stephen M. Tomlinson

Stephen, a graduate of FM’s Class of ’89, will be presented with the Excellence in the Professions Award. Tomlinson started his career in the education field as a Physical Education teacher at Broadalbin-Perth Middle School and later became Principal of the Broadalbin-Perth Primary School where he oversaw the design and implementation of the Special Education Department Inclusion Program.  Today, Tomlinson serves as Superintendent of Schools for the Broadalbin-Perth Central School District.  Over the years, Tomlinson has been active as a volunteer coach in the district and for area youth programs as well as serving as a Big Brother for the Fulton County Big Brothers/Big Sisters Chapter in the early 90’s.  He is a member of the Broadalbin Youth Commission Board of Directors and for eight years served as Director of the Broadalbin Youth Commission which provided him valuable experiences working with various youth agencies in Fulton County and New York State.

2008 Distinguished Alumni Recipients

John Jablonski, Faith Ann Takes, Mary Jane Paris, FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger

John Jablonski, Faith Ann Takes, Mary Jane Paris, FM President Dr. Dustin Swanger

John E. Jablonski

John, a 1981 graduate of FM, has been awarded with Excellence in The Professions. He currently is Provost and Vice President For Academic Affairs at FM.  He has been a member of the FM family since 1986 serving in various capacities including Professor, Dean of Business and Technology, Vice President and Dean of the College, Acting President and now in his current position.  Some of his many accomplishments include overseeing the development of FM’s extension site at the Riverfront Center, the development of faculty-based assessment planning, and the evolution of the Evans Library to the Learning Commons.  His community involvement is vast as he is president of SUNY’s Association of Chief Academic Officers, President of Liberty ARC, Treasurer of the Amsterdam Rotary Club and recipient of the Sok Nam Ko Rotarian of the Year Award in 2007, past District Chairman and current board member of the Twin Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America, and a member of the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Board to name a few.

Mary Jane Paris

Mary Jane, a member of the College’s 1967 second graduating class and resident of Shelton, Connecticut, was awarded with Lifetime Achievement. As a single parent, Mary Jane re-entered the workforce in 1982 at entry-level after being home for ten years raising her children.  She worked her way up the corporate ladder and eventually founded her own business in 2006.  Today, Mary Jane is President and Founder of Positive Impact Consulting Services, LLC where she assists 21st century leaders and employees realize and maximize their potential and improve business results.  Her volunteer participation includes Corporator of Birmingham Group Health Services, as well as a member of their Annual Holiday Gala steering committee; mentor for sixth grade students through People’s Bank Mentoring Program; Director of Shelton Economic Development Corporation; program facilitator and career counselor for the Women’s Business Development Center; and creator and chair of “Dancing with the Valley Stars” fundraising gala committee which raised over $10,000 to benefit the Birmingham Group Health Services’ Umbrella Program and the Shelton Safe Home, both serving battered and abused women and children.

Faith Ann Takes

Faith, FM Class of 1977, will be receiving the Excellence in Business Award. In 1985, Faith became president of Mildred Elley School, originally a continuing educational school for women which became co-educational under Faith’s leadership.  Hoping to run a small business school with 100 secretarial students, Faith founded the Empire Education Corporation which now has a total of 750 students in three schools in New York and Massachusetts.  Empire Education provides skill-based, post secondary training to primarily the adult market which includes two business colleges and one school specializing in the spa professions.  As CEO, her goal is to grow the school group to five and maintain the success that it boasts today.  Currently, Faith serves on the Board of Wildwood, a not-for-profit organization servicing the autistic population; is a member of the fund development committee for the Board of the Albany Symphony Orchestra; and president of the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Community in Albany for her third term.  She has received numerous awards including the Distinguished Career Award from the National Career College Association, the Italian American of the Year, and an award for chairing the State Advisory Council for Proprietary School Education.