Genesee Community College Fashion Show Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Fashion comes and fashion goes, but the fashion industry featuring dynamic career opportunities is here to stay. There is no better way to illustrate this than by reviewing the exciting Silver Anniversary of Genesee Community College's Fashion Show-looking not only at this year's special celebration, but also at reflections from the past by former students whose careers have been partially shaped by their Fashion Show experience.

Under the theme "Once Upon a Time," fashion magic will once again sashay across the stage on Saturday, April 29, 2006 at the Batavia Campus of Genesee Community College. Students are currently hard at work pulling together the countless details to coordinate the largest, longest-running and most successful fashion show in upstate New York. To accommodate the sell-out, standing room only crowds, planners are again scheduling two shows-at 3:00 and 7:00 PM.

The fast-paced, professionally staged event will feature approximately ten separate scenes this year including a military scene. Working in teams, Genesee's Fashion Merchandising Management students are currently studying a wide range of designers and styles. They have begun coordinating nearly 100 volunteer models of all ages, lining up contributions of garments and accessories by scores of merchants from three cities, experimenting with different mood music, and ensuring that thousands of "back of house" details are in order for another stellar success.

This special 25th Anniversary Show is also expanding the tradition of involving the breadth of Genesee's campus community. While students in Professor Rick Dudkowski's Fashion Merchandising Management class are the central creative force for the event, other departments contribute handily. Design and digital arts students create a selection of the Fashion Show posters with an identifying brand. This effort then goes before the Fashion Merchandising students who democratically cast their vote to determine their Show's "brand" or visual identity.

And, for the first time, the College's first and second year Tourism and Hospitality Management students are also contributing their expertise. Students enrolled in the Event Planning course will be responsible for the "hospitality" at the show including food and beverages at the reception following both shows, decorations coinciding with the "Once Upon a Time" theme, soliciting donations for raffles, helping to secure patrons and sponsors, designing the event's floor plan and traffic flow, negotiating contracts with caterers and suppliers, as well as greeting and seating guests.

"The students are very excited about sharing their knowledge and event planning skills with a large audience and for such a significant occasion," Amy Bowles, instructor of Genesee's Tourism and Hospitality Management course said. "Partnerships are key in the tourism and hospitality industry and this is an excellent example of a logical partnership."

They will also work with students from Genesee's Criminal Justice program and help coordinate the extra security and safety personnel for the event.

"The Fashion Show really is a college-wide event and opportunity," Dudkowski said. "Students who are friends and even girlfriends or boyfriends of my Fashion Merchandising students participate by being models, selling tickets, and helping with the thousand little 'back of house' details. This contributes to overall success in no small way. Each year, I am just amazed at how effectively students from across campus come together in the spirit not only of fashion, but in creativity and community. It truly is an honor and a great pleasure to be celebrating 25 years of successful fashion shows at Genesee."

Pre-show tickets are on sale now for $5 and are available by calling 585-345-6830. Tickets at the door will be $7

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NEWS RELEASEGenesee Community CollegeOne College Road, Batavia, NY 14020-9704Office of Development and External Affairs

Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications 585-343-0055 Ext. 6616

April 7, 2006


Genesee Fashion Show AlumnusRecalls Her Experience in 1993

VICTOR, New York - Janice (Mitchell) Sherman, now the Marketing Director for Eastview Mall in Victor, NY remembers her Fashion Show in the early nineties with great fondness. Picking up on the popularity of the Lion King at that time, she and her classmates developed a "Fashion Gone Wild" theme with a jungle backdrop and even Tarzan making an appearance. Her boyfriend-who is now her husband, walked the stage donning a contemporary outfit-a memory that still makes Ms. Sherman smile.

She graduated from Genesee's Fashion Merchandising Class in 1993 and found this to be an excellent platform to launch her career in marketing. While she was a Genesee Community College student, she interned with Wilmorite, Inc. who own Eastview Mall. This private real estate investment firm owns, develops, and operates retail real estate, including about 15 shopping malls and two strip centers totaling more than 15 million sq. ft. of space in and around Rochester, New York.

With a keen interest in advertising, Janice graduated from GCC and went on to earn her Bachelor's degree from SUNY Brockport in 1995, and she completed her Master's in Business Management in 2003 from Nazareth College. Throughout her studies, Ms. Sherman has also always worked-whether it was with a customs brokerage firm, Xerox, the Genesee Valley Penny Saver in advertising, or even in her parent's restaurant.

"It was hard when I was first out of college because I was not really interested in just sales or retail. I wanted to focus in the business end using marketing and advertising tools as a part of sales," Ms. Sherman recalled.

The Genesee Fashion Show she helped to coordinate 12 years ago was some of the best hands-on experience she encountered, helping to prepare her for her current marketing management position at Eastview Mall. Besides overseeing and implementing the Mall's advertising campaign which includes television, radio, billboard and direct mail materials, she also handles public relations and develops and produces successful events. Bridal shows, children's and seasonal activities, and the introduction of an occasional celebrity are among her many responsibilities.

"If you've done a Fashion Show with Mr. D-you can do any event," Ms. Sherman stated. "He's very detail oriented and at that time you wonder why all those little items matter, but they do. It prepared me for this job-I know how to plan events."

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Editor's Note: A photograph of Janice Sherman, a resident of LeRoy, is available at the following Internet location:

NEWS RELEASEGenesee Community CollegeOne College Road, Batavia, NY 14020-9704Office of Development and External Affairs

Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications 585-343-0055 Ext. 6616

April 7, 2006


Catching the Fashion 'Bug'

Store manager credits Geneseefor jump-starting her career

BATAVIA, New York-As far as Batavian Jackie Zewan is concerned, Genesee Community College will always be in fashion. In 1993, Zewan participated in Genesee's annual Fashion Show while enrolled in the Fashion Buying and Merchandising program. Today, she stays connected to her alma mater through her position as manager of the Fashion Bug women's clothing store in Batavia.

"The GCC Fashion Show gave me a hands-on experience and it gave me the opportunity to meet a lot of nice people, some who have become lifelong friends," Zewan said. "It also gave me the self-confidence to model in front of 600 people."

A Batavia High School graduate, Zewan obtained an associate's degree at Genesee before earning her bachelor's degree in Fashion Technology at Buffalo State College.

Zewan said once she started taking courses such as retail management and textile and fabrics at Genesee she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the fashion industry.

"Did I think I would be a store manager?" she said during an interview at Fashion bug. "No. I thought more in the line of advertising. This just fell into place and I couldn't be happier."

At Fashion Bug, she is responsible for meeting sales goals, supervising employees, customer service procedures, markdowns, visual merchandising, inventories, sales and promotions. The store, part of a large chain, specializes in women's clothing in plus, missy and junior sizes as well as intimate apparel, shoes and accessories.

Zewan credits the Genesee program and professor Rick Dudkowski for setting the stage for her successful career. She started as a sales associate in 1992 and became store manager three years later.

"Mr. Dudkowski was my favorite professor - he was the greatest. I really enjoyed the program and got A's right across the board."

She remembers wearing a fancy cocktail dress in the "I'm Every Woman" segment of the Fashion Show, dubbed "Revolution Gone Wild."

This year's Fashion Show (actually two shows at 3 and 7 p.m.) will take place on April 29 at the Genesee Community College Forum. Zewan's assistant manager, Alicia Falco, is a sophomore majoring in Fashion Merchandising Management and is one of the show's project managers.

Falco, who lives in East Bethany, said her studies at Genesee already have paid off. "The sales classes I have taken at GCC have really helped me here. I have done very well because Mr. Dudkowski has taught me how to talk to people and how to sell things."

The 2004 Batavia High graduate praised the FMM program at Genesee. "For anybody who is interested in fashion, this is a great school and Mr. D's a fantastic professor," she said. She said she would like to attend Rochester Institute of Technology or Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York City after getting her degree from Genesee.

And Zewan had much good to say about Falco, who she affectionately calls "Lee-Lee."

"She's a working machine; she's just awesome. She's very professional, is on top of things and is reliable and responsible. Lee-Lee's only 19 but has the skills of someone who has been in the business for many years."

Falco said that this year's 25th anniversary Fashion Show - "Once Upon a Time" - is going to be a "red carpet event," she advised. "Expect some paparazzi! Dress like you are coming to a fashion show, not just a regular thing. This will be extravagant. It's the 25th annual. Expect nothing but the best."# # #

Editor's Note: A photograph of Alicia Falco (left) and Jackie Zewan (right) at Fashion Bug in Batavia is available at the following Internet address:

Photo Caption:

IN FINE FASHION: Alicia Falco, left, a sophomore at Genesee Community College, and Jackie Zewan, manager of Fashion Bug in Batavia, are looking forward to this year's 25th anniversary Fashion Show at Genesee Community College on April 29.