The Hundred Year Association of New York honored the 2008 winners of the Isaac Liberman Public Service Awards and E. Virgil Conway College Scholarships in a special ceremony featuring Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber as the keynote speaker. Department of Citywide Administrative Services Commissioner Martha K. Hirst lead the event, held at One Police Plaza. Mayor Bloomberg also was in attendance.
Noting the diversity of the 21 City agencies represented amongst the winners, Commissioner Hirst said “The job descriptions of these awardees reveal the breadth of the services this City provides.” She went on to say that “it’s the efforts of our Public Service award recipients, and many other unsung heroes like them in the civil service, are what make this City such a wonderful place to live…The work will continue to get done, because it must be done, and in difficult times the work becomes more important than ever.”
Each year, the Hundred Year Association reviews the achievements of City employees to identify those who, through dedication beyond their job descriptions, have provided outstanding service to the people of New York City. The Association also awards scholarships for the children of career civil servants. Winners are chosen by an Awards Committee. Recipients of the awards receive between $1,000 and $6,000. The 41 winners this year were granted $73,500.
The Police Department was once again singled out as the top winner came from within its ranks for the 4th year in a row. In addition to the thousands of patrol officers who walk a beat to keep the city safe, the NYPD also has School Safety Agents and officers who work in schools and neighborhoods to head off problems before they spin out of control.
This year’s top public service winner of $6,000 sponsored by Con Edison was School Safety Agent Terese Nemley. She is a career member of the School Safety Division and is a leader in the Law Enforcement Explorers Program at the new High School for Law Enforcement and Public Safety in Jamaica – the largest in the city with over 100 student members.
In her interview, the delight she takes in her work was evident: “I love dealing with children,” she said. “And I LOVE seeing the kids do positive things.”
The second and third place award winners were also from the Police Department.
Detective Michael Cleary was granted the $5,000 Ralph K. Smith Public Service Award. The Daily News has dubbed Detective Cleary “The Sheriff of Windsor Terrace,” for his success in working with the residents, business owners and elected officials of the Brooklyn neighborhood. Each year, he visits local schools to speak to criminal law classes. As his supervisor said in nominating him, Michael “epitomizes what the neighborhood ‘beat cop’ is.”
The recipient of the $3,500 award sponsored by The Chief-Civil Service Leader is Police Officer Valerie Wilson, for her service to the residents of the Canarsie section of Brooklyn. After 15 years of U.S. Army service under her belt as a trained combat medic and a civilian job at the NYPD, she is currently the Youth Officer for the 69th Precinct, where she visits troubled youths in their own homes to turn them away from gangs and toward positive alternatives.
The $6,000 Charles E. Inniss College Scholarship, sponsored by National Grid, was awarded to Ashley Barronette, daughter of Andrea Reid, who is Chief of Staff for the Division of Child Protection of the Administration for Children’s Services. Ashley is a sophomore at Richmond, the American International University in London, where she is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics.
Her award reflects her deep interest in community service, which she says has been inspired by her mother’s work at ACS as an advocate for abused and neglected children. As a high school student, Ashley volunteered every Thursday at a homeless shelter, and last year traveled to South Africa with 17 other students to volunteer at a primary school and do community service.
The top scholarship is named for Charles E. Inniss, a former trustee of the City University of New York who, as co-founder of Career Opportunities for Brooklyn Youth Incorporated, helped hundreds of young people obtain jobs and college scholarships.
Also in attendance at Police Headquarters Auditorium for the ceremony were the day’s host Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly as well as Finance Commissioner Martha E. Stark and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty who, along with Commissioner Hirst, are Award Committee members, and many other agency heads and representatives of the Hundred Year Association of New York and its member organizations including President Clinton W. Blume, III and Executive Director Luke Vander Linden.
The Association’s awards are augmented by member-sponsored awards funded by: The Bank of New York Mellon; Bowne & Co.; Brooklyn Bar Association; Caleb Haley & Company; The Chief-Civil Service Leader; Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc.; Elaine Wingate Conway; Cushman & Wakefield Global Real Estate; Dancker, Sellew & Douglas; The Delta Kappa Epsilon Club of New York; E-J Electric Installation Co.; Emmet, Marvin & Martin LLP; The Forward Association; Geneva Worldwide; Hagedorn & Company; Henry W.T. Mali and Company; The Hotel Wales; James Thompson and Company; John Gallin & Son, Inc.; Leys, Christie & Co., Inc.; Modell’s Sporting Goods, Inc.; National Grid; The New York Post; New York University; The Okin Family; Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker; Richmond County Savings Bank; Roman Stone Construction Company; Rosenwach Tank Co.; Finance Commissioner Martha E. Stark; The Steere Family Foundation and Tiger Baron Foundation.
“This Awards program is a wonderful example of how a successful public/private-partnership can work,” said Blume. “Our members believe in this partnership. We are committed to recognizing and saluting those in city government for their dedication and for significantly enhancing the prestige of New York City.”
The public service awards are named for Isaac Liberman, who founded The Hundred Year Association when he was president of Arnold Constable Stores in Brooklyn. The College Scholar Awards program is named for E. Virgil Conway, a former Chairman of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority who conceived the program when he was chairman of the Seamen’s Bank for Savings.