In-plant Manager Draws Strength From Early Struggles
FROM A young age, Frank Oliver had a passion for art. The McGraw, N.Y., native satisfied his interest by taking numerous art classes as a high school student.
But Oliver, now print shop supervisor for the Delaware-Chenango-Madison-Otsego Board of Cooperative Educational Services (DCMO BOCES) in Norwich, N.Y., strived to be more than just another starving artist—even though that is the life path he originally followed.
The summer after graduating from high school, Oliver tried his hand at painting murals. "Of course, that isn't very lucrative," he says with a laugh.
So he later enrolled at a local community college, and focused on drafting, graphic arts and liberal arts.
"I decided that if I wanted to do anything that had to do with art, and have that as a part of my career, graphic arts was the direction I had to go in," Oliver reflects.
Struggling to find a full-time job, Oliver hooked on as a freelance graphic designer for the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, N.Y. While it again wasn't a great paying gig, it did give Oliver valuable experience that would help get his foot in the door at DCMO BOCES.
Oliver dedicated months of his time to the Kitchen Theatre and designed its spring marketing campaign.
"I designed a theme that tied into every show," Oliver recalls. "I once tallied the time I put in when I was getting paid by the hour, and it was under three bucks an hour."
In 2003, Oliver landed a job as a graphic designer for DCMO BOCES. He also went on to earn a bachelor's degree in visual communications from American Intercontinental University.
DCMO BOCES is a state organization that helps facilitate services for smaller school districts. It oversees 16 districts with a combined enrollment of less than 16,000 students.
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