Niagara County Community College Board of Trustees Bios

Henry F Wojtaszek, Chairperson Henry F. Wojtaszek, Chairperson
Appointed 2011 / Current term expires 2017

Henry F. Wojtaszek is General Counsel for the Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation. Wojtaszek is responsible for formulating the corporations operating plan, rules, regulations, by-laws and prepare and negotiate contracts for services. Also among his duties, Henry Wojtaszek provides advice and guidance to the President and Chief Executive Officer and Officers of the corporation.

Prior to joining the Off-Track Betting Corporation Wojtaszek was a partner with Harris Beach PLLC from 2005 to 2010 and served on the Public Finance Group and Governmental and Quasi-Governmental Agencies Industry Team. Wojtaszek also served as City Attorney for North Tonawanda from 1998 to 2004 and maintained a general practice as an attorney from 1991 to 2004.

Wojtaszek has also worked as an attorney for the United States Navy in the Judge Advocate General Program from 1987 to 1991, working as trial counsel and defense counsel in court-martials. It was during this time that Henry F. Wojtaszek was awarded the Navy Commendation and Navy Achievement Medal.

Wojtaszek graduated from the University of Dayton School of Law with a Juris Doctor in May of 1987 and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the State University of New York College of Buffalo in May of 1984.


Kevin C. Schuler, SecretaryKevin C. Schuler, Vice Chairperson
Appointed 2006 / Current term expires 2013

Kevin Schuler is Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications for LPCiminelli, Inc., the largest commercial construction company in Upstate New York. In this capacity, Schuler is responsible for overseeing the government relations, public affairs, marketing and community involvement of the company.

Prior to joining LP Ciminelli, Schuler was Regional Director of the Western New York office for the New York City-based lobbying firm Mercury Public Affairs. He previously served as Vice President of Government Affairs at the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, the regional business organization in Western New York and as the Executive Director of the Niagara Business Alliance. Prior to these positions, Schuler worked in Albany for the State Legislature for seven years.

Schuler’s community service activities include the Board of Directors of the Niagara USA Chamber, the Board of Directors of Leadership Niagara, past chair of the Niagara County Industrial Development Agency, past member of the Niagara County Charter Commission, a member of the Niagara County Workforce Investment Board, a member of an Advisory Panel for USA Niagara Development Corporation and as a district coordinator for Kids Voting.

Schuler graduated Cum Laude from the University of Buffalo in 1993 with a degree in political science.


Gina I. Virtuoso, Financial SecretaryGina I. Virtuoso, Financial Secretary
Appointed 2009 / Current term expires 2016

Gina I. Virtuoso was appointed by Gov. David A. Paterson to a seven-year term on the board. Virtuoso is retired from Occidental Chemical Corporation, where she worked for 20 years, holding the position of senior corporate accountant, as well as other accounting positions.

Virtuoso is a member of the Professional Accountants and Biltmore Who’s Who, a three-year member of the St. Francis Guild board of directors, a four-year chairperson of the Festival of Sweets, a United Way volunteer, a volunteer for then-Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, co-chairperson for the Niagara Catholic Auction and a member of Niagara Catholic Parent Association. She is also a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in accounting, from Niagara University.

Virtuoso and her spouse Dennis reside in Niagara Falls and have one son Dennis Guy (DJ), two stepchildren, Gina and Vinnie and two grandchildren, Nicholas and Josh.


James WardJames Ward, Secretary
Appointed 2012 / Current term expires 2019

James Ward is currently the Executive Advisor to New York State Senator George Maziarz, a position he has held since 1998.

Ward's prior work experience includes owning a packaging design business, serving as Town Justice in the Town of Newfane, 8 years in the Niagara County Legislature, and a 3 year appointment (2004-2007) as the United States Commissioner to the Niagara Falls Bridge Commission.

Ward plays an active role in the community serving as a Director on a number of non-profit boards including: Eastern Niagara Hospitals, the Health Association of Niagara County, the Niagara County Action Program, the Niagara County Historical Society, the Town of Newfane Tourism Board, the Newfane Lions Club, the Krull-Olcott Development Committee, the Olcott Beach Community Association and the Olcott Beach Carousel Association.

Ward holds a degree from Bowling Green University in Ohio.


Vincent R. GinestreVincent R. Ginestre

Appointed 2011 / Current term expires 2018

Vincent Ginestre is an Attorney in private practice concentrating in the areas of Surrogate’s Court, Family Law, Real Estate, Civil Litigation and Criminal Law. He has been in private practice since 1974, while simultaneously holding positions as a prosecutor in the City of North Tonawanda (1974-1977) and in different areas of specialty as an Assistant Niagara County Attorney (1977-1990, 1994-1997, and 2000-2001). He is affiliated with the Erie and Niagara County Bar Associations, as well as the Bar Association of the Tonawandas.

Ginestre is a graduate of SUNY at Buffalo with a B.A. in History and the University of Notre Dame with a J.D. in Law. He was admitted to the bar in 1972.


Malcom A. NeedlerMalcolm A. Needler
Appointed 2007 / Current term expires 2014

Retired Niagara County Legislator Malcolm Needler joined the Board of Trustees in December 2007. He represented Niagara County’s 11th District for 20 years until he retired on December 31, 2007. He was elected Alderman at Large for the City of North Tonawanda in 2012.

Prior to his retirement in 2013, Needler had been employed as a computer analyst at the New York Power Authority. Needler also worked for the Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center and Computer Task Group during his career.

Needler is a graduate of the liberal arts program at Niagara County Community College.


William L. RossWilliam L. Ross
Appointed 2012 / Current term expires 2019

Seven-time Niagara County Legislature Chairman, William Ross, was appointed to the Board of Trustees by the County in 2005. The retired teacher and long-time athletic administrator and coach spent 47 years working in the Niagara Wheatfield School District.

Ross has served as an elected government official for 26 years with terms as a councilman for the Towns of Niagara and Wheatfield and as a county legislator. He served in the U.S. Army (Active and Reserve) and retired with the rank of Lt. Col. in 1983.

Ross is a member and past president of the Town of Niagara and Town of Wheatfield Lions Club, past president of Leadership Niagara, past president of the St. Mary’s Board of Associates, member and past president of the New York State Athletic Administration Association and member of the Board of Directors of Horizon Services. He is also a member of the Niagara County Community College Foundation, Inc.

Ross earned his bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree from Buffalo State College. He and his spouse Linda are proud parents of five grown children and eight grandchildren.


Bonnie R. Gifford, Vice Chairperson Bonnie R. Sloma
Appointed 2008 / Current term expires 2015

Bonnie Sloma, a registered nurse, is currently the Assistant Vice President of Ambulatory Services at the Erie County Medical Center. She had previously held the position of Special Assistant to the Chief Operating Officer at ECMC.

From 2004 to June, 2012, Sloma held the position of Vice President of Heritage Health Care Group, LLC and Administrative Consultant & Vice President of Clinical Services for Apollo LTC, LLC. From 1999 to 2004, she was Assistant Administrator of Clinical Services/Director of Nursing at Our Lady of Peace Nursing Care Residence.

Sloma also worked at Lockport Memorial Hospital as Director of Nursing, Medical, Surgical and Critical Care. At Beechwood Residence and Nursing Home she was the Assistant Director of Nursing/JCAHO and at United Church Colony Home, she was the Nursing Supervisor/Director of Nursing. From 1988 to 1993, Sloma worked at NCCC as a nursing instructor. She began her career at Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as a staff nurse in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Sloma earned her bachelor’s degree from Niagara University in 1984.


Sheila SmithSheila Smith
Appointed 2009 / Current term expires 2016

Sheila Smith is the Principal at Hyde Park Elementary School in Niagara Falls and has held that position since June of 2010.

As Principal of Hyde Park Elementary School, Sheila is responsible for the management and implementation of district and state policies, regulations, and procedures. At the building-level, she oversees scheduling, curriculum & professional development, personnel management, emergency and facility operations.  In addition, she is responsible for evaluations and oversees all school-wide instructional, data, financial, and student services and systems.  Sheila also serves as district-wide administrator for district's English & language arts curriculum committee.

From 1995 to 2000 Sheila was Director of the Niagara Regional School-to-Work Consortium which was housed here at NCCC. Sheila has a M.S. in Educational Administration and Elementary Education from Niagara University and a B.S degree in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University.


Alyssa ZaidelAlyssa Zaidel
Appointed 2013 / Current term expires 2014

Alyssa Zaidel is a Liberal Arts: Humanities and Social Science major at NCCC with an expected graduation date of May, 2014. She is active in all aspects of student life at NCCC and has held positions as the President and Vice-President of Student Senate, as well as an officer's position on the Student Programming Board. Upon completion of her Associate's degree at NCCC, Alyssa hopes to continue her education at the University at Buffalo to earn a Bachelor's degree in sociology and a Master's in higher education administration.

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