NYSAE's Synergy Awards Luncheon Recognizes Profession's Best
NYSAE's April luncheon was dedicated to honoring those who have demonstrated leadership, service, and special achievements that benefit the association and nonprofit management profession, as well as a member's organization for its contributions to the fabric of America.
Awards are a celebration of excellence. Awards single you out. Awards say, "you're special".
"There's something about giving an award to someone that makes a group feel good about itself," said Claire Rosenzweig, CAE, NYSAE's chair of the board. "By recognizing specific people, we're also celebrating ourselves as a group and the excellence we all share. We're gathered today for just that purpose: To celebrate excellence, achievement and contribution as exemplified in the highest way by our awardees."
Outstanding Information Technology Leadership Award: Computers for Youth
The NYSAE CyberSpace Awards have recognized excellence in association and other nonprofit websites since 1999. The CyberSpace Awards are administered without nomination and automatically include the websites of any current regular member. Awards were given for the best website in each of the following categories: trade associations; professional societies; and donor-based/volunteer organizations. This year's winners were:
Established in 2009, The NYSAE Outstanding Information Technology Leadership Award recognizes the contributions of prominent individuals or organizations from the tri-state region who have demonstrated excellence in the field of information technology. Recipients of the award will have been responsible for spearheading, building, educating, promoting, or otherwise contributing to the benefits that information technology has to offer to humankind.
The 2011 award was presented to Computers for Youth (CFY) for its Take It Home Program. Computers for Youth is a national foundation dedicated to bringing learning home through the use of technology. CFY's Take It Home Program is designed to improve children's learning environment at home and to strengthen the school-home connection. Take It Home Program uses an application and interview process to select public schools in low-income communities and then offers families computers, software titles, content, reduced rate Internet connections, workshops and more. CFY's innovative approach supports parents as learning partners, instills powerful school-home connections, and creates educational opportunities for the entire family.
New Star Awards: Elisa Miller-Out and Brian Reaver
The New Star award recognizes the significant contribution of a new NYSAE member (regular or associate) with less than three years of service made to NYSAE in the areas of committee work, special projects or new programs. The 2011 award was presented to two NYSAE members: Elisa Miller-Out, chief executive officer of Singlebrook Technology; and Brian Reaver, regional director of accounts for the Hawaii Convention Center.
"Everyone knows in today's economic climate, it's harder and harder to find partners who are just that…partners," said Mimi Eckert, CAE, chair of the Awards Committee. After a brief hiatus from the NYSAE community, Brian Reaver is back and providing resources whenever and wherever he can. Most recently, he co-hosted the NYSAE Board of Directors Meeting in Honolulu last October. Brian is not only an avid supporter of NYSAE but an extremely hard worker. He constantly secures new members and is always available to assist in NYSAE activities. Brian is an active member on the Meet NY Committee and provided a major sponsorship for the event the past two years.
"Elisa Miller-Out has contributed in a significant way, whether publishing articles, serving on the Technology Committee, moderating, speaking or developing panels for the Technology Committee," said Eckert. Elisa is always willing to jump in and serve the NYSAE community, all while running an innovative web development firm she founded in 2006. As CEO at Singlebrook Technology how does she have the time to do it all?? Because she understands the joys and challenges of balancing a career, association, and family-life she insists on fostering a positive and creative environment in the workplace.
XV+Award: Robert Lehrman
The XV+Award recognizes the significant contribution of an NYSAE member with 15 or more years of service to NYSAE. Candidates must have a proven track record of innovative work to support NYSAE programs and activities; have actively participated on NYSAE committees; serve as a leader and mentor to the association community; and be a role model for NYSAE members
The recipient of the XV+ Award this year is Robert Lehrman, special counsel, The Hundred Year Association of New York. Bob has been a contributing member to NYSAE, serving in various capacities for the past 26 years. He has chaired numerous committees and this year serves as chair of the Public Affairs Committee. Bob has been a member of the NYSAE Board of Directors and served as chair of the Board in 1995-96. In his capacity as chair of the Public Affairs Committee, he has reached out to New York City government officials during the 1990s, including Deputy Mayor Sally Hernandez Pinero and Commissioner Carl Weisbrod, opening up initial channels for Joel Dolci, CAE, NYSAE's president and the NYSAE leadership to their successful creation of the Association Center Building at 120 Wall Street. Bob has received numerous awards from NYSAE over the years and today continues his association leadership as a mentor and a true Association Role Model.
Distinguished Service Award: Kathleen Brown, CAE
This Distinguished Service Award is for the person who has made extraordinary contributions to NYSAE by his or her skillful performance in aiding and assisting in areas such as special projects, new programs, or ad hoc functions. This year's recipient of the Distinguished Service Award is Kathleen Brown, director of research of the Lymphoma Research Foundation. In her 20 years as an NYSAE member, Kathy has served as either chair, vice chair, or a member of several committees and has made substantial contributions in NYSAE's special projects. One of Kathy's major contributions was as chair of the Professional Development Committee, when she led the committee in the development of NYSAE's Executive Referral Service and the web-based job market Career Center Online. This year Kathy Chairs the Education Committee, which has presented an excellent program for the entire profession of association and not-for-profit management.
Outstanding Committee Chairperson Award: Lee Hornstein
The Outstanding Committee Chairperson Award is based on the achievements of the chair and work of his or her committee in developing and/or executing programs and projects that promote the purposes of NYSAE and that benefit members. This year, NYSAE honored Lee Hornstein, managing director, (C) Systems, LLC.
Have you ever been to one of the NYSAE technology sessions? There is a good chance that it was put together or had speakers supplied by Lee. If you have been to one of NYSAE's Technology SIG sessions, it was Lee who helped organize it and is a frequent participant. One of the most intriguing SIG sessions this year included a hands-on road map showing attendees how to use NYSAE's new website. Attendees raved about it and said it really opened their eyes.
This year, the Technology Committee is focused on doing more with less showing casing tricks, platforms, software, Google applications, and social networking that will allow us to get bigger bangs for our bytes and bucks. Need to get up to speed on mobile technology? You've come to the right place at the right time because Lee's Technology Committee did a presentation on that at NYSAE's April Technology Institute, with another current award-winner, Elisa Miller-Out, and a former Outstanding Committee chair, Andy Steggles. Another session focused on e-lLearning and, was staffed by another award winner, Denny Wall, a past Outstanding Committee Chair Award recipient and a New Star Award recipient.
Outstanding Associate Member Award: Raphael Badagliacca
The Outstanding Associate Member Award is bestowed on an individual who: makes contributions to his or her organization that have significantly improved, promoted and benefited their company; actively supports and promotes NYSAE programs and services; and makes contributions to community, professional, civic, charitable and service organizations
This year's Outstanding Associate Member Award was presented to Raphael Badagliacca, president of Spacemasters. "You can't imagine how good it feels to give an award to a man who himself has been associated with awards for a decade and a half," said Eckert. Raphael created the CyberSpace Award. It was his idea when he was serving on the Technology Committee, and it was part of an innovative approach to teaching. He used best practices and case examples of websites from member organizations to teach attendees at the educational sessions of We Love New York Day how to put together websites. He used 10 criteria, the same criteria we still use today in evaluating member websites. For about half this time, Raphael made this his personal award to the NYSAE community. More recently, NYSAE has embraced this award and folded it rightly into our Awards categories, where it remains one of the most hotly watched and contested awards around. To find the award winners, Raphael reviews each NYSAE regular member's website.
Raphael has been a frequent and consistent contributor to NYSAE's Technology Committee, serving there with distinction. He is a published author, playwright, and actor with a wondrous sense of humor and affinity for baseball.
Outstanding Association Executive Award: Michael Kerchavel
The Outstanding Association Executive Award is given to the association executive who demonstrates exceptional qualities of leadership and service, not only in his or her own association, but also in the volunteer and professional community as a whole. More than any of NYSAE's awards, this one is wide-ranging and externally oriented. While the other awards focus on contributions, service, and performance in relation to NYSAE, the Outstanding Association Executive Award considers more broad-based criteria, with the focus on overall excellence in the profession.
NYSAE's recipient this year is Michael Kercheval, president & CEO of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Michael's vision has been to shift the members' focus from a purely economic motivation to also embrace their opportunity to make a difference in their communities. Also as part of this he created a social broad initiative for the association under the banner "Shopping Centers Make a Difference," to support this vision.
Since the incorporation of this initiative, ICSC has dramatically expanded the research and education that they provide their members, public officials, academics and students. Today ICSC offers over 300 programs and events to industry practitioners located in almost 100 countries.
Under Michael's leadership membership has also doubled from 35,000 to over 70,000. From the time he joined ICSC in 2000, revenue has also doubled. And the association's reach has expanded to Dubai, Mexico, Asia, China and the United Kingdom.
Also under his leadership, ICSC has taken on a number of social awareness initiatives. In an effort to help during the 2004 Tsunami Relief, ICSC organized a global campaign and donated a total of one million dollars to the International Federation of Red Cross, Doctors without Borders and OXFAM. A similar contribution was raised and sent for the Katrina relief, from which they received recognition from President Bush for their efforts. ICSC also organized and staffed recovery programs in New Orleans following Katrina in 2005 and Miami after the 2007 hurricane. Michael has received numerous awards for his efforts.
Michael's contributions to NYSAE are also numerous. He became a member of the Board of Directors in 2002 and was then elected chair of the Board in 2008. He encourages his staff to partake in the great services NYSAE has to offer through membership and volunteerism.
For his tireless efforts, loyalty and devotion on behalf of the Association and not-for-profit community, the NYSAE's 2011 Outstanding Association Executive Award to Michael Kercheval.
Social Responsibility Award: Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind
NYSAE takes great pride in recognizing its member organizations for their contributions to America with the prestigious Social Responsibility Award. Inaugurated in 1991, in response to President George H.W. Bush's direct challenge to the association community and to the Associations Advance America campaign, this award spotlights those organizations that strive to solve our country's pressing social problems by channeling the talents of their employees and volunteers into community service projects that make a difference.
The Social Responsibility Award, an original sculpture entitled Caring Hands, was specially designed for NYSAE by Julian Bedoya, who in 1991 was a student from Columbia studying art in America. The bonded bronze sculpture shows intertwining hands to symbolize the many hands of volunteers helping others.
The Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind was recognized for its program Americas VetDogs program. With the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the advances in battlefield medicine that allow more wounded service members than ever to survive their injuries (ranging from blindness to amputation of limbs to traumatic brain injuries to post-traumatic stress disorder), the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind created America's VetDogs, a guide and service dog program to meet the need for specially trained assistance dogs to help these disabled heroes regain their independence and mobility.
The creation of America's VetDogs - The Veteran's K-9 Corps, and the Guide Dog Foundation's expansion into service dogs for people with disabilities other than blindness is an example of a forward-looking organization not afraid to "step outside the box." America's VetDogs has placed dogs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other VA and military hospitals to provide physical and occupational therapy assistance. These dogs provide assistance to soldiers adapting to their prostheses through balance or tug-of-war exercises.
America's VetDogs has become the premier provider of guide and service dogs to blinded veterans, veterans and active duty personnel with disabilities other than blindness, and the U.S. Army, making a real difference in veterans' lives by easing the transition back into life at home.