Finger Lakes Community College Honors Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb With Its “2012 Distinguished Alumni Award”

Leader Kolb honored for his “hard work and commitment” to Finger Lakes Community College and for serving as a “strong advocate for the power of education”
January 24, 2012

Finger Lakes Community College (FLCC) announced that New York State Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) has been selected to receive its “2012 Distinguished Alumni Award,” in recognition of Leader Kolb’s “hard work and commitment” to FLCC and his serving as a “strong advocate for the power of education,” according to FLCC President Barbara Risser, Ed.D. The FLCC Alumni Association will present the prestigious award to Leader Kolb on Friday, May 18, 2012, during its annual Alumni Awards Celebration.

“Being named ‘Distinguished Alumni’ by FLCC is a tremendous personal honor and an important recognition that my family and I will always treasure. I am grateful for this award and even more grateful for the lifelong friendships that I have made at FLCC,” Leader Kolb said.

“Finger Lakes Community College takes great pride in individuals like you. As one of our brightest alumni stars, we are grateful for all you have done on behalf of our community college. Your accomplishments are significant and you are a strong advocate for the power of education. All of us at FLCC take great pride in your personal and professional success. Through your hard work and commitment, you inspire all of us, especially our students,” said FLCC President Barbara Risser, Ed.D., in a special message for the Ambassador, a publication for FLCC Alumni and friends of the College announcing Leader Kolb had been named 2012 Distinguished Alumni.

“FLCC is much more than just a valued institution of higher learning that prepares students for, and connects them with, a successful future – FLCC is a vital regional asset and an indispensable partner for our Finger Lakes community. From its terrific teachers and innovative academic programs, to its continued dedication to our community, Finger Lakes residents take great pride in FLCC and everything it has accomplished. FLCC truly is a great place to start,” stated Leader Kolb.

Leader Kolb’s close, long-time connection with FLCC spans across decades, as he initially attended classes in downtown Canandaigua during the College’s storefront days after he had graduated from Honeoye Central High School. FLCC recruited Leader Kolb to serve on its Board of Trustees from 1998 to 2000. Leader Kolb also was selected for the FLCC Foundation Board and elected its chair from 1999 to 2001. Leader Kolb has been a long-time supporter of the Foundation’s annual fundraising initiatives and became a member of FLCC’s Heritage Society when he designated the College in his will. In 2003, Leader Kolb was honored with the FLCC “Foundation Award.”

Leader Kolb has continually made supporting education, higher education and community colleges top legislative priorities, first as an Assemblyman, and now as one of only four Legislative Leaders serving in New York State government – and the only Leader who lives in, works in and represents upstate. Leader Kolb also is the sole Legislative Leader in state government that has actually started and run successful private sector manufacturing businesses and possesses 25 years of private sector experience acquired as a business consultant, entrepreneur and chief executive officer of technology-based companies. Leader Kolb served as the former president of Refractron Technologies and was a co-founder of the North American Filter Corporation.

“There is an excellent reason why FLCC’s enrollment has increased to record levels: FLCC consistently delivers on the promise of a world-class, affordable higher education for traditional and non-traditional students alike, providing them the tools to build a better and brighter future. Continued private-public investment in FLCC and New York’s 35 other community colleges must remain rock solid priorities so our state can maintain its educational edge and continue as a national leader in high-tech job creation and private-sector innovation,” Leader Kolb said.

In addition to his tireless advocacy on the issues of education, higher education and supporting community colleges, Leader Kolb has taught and inspired students inside the classroom, having previously served as an Adjunct Professor of Adult and Graduate Education at Roberts Wesleyan College, where his students twice selected him “Outstanding Faculty Member.”

Additional details on Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb being honored by FLCC with its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award are available online at