Rising daily at 4:30 in the morning six days a week, Wesley Bedford, a dedicated father of two, began his career in banking in an entry-level call center employee. After taking a brief break from college, he returned full-time making the Dean's List and graduating with an Associate Degree in Sports Management from Genesee Community College in 2006. Since graduation, Bedford moved up the ranks at First Niagara Bank and then M& T Bank, learning as much as possible from each experience. He credits his education and professional experience to motivating him to return back to s
chool to complete his associate degree in Business Administration at GCC.
When asked why he chose GCC for his education, Bedford states "I chose GCC because of its cost and location." An Orleans County native, Bedford said that he was "able to live at home and not have to pay dorm expenses, or make mom and dad pay for it. It is a challenge for young people graduating from high school, inexperienced and trying to figure out what to do with their lives. GCC offers a great environment to help guide individuals in the right direction."
He has been involved with GCC since graduation attending campus events including filling a table at Encore annually and is also the Capital Campaign chair for Orleans County. Bedford wishes to become more involved with GCC's Alumni Affairs moving forward. In addition to his commitment to the college, Bedford dedicates his time to his family and community by coaching youth football for Niagara Orleans Football Association (NOFA), in which his six-year-old son, Luke, participates.
His advice for students going into banking includes obtaining a degree in accounting or business finance; however, he acknowledged there are other avenues available to students these days. As technology changes, a strong IT background is becoming ever more important. In addition to a college degree, future employees should have work experience, and the ability to carry on a conversation with others, which sounds simple but good communication is a learned skill," added Bedford.
As Bedford continues to achieve his professional goals, he plans to finish his Business Administrative Degree, then complete a four-year degree to "continue to learn and get better," as he put it. As he strives forward he also works hard to keep a balance personally. When asked what his future plans are, he smiled and said, "I want to spend more time with my kids including going to my daughter, Olivia's dance recitals, playing golf with them, and coaching my son's football team."
His prior banking experience was helpful but he states "I would not have been eligible to move up in the company if I didn't have the initial associate's degree from GCC. The same doors wouldn't have been open." Bedford is often surrounded by people in meetings with various levels of education from associate's degrees to MBA's. Conversing with others he states, "I am proud to be a GCC Alumnus. I wouldn't be sitting where I am today without GCC. It has been a cool ride."