Cherie Messore '80 MC - part one
Friday, February 01, 2008
This is an extended version of an interview with Cherie Messore '80 MC that appeared in the January 2008 edition of AlumNews.
Tell us about your work at Chocologo and Trocaire College:
Chocologo is downtown Buffalo’s only custom chocolate factory. There’s a factory on site, and a retail shop. I worked there for a couple years doing sales and marketing. It was an interesting experience. What was most appealing about it from my perspective is that it really showed that skills are transferable. My background is in public relations and fundraising and not-for-profit management and I wanted a change and to see what else was out there. It was a good transference knowing that if you are a skilled professional, particularly in that field, you can take that skill set and go to any other discipline and be successful. I’m now the director of development for Trocaire College. (I work) on fundraising campaigns, annual fund, we’re wrapping up a capital campaign now that is really exciting, and working with prospects and donors. (I’m) beginning to do a little with the alumni base as well. Do you like working with alumni? I will!
What career path did you take to get to Chocologo? Like I said, my background is in public relations, marketing and fundraising. I’ve worked in many of the non-profit organizations in and around Western New York. I had been working at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens as marketing manager. And as I said before a lot of the whole idea of how my skills could transfer into another discipline into the for-profit sector and I was fortunate enough to have spotted something at iambuffaloniagarajobs.com, and went for it. It was a very appealing transition, but I’m glad to be back in the not-for-profit arena. I believe there are people, professionals who are certainly not-for-profit minded and certainly working in higher education very much brings me full circle because when I was a student at Medaille (Class of 1980) my internships, that were required as part of the Media/Communication program, were in the Advancement Office at Medaille. I was in the White House and I was in what was called the West Wing.
What has changed about Medaille most since you graduated? Medaille is a very different world now - the growth of the College, in a lot of ways. Certainly the physical footprint has changed. When I was a student at Medaille from 1976-1980 it was the Main Building, the Library Building and the White House. That was it. And it was great to have that small controlled footprint – the parking lot was very different, the landscape behind the Main Building was extraordinarily different. I took a walk, probably about a year ago, behind the building. And so much of what I remember that was there and what was lovely is now gone. It’s unfortunate, but it’s all growth and progress. And everything is made to look just a little bit different, to show and to showcase growth and progress. Even the degree structures are different now. One of the last things I worked on before I left Medaille in the summer of 1980 – my internship actually continued past my graduation. I was working on the promotional brochures for two programs that don’t exist anymore - Arts Management and an Education-Multiple Settings certificate that was within the Education department and still allowed the students to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education, but education and multiple settings means that students were trained to be educators in museums and art galleries, in business, to do continuing (education) sorts of things. At the time I started at Medaille, in the fall of 1976, it was one of the few programs around that was breaking away from the traditional J-School (Journalism School) modality it was actually becoming a generalist program. Canisius and Buffalo State I believe followed suit. I believe Medaille was the first one around here to embrace that – until that time if you wanted to go into communications you either went to UB and became more of a conceptual student, or you went to Bonaventure and it was a traditional J-School. Medaille was one of the first around to embrace the idea of being a media generalist. And that was very appealing at the time. There was an article in the Atlantic Monthly – of course the Watergate break-in of 1974 spurred a lot of high school students and college students into a journalist career because they wanted to be (like) Woodward and Bernstein. This is a 1975 statistic, but there were 300 media students for every journalism position in the United States. (That) was considered a huge ratio at the time, and that’s why so many of these schools popped up. Programs started redefining themselves; the JBS program at Buffalo State redefined itself to be more aligned or similar to the Medaille program. And our class was huge. I believe the first media majors graduated from Medaille in 1979 – it was a handful of students. The Class of ’80 was the first full-fledged class of communications majors.