Dec. 27, 1955 – March 8, 2018
Beth M. Stefani turned the writing of professional resumes into an art.
“She had this technique of asking questions and drawing information out of you,” said her husband, Walt, retired hall of fame volleyball coach at Orchard Park High School. “Every resume she wrote was different.”
Resume assistance wasn’t the only service offered by Inspire Careers Inc., which Mrs. Stefani founded in 1990 and served as president. She also was a career coach for professionals and helped her clients find high-level jobs.
Active in the Western New York Chapter of Susan B. Komen for the Cure and a breast cancer survivor, she recently suffered a recurrence of the disease. She died Thursday in Hospice Buffalo, Cheektowaga. She was 62.
Born in Tulsa, Okla., the former Beth Wilmoth grew up in Indiana, Pa., and attended Grove City College in Grove City, Pa., where she graduated magna cum laude in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
At a square dance in college, she met her husband, who had a basketball scholarship at Grove City. After a year in Connecticut, they were married in 1979.
She earned a master’s degree in counseling from the University at Buffalo in 1981 and continued at UB for five years as a career adviser.
Before she completed her master’s degree in business administration at UB in 1989, she worked as a commercial credit analyst and corporate banking officer at HSBC Bank, then spent a year in the same position with Chase Manhattan Bank in Buffalo before deciding to start her own business.
“She decided she could do this on her own, that she could help everyone with resumes and business plans,” her husband said. “She became the guru of resume writers and went international.”
Her company grew to have offices in three states and Canada.
From 1994 to 2001, she was a career transition consultant with RW Caldwell Associates, providing support for major outplacement projects, notably with Westwood Squibb Pharmaceuticals and Tops Markets/Ahold USA.
She also contracted independently with businesses to assist employees who lost jobs through termination, downsizing, or corporate restructuring.
She presented numerous seminars on job searching and career development for professionals in a variety of fields. Her resumes have been included in several publications, including Wendy S. Enelow’s 2001 “Best Resumes and Cover Letters for $100,000+ Jobs.”
Working with ExecuNet, she set up networking sessions for executives in Buffalo and Rochester. She approached career management legend John Lucht and assisted clients of his company, RiteSite.
Not all of her work was with executives. She also gave free help to high school students with their college applications.
“She did their resumes,” her husband said. “She always did pro bono work for everyone.”
She was active with the Career Management Alliance, the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches, and the National Association of Resume Writers.
In 2007, at the Career Directors International annual conference, she was presented with the Toast of the Resume Industry (TORI) Award for “Most Creative Resume.”
A member of the board of directors of the Western New York affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, she had co-chaired the annual Survivor Luncheon since 2011. She received the organization’s 2017 Faith Award for her advocacy work in the community.
She was a member of the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and served a term on the board of directors. She also served as a director of the Zonta Club of Buffalo, the Western New York Venture Association and Ronald McDonald House of Buffalo, where she also was treasurer.
In the 1980s, she was a founder and chair of the Professional Development Committee in the Buffalo Chapter of the College Student Personnel Association.
A Hamburg resident, she also was active with Hamburg United Methodist Church, where she headed the SRP Leadership Group, which oversaw church personnel, and was a leader of the Sarah Circle, which supports the missions of United Methodist Women.
She enjoyed walking and hiking, working out at the gym, reading, boating on Lake Erie with friends and attending Broadway productions at Shea’s Performing Arts Center.
In addition to her husband, survivors include a son, Michael; a daughter, Valerie; two sisters, Valerie Parsons and Amy Lewis; and a brother, Barney Wilmoth Jr.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17, in Hamburg United Methodist Church, 116 Union St., Hamburg.