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Niagara Falls Culinary Institute
28 Old Falls Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
2015 Distinguished Alumnus
Jim Toellner • Class of 1978
Inducted October 17, 2015
Jim Toellner, a native of North Tonawanda, NY graduated from NCCC in 1978 with a degree in Liberal Arts: Math & Science. He went on to graduate from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1981 with a Bachelor's degree in Management and a concentration in Marketing.
Jim has spent his career moving through the ranks of the media world, setting an example for his colleagues to follow both professionally and personally. He has been President and General Manager of WGRZ-TV, Channel 2 in Buffalo, NY since August 2003. He is the longest standing President and General Manger in the history of the station and his leadership at the station has lead the team at WGRZ from last place to first place in local news ratings. Additionally, he was awarded Gannett Manager of the year in 2008 and named Gannett's Best Half Salesperson in 2010. Most notably, Jim was named "GM of the Year" in mid-size markets by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine in 2013.
Prior to his current position, Jim served as General Sales Manager at WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Jim also served at The Buffalo News as a Sales Manager. He crossed over to the television world where he held positions at ABC and CBS as an Account Executive, Local Sales Manager, and National Sales Manager.
Outside of his professional career, Jim makes it a priority to serve the Western New York community. For over 20 years, Jim has been a volunteer for SABAH (Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped) and has served with Opportunities Unlimited of Niagara for five years. Under Jim's leadership at WGRZ-TV, he, along with the rest of his team, incorporate community service into the station's purpose. Channel 2 regularly serves the Western New York community through several local charities including the Food Bank of WNY, Kids Escaping Drugs, the Susan G. Komen Western New York Race for the Cure, and various community service projects.
Jim is as humble as he is successful within the broadcasting world. Although he made the climb to success through many avenues, Jim accredits part of his achievements to his educational beginnings at NCCC. "The College is full of many resources that bridge the gap between high school and a larger educational institution or career. NCCC remains an affordable college with quality instructors who are second to none."