Eight alumni from St. Bonaventure University will be honored at a Nov 9. luncheon at the Buffalo Niagara Convention Center for making Business First’s list of 40 rising business leaders under the age of 40.
Erik Bohen, Richard Campbell, Jeff Connors, Matthew Keller, Edward Kosmoski, Philip Pantano, Donna Quigley and Jennifer Westerholt are all part of the 2012 class that, according to Buffalo’s Business First, represents a diverse group of rising leaders in Western New York.
Erik Bohen, a 2004 graduate with a BA in elementary education, is a special education teacher at Hamlin Park Public School. Highly involved in his community, he is a board member of the General Educational Development Program, and co-chair of the Buffalo City Bration 5K Run to benefit Wellness Program of Buffalo Public Schools. In 2010, Bohen received the Mount Mercy Academy Civic Pride Award. In 2009, the city of Buffalo proclaimed one day “Erik Bohen Day.”
Richard Campbell graduated in 2002 with a BA in finance and began working at Axa Advisors in Williamsville as a certified financial planner. He is now also a certified retirement benefits specialist and focuses primarily on assisting individuals and small businesses with retirement and insurance needs. Aside from work, Campbell has continuously volunteered with BonaResponds, and is the chairperson for the Hamburg Finance Academy Advisory Board.
Jeff Connors, a 2002 graduate with a BA in history, was named the 2002 St. Bonaventure Ideal Male Student. He went on to receive his master’s degree at Marymount University in Arlington, Va., in 2004, and began teaching ninth, 10th and 11th grade English at his alma mater, Lake Shore Central High School in Evans, in 2006. In addition to teaching, Connors is Lake Shore’s track and field head coach and pole vault instructor, freshmen dean, founding board of director member for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Lake Shore, Chamber of Commerce Master of Ceremonies and the manager of Connors’ Hot Dog Stand in Evans, which is more than 70 years old.
Matthew Keller, who graduated in 2002 with an MA in business administration, is the president of M.J.K Accounting Inc. in Olean. He is also the executive director of the Cattaraugus County Business Development Corporation, where he assists small businesses in developing strategic plans to ensure future success. While at St. Bonaventure, Keller was runnerup for the Dr. Pierre Bretey Award for Excellence in Accounting.
Donna Quigley received the S. John Guson Award at graduation for academic excellence in 1999 and graduated with both a BA and MA in business administration with a concentration in accounting and finance. She began working at M&T Bank in Buffalo right after graduation before working at HSBC for seven years. At HSBC, Quigley was promoted to audit manager within the HSBC Global Service Delivery Audit team. She is now the manager for the Durkin Group in New Jersey and travels throughout the United States and Canada for lenders to perform specialized audits.
Jennifer Westerholt graduated in 2010 with a BA in journalism and mass communication. She went on to receive her master’s in Organizational Leadership from Medaille College in Buffalo. She is the director of marketing and development at Literacy Volunteers of Buffalo and Erie County.
Edward Kosmoski, a 2002 MBA graduate, was hired by Cricket Communications as an account executive in the Indirect Channel for the Buffalo Market Launch. In 2004, Blue Wireless recruited Kosmoski to help create a marketing plan after he successfully launched eight markets. Cricket Wireless offered him the district director position for Rochester. He was eventually promoted and given the opportunity to lead the largest market as the district director of New York state.
Philip Pantano graduated in 1996 with a BA in English and is president of Pantano & Associates, a public relations and strategic communication firm. Pantano provides public and media relations counsel to a number of high-profile organizations throughout Western New York. He started the company in 2009 after spending 13 years in the public relations and communications field as both an agency consultant and in-house executive.
About the University: Inspired for more than 150 years by the Catholic Franciscan values of individual dignity, community inclusiveness, and service, St. Bonaventure University cultivates graduates who are confident and creative communicators, collaborative leaders and team members, and innovative problem solvers who are respectful of themselves, others, and the diverse world around them.