Bicentennial Conference Committee

Erie Canal Bicentennnial Conference Committee

Dick Williams
Dick, OCHC chair, has been involved with history for over 60 years as a social studies teacher, Clinton Historical Society president and newsletter editor, town of Kirkland historian and village of Clinton historian, interim administrator at the Oneida County History Center in 1997, Region 7 Coordinator for the Association of Public Historians in New York State, president and newsletter editor for the Oneida County Historians Association, as historian for the Big Moose Community Chapel, the Clinton Fire Department, the Clinton United Methodist Church, as editor or writer of six books on local history, and as columnist on local history for the Clinton Courier and the Waterville Times. He holds a degree in history from Syracuse University and a master’s in social studies education from the University at Albany.

Joseph P. Bottini
Oneida County Historian Joseph P. Bottini is a retired schoolteacher with 35 years of professional service at local schools including Kemble School in Utica and Perry Junior High in New Hartford. A native of Rome, NY, Joe is a graduate of Rome Free Academy and Utica College, and completed graduated studies at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

Joe is an accomplished writer and has co-authored multiple books including Utica: Then & Now, Legendary Locals, and Oneida County: An Illustrated History. Joe also served as a researcher and writer for the Bagg's Square Mural Project, which culminated in the installation of a history timeline along Utica’s Bagg's Square Corridor in 2016. Today, Joe writes local history articles for the Greater Utica Magazine and guest editorials for the Utica Observer Dispatch.

His passion for local history extends beyond writing; he shares his enthusiasm through lectures and tours at local venues including ‘Walk & Talks’ for the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica. He has been active in planning the Erie Canal Bicentennial Conference and is enthused about this epic event in American history.

Joe is a proud veteran of the United States Army and a committed Child of God in Christ who plays flute at his local church. He lives in Sauquoit with his lovely wife Mary, and is blessed with two daughters, two sons-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Brian Howard
Brian Howard has been the Oneida County History Center's Executive Director since 2007. He is a longtime museum professional and began his career as a curator and development officer at aviation museums outside of Washington, DC and in New York's Southern Tier. He graduated with a degree in history from SUNY Potsdam in 1992 and earned his Master's degree in Museum Science at Texas Tech University in 1994. He is also an adjunct American history instructor at the SUNY Polytechnic Institute, starting there in 2010. He lives in Sherburne with his wife, Paula, and two sons.

Judy Mallozzi
Judy Mallozzi has a love for history and a drive to educate others about the past. She was appointed Whitesboro Historian in 1999, is a founding member of Whitesboro Historical Society and curator and director of the Whitesboro Historical Museum.

Judy is President of the First Historical Club of Whitesboro, an Oneida County Historians Association trustee, board member of Landmarks Society of Greater Utica, and was inducted, a member of the class of 2016, into the "Living Legends" Hall of Fame at Oneida County History Center. Judy is a Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Master Gardner, Notary public, and coauthor, with Dana Nimey Olney, of the book "Images of America Whitesboro" Arcadia Publishing. Judy designed, planted and maintains the Erie Canal Village Park in the Village of Whitesboro. In Celebration of the Anniversary of the 200-year building of the Erie Canal, Judy will be doing programs at the Museum to educate students about what the canal meant to the growth of Whitesboro and New York State.

Rebecca McLain
Rebecca McLain is the Community Outreach Coordinator for the Oneida County History Center. Rebecca holds a B.A. in Anthropology for CUNY Hunter and an M.A. in Anthropology from Louisiana State University. She has worked and volunteered at multiple museums and historical societies including the LSU Rural Life Museum in Baton Rouge and the Omaha Children’s Museum in Nebraska. A native of Allegany County, NY, Rebecca moved to the area in August 2015. She is a member of the Utica Curling Club, a ballet student at Utica Dance, and enjoys hiking and exploring central New York and the Adirondacks. Rebecca lives in Utica with her husband and four cats.

Patrick Reynolds
Patrick Reynolds is currently the Educator for the Rome Historical Society. Patrick has his M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum studies and has worked throughout the country and a curator, exhibit developer, and museum consultant. His research on canals began in 1989 as a recipient of Student-Faculty Research Grant for compilation of annotated bibliography related to early navigation in New York from SUNY Oneonta. His research continues to this day.

Michelle Truett
Michelle Truett is a Utica-based graphic designer and marketing professional. She is a native of New Jersey and a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology where she majored in graphic design and had a liberal arts concentration in history. She moved to Utica in 1998 and started her business in 2002 doing design, branding and marketing work for many local companies, start ups, non-profits and social enterprises. For the past two years, she has been working extensively on neighborhood branding initiatives with Cornell Rust 2 Green Utica in Bagg’s Square, Downtown Utica and the Brewery District. She presented a TEDx Utica talk last September titled "Microbranding Utica Mile by Mile". She was the project manager and designer for an 80’ historic timeline mural in Bagg’s Square, featuring 200 years of people, places and events that shaped the city.