Thank god it’s hard to break into the newspaper business. Because if that weren’t the case, Bill Collins wouldn’t have had to try his hand at public relations back in 1977. Sure, the fish wraps came calling eventually—the St. Bonaventure grad was the editor-in-chief of his school paper and a heck of a writer—but by then, Bill had found his true calling.
By 1984, the fiercely competitive 29-year-old was running William Collins & Associates. Today, his influence on the Western New York PR community is immeasurable. And while he loves nothing more than spending time with his wife and kids, he’s lost none of his passion for the business—if Bill ever decides to retire, we’ll eat our hats. ”Once I make a commitment, I live up to it,” Bill shares. It’s this sense of personal responsibility, infused from the top down, that has made Travers Collins a magnet for people with big-time work ethics and positive attitudes. Bill Collins is a public relations icon in WNY. And that’s good PR. – Traverscollins.com
She received her doctorate and master’s degree in communication from the State University of New York at Buffalo and her Bachelor of Science degree from St. Bonaventure University. Her research and teaching focus on conflict management, conflict resolution, and corporate communication and strategy. Prior to going into academia, Dr. Hoffmann worked as corporate communications manager for The CRS Companies and in creative services for Catholic Health.
She has taught courses in Business Writing, Marketing Communication Research, Organizational Structure and Behavior, Communication and Influencing Skills, and Leading Change. She has also developed courses in Health Communication and Communication in Conflict, and she oversaw independent study projects in Communication Research Methods and an MBA Special Topics course in Sustainable Community Development.
He is also the founder of 1st Labs, a company that helps create and run complete web presences for small businesses, organizations, and individuals.
An adjunct professor in the Integrated Marketing Communications program at St. Bonaventure University, Shane holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Marketing as well as a Master of Business Administration (MBA), both from St. Bonaventure.
Shelley Jack’s range of work includes digital and traditional marketing, brand development and strategy, client and agency experience and executive communications management. Before joining the faculty at St. Bonaventure University Shelley held positions as a senior strategist for Ripple Effects Interactive and as marketing communications manager for W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery.
She has a B.A. in Communications from Houghton College and an M.A. in Marketing Communications from St. Bonaventure.
Ms. Kowalik has been involved in several successful grants including a Broadband Technology Opportunities Program grant which enabled the library to increase the number of public access computers, set up a portable computer training lab, and offer classes in technology and job skills.
She is currently a member of the Western New York Library Resources Council’s Regional Advisory Committee. She is also a member of the board of directors of the Zonta Club of Olean and is the co-chair of the Status of Women/Legislature, Awareness, and Advocacy Committee.
Larry Sorokes’ career has included leadership positions in education, community engagement, and economic development, beginning with teaching and administration positions with Olean Business Institute, administrative positions with Cattaraugus-Allegany BOCES, vice president/dean at SUNY Jamestown Community College. He now serves as associate vice president and executive director of Grants Administration and Lifelong Learning at St. Bonaventure University.
He has served on numerous local, regional, and state nonprofit boards, and is a free-lance consultant in strategic planning, organizational development, nonprofit leadership, grant writing, and institutional effectiveness.
He currently serves on the boards of Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, Universal Primary Care, and is the founding president of Family Partners Group, Inc., a nonprofit committed to business mentoring and coaching, youth leadership, and support/retention of local talents.
James E. Stitt and Jim Stitt Jr.
James E. Stitt, Chairman and CEO of Cutco Corporation, started his career as a project engineer at WearEver Aluminum, Inc., in 1972. Throughout his tenure in the cutlery business, he has held several positions – from technical manager at Alcas Cutlery Corporation to plant manager at American Powdered Metals to executive vice president of Alcas Corporation.
He serves on the St. Bonaventure University board of trustees as well as the Dresser-Rand Challenger Learning Center board and is active in the Greater Olean community’s annual Rebuilding Together project. Organizations whose boards he formerly served on include Jamestown Community College, Cattaraugus County Industrial Development Agency, Cattaraugus County United Way and First Tier Bank, among others.
He holds a degree in mechanical engineering technology from University of Dayton, 1971. He also completed the Harvard Business School Owner/President/Management Program in 2002.
Jim Stitt Jr.
James M. Stitt (Jim Stitt Jr.) is president and CEO of Cutco Cutlery Corporation and has held numerous positions in the Cutco family since joining the company in 1997. Prior to that he was an engineer at Honda of America.
A 1995 University of Dayton graduate, he holds a degree in mechanical engineering technology as well as a master’s degree in professional leadership from St. Bonaventure University.
Jim is active in community nonprofit organizations, serving on the board of Family Partners Group as well as volunteering for Rebuilding Together. He also serves on the Key Bank Western NY District Advisory and Bartlett Country Club boards. He formerly served on the Cattaraugus Region Community Foundation, Greater Olean Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Cattaraugus County and Leadership Cattaraugus boards.
Mary Ann Polucci Sherman
Mary Anne Polucci Sherman is a psychologist for the Behavioral Health Systems at Bradford Regional Medical Center, part of Upper Allegheny Health Systems, and also provides psychological and grief counseling services for BRMC where she has worked full-time since 1997. She holds an M.A. in psychology from Mansfield University and a B.A. in human relations from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford. A strong advocate of mental health awareness in the community, Mary Anne frequently presents programs on topics such as stress management, employee wellness, resiliency and empowerment.