Cultivating relationships with alumni for over 30 years.

Lead NY has been recognized for the tremendous impact it has had across the state, and beyond. Since 1985, over 400 individuals have participated in the program and have added their names to the directory of dedicated and involved alumni.

Graduation from the group does not represent the end, but rather the beginning of a lifetime of new experiences. Lead NY provides our state with motivated decision-makers that are well informed and able to shape the future of New York. Their efforts have led to such endeavors as – being elected to local, county and state offices, creating economic opportunities in communities, and leading their organizations through challenging times. It is about coming face-to-face with the challenges we live with everyday, and using their experience to lead others to highly innovative and successful solutions.

Outstanding Alumni Award

Our mission is to "inspire and develop leaders." Thanks to the dedication and energy of our alumni, New York is a special place to live. Lead NY recognizes these alumni for their significant efforts in the form of a bi-annual award. Nominations can come from the general public, business, academic and political entities throughout the state.

Eligibility and Selection Criteria

Nominees are Lead NY alumni that play a leadership role that makes a positive difference in people's lives. This leadership can take the form of business, community, government, and/or volunteer roles. They possess a demonstrated record of successful leadership performance that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life in New York at the local, state, national or international level.

  • Leadership: What leadership role (e.g. president, chairperson, etc.) does the nominee fill in the activities/organizations they are being nominate for? How has the nominee displayed exceptional leadership qualities in these activities/organizations?
  • Other Activities: Describe other activities that the nominee is involved in and the extent of the nominee's time and effort. (e.g. committee membership, community or volunteer service work, etc.)
  • Impact: What needs or issues in the community/industry does the nominee address? In what ways has the nominee's leadership had an impact on their industry/community?
  • Summary: Why do you believe the nominee should receive a Lead NY Outstanding Alumni Award?

The Alumni Committee of the Lead NY Board of Directors will select the award recipient. The recipient is selected utilizing the criteria established by the Lead NY Board of Directors (see nomination form/application). In order for the selection committee to make a fair decision, it is important for nominators to address all the criteria that apply.

Nominate a deserving leader by sending materials to leadnewyork [at]

Past winners

·  2005: Lowell Smith (Class 1)

·  2007: John Noble (Class 1)

·  2009: Julie Suarez (Class 7)

·  2011: Tom Davenport (Class 2)

·  2013: Craig Yunker (Class 3)

·  2015: Robert A. Smith (Class 1)

·  2017: Jessica Ziehm (Class 10)

·  2019: Laurie Griffen (Class 5)