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Spring 2015 Speakers

Undergraduate Ceremony: Saturday

Roger Ware, Jr. 
Chief Executive Officer, Genesee General 
'82, B.S. Criminal Justice

Roger Ware, Jr. is president, CEO, and majority owner of Genesee General, a specialty property and casualty insurance company based in Alpharetta, Georgia and Broomfield, Colorado. Genessee General serves independent insurance agents and is one of the nation's premier insurance wholesalers and Managing General Agents. The company is widely respected for its focus on customer service.

After starting his career as a commercial underwriter at Fireman's Fund in 1982, Mr. Ware worked with several insurance carriers focusing on large lines casualty products. Prior to joining Genesee, he was regional vice president of Crum & Forster's Atlanta Region. Along with significant underwriting experience, he has held several senior management positions with national property and casualty organizations.

A past recipient of the Hass and Carlton Award from the Independent Insurance Agents Association for service to the insurance industry and dedication to young agents, Mr. Ware will be installed as the 90th president of the American Association of Managing General Agents on May 20, 2015 in Washington, DC. The AAMGA is one of the largest specialty insurance associations in the country representing more than 500 corporate members and is the leader in and voice of the wholesale and excess and surplus lines insurance industry.

Mr. Ware graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminal Justice in 1982 and earned an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1997. He also holds an Associate in Risk Management from the Insurance Institute of America (1987). Mr. Ware is an active community leader volunteering with several nonprofit organizations including as a board member of the Herring Foundation of Hope, which is committed to providing current and accurate information on cancer prevention and knowledge of treatment options. He is also an enthusiastic supporter of West Chester University.

Undergraduate Ceremony: Sunday

Nicole Melander, Ph.D. 
Senior Vice President, Digital Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 
'83, B.S. Computer Science

Dr. Nicole Melander is executive vice president, digital strategy and chief customer officer for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the prestigious Boston-based publisher.

Dedicated to the transformation of the learning experience through strategic digital innovation and a superb customer experience, Dr. Melander works closely with every functional area of the company to consider the implications of technology on people, process, and product. She has in-depth knowledge of social media, educational technologies, e-business software, and large database systems.

Dr. Melander brings to this role more than 25 years experience in consulting, training, operations, innovation, and technology within multi-national software companies, small non-profits, and consulting partnerships. Prior to joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in 2014, she served as the chief technology officer of Achieving the Dream, a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion. There, she ensured that programs and operations were informed, supported by, and integrated with cutting-edge technology.

She has also held education and technology leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting, Microsoft, and Oracle. At American University, where she served as Executive in Residence for four years, she won the “Teaching with Technology Award” for her use of technology in the classroom. Those four years of full-time teaching — in the classroom, online, and in a blended environment — keep her focused on the learning transformation that her work enables.

Dr. Melander received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from West Chester University (1983), a Master of Science degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University (1994), and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in information technology from George Mason University (1999). A member of the Education Division Board of Directors for the Software & Information Industry Association, she has a patent in the area of Information Retrieval.

Graduate Ceremony

Perry M. Cozzone 
President, North American Division of Colorcon, Inc. 
'83, B.S. Computer Science; M.B.A. '88

Perry M. Cozzone is president of the North American Division of Colorcon, Inc., an international, industry-leading supplier of pharmaceutical excipients and services. Employed by Colorcon since 1998, he was elevated to his current position in 2013 after fifteen years of company leadership as vice president and global chief information officer.

As president, he leads more than 300 individuals and is chiefly responsible for numerous company initiatives, including sales, marketing, operations/quality, finance, and human resources. Recognized by colleagues throughout the industry — and indeed, around the world — as an enthusiastic leader, he has broad executive-level experience in pharmaceutical and manufacturing concerns.

In his current position, Mr. Cozzone encourages new and innovative ways to advance the company's commitment to technology, research, and development. Colorcon is noted for sharing its expertise through a variety of ongoing educational courses, seminars, and symposiums, a tactic drawn from the company's international presence and designed to help customers compete in the global marketplace.

When serving as vice president and global chief information officer, Mr. Cozzone spearheaded numerous initiatives including the ambitious global ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management) implementations. He built a world-class IT organization by establishing a global team working under a single, consistent, and qualified global IT framework. Similarly, he established a global technical infrastructure to support company systems and to help position Colorcon for global business-to-business efforts.

Prior to joining Colorcon, Mr. Cozzone served software company Applix, Inc., as vice president, where he played an instrumental role in the company's $11 million acquisition of TM1 Software. He has also held positions with Crown, Cork and Seal and Unisys during a robust career of researching and delivering information technology solutions.

Mr. Cozzone holds a BS in Computer Science (1983) and an MBA (1988) from West Chester University. An active and engaged member of the community, he is a member of several industry, business, and West Chester University advisory boards.

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