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Seven Kenmore East Graduates Inducted Into Hall of Distinction | Schools

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Seven Kenmore East Graduates Inducted Into Hall of Distinction
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Seven Kenmore East Graduates Inducted Into Hall of Distinction

Seven Kenmore East alumni were inducted into the KE Hall of Distinction on Friday, May 7th, 2011.  The Hall, which had its first induction ceremonies during the school’s 50-year celebration last year, recognizes alumni who have distinguished themselves in their chosen professional careers and in their community.  Those inducted are:

Ross Runfola, Class of 1961

Dr. Ross Runfola received his J.D. and PhD from the University of Buffalo.  He has written articles that were in the New York Times, is an actor in plays and films, a textbook author, a documentarian, and a professor at Medaille College.  As an attorney, he is among the pioneers of using mediation instead of litigation in divorce cases.  His poetry has earned him the Greater Buffalo Poetry Slam Championship and international publication.  Dr. Runfola volunteers his time teaching, devoting 40% of his legal practice to pro bono work, and is a member of Leadership Buffalo. 

Robert Engel, Class of 1971

Robert Engel has been a leader in the banking community.  Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Niagara University, where he later received an honorary doctorate, Mr. Engel worked at HSBC Bank in a variety of positions including chief credit officer and chief banking officer.  He is currently the president and chief executive officer for CoBank, which specializes in supporting American agriculture.  He is the V.P. for the Federal Farm Credit Banks Funding Corporation, member of the Farm Credit System Presidents Planning Committee, is on the board of trustees for Regis University, and serves on the board of directors of New Ventures in Higher Education, the Mile High United Way, and the Buffalo Sabres Alumni Association. 

Ken Friedman, Class of 1972

Kenneth Friedman attended the University of Rochester and the University of Pittsburgh Law School.  Working for the law firm Hodgson Russ, he has handled billions of dollars of transactions focusing on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance.  Mr. Friedman is a past president of the board of trustees of the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, and has served on the board of trustees for the Office of Urban Initiatives, the Buffalo Alliance for Education, the American Jewish Community, and the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo.  He is currently on the board of trustees for the National Federation for Just Communities and Temple Beth Zion.

Dale Goodrich, Class of 1976

Dale Goodrich graduated from Bowling Green State University and attended Squadron Officer’s School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base.  He is a thirty-year veteran with the US Air Force and the Air Force Reserve and has worked as a systems engineer for IBM, a flight crewmember for United Airlines, and is currently the lead systems engineer for the MITRE Corporation.  Near his home in Virginia Mr. Goodrich volunteers at a local radio station, local churches, and a local prison.  Mr. Goodrich is the author of “So Are the Skies Really Gonna Part?” based on his experiences in the Pentagon on 9/11. 

Judy Elliott, Class of 1978

Judy Elliot attended SUCNY Buffalo where she received a Doctorate of Humane Letters from SUNY Buffalo.  Her education career has taken her to the University of Minnesota as a senior researcher at the National Center on Educational Outcomes, to the Portland Public Schools as Chief of Teaching and Learning, and to the Long Beach Unified School District as an Assistant Superintendent.   She is currently the Chief Academic Officer of the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the country.  She has trained thousands of educators, published over 51 articles, reports, and books, and has climbed Mt Kilimanjaro.  She is the first inductee to be in both the Kenmore East Hall of Distinction and the Kenmore East Athletics Hall of Fame, where she was previously inducted as a four time NCAA Division III All American Athlete.        

James Turner, Class of 1981

James Turner attended Niagara Community College, Erie Community College, and continued his education at Daemen College to receive a Baccalaureate of Nursing and become a Registered Nurse.  Starting his career at Millard Fillmore, he has worked at various Western New York hospitals in both the nursing and administrative fields.  Mr. Turner is currently the Vice President of surgical and cardiac services at Erie County Medical Center.  Mr. Turner is an assistant troop leader for Boy Scout troop 457, lectures to high school students as part of an ECMC educational program, and helped design an onsite college campus at ECMC for Niagara and Erie County Community Colleges. 

Marc Panepinto    Class of 1983

Marc Panepinto received degrees from the University at Buffalo and the University of Illinois where he obtained a masters degree in labor studies.  He worked to organize workers across the South Eastern United States and was featured in the New York Times for helping to organize workers in chicken processing plants in Arkansas.  Mr. Panepinto went back to the University at Buffalo to obtain his law degree, continued to work for workers rights, and is now a partner in the law firm of Morris, Lukasik, Dolce, and Panepinto.  He serves on the board of the North Buffalo Community Center, and the Buffalo Bisons Hockey League.

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