The Winifred and Edith Holt Award for Distinguished Volunteer Service: Roger O. Goldman

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The Winifred and Edith Holt Award acknowledges distinguished volunteer service to the Lighthouse. Those words, distinguished volunteer service, perfectly summarize the outstanding contributions that Roger O. Goldman has made to this organization. For thirteen years he has served with distinction on the Board of Directors, and since 2006 he has been its chairman. He has devoted substantial time, energy, wisdom and leadership to many Board committees and has made numerous gifts to the annual fund and special events. For the great benefit of Lighthouse International, he has applied his expertise in the fields of accounting, consulting, investment, marketing, financial services, corporate lending, development, and fundraising.

Lighthouse International is not the only nonprofit to which Roger has contributed his talent, nor is it the first to honor him. Roger has been given humanitarian awards from the Albert Einstein Medical Center and the Bronx Council of the American Jewish Congress. He has sat on the board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Mr. Goldman was a member of the original management team when Citicorp started its consumer business, he became President and CEO of a community bank in California until he became a partner in a boutique financial services consulting firm. Later he joined the Coreast Savings Bank as part of a regulator-inserted senior management team where he was responsible for consumer and small business activities and for the "work-out" of almost $10 billion in troubled assets. After Coreast was sold, he became EVP in charge of the community banking group of NatWest Bancorp ($31 B) where he was responsible for managing all consumer and small business activities overseeing a staff of 4,500. While at NatWest, he was a member of the holding company's management committee, risk policy committee, asset and liability committee, and technology steering committee.

From 1996 to 2000 Mr. Goldman was President and CEO of Global Sourcing Services, LLC which he grew from a start-up to several hundred million dollars in sales before it was sold. Since 2000, he has been a private investor and a board member of numerous public and private corporations including Resource Bankshares Mortgage Group (sold); Authentidate, an Internet document verification company; Minyanville, an Emmy winning new media company; and Cyota, an Internet security company (sold). He is currently on the board of American Express Bank FSB and Seacoast Banking Corporation in Florida. He is the general partner of the Berkshire Opportunity Fund, a mezzanine fund investing in companies in the Northeast.

At its meeting on March 15, 2012, the Board of Directors of Lighthouse International approved unanimously a resolution of gratitude for Roger O. Goldman and appointed him Chairman Emeritus of Lighthouse International.


Philanthropy Award: Lauren M. Oplinger

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This dynamic, energetic young professional used her extraordinary story to become a premier fundraiser for the Lighthouse. Lauren Oplinger was a dedicated athlete her entire life. In high school, she won a New Jersey State Championship with The Pingry School soccer team and played ice hockey, winning a bronze medal with the New Jersey Colonials at USA Hockey Girl's National Championship. She continued to play hockey as a student-athlete at the College of Holy Cross, where she double majored in math and economics. After graduating, she became an analyst in the Sales & Trading program at JPMorgan Chase. Lauren had perfect vision until March 2009, when she fell severely ill, resulting in optic neuropathy, causing her to lose significant functional vision in both eyes, becoming legally blind. With the help of vision rehabilitation and a fierce determination, she struggled to regain her independence and return to work in the Global Equities Division of JPMorgan Chase. She sought out the Lighthouse as a place to give back as a volunteer and chose to fundraise for Double Up 4 Vision to help raise awareness of the challenges created by vision loss. She contacted her family, high school and college friends, professors and co-workers, anyone whose path she had crossed to share her story and inspire them. She also organized a luncheon at her parents' New Jersey home for neighbors and friends. Her outreach and diligence, with the help of the Lighthouse staff, brought in 184 individual gifts, including 17 major gifts ($1,000 and up). Her campaign raised a total of $91,870, accounting for 28 percent of the online contributions. In addition to thanking her donors as their contributions arrived, Lauren also wrote a personal letter to each supporter after the event, including photos from her participation in Double Up 4 Vision. Highlighting her successful campaign, she rang the Opening Bell for Lighthouse at the New York Stock Exchange to help promote greater awareness of vision loss. Lauren's visual impairment did nothing to diminish her vision!


The Judy Van Nostrand Leadership Award: Marylyn Malkin

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The Judy Van Nostrand Award recognizes volunteers who utilize strong leadership skills to plan or organize a Lighthouse program. Marylyn Malkin's nine years at the Lighthouse more than qualify her for this honor. Like Mrs. Van Nostrand, Marylyn is incredibly passionate about the Lighthouse's mission of fighting vision loss and has used her resources to assist the organization, whether financially or through volunteer service. She consistently goes above and beyond expectations, whether it is securing large donations for POSH® or bringing in new buyers. Fifteen other members of the Women's Committee wholeheartedly support this nomination and have written individual letters on Marylyn's behalf. In short, Marylyn always goes the extra mile for the Lighthouse, performing each assignment with unparalleled enthusiasm and optimism. Throughout her years of service, Marylyn has also helped ensure the success of other Lighthouse events, including the Scholarships and Career Awards and the Henry Grunwald Luncheon. She is a true leader whose dedication and hard work on behalf of the Lighthouse is inspiring and extraordinary.


Professional Services Award: James Lewis

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For two years now James Lewis, a professional broadcaster and in more recent years a photojournalist, has been donating his time and skills to capture and document important events and signature moments in the life of the Lighthouse. His photography has a spontaneous quality, even with posed shots, which Mr. Lewis credits to his "Zen-like connection" to his subjects. The professional quality of his photographs makes them perfect for use in major Lighthouse programs, publications and on the website. Mr. Lewis always considers the many different ways in which the Lighthouse may want to use his work and so from each shoot he provides a full resolution master file from which the Lighthouse can pull different images whenever the need arises. He has easily saved the Lighthouse thousands of dollars in professional photography fees by making his skills available to record the annual fundraising events and almost all the major programs sponsored by the Lighthouse. Mr. Lewis's generosity with his time and talents has not only saved the Lighthouse financially but enriched it aesthetically with his wonderful art.


Special Events Award: Dolly Borgia

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By using personal and corporate contacts, Dolly Borgia has helped to spread awareness of the Lighthouse and its mission in many ways. She gives a great deal of her time to POSH® and the Women's Committee, but also provides financial support with an annual $5,000 donation, through the Walter Reed Foundation, to the Scholarships and Career Awards sponsored by the Women's Committee. These awards recognize outstanding students who have overcome the challenges of vision loss, granting them $10,000 scholarships for college or graduate studies.

For POSH®, Dolly has been commended for acquiring a sponsor for the traditional opening night preview: Charles Jacquin, makers of fine wines and liquors. Their generous gift assisted greatly in offsetting event costs. Dolly was the first to arrange for one of the series of Teas started in 2010 to build awareness of the Lighthouse and to get new donations for POSH®. A POSH® supervisor singled out Dolly's unassuming and altruistic outlook as especially notable, adding that "Dolly's wonderful disposition and outlook has been truly inspirational to all who work with her."


Recording Services Award: John C. Graves, ESQ.

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John Graves began recording for the Lighthouse in 2009, using his powerful speaking voice to record medical health handbooks, MTA letters for Access-A- Ride, technical material for a college professor, and a law book. He is responsible for ensuring that materials prepared during the day are recorded expeditiously so they can be shipped out as soon as possible, often the same day. The MTA project has required John to record and process as many as 15 letters in one day. He also lends his voice to Reading Services as an on-call reader filling in for other volunteers. As a POSH® volunteer, John batches out and closes the cashier terminals, counts cash and other revenues, and completes the required paperwork. His customer service skills are legendary and he is famous for troubleshooting any problem that arises at the POSH® sales, including filling in wherever he is needed during the sale. In addition to his professionalism and dedication, John handles awkward situations with aplomb, using his wonderful sense of humor to achieve a positive outcome.


Reading Services Award: William Kable

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For more than 15 years, Bill Kable has been a volunteer reader of scholarly journals and magazines from around the world to a visually impaired literary critic and reviewer who is also a professional storyteller. His client calls Bill "a truly central aid" with excellent reading skills and superior knowledge of the English language and literature. Bill's computer know-how allows his technically challenged client to access the internet in order to purchase publications, locate hard-to-find resources, plan trips and conferences, and keep up with colleagues around the country and throughout the world. Bill's own career as a professional teacher of English literature makes him knowledgeable about valuable resources for his client and helpful with specific projects. "To put it simply," his client says of Bill, "he is one of the very best readers I have ever had and without him I would not be where I am today in my own chosen field and professional endeavors."


General Support Services Award: Ilona Gartenbaum

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Those who know say that Ilona Gartenbaum has contributed 5,744 hours of service to the Lighthouse, 1,344 of those hours in 2011. Ilona, however, has done much more than just show up for work as a clerical volunteer in the Low Vision Services Department. Because of her graciousness, excellent work ethic, and diligence and thoroughness, she has been an outstanding volunteer. She makes appointment reminder calls to patients, keeps charts up to date, enters data information into the system, and assists the Rehabilitation Services Department by making copies and filing. All the tasks that Ilona performs are vital for the success of the clinical services area. And she does them all with a helpful attitude that ensures a pleasant work environment. Ilona Gartenbaum is a valuable asset to the Low Vision Services Department.


Youth Services Award: Gabriel Gillen

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The brother of one of the Lighthouse Music School's visually impaired students; Gabriel Gillen displays great empathy for all the students as a teacher aide for the Music Program, his first official volunteer position. Gabriel shares his great love of music with the students and often takes on responsibilities that exceed his job description of helping in group classes, assisting children with activities during free periods and during lunch, and making sure the children get to and from class safely. A musician himself, he practices with the younger students, encouraging them to work hard. He also asks students to compose new musical pieces with him, empowering them to be creative. Gabriel is especially aware of any student with disciplinary issues and often acts as a go-between with staff and students. He has gained the respect of the adult volunteers as well as of the students who like him. Gabriel is especially skilled at one of his volunteer assignments: making sure the day runs smoothly for students and staff.


Community Partnership Award: Givaudan Fine Fragrances Corporation

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A decade ago a Givaudan executive enthralled kids in the Saturday Youth program, telling them stories of traveling the globe searching for scents to use in perfumes. That was the first contact that Givaudan, the global leader in the fragrance and flavor industry, had with the Lighthouse, but it was not the last. Last summer Givaudan's Fragrances Division came to the Lighthouse to find out how it could help implement its commitment to social responsibility. As a result, Givaudan hired Ahkeem Coar, a visually impaired client of the Lighthouse, as an intern at the company's New York City office. Ahkeem worked with creative fragrance managers and learned about a possible career he might not have otherwise considered. Last year two Givaudan employees volunteered as pilots for the 24-hour tandem relay. Almost all of Givaudan's New York staff -- a large and enthusiastic group -- joined Givaudan's Double Up 4 Vision team, raising more than $10,000. Givaudan's desire to become part of the Lighthouse community has brought an unparalleled spirit and energy to every joint meeting. Recently, the Givaudan team participated in a leadership experience that would help them come together as a team, as well as expand their view of the world from the perspective of Lighthouse clients. The day included a trip to Dialogue in the Dark, with each Givaudan team member partnering with a visually impaired Lighthouse client. The Givaudan team learned how to best accompany and assist those who are visually impaired. They put their new skills to work right away, helping to guide their partners through the streets of NYC, and on the subway, to their downtown destination at the South Street Seaport. Now Givaudan and the Lighthouse are exploring the possibility of creating a fragrance laboratory where young people could learn about the world of fragrance, which relies heavily on olfactory skills. These are just the latest examples of how Givaudan has demonstrated a continuing commitment to the visually impaired.


Corporate Partnership Award: Genentech, Inc.

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As a lead corporate supporter of Lighthouse International, Genentech has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to helping individuals with vision impairment to lead safe, independent and productive lives. Since 2005 Genentech has contributed $735,000 to various Lighthouse programs, services, initiatives, and special events. Genentech, long considered the founder of the biotechnology industry, was the inaugural corporate sponsor of the 2010 Double Up 4 Vision event and the company's most recent support enabled the Lighthouse to launch its critically important Awareness Campaign on Help for Those With Low Vision. For several years Genentech was a lead supporter of the East Harlem Early Action Saves Sight pilot program and its precursor, Early Action Saves Sight. For the East Harlem program Genentech provided prescription glasses and assistive devices. For more than seven years, the company's philanthropic support has helped the Lighthouse provide direct and meaningful services to the myriad of clients, patients, and students it serves.


President's Lifetime Service Award: Barbara Munder Riordan

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For 16 years Barbara Munder Riordan has served with distinction on the Board of Directors of Lighthouse International. During her tenure Barbara has been a member of the Nominating and Governance Committee, Research and Evaluation Committee, Direct Services Committee, and the National Center for Vision and Child Development Advisory Board. She has also served as co-chair of the Research and Evaluation Committee and Education Committee. A civic leader, Barbara has also lent her skills to other nonprofits, sitting on the boards of several, including City Harvest. She has been exceedingly generous to Lighthouse International in other ways, with significant gifts to the annual fund and special events. In acknowledgement of her many important contributions in the fields of management, strategic planning, development, financial planning and sales and marketing, Barbara Munder Riordan is the 2012 recipient of the President's Lifetime Service Award. With this award, the Board of Directors express their appreciation and admiration for all Barbara has contributed to Lighthouse International's mission of fighting vision loss through prevention, treatment and empowerment.

 

 

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