GENESEO— Tom Ingrassia, Motown historian, motivational speaker, radio personality, and award-winning author, returned to SUNY Geneseo earlier this month to meet with students and hopefully spark in them the same passion for creative projects that he has.
Ingrassia, a 1974 graduate of SUNY Geneseo, left a 25-year career in higher education administration in 2001 to follow his dreams as a writer.
“My passion for writing was ignited while I was a student here in the ’70s,” said Ingrassia. “I wrote my first published article for a national music publication as an outgrowth of a historical writing class I had taken. I truly feel that I left campus at the end of my week here having received so much more than I gave.”
From 2001 to 2005, Ingrassia was the Executive Assistant and Creative Director for, The Supremes very own, Mary Wilson. Ingrassia has also worked with many others including: Arlene Smith of The Chantels, Barbara Alston of The Crystals (ghost writing her autobiography, There’s No Other, published in 2007), June Monteiro of The Toys, The Velvelettes, Carl Gardner of The Coasters (edited his autobiography, Yakety-Yak, I Fought Back), actress Dee Wallace (of “ET” fame), as well as concert organists, classical pianists, jazz groups, and a country act.
Ingrassia is currently the President of The MotivAct Group, a group that provides holistic personal and professional development seminars, workshops and individual coaching for success, focusing on guiding clients to clarify and set their goals, manage stress, enhance mind/body balance and helps individuals develop, what he likes to call the “road map”, to get from where you are to where you want to be in life.
Ingrassia was in Geneseo and actually lived in a special guest room in Seneca Hall, or Writers House, from November 3 to 7, as a Writer-In-Residence at Geneseo. During his time on campus, he provided one-to-one mentoring for students living in Writers House, participated in a writing workshop with students, presented his Mental Massage goal-setting program for students in the GOLD Leadership Program, his Motown lecture program for students studying African American History Since 1877, and a book signing.
“The students and staff I had the opportunity to work with inspired me with their dedication and passion for what they are doing,” added Ingrassia. “It gave me so much hope for the future!”
PHOTO CAPTION: Photo by Tom Ingrassia.