2013 Reflections Awards

John R. Koelmel, F. James McGuire and Jean C. Powers are recipients; Sister M. Celeste O’Bryan, RSM receives President’s Distinguished Community Service Award

BUFFALO, N.Y. -  Trocaire President Dr. Bassam M. Deeb and Board of Trustees Chair Sharon L. Hanson presented Reflections awards to this year’s recipients John R. Koelmel, F. James McGuire and Jean C. Powers.  Sister M. Celeste O’Bryan received the President’s Distinguished Community Service Award.  The annual awards reception was held at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens and the funds raised from the reception benefit the college’s scholarship endowment.

The Reflections Award was established in 1992 to be awarded annually by the college to individuals who have continually reflected their best, putting forth unlimited energies to achieve success while sharing their unique talents for the benefit of others.  “Our 2013 Honorees are an extraordinary group of individuals who give back to the local community in so many ways,” noted President Deeb.  “We are pleased to honor them in a special way and to say thank you for all of their invaluable contributions to Trocaire College and Western New York.”

2013 Reflections Awards Honorees

John R. Koelmel demonstrates his commitment to the WNY community every day.  Koelmel is president of HARBORcenter Development, LLC where he oversees the hockey and entertainment complex being developed by the Buffalo Sabres owners.  He is the former president and chief executive officer of First Niagara Financial Group, Inc. and its principal subsidiary First Niagara Bank N.A.  Koelmel serves as Chairman of the New York Power Authority having been nominated as a Trustee of the Authority by Governor Cuomo in June 2012.  He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his business acumen, innovative leadership and community service.  He was named a 2012 “Citizen of the Year” by the Buffalo News and “Man of the Year” by the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation.    

F. James McGuire is the CEO of one of WNY’s major healthcare organizations, The McGuire Group.  McGuire was named President & CEO of The McGuire Group in 2002 after rejoining the family business in 1996.  Under his leadership, The McGuire Group has expanded to include apartment complexes, high-rise waterfront condominiums and commercial buildings.  In 2004, McGuire was named Volunteer of the Year by the Alzheimer’s Association of Western New York.  He has volunteered as a Mercy Hospital Foundation trustee, director of NYSHFA Managed Care Inc., and as a board member for the Buffalo Niagara Enterprise and Coordinated Care.  McGuire received his Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.  He also earned licenses as a Nursing Home Administrator and an Advanced Certificate in Long Term Care Administration.

Jean C. Powers is a partner with Jaekle, Fleischman & Mugel, LLP in the Real Estate and Economic and Land Development practice groups.  She is a member of the Bar Association of Erie County, the New York State Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York and Women Lawyers of Western New York.  Powers is Past Chair and an Emeritus Member of the Trocaire College Board of Trustees.  She is currently a member of the Board of the Girls Education Collaborative and has recently served as president of the Buffalo Niagara Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).  She was recently honored for her distinguished service to the SUNY Buffalo Law School and the SUNY Buffalo legal community by the Buffalo Law Review.

Sister M. Celeste O’Bryan, RSM was the recipient of the President’s Distinguished Community Service Award.  This award is presented to a person or group whose community participation exemplifies Trocaire College’s mission without regard for community profile or philanthropy.  O’Bryan serves as the Executive Director of the South Buffalo Community Table, daily striving to improve the quality of life for senior residents and those who are unemployed or underemployed.  The volunteers at the South Buffalo Community Table served more than 17,000 meals last year to individuals in the South Buffalo community.  Prior to overseeing the efforts of the South Buffalo Community Table, O’Bryan taught grade school for thirty years, teaching at several schools within the Diocese of Buffalo.

Michele Saxon Gilliland, RN `10, was the featured speaker.  Gilliland, who works as a registered nurse in the Neurological ICU at Mercy Hospital, attended Trocaire for the licensed practical nursing and registered nursing programs.  She spoke to the fact that hard work does not go unnoticed at Trocaire and that as a student she was the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards in recognition of her achievements. Because of that generosity she started her own scholarship.  “I want to help the next person in line, like I was helped,” said Gilliland.  “That is how impressed and grateful I was for all the recognition and help I received.  So for the past four years, that is what I have done.”

Trocaire College Board Chair Emeritus Mary Catherine Paladino and Trustee member William A. Paladino served as chairs of the event.