Alumnus Toellner to Deliver NCCC Commencement Address
May 5, 2014
President and General Manager of WGRZ-TV, Jim Toellner will be the commencement speaker at Niagara County Community College's 50th Commencement, to be held on May 10, 2014 in the main gym on the Sanborn campus. Toellner, a native of North Tonawanda, NY, graduated from NCCC in 1978 with a degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences: Math & Science. He graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management with a Marketing Concentration
Jim ToellnerToellner has been President and General Manager of WGRZ-TV, the Gannett owned NBC affiliate in Buffalo, NY, since August 11, 2003. He had served as General Sales Manager of WGRZ-TV since March 2001. During his tenure at WGRZ, the station has gone from last place to first place in audience and revenues within the Buffalo market.
Toellner was named Gannett Manager of the Year for 2008; an award that honors top leaders at the company for their management skills, leadership and business ability and was chosen from over 150 leaders. In 2010, he was awarded Gannett's Best Half Salesperson, honoring General Managers who contribute most to the revenue results of his/her station. In 2013, he was selected as Broadcasting & Cable Magazine's "GM of the Year" for the entire United States in mid-size markets.
Dr. James P. Klyczek, president of Niagara County Community College, said that he was pleased that Toellner accepted the college's invitation to be the 2014 commencement speaker. "We are honored to have Jim Toellner as our graduation speaker. His outstanding career serves as an inspiration for our own students as they begin the next chapter of their lives."
Prior to serving as General Sales Manager of WGRZ-TV, Toellner was General Sales Manager at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Toellner began his career at the Buffalo News as an Account Executive and later as a Sales Manager. He moved to television and held positions at the local ABC and CBS affiliates as an Account Executive, Local Sales Manager and National Sales Manager.
An active member of the Western New York community, Toellner is a long-time volunteer with Sabah (Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped) and Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara.
The Commencement ceremony at NCCC will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 10. Those unable to attend the graduation ceremony on can log onto the NCCC website at www.niagaracc.suny.edu to view the webcast of the ceremony.