Joel R. Fatato of Colonie, vice president for finance at Hudson Valley Community College, has been recognized for his work by Community College Business Officers, a professional organization for business officers from community colleges and community college system offices in the United States and Canada.
A 1971 Hudson Valley Community College graduate, Fatato received the Outstanding Chief Business Officer Award for the organization's Region 13, which represents Delaware, New Jersey and New York. He was one of only 16 people who received a regional award; he is now eligible for the overall Outstanding Chief Business Officer Award, which will be selected later this month at the Community College Business Officers annual meeting in Charleston, S.C.
Fatato has been a Hudson Valley employee since his graduation. He has held the positions of account clerk, financial analyst, assistant comptroller and comptroller, and chief fiscal officer, prior to being promoted to vice president for finance in 2000. In addition to an associate's degree in accounting, Fatato holds a bachelor's degree from Empire State College and a master's degree from the University at Albany.
"I've been here all my life; Hudson Valley is like my second home. It's an honor to be recognized," he said.
The college's 2004-05 operating budget totals more than $73 million. As vice president for finance, Fatato is responsible for the college's operating and capital budgets: accounting, payroll, accounts payable, accounts receivable, cashiering, purchasing and central services. Fatato praised his professional and clerical staff of 60 employees: "It's important to surround yourself with good people, and my staff members are dedicated to the college and the students they serve."
He also acknowledged the support he has received from current President Marco J. Silvestri, Ph.D., former President John L. Buono, and June Brown, the college's retired comptroller who had served as his boss for many years.
"Mr. Fatato is tirelessly committed to the success of Hudson Valley Community College and its students," Silvestri wrote in his nomination. "He is a strong advocate for funding in the areas of academic excellence and programming and service to students."
Fatato and his wife, Judy, have two children: a daughter, Maria, who is a graduate of Hudson Valley, and a son, Chris, who currently is a student at the college.
Founded in 1953, Hudson Valley Community College offers more than 60 degree and certification programs in four academic divisions: Liberal Arts and Sciences; Engineering and Industrial Technologies; Health Sciences; and Business; as well as programs run through the Educational Opportunity Center offering certification programs in workforce and academic preparation. One of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, it has an enrollment of more than 12,000 students, and it is known as a leader in distance learning initiatives and worker retraining. Hudson Valley has nearly 60,000 alumni.