College Hires Chief Communication Officer

SUNY Oswego hired Wayne Westervelt as the new chief communication officer for the college, President Deborah F. Stanley announced.

“I am very pleased to welcome Wayne’s leadership in this important position,” Stanley said. “He is recognized by his colleagues as a strong team builder, seasoned communicator and innovative professional.”

Wayne Westervelt

Wayne Westervelt

Westervelt brings 20 years of experience in the fields of marketing, communications, media and public relations, including the past 18 years in supervisory roles at Syracuse University and Cazenovia College and in the public sector as a communications/public information manager for the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board.

In his most recent role, as the director of communications and media for the Institute for Veteran and Military Families (IVMF) at Syracuse University, he reported to the vice chancellor as a member of the IVMF leadership team. His responsibilities included leading the national marketing and promotion efforts to tell the story of the institute and its mission to advance the post-service lives of America’s service mem­bers, veterans and their families.

Prior to that position, Westervelt spent more than a decade at Cazenovia College, ending his tenure as the vice president for marketing and com­munications and as a member of the president’s leadership team. While at Cazenovia, he successfully implemented marketing and communications tactics that advanced the college.

Westervelt led the creation of Cazenovia College’s media relations plan, branding initiative and the college’s first-ever integrated marketing plan. He managed the college’s crisis communications plan and a staff of seven in his department.

As chief communication officer, Westervelt replaces Julie Harrison Blissert, who retired in the summer after more than 30 years of exceptional service to the college. In recent years, Blissert led the transformation of the Office of Public Affairs to the Office of Communications and Marketing.

Blissert is credited with helping develop and empower a forward-thinking and talented staff of programmers, writers and designers. She and this team created a modernized digital-first approach, including the popular web-based Campus Update biweekly e-newsletter, the SUNY Oswego annual reports and the Tomorrow: Greater Impact and Success strategic plan. Their materials have won numerous awards.

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