On Friday, Erie Community College and Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz joined educators and local officials to honor community leaders as part of the college's annual Advisory Council Partner and Community Appreciation Breakfast event inside its North Campus Spring Center Café.
The event recognized members of the Western New York business and educational community who've helped advise ECC concerning curriculum, funding and helping students transition into job opportunities or further education at four-year institutions.
ECC President Jack Quinn said the morning was simply a small token of appreciation for these vital advisers.
"Erie Community College is able to thrive with the help of dedicated Western New York residents, ones with the expertise and experience to help guide our focused efforts forward," he said. "They know how valuable an ECC education can be, and they're each committed to offering the advisement to surge us ahead."
Following opening ceremonies featuring a bagpipe serenade and entry march by ECC's Color Guard, Quinn joined Poloncarz, Erie County legislators Tim Hogues, Thomas Mazur and Edward Rath, ECC board of trustees chairwoman Patricia Mertz, and ECC's Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Rick Washousky to honor individuals with a variety of awards, including honors for Community Collaboration, Partners in Education and Economic Impact.
Community Collaboration awards were presented to L. Nathan Hare (Community Action Organization of Erie County), Frederick K. Heinle (Community and Economic Development), Tiger Schmittendorf (Erie County Fire Services) and Commissioner Garnell Whitfield (Buffalo Fire Department). Partners in Education awards were presented to Paul Flowers (Systems Technology Group), Ann Jordan (Sebutz Optical Company), David Kuchata (United Biochemicals), Sherie Poulson-Cook, (Fresenius Kabi), and to representatives of Amherst's Ivoclar Vivadent. The year's Economic Impact Award was presented to Valerie Hawthorn of National Fuel.