Taste Wine With Style!

Graduate Student CouncilThe Graduate Student Council invites you to participate in a networking event on Thursday, March 31, 2016, in the Castellani Art Museum. The event is the first session of the Graduate Studies Speaker Series, which is an initiative organized to bring graduate students together in an environment where they can network and interact outside the classroom.

The agenda of the evening is the following:

  • 4-5 p.m. - Keynote Speakers
  • 5-6 p.m. - Wine Tasting
  • 6-7 p.m. - Networking

The event is free, but tickets are limited to the first 100 participants. Come meet your fellow graduate students at this informal (but classy) event. 

We will be tasting:

  • Mondavi Private Selection Chardonnay (Central Coast California)
  • Ruffino Lumina Pinot Grigio  (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc  (Marlborough, New Zealand)
  • Hogue Late Harvest Riesling  (Washington State)

To register for the event click here.



Keynote Speakers:

Kevin J. ClarkeKevin J. Clarke is chairman of the board & CEO at Niko Resources LTD, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Niko is an oil and gas exploration company with primary assets in India and other parts of Asia. Kevin will share his unique operating philosophy with the audience that has allowed him to successfully restructure operational and financially challenged organizations over the last 20 years.
Kevin is a:
  • President & CEO who led Catalyst Paper through a robust financial and operational turnaround and cultural transformation. Successfully guided the company through the CCAA bankruptcy protection process from filing in Jan 2012 to emergence in Sept 2012 (just 225 days – the fastest major restructuring in Canada). The company was relisted in the Toronto Stock Exchange in Jan 2013. 
  • Dynamic senior executive who has led global high performance organizations of up to 15,000 with sales of $1B+, and manufacturing facilities across the US, Canada, and Latin America. 
  • Change-agent and innovator who rapidly acclimates to new responsibilities, defines drivers, assesses performance, and develops/communicates/implements innovative strategies and tactics that strengthen business performance and growth. 
  • Hands-on leader who engages / empowers employees and maintains strong relationships with critical business clients, with a laser beam focus on the future. 

Karen HowardKaren L. Howard is a seasoned financial executive with more than 25 years of experience successfully developing, leading and executing financial and corporate strategy in dynamic and challenging global environments. At Kei, she manages all aspects of our clients’ investor relations programs to help them realize their shareholder value potential.

  • Prior to joining Kei in May 2013, Karen served in various executive and financial positions at Columbus McKinnon Corporation for 17 years, including vice president – strategic initiatives; vice president – finance and chief financial officer; vice president and treasurer; and vice president – controller. Before joining Columbus McKinnon, she was employed by Ernst & Young LLP for eleven years, progressing to senior manager in the firm’s audit practice.
  • Karen is a certified public accountant and holds a bachelor of business administration, accounting, degree from Niagara University. She serves on the President’s Advisory Board of Niagara University, as well as the university’s College of Business Administration Dean’s Advisory Board. Additionally, she serves on the Canisius College Council of Accountancy and the Audit and Finance Committee of the Buffalo Catholic Diocese. She also volunteers for a variety of organizations in support of her children’s activities, including the CTK Faith Formation Program, Amherst Youth Hockey and various school music department and PTA activities.
John BourdageJohn Bourdage, founder of Bourdage Consulting, has dedicated his life’s work to the improvement of interpersonal relationships, whether casual or business, through a renewed understanding of social skills and personal brand. John teaches the skills that are critical for success in this image-conscious world; skills that are necessary yet commonly overlooked by other programs.
  • Mr. Bourdage is a graduate of the internationally renowned Ivor Spencer School for Butler Administration and Personal Assistants in London, a Five Star Diamond award winning school. Ivor Spencer, recognized as the foremost expert of entertaining, etiquette and protocol, was toastmaster and event coordinator for Buckingham Palace. Under the tutelage of Ivor Spencer, Mr. Bourdage received training in such areas as manners and etiquette, food and wines, entertaining, British style butler service, and the fine arts. Mr. Bourdage studied clothing with various tailors on Savile Row, restaurant and hotel management at the Ritz and Savoy hotels, cigars and tobaccos at Alfred Dunhill, wines under a master sommelier, and specialty shopping at Harrods. John is a life long member of the Guild of British Butlers.
  • While in London Mr. Bourdage served as associate project director for a “Royal Gala and Ball” in honor of her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Kent. The event, which benefited the Samaritan Society, was held at Harrods. Along with coordinating event logistics, John helped secure contributions from companies such as Moet & Chandon, Remy-Martin, Jaguar Motors, Christian Dior, and Godiva Chocolates.
  • Mr. Bourdage founded Bourdage Consulting and began his consulting business by teaching businessmen to become more skilled at business etiquette, networking, and projecting a professional image in formal and informal settings. John also consulted with a number of candidates for public office at the federal, state and local levels on public appearances, donor relations, and coordinated various campaign events. John has written several articles on manners and etiquette that were published in various magazines and local newspapers through Gannett Publishing. 
  • Bourdage Consulting is built upon the custom design and delivery of training and other services that meet the specific needs of the client. John has delivered his training to universities, schools of hospitality, businesses and associations, hotels and casinos. He works tenaciously with his clients to improve their business goals and customer service. John’s seminars combine the soft skills and technical proficiency needed to promote personal and business excellence necessary for success in today’s marketplace. His service offerings are designed to provide clients with the edge they need to establish trust and credibility in their business and personal interactions. 
  • Mr. Bourdage served as technical advisor during the creation of training DVDs for Leading Hotel Schools of the World, and conducted remote training for students internationally. He has presented training on wine tasting, wine service, and food and wine pairing to various businesses and wineries in the Western New York area and hosted a local television show, Wine, Wit, and Wisdom.