Education will open doors

Jim Gisondi was born and raised in Gloversville and graduated from Gloversville High in 1963; the same year Fulton-Montgomery Community College was established.

“I saw the possibility of staying home and saving money to continue my education, eventually transferring to a four-year institution. FM was a win-win for me at the time,” says Jim.

Knowing that he wanted to learn the ins and outs of business and someday own and run one, Jim studied business administration.

The initial class of faculty made quite an impact on him.

“I was impressed with the many good instructors including Mr. Wadsworth, Mr. Rodgers, and Dr. Fabiano. Dr. Fabiano taught history. Besides being interested in business, I have always been sort of a history buff. He was a great faculty member, plus, being the basketball coach, he was hard on me not only in the classroom but as well as on the court — and I needed that,” Jim said.

Jim played on FM’s first organized basketball team.

After FM, Jim went on to earn a B.A. in business management from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois and an M.A. in Management/Human Relations from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri.

Jim worked for 14 years for the Department of Defense (Air Force) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio and retired from Federal Civil Service in 1998.

What about his dream of owning a business you ask? Jim achieved that dream. Twice. He opened Gisondi’s Authentic Italian Restaurant and ran it for five years as well as spending four years running Buffalo/Speedi-Print Printing Company. He continued with his love of Italian cooking offering cooking courses.

“I’ve taught cooking classes in authentic Italian cuisine for over 40 years in several states for colleges, adult education, demonstrations, et. al. I’m known affectionately as ‘The Self-Proclaimed Prince of Pasta,'” he said. “For the past few years, I’ve used my cooking expertise to help local charities (hospitals, humane societies, and other organizations) raise money at auctions by donating my time and product for events, such as an authentic Italian ‘Dinner for Eight.'”

Another passion for Jim is playing the banjo. He organized and performed in a Dixieland banjo band for 15 years called “The Southern Ohio Banjo Society” (aka, The SOBS).

An avid collector of Buffalo/Bison memorabilia, Jim has been a member of the National Buffalo Association for many years.

As a full-time retiree, Jim shares his thoughts on the importance of an education: “Aside from the obvious learning experience it is often necessary for one to get a substantial education to get their foot in the door in a job opportunity. I have worked with our local high school’s Leadership Program; I give a brief seminar of what it take to become an entrepreneur. Besides showing the pros and cons of becoming such, I also give my take on what college does for you. I tell them that college teaches you life skills. For example, time management, the importance of completing tasks, social skills, interpersonal contact(s), and hopefully, listening to others opinions. In general, education opens one up to the many different avenues one might want to travel, but didn’t know how to get there. You get to your goals through education.”

Jim has been married to Linda Kay (Jordan) Gisondi for 39 years. They currently reside in Bainbridge, Georgia. Jim can be reached at

Amy Radik is the pr coordinator at FM.