Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Center for Comedy Executive Director Journey Gunderson will serve as the commencement speaker at the 128th annual graduation ceremony of Jamestown Business College on May 31.
Gunderson began her tenure at the center in January 2011 with the task of producing the Lucille Ball 100th Birthday Comedy Festival, using it as a pivotal launch point for the new vision and direction of the organization, including establishing Jamestown as the home of the first National Comedy Center. The 2011 festival drew 13,000 attendees over five days and had a direct economic impact of $3.6 million on Chautauqua County, while the 2012 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival was profiled in the New York Times and ABC News 20/20.
In 2013, Gunderson was named one of Buffalo Business First's "Top-Forty-Under-Forty"; its youngest recipient, and was also named the YWCA Women of Achievement's "Young Leader of the Future." In 2014, she was asked to join a nationwide panel of comedy industry professionals as a voter in NBC's American Comedy Awards.
Prior to the Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, Gunderson spent six years with the Women's Sports Foundation, the most powerful women's sports organization in the world. She served as editorial director and educational media producer from both New York City and San Sebastian, Spain.
At the WSF Gunderson co-authored the two-time National Health Award-winning GoGirlGo! Educational Curriculum, and covered ESPN's X Games from Aspen, Colorado for three years. In her own role as an athlete, she competed in the NCAA Division 3 national championship tournament in volleyball in 2004, and took second place in the East Coast Surfing Association's New York State Championship, Women's Longboard Surfing division in 2006.
Gunderson graduated Magna cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in sports information and communications from Ithaca College, and later received the Ithaca Alumni Leadership Service Award. She currently resides in her hometown of Bemus Point and is a proud graduate of Maple Grove Jr. Sr. High School.
JBC President David Conklin said he is pleased to welcome Gunderson as a guest of the college.
"Graduation is always a special day for our students and the college community," he said. "As we celebrate another year of student success, we are especially pleased to have Gunderson share her vast experiences and connect with our students."
Jamestown Business College offers business-focused associate and bachelor's degrees that include targeted professional development activities. For more information on registering for these programs, call 664-5100 or visit online at jamestownbusinesscollege.edu.