Distinguished Alumni 2018

November 15, 2018


Canisius College added four to its lengthy roster of Distinguished Alumni during an awards ceremony at the Montante Cultural Center in September. The annual event recognizes graduates who have made significant contributions in their chosen professions and who, through their leadership, add distinction to their respective fields. 

The 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award honorees are:

President, Joe Basil Chevrolet | Depew, NY 

James D. Basil equals “just great deals” for the Western New York community. As president of Joe Basil Chevrolet in Depew, he oversees one of nine locations in the Basil family of automobile dealerships.  

Basil began working at the Chevrolet dealership in the 1990s, cleaning showrooms and detailing cars. He purchased the business in the early 2000s. Today, he runs one of the leading Chevrolet dealers in Western New York, employing approximately 500 people in dealerships from Lockport to Fredonia, and selling nearly 20,000 new and used vehicles annually.

Under Basil’s leadership, the Chevrolet dealer has consistently been ranked among the top 10 dealerships in the nation. 

Named one of the region’s most influential people by Buffalo Business First, Basil is a long-time supporter of Catholic Charities of Buffalo, the Food Bank of WNY and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.


Global HR Leader, Bloomberg LP | New York, NY  

Catherine A. Bolz has a world of knowledge about human resources. She is global head of benefits for the Bloomberg LP media company, and provides international human resources consulting services to the many business sectors of Bloomberg. As a senior HR business partner, Bolz also works with lawyers representing claimants and defendants, to provide employment expert witness reports in connection with various types of legal cases.

Bolz launched her HR career at Pan American World Airways as a manager in the Pension Planning and Administration Department. She later held HR management positions with Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and BlackRock Inc. Most recently, Bolz was an executive client relationship manager for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, consulting with the firm’s largest institutional retirement clients.

A member of the advisory board for OutWOMEN in Business, Bolz also supports the Epstein Becker Green Women’s Initiative, which works to advance career opportunities for women.


President and CEO, Valu Home Centers, Inc. | Buffalo, NY

As president of Valu Home Centers, a regional chain of home improvement stores headquartered in Buffalo, Michael A. Ervolina understands good values, both in monetary and altruistic terms. 

The certified public accountant joined Valu in 1984 as vice president of finance and administration. He handled all aspects of accounting, finance and administration for the company before his promotion to president in 1996. During Ervolina’s career, Valu grew from 11 to 41 stores and currently employs nearly 900 people in Western New York and Northwestern Pennsylvania.

Ervolina credits the company’s 50 years of success to the value that underscores the chain – giving back to the community. In the last 25 years, Valu raised more than $2.5 million for Habitat for Humanity, and provided dedicated support to the United Way, Kids Escaping Drugs, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Salvation Army.


Erie County Surrogate Court Judge, Erie County Hall | Buffalo, NY

Acea M. Mosey once described her work with the Erie County Surrogate Court as caring for people who aren’t able to do it for themselves.

Mosey was elected judge for Erie County Surrogate’s Court 8th Judicial District in 2017, replacing the highly regarded Judge Barbara Howe who retired. Prior to that, Mosey served as public administrator for more than 12 years in the Surrogate Court, which handles cases involving the affairs of decedents. She and her staff help people navigate the probate of wills and the administration of estates and trusts. The Surrogate Court also oversees guardianships and adoptions.

For her continued care for the legal needs of area residents, the judges and police executives of Erie County awarded Mosey with the Attorney of the Year award in 2017. 

She is a member of the New York State Bar Association, the Erie County Bar Association and the Women’s Bar Association. 

Visit canisius.edu/magazine to read more about the 2018 Distinguished Alumni recipients.