UB Today Alumni Magazine Online - Fall 2004
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@UB e-newsletter responses

Bruce Sanders (aka Odysseus), B.A. ’70 & B.A. ’70
Gail Dener, B.S. ’72
Carolyn Darch, ED.M. ’74
Ariel Shea, B.A. ’98
Meegan M. Michalek, M.A. ’01


tell us about yourself

1980s Classnotes

*Joseph Lojacono, M.B.A. 1980 & B.S. 1979, senior vice president at the Partnership Ltd., has been elected president of Brainstorm for the 2004–2005 program year. Brainstorm was founded for the benefit of the Buffalo Niagara region’s communications professionals. Lojacono lives in Getzville, NY.

*Margaret Paroski, M.D. 1980, has been named executive vice president and chief medical officer for Kaleida Health. Previously interim vice president of health affairs and interim dean of the School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, she is the 1988 recipient of the Siegel Award for Excellence in Teaching and a 1999 medical school yearbook dedication honoree. As a practicing physician and professor of neurology, Paroski is dedicated to quality patient care. She lives in Buffalo, NY.

Laurie Powers, M.S. 1980, has joined the faculty of Portland State University’s graduate school of social work. As a national expert on disabilities and self-determination, Powers is the director of the National Center for Self-Determination and 21st Century Leadership, a partnership of universities and national organizations committed to advancing self-determination. She lives in Newberg, OR.

*Bertha Boston, B.S. 1981, was featured in a recent exhibit entitled “Women’s Work: A Tribute to the Women Who Make UB Work.” The exhibit, an online version of which continues at http://ublib.buffalo.edu/libraries/units/archives, highlights women’s achievements over the past 100 years at UB. Boston is the assistant to the chair for the Department of African American studies at UB, as well as a member of the Professional Staff Senate and a colleges and universities representative for the Buffalo branch of the American Association of University Women. She resides in Buffalo, NY.

*Peter J. Grogan, B.S. 1981, senior vice president and director of financial planning at Harold C. Brown & Co., has successfully completed the accredited investment fiduciary auditor certificate program through the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh. Grogan is a certified financial planner and has been with Harold C. Brown since 1998. At the company, he works with clients, their attorneys and tax advisors to develop customized financial plans to meet client goals for education, retirement and estate and trust planning. Grogan is on the board of directors for the UB Alumni Association and resides in East Aurora, NY.

Robert Gross, M.B.A. 1981 & B.S. 1980, is president and CEO of Monro Muffler Brake Inc. He was listed in the July 2004 edition of the Rochester Business Journal as one of Rochester’s Top 50 CEOs. Gross is a member of the board of directors of the United Way of Greater Rochester and the Boy Scouts of America. He lives in Rochester, NY.

William Pike, M.B.A. 1981, has joined the Carondelet Foundation of Tucson, AZ, as director of public policy and community affairs. He joins the foundation, which solicits, maintains and manages gifts, money and property, after more than 10 years as president and CEO of the Western New York Healthcare Association. He resides in Tucson.

*Sharon Randaccio, M.B.A. 1981 & B.S. 1976, is the president and founder of Performance Management Partners, a company that provides human resource solutions to corporate and nonprofit sectors. She manages the company’s executive coaching and search division, where she applies her more than 20 years of experience with big business. Randaccio serves as a director of First Niagara Bank, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and the Erie County Cultural Advisory Board. She also teaches in the Harvard Business School Club of Buffalo. She resides in Buffalo, NY.

Joan T. White, M.L.S. 1981, manager of library services for the Buffalo, NY, law firm of Hodgson Russ, delivered a presentation at a continuing legal education seminar entitled “Select Topics for Legal Staff.” The seminar was designed to provide legal professionals with information on a variety of topics that may be handled in any given day in a busy law office. White is an active member of the American Association of Law Libraries, the Special Library Association and the United States Law Firm Group Law Libraries Committee. White lives in Buffalo.

Evangeline Conley, B.A. 1983, has been named public affairs officer at VA Western New York Health Systems. She has worked at the VA since 1982, most recently serving in acquisition and material management and medical administration. Conley resides in Derby, NY.

Michael Eisenband, B.S. 1983, has joined FTI Consulting as a senior managing director in the corporate finance/restructuring practice within the company’s creditor rights team. In this position, he will be responsible for working with FTI’s corporate finance/restructuring leaders and client base to continue to build a national market-leading creditors rights offering. Eisenband comes to FTI with more than 16 years of experience and is nationally known as an industry leader in providing restructuring services to creditor committees. He is a board member of the New York chapter of the Turnaround Management Association and a member of the governing board of the Commercial Finance Association. He lives in Larchmont, NY.

*David Wachtel, Ph.D. 1983, M.S. 1976 & B.A. 1970, was honored in November 2004 as an honorary citizen of Changsha, Hunan, China. He received the award for his efforts in bringing American educators to China to teach English during the summer, a program he has headed since 1995. The honor has been given only 23 times in the history of the city; moreover, Wachtel is the only educator to have received this honor. He is a professor of sociology at Lexington Community College and resides in Lexington, KY.

*Alan L. Zak, B.S. 1983, has been promoted to principal at Gaines Kriner Elliott, certified public accountants and consultants. He has more than 18 years of accounting experience and is the firm’s team leader on audits, reviews and compilations. Zak is a member of the board of directors for the American Subcontractors Association, and served as president of the association in 2002. He lives in Buffalo, NY.

Quintella E.W. Cottrell, B.A. 1984, was one of 25 Western New Yorkers honored at the 32nd Annual Black Achievers in Industry Awards held in October 2004. Cottrell is a program manager for People Inc. at the Central Park Plaza Day Services Center in Buffalo, NY. She has held this position for the past 16 years and lives in Buffalo.

Ira Jay Schmelkin, M.D. 1984, has joined the Central Berkshire Gastro-enterology Group in Pittsfield, MA. He has been in private practice for the past 15 years in Great Neck, NY, where he was the founding senior partner of Great Neck Gastroenterology Associates, specializing in gastrointestinal endoscopy, capsule endoscopy and liver disease. He has extensive experience in diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy and endoscopy and is a member of the American Gastro- enterologic Association and the American Society of Gastroenterology Endoscopy. Schmelkin lives in Pittsfield.

Douglas Williams, Ph.D. 1984, has joined ZymoGenetics in a top scientific post as a biotechnology researcher. He comes to ZymoGenetics after working in a similar post at Seattle Genetics, where he will remain on the board of directors. In his new position, he will manage drug candidates as they advance through clinical trials and approach commercialization. He will also deal with the very early stages of drug discovery and validation. Williams lives in Seattle, WA.

Carl J. Boykin, Ed.M. 1985, has joined the staff of the U.S. Attorney’s Office as an assistant U.S. attorney. He was formerly an assistant district attorney for Oneida County and most recently worked as chief of the appeals bureau. Boykin resides in Utica, NY.

Darcy J. MacClaren, M.B.A. 1985, has been named vice president of American sales for Formations Systems, a leading provider of product development solutions. She has more than 25 years of sales experience and will be responsible for building, expanding and scaling a direct sales force for North, South and Central America. MacClaren will also continue recruitment to expand the field sales force and enhance the company’s vertical sales approach. She lives in Madison, CT.

Mary Bennett, M.D. 1986, has been elected to a three-year term on Trocaire College’s board of trustees. She is a clinical instructor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at the University at Buffalo and resides in Kenmore, NY.

Lee Mary Grunert, M.B.A. 1986, is the president and founder of Focused Marketing Associates, an organization whose services include qualitative and quantitative research, strategic planning, group dynamics/meeting effectiveness and team-building. She has been an adjunct professor of sales and marketing for the past 13 years at UB and has taught strategic marketing to middle managers at Canisius College. Grunert is a member of the United Way Marketing Committee, vice president of the Buffalo United Charter School Board and serves on the executive board of St. Gregory the Great Parish Council. She resides in Williamsville, NY.

Thomas Hook, M.A. 1986, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer for Wilson Greatbatch Technologies of Clarence, NY. He joins the company after serving as president of the CTI solutions group at CTI Molecular Imaging. He lives in Clarence.

John Spensieri, B.S. 1986, has been named vice president of sales for NewRiver, the leading expert in financial data technology that delivers reliable and customized financial information to investors and advisors. He joins NewRiver with nearly 20 years of sales experience, most recently serving as senior vice president for Thomson Financial. Spensieri received the annual National Salesman of the Year Award from 1995-1997. He lives in Newtonville, MA.

Jill Spira, B.A. 1986, is one of two recipients of a $500 inaugural scholarship from Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara and the ARCEU NYSUT/AFL/CIO Local #4265. Spira, vice president of foundation and communications at Opportunities Unlimited, was chosen for her exemplary commitment to the human services field and to individuals with developmental disabilities. Spira is working on a master’s degree in multidisciplinary studies, with a concentration in public relations, at Buffalo State College. She lives in Youngstown, NY.

Betty Christ, B.A. 1987, is the executive vice president of Niagara Frontier Automobile Dealers Association (NFADA). Throughout her 18 years with NFADA, she has been involved in the development and implementation of many programs and services, including the 1999 creation of the NFADA Charitable Foundation, which has distributed more than $300,000 in grants to local charities. Christ is a volunteer with the Recovering Child Foundation, Kids Escaping Drugs and Gilda’s Club of Western New York. She resides in Hamburg, NY.

Ronald Femia, M.D. 1987, has joined the staff at Unity Health System’s Park Ridge Hospital in Rochester, NY, as a staff radiologist. He lives in Williamsville, NY.

*Bruce W. Hoover, J.D. 1987, has been named special counsel at the Buffalo law firm of Goldberg Segalla. He has 17 years of commercial law experience and resides in Kenmore, NY.

Lisa Kirisits, M.B.A. 1987 & B.S. 1985, has been elected president of the board of directors of the YWCA of Western New York. She has been a member of the board for the past three years, having served as first vice president and a member of the finance and investment committees. Kirisits owns her own private accounting firm, Lisa A. Kirisits, CPA, located in Buffalo, NY, in which she specializes in auditing, financial reporting, tax preparation and planning and accounting outsourcing for nonprofit organizations. She is a board member of Crisis Services, Canisius College Women’s Business Center and serves on the finance committee for the West-ern New York Women’s Fund. She lives in West Seneca, NY.

Charlene Bonvissuto, M.S. 1988, was named senior vice president of customer service for Solucient, a leading source of information products for the health-care industry. In this position, she is responsible for professional services, help desk/support, training and implementation, and user documentation. Bonvissuto has more than 20 years’ experience as a registered nurse, manager and senior executive in the health-care provider and consulting services industry. Previously, she was vice president of Capgemini and Chi Systems. She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Nursing and lives in Chicago, IL.

Vic Tham, M.B.A. 1988 & B.S. 1985, has been named head of risk management at Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited. He has more than 18 years’ experience with multinational organizations in major financial centers, including extensive experience in risk management, project management and operations. Tham most recently served as vice president of market and operational risk in the group risk management unit at DBS Bank Limited in Singapore. He lives in Hong Kong.

Wayne Wawrzyniec, B.S. 1988, has been promoted to vice president of finance and administration at Ascension Industries. In this position, he will be responsible for overseeing all financial and administrative aspects of the company. He has been with Ascension for the past seven years, most recently serving as chief financial officer. He lives in Akron, NY.

*Douglas J. Hillman, M.B.A. 1989 & B.S. 1982, has been named chief operating officer of Bird Technologies Group, an engineering and manufacturing company that specializes in measurement and management equipment. He resides in Solon, OH.

James McAllister, M.A. 1989 & B.A. 1988, associate professor of political science and chair of the leadership studies program at Williams College, was named the Gaudino Scholar for 2004-2006. This honor is given to a Williams College faculty member who is expected to promote experiences for students in a way that confronts differences and advances learning through contrasts. He has received numerous fellowships and grants and has written extensively on American foreign policy. Additionally, he has served as an article reviewer for the Political Science Quarterly and as a book reviewer for Pennsylvania State University Press. He resides in Williamstown, MA.

Thomas W. Ostrowski, B.A. 1989, has joined the Cleveland, OH, office of Ulmer & Berne as a partner. He will work in the firm’s banking and commercial lending, business law and real estate groups. He is a member of the New York State and Cleveland, OH bar associations and serves as the chair of the Cleveland bar’s banking and financial services section. Ostrowski lives in Cleveland.

Kevin H. Roche, B.A. 1989, has been appointed as the new general manager at Regional Waste Systems, the waste-to-energy facility serving 27 communities throughout southern Maine. In this position, he will oversee 62 employees and a $24 million operating budget. Before this appointment, Roche served for four years as the deputy commissioner of public works in upstate New York’s Broome County. He resides in Portland, ME.

*Beth Stefani, M.B.A. 1989 & Ed.M. 1981, is the director of Orison Professional Services of Hamburg, NY. She is working together with Holly Reslink, the founder/director of Aurora Associates, to provide professional resume writing, career development and outplacement services to individuals, nonprofit organizations and local businesses. Stefani lives in Hamburg.

* Member of the UB Alumni Association

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