For Immediate Release

 

DCC ALUMNI ASSOCIATION HONORS FOUR RESIDENTS

 

The 2009 Outstanding Alumni, selected by the Danville Community College Alumni Association are (left to right): Halifax County Board of Supervisors Member E. Wayne Conner, Retired Goodyear Employee Martha Bond Flanagan, and Danville Mayor Sherman Saunders.

DCC Professor of Business Management Dr. Harry T. Kolendrianos, was also honored as a 2009 Outstanding Alumni by the DCC Alumni Association.

DANVILLE, VA, May 19, 2009 - Four area residents with significant community service have been honored as the 2009 Outstanding Alumni by the Danville Community College Alumni Association. They are: Danville Mayor Sherman M. Saunders; Halifax County Board of Supervisors Member E. Wayne Conner; Dr. Harry T. Kolendrianos, a Professor of Business Management , and Martha Bond Flanagan, Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company retiree.

“Honorees, chosen by the Recognition and Scholarship Committee of the Alumni Council from 76,000 alumni, have consistently served their communities and their fields of employment with distinction,? said Buddy Rawley, Director of Development. “Their accomplishments and their lives are shining examples to our present students.?

DCC President Dr. Carlyle Ramsey added, “Alumni awards at DCC are an ongoing recognition of individuals whose lives demonstrate exemplary contributions to their communities, chosen careers, and often Danville Community College. We are justly proud of the four recipients for 2009, who are examples to all of us concerning the value of dedication and leadership.?

Saunders, one of two alumni from the years since DCC’s creation in 1966, attended from 1974 to1975 and then went on to study at Averett University, Winston-Salem State University and the University of Virginia. A native of Pittsylvania County, Saunders is employed as Executive Director of Pittsylvania County Community Action, Inc. (PCCA), a position he has held for the past 30 years.

“My goal has always been service to man and community, ever since I was 15 years old,? said Saunders, who is also a Vietnam era veteran. “I heard Dr. Martin Luther King say at (Danville’s) High Street Baptist Church, ‘We’ve got to work together.’ I shook his hand, looked into his eyes and knew I had to try. My mission to work together has stayed with me from that time.?

When he became the executive director of PCCA in l979, the agency had a $1 million budget with 45 employees and served only the Pittsylvania County area. Today, he oversees the agency which has 160 employees and serves 12,000 people annually in 12 office locations in Pittsylvania, Henry, Patrick and Campbell counties and the cities of Martinsville and Danville.

Saunders was elected to Danville City Council in 1996, becoming its Vice-Mayor in 2006-2007, and Mayor in 2008. At DCC , Saunders has served as the president of the Center for Business, Industry and Government (C-BIG), the precursor to the Regional Center for Applied Training and Technology (RCATT).
In addition, he has been president of the Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce, the Virginia Council Against Poverty and the Mid-Atlantic Community Action Association, which includes Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C. At the state level, he has been appointed to boards and commissions by three Virginia governors: John Dalton, Charles Robb, and Gerald Baliles.

The second DCC alumni honored is Conner, retired plant manager at Presto Products Company. He is a native of Halifax, and has been involved in College programs and activities for more than 20 years. A former Marine and retail company owner, Conner holds two degrees from DCC - an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Accounting, and an Associate degree in Banking and Finance.

Both degrees were pursued after his affiliation with Presto, an affiliation which began in 1980 after a stint as a franchise store owner of Montgomery Ward. In 1984, he completed his first degree and by1987, he had graduated a second time, both degrees attained while employed full time. In 1998, he became plant manager, a position he held until his retirement in 2005.

He served DCC on its Workforce Services Board and on the Board of Trustees of the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center. He is a past Vice-President of the Halifax County Chamber of Commerce, a past chairman of Halifax Forward, and past Chairman of the Halifax Educational Foundation. He also serves on the United Way Board of Halifax County. He was elected to the Halifax County Board of Supervisors in 2006. Conner also works part time at Virginia International Raceway.

Two honorees were chosen from the DCC predecessor institutions -- Danville Technical Institute (in 1937) and Virginia Polytechnic Institute-Danville (established in 1947).

Kolendrianos, the honoree from VPI-Danville, began his career in 1961 at VPI-Danville, a branch with approximately 200 students at that time. A Danville native, by July 1, 1965, he had received both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Business Administration from Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg.

Kolendrianos returned to his home town in 1966, where he began a life-long career in education and community service. Recruited by VPI-Danville’s President Joseph Taylor, Kolendrianos began teaching economics and statistics while also serving as the institution’s Business Manager.

“I was finishing my master’s degree, had been examined for military duty and thought I was headed for Vietnam. Then I was told Joe Taylor and Kenneth Neathery wanted to talk with me on a Saturday,? Kolendrianos explained. “I came back home. We talked; I told them I was 1A and probably going to be drafted. They said, ‘Will you come if we get you a deferment.’ I said, I’d try the classroom. Three weeks later I received a deferment, and that fall I started teaching. For three or four years, I continued to receive deferments. Did I think I would be teaching long, no, but here I am, still teaching.?

While teaching fulltime, Kolendrianos received a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in 1976 ,and his Ed.D. in Community College Education in 1977 both from VPI.

Kolendrianos has a long career of service at DCC, including serving as the Coordinator of the Center for Business, Industry and Government (C-BIG), a position that was instrumental in expanding DCC’s workforce service mission in the region. He also serves on the DCC Educational Foundation Board and numerous college committees. He is retiring in August 2009as a Professor of Business Management at DCC, after more than 40 years of service to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In the community, Kolendrianos has served the YWCA, the United Fund, the Danville Chamber of Commerce, Hughes Home, Danville Regional Medical Center, and the Danville Public Schools in various capacities, particularly in fundraising and long-range planning. He currently serves on the Area Manpower Planning Board of the Virginia Cooperative Area Manpower Planning System, the Manpower Development Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors for Virginia Bank and Trust Company. Kolendrianos received the Governor’s Award for Volunteering Excellence in 1991 and he is a past recipient of the Award of Excellence in Education from the Danville Chamber of Commerce.

The other honoree from Danville Technical Institute is Flanagan, who retired from Goodyear’s Engineering and Maintenance Department. She came to Danville in 1958 from Dugspur, VA to pursue her dream of becoming a secretary.

“I enjoyed my DTI year and was prepared to face the employment world once I graduated,? Flanagan explained. “I will never forget learning to type on an electric typewriter. DTI only had one, and I always asked to use it. Before going to work at Goodyear, I worked in a Virginia County Extension Office as secretary. I had to go to Virginia Tech to take a shorthand and typing test. When I asked to take the test with an electric typewriter, they said no one ever asked for an electric typewriter. I took the test and was hired immediately.?

Flanagan was hired by Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company where she worked for 27 years; 24 of those years was as the Secretary to the Manager of Engineering. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Goodyear Family Credit Union holding offices of president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer. After retirement, she continued volunteer work with the credit union, serving two years as the secretary/treasurer of the URW Federal Credit Union Retirees Club. In 1987, she received the Goodyear Spirit Award and a year later, in 1988, she was honored as the Dan-Pitts Chapter Woman of the Year by the Dan-Pitts Chapter of the American Business Women Association.

Flanagan (along with her husband) also served Virginia as the state American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) Community Coordinators, while also volunteering with God’s Pit Crew, Little Life and the local AARP chapter. As part of her service to Danville Community College and alumni, she presently chairs a committee of the 1959 Business graduates for their 50-Year Class Reunion to be held August 8, 2009.

For more information about the DCC Alumni Association, contact 434.797.8499, or click here.

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