Robert Fleming, Class of 1968

Robert Fleming, Class of 1968

I grew up in the Village with my 5 siblings. I graduated from Hamburg HS in 1968 where I was a good student and played football and basketball.  I went to Cornell University and received a BA in 1972. I was a 3-year starter on the Cornell football team at defensive back.

For 3 years after Cornell, I was a painter and printmaker, which was and is my primary passion. Nonetheless, I went to UB Law School and graduated cum laude in 1978. I worked as a confidential law clerk to John T. Curtin, Chief Judge of the Federal District Court for my first legal job, where I worked on the momentous Buffalo school desegregation case.

After 2 years in Federal Court, I joined the Hodgson Russ law firm. At Hodgson, I practiced Corporate and Antitrust Law and served as head of the firm’s corporate department and n the board of the largest law firm in Buffalo. I have been included in Best Lawyers of America for both corporate and antitrust law for over 20 years and was named the corporate lawyer of the year in Buffalo in 2008. In addition to major Buffalo companies, my largest clients were headquartered in Finland. I worked on major merger and antitrust cases for them and served as a director of their US holding companies.

Throughout my legal career I continued to pursue my art practice in a serious way. In my early 60’s I cut back on legal work and increased the time I devoted to art.  I had a one-person exhibition of my etchings at a major Buffalo gallery in early 2018. I am a co-founder of Mirabo Press, a fine art printmaking workshop in Buffalo and exhibited work in numerous shows the last few years. I have served a director of numerous for-profit and not-for-profit companies and currently am a director of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Western New York and also Western NY Book Arts.

Joan Calkins MD, Class of 1971

Joan Calkins MD, Class of 1971

Dr. Joan Calkins is the fourth of nine children of Drs. Evan and Virginia Calkins of Hamburg. Joan moved to Hamburg before third grade and as a young person was active in 4-H, showing horses, dogs, and chickens. She also played the trumpet, swam on the Hamburg swim team, was a member of the Girls Service Club, and participated on the deputation teams at the Hamburg Presbyterian Church. In her senior year at Hamburg High School, Joan was president of the National Honor Society and graduated third in the class of 1971.

Joan earned her undergraduate degree from Vassar College in 1975 and her M.D. from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in 1979. She completed her training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Rheumatology at Hopkins and was awarded a Robert Wood Johnson Fellowship. Joan served on the faculty at Ohio State University and University of Missouri at Kansas City before returning to Hamburg in 1993. She opened her own private practice, Village Pediatrics and Rheumatology, in 1997. She remains today the only private practicing pediatric rheumatologist in the country.

Her commitment to Hamburg extended into her family life as all five of Joan’s children graduated from HHS. Megan Boyd (2001) serves as Director of Choral Activities at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. Matt Bender (2002) is a neurosurgeon at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. Brady Bender (2006) currently clerks for a Federal Court of Appeals Judge in Detroit, MI. Julie Bender (2009) works as an assistant principal and science teacher in Minneapolis, MN. Kyrill Calkins (2017) still resides here in Western NY. Joan also served on the Hamburg School Board from 2009-2013, acting as president in the final three years.

 

 

Doug Smith, Class of 1976

Doug Smith, Class of 1976

I grew up with my 3 brothers in the Village of Hamburg and later moved into the town. My folks, Jeanne and Andrew Smith, were active members of the community including: American Legion (they were both veterans of WWII), Catholic Daughters, and Hamburg Baseball. I graduated from Hamburg High School in 1976 and then attended Hilbert College receiving an A.S. Degree in Business Administration and played baseball for 2 years at Hilbert. I went on to the University of Buffalo School of Management where I received a B.S. in Business Administration.

After graduating the job market was challenging and I started as a beer truck driver for a local beer distributor, Lake Erie Distributors. I moved on to route sales at Try-it Distributing in the mid 1980’s. In 1987 I joined Labatt USA as a sales representative. Labatt USA became a global company owned by the likes of Interbrew and InBev. I held several positions in wholesaler management and National Accounts. One of my proudest moments was when I was part of the team that was able to move Labatt USA National Headquarters from Norwalk CT to Buffalo, NY. In 2015 working with FIFCO USA, new parent company of Labatt USA, I was named Vice President of Sales for North America, managing a sales organization of over 200 people, and was able to expand the business into all 50 states, the Caribbean and Canada. With all my business success my greatest achievement was being able to, along with my wife JoAnne (HHS class of 1977) raise our 3 children: Kevin, Sean, and Meghan in this community and have all 3 children graduate from HHS. Recently I have started along with friends and family a non-for-profit 501c3 group called Out of the Blue whose mission is to “enhance the lives of the adult disabled living throughout WNY”. To date we have given over $80,000 to this special community.

Richard Aquila, Class of 1964

Richard Aquila, Class of 1964

In 1959, Dick transferred from South Buffalo’s P.S. 29 to Hamburg Junior High. In high school, he wrestled varsity all four years, winning the AAA VI sectionals in 1964. He also played on the JV and varsity baseball teams. His most memorable academic moment came when his social studies teacher, Mr. Teague, selected him as one of four seniors to question a U.S. congressman on local TV.

After graduation, Dick attended Bowling Green State University and earned a B.S. in journalism and M.A. in history. After completing a Ph.D. in history at Ohio State University, he set off on a 40-year adventure as a history professor, with stops at Metropolitan State University in Denver, Ball State University, and Penn State University, the Behrend College. During his career, he published 7 books and numerous articles and reviews. Dick also wrote and hosted “Rock & Roll America,” a weekly one-hour program broadcast for two seasons on NPR and NPR Worldwide. In 2004, Ball State University awarded Dick a “Distinguished Professorship” for excellence in teaching, research, and service.

In addition to teaching and writing, Dick served as chair of the history department and head of the American Studies Program at Ball State, and later became Director of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Penn State Behrend.

After Dick retired in 2015, he returned to Buffalo to be closer to friends and family. Dick continues to write books, as well as columns for USA Today, The Hill, and other national publications. He also serves as a “Distinguished Lecturer” of the Organization of American Historians and gives public lectures at the Chautauqua Institute and other top venues.

Beth Moses, Class of 1984

Beth Moses, Class of 1984

I moved to the Village of Hamburg at the age of 5 and was raised by Mike and Pat Osborne, along with two siblings. Although I was an avid participant in the various music programs throughout my schooling, I found my true passion while taking AP Biology, First Aid & CPR, and the EMT program. While studying at D’Youville College, I began teaching CPR classes and joined the First Aid Simulation Team of WNY, providing live simulation training for disaster drills and EMS classes. In 1988, I began my nursing career in the Trauma ICU at ECMC and also joined the Hamburg Volunteer Fire Department.

I spent 17 years directly caring for trauma patients in the TICU before accepting a Unit Manager position on a cardiac unit. In 2013, I returned to the Trauma Program as the Trauma Injury Prevention and Education Coordinator. In this role, I work to prevent and minimize traumatic injuries with a variety of programming such as Falls Prevention seminars and public service announcements. In the past 3 years, we have provided Stop the Bleed training to over 2,500 people, including the Hamburg staff. I have been a guest presenter in the health classes, teaching about distracted and impaired driving to almost 2000 students per year. I also provide trauma training to area nurses and EMS providers. I serve on NYS trauma related committees.

It has been a true honor to serve our community as a member of the Hamburg VFD. It is there that I met my husband and where we have raised three wonderful children, who have all joined the fire department after completing the EMT program at Hamburg HS. We are grateful for the wonderful foundation and opportunities that the Hamburg schools have provided our family.