Area Leaders Join Paul Speranza at Genesee's Fifth Annual Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium

Sandra A. Parker, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Rochester Business Alliance; Andrew J. Rudnick, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership; and New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath will join keynote speaker Paul S. Speranza at the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium on Leadership and Community Life on Thursday, September 11, 2008 from 4:00-7:30 pm at Genesee Community College in Batavia, New York.

Sandra Parker was instrumental in establishing the Rochester Business Alliance as the region’s voice of business. Ms. Parker is a leader in the Unshackle Upstate coalition, ( which she helped form in March 2006 to push for legislative reform needed to reinvigorate the regional economy. She is listed as one of Greater Rochester’s Most Influential Women, and in 2002, she won the ATHENA Award given each year to a woman for her outstanding contributions to business and her community. She is a native of Rochester and holds a BA degree from the College of Wooster in Wooster, OH.

Dr. Andrew Rudnick, also a leader of the Unshackle Upstate coalition, has been president and CEO of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, which represents over 2,500 employers throughout the Buffalo Niagara region, since its formulation in 1993. He has been a member of the Buffalo community since 1986, having been recruited there to be CEO of the Greater Buffalo Development Foundation, one of the organizations that was amalgamated into the Buffalo Niagara Partnership. Prior to that, Rudnick was chief operating officer of the Houston Economic Development Council, director of Rice University’s Urban Research Center, and associate chancellor of the University of Houston. In Buffalo, Dr. Rudnick is chairman elect of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. He holds a BA from Harvard University, an MBA from Columbia University, and a PhD from the University of Alabama.

New York State Senator Mary Lou Rath, who has represented the 61st District since 1993, will be the third panelist. Senator Rath is chair of the Tourism, Recreation and Sports Development Committee, Deputy Majority Leader for State/Federal Relations, and a member of the Senate Rural Resources Commission. She was first elected to public office in 1978 as an Erie County Legislator and served as the Republican leader from 1989 until her election to the Senate. Senator Rath has received many awards and honors in recognition of her record of public service, including: the Buffalo State College Distinguished Alumni Award, the Buffalo-Niagara Partnership President's Award, and induction into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame. One of Senator Rath’s top priorities is broadening access to quality health care and containing the sky-rocketing costs of health care. She is a lifelong resident of Erie County and earned her Bachelor of Science Degree from Buffalo State College.

The three will join Paul S. Speranza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Vice Chairman, General Counsel, and Secretary of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc. who will be the keynote speaker. Paul Speranza addresses, works with, and calls to action state and local chambers, associations, other business groups, and civic and charitable organizations to advance pro-growth policies and programs.

Speranza joined Wegmans in 1976, where he chairs a number of committees and is responsible for legal, tax, government relations, and labor relations, among other management duties. He is a graduate of Syracuse University (BS, 1969), the University of San Francisco (JD, 1971), and New York University (LLM in Taxation, 1972), which is consistently ranked as the number one graduate tax program in the United States.

“We are very excited about this year’s Symposium,” said Rick Ensman, Director of Development and External Affairs. “Paul Speranza is a dynamic speaker and has a strong message for upstate New York, almost a call to action for this region to take the next step and control our own destiny.”

Family and friends of Wolcott J. (Jay) Humphrey III, who died suddenly in September 2001, established the Wolcott J. Humphrey III Symposium on Leadership and Community Life in his memory. Mr. Humphrey, who served as President of Pavilion State Bank (now part of Five Star Bank) at the time of his death, was also a member of Genesee Community College’s Board of Directors and one of the region’s foremost civic leaders and a strong proponent of leadership development.

The Symposium brings speakers with a national or regional reputation to Genesee Community College to discuss various facets of leadership. Past speakers have included Syracuse University Basketball Coach Jim Boeheim, Paychex CEO Thomas Golisano, Dr. Donna M. Fernandes, President of the Buffalo Zoological Society, and William Hudnut III, former U.S. Representative.

The event is open to the public and costs $25, which includes the post-event reception with hearty hors d’oeuvres served in the College’s Forum. To reserve seats or for further information, please call the Genesee Community College Office of External Affairs at 585-345-6809.