Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award
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.
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 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.
||Lawrence J. Baker|
||Robert J. Daino|
||Kathryn Howe Ruscitto|
||Barbara S. Rivette|
||Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., PhD.
||Walter John Tennant, Jr.
(posthumously), Chairman, CNY RPDB
||Louis Pettinelli, CNY RPDB Board member
||Mary Ann Messinger, CNY RPDB Board member
|| Ferdinand L. Picardi, Chairman, Metropolitan Water Board, Onondaga County Water District
|| David R. Elleman, CNY RPDB Board member, Onondaga County Comptroller (retired)
|| Eugene G. Saloga, Director, City of Oswego Community Development (retired)
||John Zawadzki, President, Partners Trust Bank; Central Upstate Regional Alliance |
|| James T. Walsh, U.S. Congressman
|| Robert Doucette, Armory Development & Management
|| Chuckie Holstein, FOCUS Greater Syracuse
|| Ralph Standbrook, Chairman, Cayuga County Legislature
|| Robert H. Kuiper, Mayor, Village of Hamilton
|| John H. Mulroy (posthumously), former Onondaga County Executive
|| Ann Petrus, Chair, Cayuga County Water & Sewer Authority; Supervisor, Town of Brutus
|| Bruce B. Phelps, Oswego County businessman
|| Arthur W. Ospelt, Oswego County Administrator
|| Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative; CEO, Nation Enterprises
|| Tarky Lombardi, Jr., former New York State Senator
|| Vijay Mital, Director, Department of Planning and Economic Development, City of Auburn; Team Snyder General
|| Marilyn Higgins-Rohde, Senior Vice President, Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
|| Robert J. Congel, President, Pyramid Companies
||Warren H. Frank, Executive Director, CNYRTA
||Mayor Tom Young’s
||Francis P. Benton, Former CNY RPDB Chairman
||L. Steve Riford, NYS Senator
||Hollis Iselin, Chair, Oswego County Legislature