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John Hoffman, chief executive officer of Warren-Hoffman Insurance, Kathleen Granchelli, executive director of the YWCA of Niagara, and Jacqueline Bixler, human resources director for American Sigma, will be honored Oct. 2 by Leadershiop Niagara at a reception and fund-raiser.

The event, set for 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Niagara Falls Airport, will honor the late state Sen. John B. Daly, the first recipient of the Leader of the Year Award.

Hoffman and Ms. Granchelli, a 1988 Leadership Niagara graduate, will each receive the Leader of the Year Award. The award annually recognizes Niagara County leaders based on involvement in community affairs, ability to be a resource for the community and address needs, service as a role model for future leaders and demonstration of a county-wide focus in addressing community issues.

Ms. Bixler, a 1992 graduate of the program, will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes superior professional standards, leadership commitment to the community, innovation and persistence and respect as an employer or employee.

Hoffman served as co-owner of Warren-Hoffman from 1978 until its acquisition by Lockport Savings Bank in January 1999.

In March 1989, Hoffman joined 18 other area business leaders to establish the Niagara Business Alliance, a local group committed to improving business throughout the county. Hoffman is a member of the Board of Directors of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, commissioner for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, past board member with the Niagara Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and was previously involved with Niagara County Community College, Artpark and Mount St. Mary's Hospital's Board of Associates. He also is member of the Board of Governors of the Niagara Falls County Club and was tournament director for the Porter Cup.

Ms. Granchelli has established the YWCA of Niagara as a leading force in community services. Through her leadership, the YWCA has tripled its programs offered for women and their families throughout the county.

Ms. Granchelli has also introduced the Women's Law Center, transitional housing, the Niagara Award, which recognizes an accomplished woman, Niagara County Coalition on R.A.C.E., a professional women's clothes closet and a technology center. Ms. Granchelli also helped lead a weekly mothering support group for women in the Niagara County Jail for more than a year.

Ms. Granchelli is a member of the Zonta Club of Lockport, previously serving on the boards of Meals on Wheels, the Kenan Center and the Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce. She recently was selected as a "Woman of Distinction" for the Niagara County Region of the 61st Senate District by NYS Senator George Maziarz. She has a bachelor of science degree from SUNY Brockport.

Ms. Bixler was selected for the Distinguished Alumni Award based on her community involvement, continual support of Leadership Niagara and her professional achievements.

Ms. Bixler served as vice president of human resources at Lockport Savings Bank from 1993-1998, prior to joining American Sigma, a Fortune 500 company that manufactures environmental equipment. She is now responsible for recruitment, benefits, strategic planning, leadership development and training with the company's work force of 150.

Ms. Bixler has also participated in many training programs including the Disney Approach to Customer Service and Labor Relations through Cornell University.

Her community involvement includes active participation in the Medina Canal Festival Committee, Zonta Club of Lockport, Eastern Niagara Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Eastern Niagara United Way, Private Industry Council, Orleans Manufacturing Council and Orleans County Wellness. Ms. Bixler, a Medina resident, has also served on the Leadership Niagara Board of Directors as Secretary and in many other volunteer capacities.

The reception honoring Hoffman, Ms. Granchelli and Ms. Bixler is open to the public. The cost is $35 per person and includes a dinner buffet as well as silent and live auctions which will benefit the Leadership Niagara program.

Corporate tables of 10 are available for $350. Reservations may be made by contacting the Leadership Niagara office at 285-5423.

The Board of Trustees of Niagara County Community College has appointed several college personnel and community members to serve on the African American Concerns Task Force.

They are: Donald Bass, LaSalle Middle School; Ronald Cunningham, Niagara Falls; Carol Easley, NCCC Corporate Training Center; Tina Gregory, Abate School, Niagara Falls; Esther Isler-Hamilton, Niagara Falls Board of Education; Stephanie Porter Lopez, Trott Access Center; Philomena Lucas, NCCC; Mary Tucker Nowak, Niagara Falls; Herminio Ortiz, Lockport Memorial Hospital; Gwendolyn Profit, Trott Access Center; Rhonda Adele Ricks-Washington, NCCC; and Joseph F. Speight, DOMORE, Inc.

Each will serve a one-year term advising the college on the programming and assistance needed in the African-American community.

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