Alumni: 84,000   Students: 17,000

Ronald Heath ’02

Ronald Heath

Ronald Heath ’02
Chief Sales and Marketing Officer
Community Banking System/OneGroup

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
At the time, I was looking into colleges for my son and those colleges focused on adult students. What I found was an incredible opportunity for myself to capture credit for life learning, in an environment for and by adults. As it turned out, it was a great choice for both my son and me!

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
Having started a number of businesses, ESC may not have directly shaped my career, however, with the guidance and help of ESC and my mentors, Nikki Shrimpton and Dick Butler, I broadened my options beyond my businesses and provided the credentials to go along with my expertise.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
After a long career in branding, marketing and sales, I think my proudest moment and highest career achievement was having been recruited into a small <$1 billion public company to help reorganize multiple acquisitions and re brand the company. I was able to assist on the strategic operations side while creating the new name, OneGroup, legally securing it’s registration, designing the brand and following it out. In addition, I was able to contribute to the design of a 34,000 square-foot state-of-the-art collaborative workplace now named OneGroup Center. It was a rare opportunity to influence every part of the company’s transition and branding.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
I advise many traditional and adult students to look closely at ESC, to dig in to the true value available to them. I also encourage them to mentally prepare to do more (you get more in return), and stick with it when the going seems tough. Dropping out or slacking off is not an option and unlike tradition college, even the most expensive schools, the ESC mentor program and indeed, the organization, is geared to help you, to serve you and to ensure your success.

Why do you give back to Empire State College?
Empire State College is a unique learning venue. As an Alumni Board member for six years, I worked hard to ensure we did not become like all the others with formality, expensive campuses and ultra liberal views that breed the mediocrity, divisiveness and entitlement we see on so many campuses around the country.

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
While we students of Empire State College did not participate in the frat parties and bashes on the quad, or even the close ties to each other, we never the less share robustly in the learning process, our time with our mentors and the ultimate satisfaction of having accomplished our formal higher education goals. That satisfaction will stay with each of us throughout our lives. If anyone is hesitating for any reason–money, time, fear…–set that aside and make the decision to better yourself in every way at Empire State College. You will not regret it!