The Widower’s Journey
As a bank executive, Herb Knoll was known as a man who could get the job done. But when Knoll lost his wife to cancer he found few resources that could help him recover. And the more he learned about the plight of widowers, from high suicide rates to physical and emotional problems, the more he became motivated to write a book with fellow widowers, for fellow widowers.
About the founder of the WSN
Herb Knoll (67) is the surviving spouse of Michelle Renee Knoll who passed away on March 7, 2008. A native of Western New York, Knoll spent nearly four decades as a senior banking executive with several banking institutions including Bank of America (Tennessee), Farm Bureau Bank (Texas), Key Bank and M&T Bank (New York) and as president of Marketplace Bank (Florida).
Knoll has a wide-range of interests and experiences including having served as a professional speaker, as a weekly columnist for the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, a contributing writer for Sales & Marketing Management and Marketing Times magazines and as a professional voice talent. Knoll self-published THE TOTAL EXECUTIVE in 1985, selling seven thousand copies to aspiring executives.
DiMitri Executive Image Award (1988), awarded to him by the world-class designer Piero DiMitri and presented to Knoll by actress and super-model Jennifer O’Neill and Grammy Award winning trumpeter Wynton Marsalis. Knoll served as the Executive Director of the Sales & Marketing Executives International, Inc., where he lead over 10,000 members and was inducted into the Buffalo/Niagara Sales & Marketing Executives Inc. Hall of Fame in 1991.
Knoll is the founder and member of the board of directors of the Michelle’s Angels Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit 501(c)3 which is named after his deceased wife Michelle Renee Knoll. The Foundation’s mission is: … to provide love, hope and compassion and comforting music to those who quietly suffer. Michelle’s Angels Foundation volunteers have perform charitable initiatives across several states. Its Angel Artists have performed at the bedside of patients at Hospices, cancer treatment centers, cardiac care units and health care facilities of all types as well as during live HOPE CONCERTS which the Foundation stages for worthy causes.
Knoll has a history of community involvement as witnessed by his having held director or trustee positions at: WNED-TV Educational Television (PBS) (Albany, NY); Studio Arena Theatre (Buffalo, NY); Rochester Neighborhood Housing Services (Rochester, NY); Junior Achievement of Nashville (TN); Nap Ford Community School (Orlando, FL); Albany Regional Chamber of Commerce/Albany Economic Development Committee (Albany, NY); and the Alleyway Theatre (Buffalo, NY). Knoll attended Erie Community College, has previously held Series 6, 63 and 26 Investment Representative Licenses, was the co-founder of Buffalo Ambassadors (Buffalo, New York) and served as a Public Information Officer (PIO) for the Sumter County Fire & Rescue (Florida). Knoll is a proud former member of the US Army Reserve 98th Division where he served as a Drill Sergeant (E-7).
Knoll and his wife Maria Casanova Knoll, Ph.D., have four adult children and four grandchildren. The Knolls reside in Florida where Herb serves as a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 12761.
Read the compelling story behind the writing of The Widower’s Journey and what caused Herb Knoll to rededicate his life to one of service to those who suffer.
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