Central New York Regional Planning & Development Board
Paul W. Pinckney, ChairmanDavid V. Bottar, Executive Director  

**Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award

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Nomination Form

The Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award was established in 1985 in memory of Rhea Eckel Clark, one of the founders of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board. Mrs. Clark distinguished herself throughout her career by working to improve the quality of life in Central New York while addressing issues of regional significance such as education, health care, community revitalization, environmental protection, and social justice.

Mrs. Clark spent three terms as chairperson of the CNY RPDB from 1967-1969. During this period she helped to direct the agency through its formative stages and initiated work on a range of comprehensive planning issues confronting the Central New York community.

In addition to her work with the CNY RPDB, Mrs. Clark was president of Cazenovia College from April 1957 to March 1971. She was also named director of the American Management Association for a three-year period beginning in 1968. Upon retiring from her presidency of Cazenovia College, Mrs. Clark headed Governor Rockefeller's State Commission of the Aging.

Before coming to Cazenovia College, Mrs. Clark spent eight years with the New York University School of Education as assistant to the dean and consultant for community education and development. Previously, Mrs. Clark was executive secretary for New York State Citizens Council, Inc., and in 1949, she served in Germany as a visiting consultant to the U.S. Army of Occupation Program. During her lifetime, Mrs. Clark received a number of honors including the 14th Colgate Civics Awards presented to area men and women "who have exemplified, by their own generous service, the principle of democracy in action." Mrs. Rhea Eckel was married to Dr. Wesley C. Clark, who served as dean of the Syracuse University School of Journalism for more than 20 years.

Criteria

The recipient of this award must:

  • Provide strong regional leadership;
  • Help implement programs that have improved the quality of life in CNY; and
  • Support efforts that foster intergovernmental cooperation and civic participation.

Lawrence J. Baker CNY RPDB's 2018 Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award Recipient

Lawrence J. Baker (left) receives the CNY RPDB's Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award from Board Chairman James J. Murphy, Jr., at the Board's 2018 Annual Meeting
Lawrence J. Baker (left) receives the CNY RPDB's Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award from Board Chairman James J. Murphy, Jr., at the Board's 2018 Annual Meeting

Lawrence J. Baker was named the recipient of the 32nd annual Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award at the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board’s annual meeting held on October 24, 2018.

Mr. Baker is a life-long resident of Upstate New York and has been a figure in the Hamilton community in Madison County for many years. He graduated with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Business Education from SUNY Albany and completed additional graduate work in Higher Education and Administration. After serving on the business faculty at Holland Central School, Mr. Baker served in numerous academic and administrative positions at Morrisville Agriculture and Technical College including Dean of the Business Division, Vice President for Administration, and Acting President. Following a brief period of retirement, Mr. Baker returned to academic life and served as the Assistant to the President for Special Projects at SUNY Morrisville from 1991-2004 and subsequently as a member of the Morrisville State College President’s Council and the Morrisville College Foundation.

In addition to his professional career, Mr. Baker has been very active over the years with a full range of activities and service to his community. Among his many engagements, both past and present, were terms of office as a Village Trustee and Mayor of the Village of Hamilton, member of the Hamilton Municipal Utilities Commission, member of the board of directors of Community Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, and he is a long-time member of the CNY RPDB. Among his many achievements, Mr. Baker was presented with the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the Mohawk Valley Outstanding Alumnus Award, the Morrisville State College Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Village of Hamilton Civic Award.

Past Recipients

2018 Lawrence J. Baker
2017 Rhea Jezer
2016 Robert J. Daino
2015 Kathryn Howe Ruscitto
2014 Barbara S. Rivette
2013 Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., PhD.
2012 Walter John Tennant, Jr. (posthumously), Chairman, CNY RPDB
2010 Louis Pettinelli, CNY RPDB Board member
2009 Mary Ann Messinger, CNY RPDB Board member
2008 Ferdinand L. Picardi, Chairman, Metropolitan Water Board, Onondaga County Water District
2007 David R. Elleman, CNY RPDB Board member, Onondaga County Comptroller (retired)
2006 Eugene G. Saloga, Director, City of Oswego Community Development (retired)
2005 John Zawadzki, President, Partners Trust Bank; Central Upstate Regional Alliance
2004 James T. Walsh, U.S. Congressman
2003 Robert Doucette, Armory Development & Management
2002 Chuckie Holstein, FOCUS Greater Syracuse
2001 Ralph Standbrook, Chairman, Cayuga County Legislature
2000 Robert H. Kuiper, Mayor, Village of Hamilton
1999 John H. Mulroy (posthumously), former Onondaga County Executive
1998 Ann Petrus, Chair, Cayuga County Water & Sewer Authority; Supervisor, Town of Brutus
1997 Bruce B. Phelps, Oswego County businessman
1996 Arthur W. Ospelt, Oswego County Administrator
1994 Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative; CEO, Nation Enterprises
1993 Tarky Lombardi, Jr., former New York State Senator
1992 Vijay Mital, Director, Department of Planning and Economic Development, City of Auburn; Team Snyder General
1991 Marilyn Higgins-Rohde, Senior Vice President, Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
1990 Robert J. Congel, President, Pyramid Companies
1989 Warren H. Frank, Executive Director, CNYRTA
1988 Mayor Tom Young’s Advertising Advisory Council
1987 Francis P. Benton, Former CNY RPDB Chairman
1986 L. Steve Riford, NYS Senator
1985 Hollis Iselin, Chair, Oswego County Legislature
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