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Foundation to present Distinguished Service Awards at black-tie gala May 7
Tuesday, April 26, 2011

 Bard Schaack
R. Bard Schaack

Carol Boltz
Carol Boltz

Jim Boltz
James Boltz

Brian Higgins
Hon. Brian Higgins


The Distinguished Service Award, the most prestigious honor given by the Fredonia College Foundation, will be presented to area couple James and Carol Boltz, retired attorney R. Bard Schaack and U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins at a special dinner/dance on Saturday, May 7, at the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia.

The bi-annual award recognizes citizens and organizations that make significant contributions to society through business, government, education and the arts, and generates proceeds for SUNY Fredonia’s Keeper of the Dream Scholarship and Leadership Program.

To attend the dinner/dance, email Richard Ryan, associate director of Development, or call him at the Fredonia College Foundation at 673-3321 or by Friday, April 29, to place reservations.

Carol Boltz

Music and education have been integral parts in the life of Carol Boltz, a graduate of Oberlin College Conservatory and SUNY Fredonia. She was a church organist and director of music in Buffalo and, for 23 years, organist at the First Methodist Church in Fredonia. After earning her master’s degree, with an emphasis on Reading, at SUNY Fredonia, Carol taught remedial reading and math in Dunkirk public schools for 15 years.

An active member and volunteer, Carol played organ in King Concert Hall at high school commencement programs and was coordinator of special chairs for the Western New York Chamber Orchestra. Carol is affiliated with the Board of the Friends of Barker Library, Fredonia College Foundation, Fredonia Shakespeare Club, the Buffalo chapter of the American Guild of Organists and the Fredonia Opera House.

Jim Boltz

James Boltz, born and raise on a Portland fruit and dairy farm, held various production positions with Greater Buffalo Press, a major producer of newsprint color supplements, at its Dunkirk plant, in addition to corporate positions on behalf of the company’s 12 production plants in the United States and Canada. He also holds the distinction of being the youngest fire chief in New York State.

He devotes considerable time, expertise and attention to preservation of local history. He serves as a researcher and guide for the Barker Historical Museum and nine cemeteries located throughout Pomfret and Portland. He belongs to the Historic Preservation Committee that is contributing to the Chautauqua County Comprehensive Plan and is on the task force developing plans to celebrate Chautauqua County’s Bicentennial. He edits the Barker Library and Museum newsletter and leads a current events discussion each week at St. Columban’s Retirement Home in Silver Creek.

James twice served as interim executive director of the Fredonia Opera House. He has been the recipient of awards from the Fredonia Chamber of Commerce, Business Club of SUNY Fredonia, Fredonia Rotary Club and Fredonia Kiwanis Club.

As a couple, the Boltzes are recipients of the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Community Service Award (2000), the DFT Communications Hometown Heroes Award (2003) and the Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation Footprints Award (2005).

R. Bard Schaack

R. Bard Schaack, a graduate of Grove City College and the University of Michigan Law, practiced law for 38 years and also served as a certified financial planner.

Schaack has held top leadership positions in numerous organizations, serving as president of the Northern Chautauqua County Foundation, Chautauqua Leadership Network, Northern Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce, Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center, Westfield-Mayville Rotary Club, and YWCA of Westfield. He also co-founded the Chautauqua Leadership Network.

Community service also extends to memberships on the following boards: SUNY Fredonia College Foundation, Friends of Rockefeller Arts Center, Westfield Memorial Hospital Foundation, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and Patterson Library. Schaack has also participated in fundraising campaigns assisting Westfield Memorial Hospital, Patterson Library and YMCA of Westfield.

His memberships on corporate boards include: Gowanda Electronics Corporation, secretary/treasurer; and Chautauqua Abstract Corporation, board member and assistant secretary.

Hon. Brian Higgins

Brian Higgins, now in his fourth term of Congress, has been a strong advocate of economic initiatives benefiting Western New York, both in the Buffalo area and at SUNY Fredonia. He has been a champion of waterfront development in Buffalo and has secured more than $300,000 to help equip and operate the new SUNY Fredonia Technology Incubator in downtown Dunkirk.

As a member of the 112th Congress, Higgins serves on the House Committee on Homeland Security, which gives him the ability to position Western New York in the forefront of national discussions on the Peace Bridge project, border operations and economic ties with Canada. His service on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs provides insight into existing conflicts in the Middle East and ongoing relations with China.

Higgins formerly served on the Ways and Means Committee and the Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee for National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations. In the latter role, Higgins traveled extensively through volatile regions of the world and met with world leaders to promote peace in Northern Ireland, Darfur, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Higgins, who has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Buffalo State College and an advanced degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, previously taught History and Economics at his alma mater.


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