President and General Manager of WGRZ-TV Jim Toellner will be the commencement speaker at Niagara County Community College's 50th commencement, to be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, in the main gym on the Sanborn campus.
Toellner, pictured, a North Tonawanda native, graduated from NCCC in 1978 with a degree in liberal arts and sciences: math and science. He also graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1981 with a bachelor's degree in management with a marketing concentration.
He has been president and general manager of WGRZ-TV, the Gannett-owned NBC affiliate in Buffalo, since Aug. 11, 2003. He had served as general sales manager of WGRZ-TV since March 2001. During his tenure at WGRZ, the station has gone from last place to first place in audience and revenues within the Buffalo market.
Toellner was named Gannett Manager of the Year for 2008, chosen from more than 150 leaders. In 2010, he was awarded Gannett's Best Half Salesperson. In 2013, he was selected as Broadcasting & Cable Magazine's "GM of the Year" for the entire United States in mid-size markets.
Dr. James P. Klyczek, president of Niagara County Community College, said he was pleased Toellner accepted the college's invitation to be the 2014 commencement speaker. "His outstanding career serves as an inspiration for our own students as they begin the next chapter of their lives."
Prior to serving as general sales manager of WGRZ-TV, Toellner was general sales manager at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich. Toellner began his career at the Buffalo News as an account executive and later as a sales manager. He moved to television and held positions at the local ABC and CBS affiliates.
An active member of the Western New York community, Toellner is a long-time volunteer with SABAH and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara.
Those unable to attend the graduation ceremony can log onto the NCCC website at www.niagaracc.suny.edu to view the webcast of the ceremony.