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Monday, November 19, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Head of BEST Center at GCC resigns

post by Howard B. Owens in BEST Center, GCC

Press release:

With much ambivalence, Genesee Community College announces that Jerry Kozlowski, associate vice president for Workforce Development, commonly known as The BEST Center (Business Employee Skills Training), has tendered his resignation. After Jan. 4, Jerry plans to spend more time with his family, and also continue his graduate school adjunct teaching responsibilities at Medaille College.

Under Kozlowski's management, The BEST Center has become a recognized regional leader in helping develop the skilled workforce that powers local economic growth. Seminars, workshops, and customized training programs are all designed to assist businesses improve the performance of their people and processes, and focus on long-term strategic success.

The BEST Center serves individual employees, large and small businesses, and seeks and secures federal, state and local grants. It offers multifaceted business development services through the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) where advisors provide free counseling to owners of start-ups and existing small businesses. The BEST Center has also partnered with five national professional online training programs with more than 450 high-quality courses for professional certification.

During Kozlowski's tenure, The BEST Center earned several distinctive awards including: the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce "Innovative Enterprise of the Year" and the American Association of Community Colleges "Community Economic Development Best Practices" Award.

Kozlowski began his tenure at Genesee Community College in 2000 as a faculty member in the business department. In 2002, he helped develop, found, and served as dean of The BEST Center, located in the newly built Conable Technology Building of the Batavia campus.

In 2004, Kozlowski assumed the managerial role of Genesee's network of campus centers, which included the construction and opening of the Lima location in October 2009. As dean of Genesee's six campus centers, he oversaw the delivery of academic programs in the four-county GLOW region (Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming) covering 2,400 square miles and a staff of more than 30 people. This responsibility accounted for approximately one-quarter of the college's total enrollment.

In 2010, Kozlowski was promoted to associate vice president of Workforce Development, recognizing a decade of tactical planning and outreach in the areas of developing workforce services and regional economic growth.

Kozlowski was the recipient of the prestigious State University of New York Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Professional Service in 2006. Additionally, Jerry is a member of the Leadership Genesee Class of 2004, and serves on the following boards: New York State Liaison for the American Association of Community Colleges; member-at-large, GLOW Workforce Investment Board; member, Genesee County Empire Zone Board; member, Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) Economic Development Focus Group; and chairman the Board of Directors for the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a former business columnist for The Daily News in Batavia.

With his wife, Lee, Jerry Kozlowski resides in Clarence Center. He is a former executive of Tops Markets, Inc., and a retired officer of the Air Force with 25 years of service as a commander, instructor, speechwriter and program manager.

"I approach this new era of my professional career with mixed emotions," Kozlowski said. "Having traveled around the world and visited all 50 states, this is the longest I've been in one place. I've never worked with a finer group of people all dedicated to getting the job done. From the chambers, to the IDAs, the various boards I have served on, and certainly my colleagues at Genesee College Community -- I will miss the many relationships I have developed throughout the GLOW region."

A professional search for Kozlowski's successor is ongoing and will be announced soon.

Monday, June 11, 2012 at 6:56 pm

Turnbull employees get tune-up in customer service at BEST Center

If you happened by GCC this morning and saw the entire fleet of Turnbull Heating, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration trucks on the parking lot -- no, the college was not undergoing some sort of massive HAVC overhaul.

Owner Bill Hayes, rather, had his entire crew out at the BEST Center this morning getting customer service training.

It's one of several programs offered by BEST to local businesses. Customer service is available to individuals or companies, which can bring their entire staff in for training that's specific to the company, Director Ray Chaya said.

"Sometimes, the best customer service is just better internal communication," Chaya said.

The training not only helps employees communicate with each other better, but with customers, and it stresses the importance of product knowledge, and dealing with customers who might be impatient or irritated.

Chaya said good customer service can also lead to more sales -- when employees have good product knowledge and know how to communicate what they know, it helps customers see the benefits of upgraded purchases.

"You want good customer service because you want people to come back, and word of mouth will help get new customers," Chaya said, "but more knowledge can also lead to more sales."

While Turnbull has long had a reputation for good customer service, Hayes said he's never put his employees through this sort of training before. He called the training program a "Turnbull Tune-Up."

"Nobody is perfect," Hayes said. "There's always room for improvement. We never want to fall down on customer service one iota."

"The BEST Center has some of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people and that's what they do -- they help businesses and people be better themselves. That's why it's the BEST Center."

It was scary, Hayes said, to completely shut down his business for half a day, but it was worth it. His answering service reported back that customers understood.

"Who would have thought when we scheduled this four months ago for a heating and air conditioning company, it would have been the hottest day of the year," Hayes said.

"My employees came out of there feeling very comfortable about where they need to go from here with customer service," Hayes added.

Monday, March 5, 2012 at 2:25 pm

'Family Matters' are the focus of seminars in 'People's Law Series' at the college

post by Billie Owens in announcements, BEST Center, GCC

"Family Matters" is the theme for the next three-part segment being offered through the "People's Law Series," a collaborative initiative between the Genesee Community College's BEST Center and the Genesee County Bar Association.

Each of the following three seminars, being offered as part of GCC's Leisure Learning non-credit community workshops, are scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday evenings at Genesee Community College, Batavia campus in room T102. Each seminar costs $10 and will be presented by well-known local attorneys who have extensive experience in Family Court proceedings.

For the updated list of courses visit: http://www.genesee.edu/best/development/leisure-learning/ and contact The BEST Center to register by calling 345-6868.

Seminar I -- March 13
"Getting Past Your Breakup -- Custody, Visitation and Child Support"


Presenters: Robert B. McCutcheon, Esq.; Peter M. Casey, Esq.

This session will focus on the definitions of sole versus joint custody and the custodial parent. Attendees will learn about child support payment plans and other financial responsibilities, as well as court orders and attorney representation, mediation, and understanding who makes the decisions regarding a child's health, education, religion, and general welfare.

Seminar 2 -- April 17
"Matrimonial Actions"


Presenters: Deborah L. Burhans, Esq.; Benjamin J. Bonarigo Sr., Esq.

Divorce is a life-changing event and understanding the principals of matrimonial law can only help ease the transition and process. Spousal support, distribution of marital assets and debt, taxation, health insurance and separate property principles are among the topics of this session.

Seminar 3 -- May 15
"Juvenile and Family Offense Matters"


Presenters: Durin B. Rogers, Esq., Deputy County Attorney for Genesee County

When the actions and behavior of children result in Family Court proceedings, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members and friends are all concerned and need information. Knowing about the Juvenile Delinquency proceedings, PINS (People in Need of Supervision), and understanding the legal ramifications of truancy, substance abuse, sexting, bullying, fighting, stealing, the destruction of property and the Family Offense proceedings are among the topics covered in this session.
 

"Family matters often involve and are a significant concern to the greater family network including grandparents, aunts, uncles and others. This series is affordable and specifically segmented to target an array of different Family Court issues," Ray Chaya, director of The BEST Center and coordinator of the new Leisure Learning program said.

Durin B. Rogers, Esq., president of the Genesee County Bar Association noted that the series allows for local attorney's to give back to the community. "This segment of the People's Law Series provides an excellent general reference point for domestic situations that impact many families at one time or another." It should be noted that the three-part series is provided as a public service for general reference information and is not intended to be legal advice for specific cases.

Founded in 1912, the Genesee County Bar Association is a voluntary professional association that pools the collective talents and experiences of approximately 100 member judges, lawyers, and legal professionals across the county to improve the practice of law, advance the goals of the justice system, and benefit the community.

As the BEST Center's Leisure Learning division continues to develop and introduce new programs, the public is invited to share ideas and opinions for future topics. A short Leisure Learning online survey is available at: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22EGQ7R6K59/ and all survey participants will be entered into the Leisure Learning drawing to win a Kindle Fire electronic reader.

Monday, September 12, 2011 at 1:27 pm

BEST Center offers full array of community workshops

post by Billie Owens in announcements, BEST Center, community workshops

Genesee Community College's BEST Center (Business and Employee Skills Training) offers a full menu of new non-credit community workshops and courses. From criminal justice to social media, and Italian to scrapbooking, the BEST Center offers courses to suit a variety of community needs and interests.

Law Series:

• Criminal Law: Speaker --  Frederick M. Rarick, Esq.

Tues. Oct. 25, 7 to 9 p.m.

This course will focus on both the dynamics and process of the criminal justice system.

• Putting Your House in Order: Speaker - Thomas D. Williams, Esq.

Tues. Nov. 15, 7 to 9 p.m.

This course will serve as a basic course in estate law and practice and discuss such topics as wills, living wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, trusts and guardianship.

• Small Claims, Big Claims and Other Civil Matters: Speakers -- Hon. Robert J. Balbick, Batavia City Court and Hon. Michael A. DelPlato, Batavia City Court

Tues. Dec. 13, 7 to 9 p.m.

This course is designed to offer a basic understanding of the principles of civil litigation.

• In the Face of PURE EVIL: The legal history of Criminal Insanity

Wed. Oct. 26, 6 to 9 p.m.

Explore the legal history of Criminal Insanity in New York and learn more about some of the infamous cases and criminals shaping it.

Social Media Series:

• Basic Level: Social Networking for Facebook & Twitter

Thurs. Sept. 15, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Learn the basics of Facebook and Twitter. Students will leave this course with a working Facebook and Twitter account, basic knowledge of how to use these tools, and how to protect themselves.

• Intermediate Level: Social Media Marketing

Thurs. Sept. 22, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

This class is for anyone who has a working fan/business page or Facebook account as well as a twitter account, but doesn't really know how to work it for their business. (Prerequisite: Basic Level)

• Social Media: Strategy

Thurs. Sept. 29, 9 to 11:30 a.m.

This class will take you from fence sitter to a viable business on both Twitter and Facebook. (Prerequisite: Basic & Intermediate Levels)

Arts and Hobbies Series:

• Quick and Easy Italian

Wednesdays, Nov. 9 through Dec. 21

A quick and breezy introduction to the Italian language. You will learn how to properly read, conjugate, pronounce and master a few handy phrases to know when traveling.

• Railroading A-Z

Thursdays, Oct. 20 trhough Nov. 17

Rail fans, model railroaders, amateur photographers, history buffs and even workers in the railroad industry will enjoy this rich and varied history of how the Iron Horse was created and stretched across our local area and the nation.

• Beginner Jewelry Making

Sat. Oct. 15, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Design and craft your own unique pieces of jewelry in this beginner class.

• Beginner Scrapbooking

Mondays, Oct. 17 to 24, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

In this course students will learn how to organize photos, the basic supplies needed, types of albums, and basic techniques to make simple and quick pages and complete albums.

• Advanced Scrapbooking

Sat. Oct. 29, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

In this course learn simple techniques to add variety to your pages. Techniques include chalking, stamping, eyelets, brads, vellum, ribbon, and more.

• Watercolor

Tuesdays, Oct. 11 through Nov. 1, 6  to 8:30 p.m.

Students will learn color theory, wash drawing, liquid masking, glazing, dropping color and more!

For full course descriptions, fees and additional details visit http://www.genesee.edu/best/courses/getActiveCourses/.

Contact The BEST Center to register for any of these courses by calling 585-345-6868 or by visiting www.bestcenter.org.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

BEST Center announces first grads of Building Leadership Excellence

post by Billie Owens in announcements, BEST Center, Milestones

Press release:

The BEST Center at Genesee Community College is pleased to announce the first class of Building Leadership Excellence students have completed their 12-week leadership course.

Building Leadership Excellence is an intensive, hands-on program designed to develop the proven skills needed to manage, influence, create, inspire and lead organizations. Participants learn to think and act strategically, resulting in enhanced management performance and improved organizational skills in decision making, coaching, innovative problem solving and conflict resolution.

The program is designed for managers, supervisors, team leaders and future leaders. Each session is filled with real-life examples and practical techniques for achieving results. Topics covered include communicating effectively, understanding personal styles, mentoring, creative problem solving, building strong teams and several other key management issues.

"Building Leadership Excellence is a great opportunity for managers from all walks of life and industries to come together and work in an engaging and dynamic team environment," said Lina LaMattina, director at The BEST Center. "Today's organizations are looking for innovative leadership and this program offers that knowledge and skills set to the participants."

Congratulations to our first graduating class! We know these leaders are doing great things in their organizations:

Joyce Kingdom, Genesee ARC, Batavia

Paul Saskowski, Genesee ARC, Batavia

Joanna Barefoot, GCC

Laura Keenan, GCC

Judy Welch, Livingston/Wyoming ARC

Mary Pat Hancock, Genesee County Legislature

Matt Slezak, Texas Brine

Joseph Demmer Jr., Willow Group

June Redden, Willow Group

Robyn Brookhart, Liberty Pumps

Dave Williams, Liberty Pumps

Erica Southwood, Livingston/Wyoming ARC

The next Building Leadership Excellence program will begin in August with a full-day kick off session from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 11. Participants will attend 10 half-day sessions from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Aug. 18 and 25, Sept. 8, 15 and 22, Oct. 6, 13 and 20, and Nov. 3 and 10.

A graduation celebration, that includes final project presentations to participants' supervisors, will take place in a full-day session on Nov. 17. This intensive, skill-building program also incorporates 10 hours of one-on-one coaching for each participant in an effort to enhance his or her ability to apply new skills in the workplace.

Genesee Community College's BEST Center (focused on Business and Employee Skills Training) is a local provider of business consulting, community training and workshops for companies of all sizes and in all industries.

It offers a variety of tailored programs on-location at businesses across the GLOW region, or at any of Genesee Community College's seven campus locations (Albion, Arcade, Batavia, Dansville, Lima, Medina and Warsaw).

For further information on The BEST Center, please contact Lina LaMattina, director, at 343-0055, ext. 6299, or visit The BEST Center online at www.bestcenter.org

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