Wall of Fame Class of 2010
James J. Snyder
OHS Class of 1953
James Snyder graduated from Olean High in 1953 and later earned his Bachelor of Arts from Syracuse University. Mr. Snyder also attended St. Bonaventure University, where he earned a Master’s Degree in 1992. He was inducted into the Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame as a Letter winner of Distinction, having been a member of the Syracuse basketball team during his four years at the school. Mr. Snyder was also inducted into the Olean High School Athletic Wall of Fame.
Mr. Snyder has long been active in local politics. He served two years on the Olean Common Council, representing Ward 1, and decades on the Cattaraugus County Legislature, where he served as chairman for 13 years. Mr. Snyder was inducted into the Seneca Nation of Indians as a member of the Hawk Clan, and was also past president of the OHS Alumni Association and a member of the B.P.O. Elks Club #191. He served as president of the National Association of Counties (NACo) in Washington, D.C., and was president of the New York State Association of Counties (NYSAC) in Albany. In 1990, Mr. Snyder was named “County Leader of the Year” by City and County Magazine, a national municipal publication. From 1991-1993, he lived in Washington, D.C. and worked in the White House as a special assistant to President George H.W. Bush.
At home, Mr. Snyder was regional vice president of AAA of Western and Central New York for 40 years. He was also president of the Cattaraugus Empire Zone Corporation and Cattaraugus County Board of Health, chairman of the City of Olean Planning Board, and served on the Board of Trustees at Jamestown Community College.
Mr. Snyder served as an active and reserve member of the United States Army, and is a member of the American Legion Post #530. He is married to Paula J. Snyder and has four children, two step-children and seven grandchildren
OHS Class of 1970
Reginal Spiller is a graduate of Olean High who holds an M.S. in Geology from the Pennsylvania State University and a B.A.S.S. in Geology from the State University of New York. Spiller is chief operating officer for Allied Energy, a minority-owned oil and gas company headquartered in Houston. He is also the principal energy advisor to Oskya Corporation.
Spiller was co-founder of Frontera Resources where he served as executive vice president from 1996-2009. As a senior executive for 14 years, he managed all technical activity on behalf of the company and was charged with the responsibility of the start-up of operations in the Republic of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Prior to joining Frontera, Spiller was the deputy assistant secretary for gas and petroleum technologies at the United States Department of Energy. At the time, he was the highest ranking geologist in the administration and was the first petroleum geologist ever to hold the position.
Spiller served two terms on the National Academy of Sciences Energy Resource Board. He also serves on the academy’s Board on Earth Science and Resources, which works in collaboration with scientists from government, academia and industry in affairs that impact the federal government. He previously served on the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Diversity Subcommittee. Spiller is a founding member and past president of the National Association of Black Geologists and Geophysicists. He has served as a board member to AAPG’s Washington office and served as a guest lecturer as well. Spiller is a member of the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Science Gems and is an advisory board member to the Department of Geoscience.
Spiller was appointed as Honorary Counsel General to the nation of Sierra Leone, where he promotes United States investment. He was appointed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sierra Leone and advised of the appointment by the Ambassador to the United States, Mr. Bockari Stevens.