Sellstroms, Foti honored by JCC Foundation

Submitted photo Pictured left to right are John D. Hamilton Award recipients John L. and Carole W. Sellstrom; Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient Cheryl A. Foti; accepting the Community Partner Award, Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello and Cattaraugus County Legislature Chairman James Snyder.

The Jamestown Community College Foundation honored John and Carole Sellstrom and Cheryl Foti during its annual recognition event on October 8 at the Chautauqua Harbor Hotel.

The Sellstroms were the recipients of the foundation’s John D. Hamilton Award, which was established in 1995 to recognize individuals whose contributions exemplify those of Hamilton, a past president and trustee emeritus of JCC.

John L. Sellstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at Eastern Michigan University and a doctorate of law at the University of Wisconsin.

He served in the U.S. Naval Security Group and was later appointed as the associate government appeal agent for the Selective Service System in the Administration of the Military Service.

Carole W. Sellstrom earned an associate’s degree in liberal arts at Stephens College and pursued a nursing degree at the University of Michigan where, in the spring of 1955, she met John Sellstrom. John and Carole were married in August 1958 and have four children and 10 grandchildren.

Through his work as Consul of Sweden, John met John Johnson, who was looking for a way to give back to the community. Together they established the John Alfred and Oscar Johnson Memorial Trust in 1996. John served as the attorney and co-trustee of the Johnson Foundation, and Carole was named the executive director, a position she held until her retirement in July 2016.

Continuing the philanthropic legacy of the Johnson Foundation and the contributions made to the Jamestown community by the Sellstrom family, John and Carole established the John L. and Carole W. Sellstrom Family Charitable Fund at the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.

JCC alumna Cheryl A. Foti received the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The award is given to those who have typified the JCC tradition of excellence and brought credit to the college through personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.

“We are thrilled to honor Cheri with this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award,” said JCC alumni relations director Heather Morris. “She is a role model who has had a tremendous impact in her career field, serving her country and the community.”

Foti graduated from JCC with an associate in applied science degree, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Colorado Health Science Center and a master’s degree in nursing administration at the University of Buffalo.

She served and retired from the U.S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel and is currently one of the highest ranking female officers in Chautauqua County. She is a member of the Military Officers Association and the Air Force Nurses Society and a charter member of the Women in Military Memorial Association.

Upon retirement, Cheri streamlined advanced life support courses at UPMC Chautauqua. She served as an independent contractor with Pfizer, providing courses to hospitals and medical offices across the country. Cheri oversaw Steps to a Healthier NY, a comprehensive, five-year $1.8 million federally funded cooperative agreement that focused on healthy communities in Chautauqua County.

Throughout her military career and post retirement life, Foti has served as a board member of the JCC Alumni Association and Veterans Miracle Center. She has volunteered for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Special Olympics, Children’s Swimming Program, and the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

Foti received two Meritorious Service Medals, two Air Force Commendation Medals, and the Humanitarian Service Medal, Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Air Force Overseas Ribbon while on active duty.

The Community Partner Award was presented to Chautauqua and Cattaraugus county representatives James Snyder, chair of the Cattaraugus County Legislature, and George Borrello, Chautauqua County Executive. The award honors the counties’ support of JCC as regional sponsors.

Upon becoming a regional sponsor of JCC in 1996, Cattaraugus County assumed a key role in the development of JCC’s Cattaraugus County Campus in Olean. A $31 million project in total, the campus would not have happened without the support of the Cattaraugus County Legislature.

The Cattaraugus County Campus has become a major asset to downtown Olean and Cattaraugus County since the campus opened its doors in 2003. The percentage of all Cattaraugus County high school graduates choosing to enroll at JCC has nearly doubled, increasing from 11.9% in 2002 to 21.1% last year.

Joseph Snyder and Barbara Hastings, members of JCC’s board of trustees, also serve as members of the Cattaraugus County Legislature.

Since becoming a regional sponsor of JCC in 1996, Chautauqua County has been involved in and has supported nearly every capital project on the Jamestown Campus.

In recent years, one of every three high school graduates in Chautauqua County chose to enroll at JCC to begin their college education.

The JCC Foundation is a private, non-profit organization formed in 1983 to manage contributions made on behalf of JCC and to allocate funds to JCC programs or events that are not included in the college’s operating budget. Funds donated to the JCC Foundation support scholarships, faculty development, cultural events, the acquisition of instructional resources, and special programs for students, faculty, and the community.

To learn more about the JCC Foundation, visit www.sunyjcc.edu/giving or call 716.338.1010.


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