In Memory of Gary Kolesar
November 12, 1965 – September 15, 2015
We are sad to report that our Operations Manager and Webmaster, Gary Kolesar, passed away on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. Gary was a brilliant media professional, and his professional experience spanned publishing, health care, insurance and hobby markets.
In the early 1990’s, after earning a Master’s in Mass Communications, he was a Communications Coordinator at Chevron, and later held a similar position, through 1997, at The National Shooting Sports Foundation. He eventually became Director of Electronic Communications at Air Age Media, from 1998 to 2003. There, he helped Air Age establish a robust business presence on the web. In subsequent years, he assisted Maplegate Media in developing its online infrastructure.
An entrepreneur, consultant and consummate communicator, Gary offered media development services as an independent contractor for nearly two decades. In his career, he launched and maintained over 30 websites and assisted in implementation of online ecommerce systems. He was a master at reducing website and business performance reports to easily understandable graphics. He had a commanding knowledge of targeted email blast marketing, and tracked distribution, click-throughs, and results.
For the last 12 years, Gary was editor and webmaster for Small Business Digest magazine, published by Information Strategies, Inc. He was an expert in content management systems as well as search engine optimization (SEO), and launched and maintained Dreamweaver and Drupal systems for his clients. In the early 2000’s, Gary worked with Don Mazzella and Thomas Atwood to define the framework of the National Robotics Education Foundation (NREF), which supports robotics-based STEM education. In 2015, NREF became an IRS-recognized 501c3, and Gary assumed the position of Operations Manager.
On a personal level, Gary showed equanimity and calm resourcefulness even when faced with challenges. He was a peacemaker, and, though he was never shy in a debate, it was the nature of his character to focus on solutions. His hobby interests included boating and music. Gary collected albums and had an encyclopedic knowledge of rock music. Also a musician, he played the keyboard and tenor saxophone. His hobby interests included antique bottles and he enjoyed family outings to renaissance fairs. He was an avid writer of fiction and had ambitions to publish a novel addressing the little-known, mysterious history of Candlewood Lake, in Connecticut. He and his family lived on the lake through the 1990s and a few years ago, moved to Rhode Island. Gary is survived by his wife, Carol, and daughter, Amanda, 17, and son, Jeremy, 13. He will be deeply missed.