News Stories

ECC honors community leaders at 10th Advisory Council event

Article by: Michael Farrell

WILLIAMSVILLE—On Friday, March 31, SUNY Erie Community College welcomed local academic, business and community leaders for its 10th Advisory Council Partner and Community Appreciation Breakfast event inside its North Campus Spring Center café. 

The event recognized many members of the Western New York business and educational community who’ve served on the college’s 50 advisory councils; and have helped advise ECC concerning curriculum, funding and helping students transition into job opportunities or further education at four-year institutions. According to ECC President Jack Quinn, the morning’s proceedings were simply a small token of appreciation for these vital advisors.

“Erie Community College is able to able to remain a vital part of Western New York because of the input of our community partners, ones with the expertise and experience to inform our career-focused programs,” said Quinn. “They know how valuable an ECC education can be for students looking to start, restart or redirect their education, and they’re each committed to helping these students surge forward within our programs.”

The morning’s program recognized individuals with a variety of awards, including an Advisory Council Appreciation acknowledgement for Christopher Aronica, President of Aronica & Company, Inc.; and Community Collaboration honors for Lester B. Leopold, Director of Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education and Continuing Education, and Jay Lucernoni, Service Director of Towne Ford Lincoln.

Partners in Education recognition went to James Jarnot, Technical Director of Laboratory Services for the Catholic Health Systems; Melanie Miller Johnson, Center Director at CAO Head Start/Early Head Start Deck Academy; Gloria Lucker, Founder and CEO of Optimal Therapy Associate Services; and The Honorable James A.W. McLeod, Buffalo City Court and Acting County Court Judge, Eighth Judicial District.

The event featured breakfast prepared by ECC’s Hospitality Management students; an opening ceremony with an entry march by the college’s 130th Police Academy Color Guard; National Anthem sung by General Studies student Simoya Ghajar; a keynote address from attorney and ECC alum TheArthur Duncan; student remarks by Student Trustee Neal McCallum; and opening remarks from ECC President Jack Quinn.

Since 1946, Erie Community College has met the needs of a diverse student body while contributing to the economic vitality of Western New York. As a member of the state’s SUNY system, the three-campus college provides flexible, affordable and accessible educational programs in an accommodating academic environment. Equipped with the knowledge of these programs, ECC’s faculty, staff and students strive to enrich their host communities through skill, service and partnership. For more information, visit or call (716) 851-1ECC.