Annual Business Awards Honor Top WNY Execs

September 21, 2011

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BUFFALO, NY – Edward “Ted” F. Walsh Jr., president and chief operating officer of Walsh Duffield Companies, Inc., will receive the Business Executive of the Year Award at the annual Canisius College Business Awards Dinner onTuesday, October 11 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.Cocktails begin at 5:30 p.m.; dinner is at 6:30 p.m; the awards presentation will follow and will include the presentation of the Dr. Bernard L. Martin Award to Barbara A. Bellanti MBA ’86, president and chief executive officer of Battenfield Grease and Oil Corporation. The Business Awards Dinner is co-sponsored by the Business Advisory Council to the Richard J. Wehle School of Business.

Established in 1969, the Business Executive of the Year Award honors an outstanding Western New York business executive who has achieved professional success and demonstrated a broad interest in civic affairs. The Richard J. Wehle School of Business at Canisius College presents the award annually at the Business Awards Dinner.

This year’s recipient, Edward “Ted” F. Walsh, is a successful businessman, philanthropist and community advocate. As chief operating officer of Walsh Duffield Companies Inc., which offers personal and commercial insurance and risk management products, Walsh demonstrates that a sound work ethic and a generous heart can enrich an entire community. In all of his business endeavors, Walsh sets the tone for his company earning client trust through integrity, honesty and sound management. He supports the professional development of his employees, and by his own example, encourages philanthropy and volunteerism. 

Walsh’s leadership and generosity contributes significantly to the quality of life in Western New York. He is treasurer of the John R. Oishei Foundation, chair of the Goodyear Foundation and vice chair of the Buffalo Olmstead Parks Conservancy. Walsh was instrumental in the purchase and planting of 150 trees and 1,000 flower bulbs in Delaware Park. He served on the boards of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Great Lakes Health and was chair on the boards of Kaleida Health, the United Way, Nichols School and Hospice Buffalo. Walsh also served on the college’s Business Advisory Council of the Richard J. Wehle School of Business. 

An alumnus of Nichols School and Williams College, Walsh holds credentials as a chartered property and casualty underwriter and certified insurance counselor. 

Barbara A. Bellanti, MBA ’86, will also be recognized at the annual Business Awards Dinner. The Canisius alumna will receive the Bernard L. Martin Award. Established in 1976 by the Board of Directors of the Canisius College Masters Alumni Association (MBAA), the award recognizes a distinguished graduate of the college’s graduate business programs – someone who has excelled professionally and also provided significant service to the community. 

As president and CEO of Battenfield Grease and Oil Corporation, Bellanti oversees the nation’s largest privately-owned company, which manufactures lubricating grease and oil products. The company operates two facilities in North Tonawanda and a third in Ontario. 

Bellanti began her career in 1981 as an accountant for American Lubricants, a Battenfield subsidiary. She steadily rose to the position of controller and then to executive vice president. Bellanti subsequently joined Battenfield as purchasing manager and was later promoted to its president and CEO. She also serves in leadership positions within the industry: as president of the National Lubricating Grease Institute (NLGI) and on the boards of both the NLGI and the Independent Manufacturers Association. 

Bellanti is active in the community and is particularly loyal to alma mater. She provided strong and consistent support as a member of the college’s Leadership Society and as a volunteer for the Canisius Fund. On several occasions, she generously donated the Battenfeld box at HSBC Arena for a Sabres game to help raise funds for MBAA scholarships. Battenfield has served for five years on the MBA Alumni Board.

Bellanti earned a master’s degree in business administration from Canisius College. 

For more information on the Business Awards Dinner, contact the Richard J. Wehle School of Business at (716) 888-2160. 

Canisius College is one of 28 Catholic Jesuit colleges in the nation and the premier private college in Western New York. Canisius prepares leaders – intelligent, caring, faithful individuals – able to pursue and promote excellence in their professions, communities and service to humanity.