Russell Romano Elected President of Genesee Community College Foundation

Russell P. Romano of Batavia was elected president of the Genesee Community College Foundation at the Foundation's annual meeting yesterday evening. Mr. Romano, who has served as a member of the Board, since 2006, succeeds John C.

Russell P. Romano of Batavia was elected president of the Genesee Community College Foundation at the Foundation’s annual meeting yesterday evening. Mr. Romano, who has served as a member of the Board, since 2006, succeeds John C. Dwyer, who served as president for the last four years. Mr. Romano is a well-known area realtor, and he managed the Batavia office of Nothnagle Realtors for many years.

Other officers elected last evening include Robert L. Boyce of Leroy, First Vice President; Stuart Steiner of Batavia, Second Vice President; Mary C. Raymond of Batavia, Secretary; and Brian M. Daviau of Batavia, Treasurer.

Board members re-elected include Mr. Daviau, Todd J. Bender of Batavia, Monica Hale Dawson of Batavia, and Norbert J. Fuest of Darien Center. Newly elected board members include Dennis S. Burke of Bergen, Marie Rose Credi of Batavia; Marcia H. Noonan of Batavia; and Robert C. Savage of Avon.

The Board of Directors named departing director Lynn E. Browne as a director emeritus in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to Genesee Community College.

In other business, Foundation board members:
Heard Stewardship Committee Chair Susan J. Blanchard report that the Foundation made $625,779 in grants to Genesee Community College during the 2009-2010 fiscal year, which spanned September 1, 2009 to August 31, 2010. Grants included scholarships, program contributions, and support of the College’s new art gallery.
Heard Fund Development Committee Chair and outgoing Annual Campaign Chair Robert L. Boyce report that 834 area residents and organizations made charitable gifts to the Foundation’s annual campaign last year, totaling $519,683. The Foundation secured an additional $80,000 in U.S. Department of Education matching funds for gifts designated to the Foundation’s Challenge Endowment. Mr. Boyce told board members that he was worried about reaching the Foundation’s $459,000 annual campaign goal during economically unsettled times. “But our board and our campaign leaders, and our communities came through with outstanding generosity,” he said. “We are very grateful.”
Approved the final phases of the Foundation’s new three-year strategic plan. The strategic plan sets new goals and directions for many Foundation activities, including alumni relations, College Village, and fund raising. The Board made a long-term commitment to involve significantly more alumni in College activities and create an alumni council within the next two years. The Board established student success as the principal goal of College Village, the Foundation’s residence for 375 out-of-area students. Board members anticipate working with College leaders to establish new academic and residential life activities that contribute to the academic success and personal growth of College Village residents. The Board’s strategic plan also commits the Foundation to a highly personal approach to fund raising, including more opportunities for Foundation supporters to donate to areas of special interest or establish named funds.
Heard Charles R. Ruffino, Chair of the Board of a Trustees and Foundation board member, report that the College’s athletic teams had an excellent season this fall. He also reported that the new art gallery will have a “soft” opening early next year. Mr. Ruffino updated Foundation board members on the progress of the search for Genesee’s fourth president.
Heard Professor of Criminal Justice Barry J. Garigen describe the College’s A.S. and A.A.S. degree programs in Criminal Justice. Professor Garigen provided examples of more than fifty different career opportunities open to Genesee graduates, and reported that more than 250 Genesee students are now enrolled in Criminal Justice programs. Mr. Garigen noted that Genesee Community College graduates staff law enforcement agencies throughout the region and contribute significantly to public safety in local communities.
Named five departing board members to the President’s Circle. The President’s Circle is an honorary organization comprised of individuals who have a history of deep support for Genesee Community College. Departing members honored with President’s Circle membership include Lynn E. Browne, formerly of Batavia; Charles Cook, of Bergen; Roger L. Hungerford, of Medina; Toni Ann Moore, of Leicester; and Marie A. Rice, of Albion.

The Genesee Community College is a not-for-profit organization that provides volunteer and philanthropic support to Genesee Community College. The Foundation has funded thousands of student scholarships over the years, assisted in generating financial support for new buildings, operated student housing for Genesee students, and funded innovative new programs at the College.

The Foundation was formed in 1985 and is governed by a 30-member Board of Directors. Last year, more than 150 area residents were involved in Foundation programs as volunteers.

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