The 2020 Responsible 100

100 individuals fighting the good fight.

City & State recognizes the New York’s 100 most outstanding corporate citizens.

City & State recognizes the New York’s 100 most outstanding corporate citizens. f11photo/Shutterstock

For the past several years, City & State has closed out the year with a list of leaders in the private sector who are actively seeking to help New Yorkers and make our state a better place. It was a nice, uplifting feature that reminded us all that there’s more to life than making money as we brainstorm our own New Year’s resolutions. 

But 2020 was different. As we shut ourselves in our homes and lost family, friends and neighbors to a deadly pandemic, and as the federal government abdicated responsibility, it fell on state and local governments and private institutions to do the responsible thing and pick up the slack to help New Yorkers in their time of need.

City & State is pleased to announce the 2020 edition of The Responsible 100, our annual list honoring individuals whose work is making life better in communities in New York City and across the state. The leaders recognized below work in government, business, health care, education and nonprofit organizations, among other fields. We asked each of them to tell us about their work, provide insight on social responsibility and share the best advice they have ever received. Read on to learn more about this year’s Responsible 100.

The responses have been edited for length and style.

Juan A. Arteaga

Partner, Crowell & Moring LLP

Juan A. Arteaga
Crowell & Moring LLP

Tell us about your work. 

One of the things that I enjoy most about my work is helping my clients craft their legal strategies while also helping them to minimize any business and reputational risks presented by a matter. 

Best advice you ever received? 

When I graduated from law school, my mother told me that I had been blessed with the privilege of becoming an attorney but emphasized that with this privilege comes the obligation to use the voice and platform I have been given to help and serve the neediest members of society. She stressed that lawyers had always played a pivotal role in helping to address the inequities and injustices in the world and that it was incumbent on me to continue that proud tradition.

K. Kim Atterbury

Senior Vice President of Media Relations and Communications, Recording Industry Association of America

K. Kim Atterbury
Cipriana Thompson

Tell us about your work. 

I develop integrated strategies that help promote and advance high-impact public policy agendas. I get to work across industry, advocacy organizations, and with policymakers to tell compelling stories about the way music and the recording industry benefit people’s daily lives.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s using your position or platform to benefit society. I achieve this by applying a strategic lens to my work that ensures that I’m not only impacting the business and entity I’m working with, but also guaranteeing a broader outcome, driven by my lived experiences, that benefits people and the community. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Lift as you climb.

Bie Aweh

Senior People Growth Manager for Women and URT Development, DoorDash

Bie Aweh
Submitted

Tell us about your work. 

I manage DoorDash’s career accelerator programs for women of all backgrounds and people of color. 

What does social responsibility mean to you? Social responsibility is about centering the needs and lives of people on the margins (BIPOC, Trans folks, people with disabilities, etc). It’s an acknowledgment that the advancement of the most vulnerable populations needs to be a part of our business strategy. I achieve this by helping the company connect to the people and stories of those within the local economies we wish to empower. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

You are only as successful as the people you bring up and along with you.

Danielle Azoulay

Vice President of Sustainability and CSR, L'Oréal USA

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Tell us about your work. 

My job is to ensure we are pushing the boundaries on sustainability to transform our company into a sustainability leader in the US. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

I don't want people to feel like they have to be one person at home that cares deeply about the environment and their community, and at work, they have to be something different. We have a corporate culture that cares deeply about these issues and is reflected in our work day to day.

What's the best advice you ever received? 

If you do a job just for the money, you're never going to feel like you have enough. If you do it for a greater purpose, you will have something else that drives your fulfillment.

Clayton Banks

CEO, Silicon Harlem

Clayton Banks
Submitted

Tell us about your work. 

I have set a vision that everyone needs a connection. This vision allows my work to be people-centric, technology-forward and reaching economic parity throughout NYC. I use interconnectedness and infrastructure as a platform, and therefore I’m able to attract attention to the uptown community as an investment. My favorite outcome is to create opportunities for all. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s about being people-centric. For me, that requires kindness, fairness and empathy.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Time is more important than money and power. Learn to ask great questions and learn how to answer the questions.

David Barclay II

Regional Sales Manager, Hāpara

David Barclay
Submitted

Tell us about your work. 

My external role is to work with schools looking for ways to best educate their students using mobile devices within the Google education ecosystem. Internally, I take what I’m hearing out in the field back to our Product Team to help ensure our tools are meeting the needs of today’s educators and learners.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

For me, and in my role at Hāpara, it is supporting equity in education, and how technology can help bridge the gap.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Keep reading challenging material, and then write what you think to learn what you know.

Jeffrey Barker

New York State President, Bank of America

Jeffrey Barker
Bank of America

Tell us about your work.

I serve as Bank of America’s leader in New York. My team works to connect businesses, families and individuals to the banking and investment teams that will help improve their financial lives. We also deploy Bank of America’s resources locally to address social and economic concerns and build strong communities. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve positive impacts on our community. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Be visible, transparent, responsive, and engage clients and teammates throughout the organization.

Elvira Barone

CEO, Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural and Affairs (NAICA)

Elvira Barone
Tony Champ

Tell us about your work.

I oversee the fiscal, administrative and program operations for the Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs, Inc. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means being aware of the problems faced by people struggling to overcome barriers that prevent them from being able to fully integrate into the fabric of society. It also means to me that we must be responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable individuals in our communities and stand ready to roll up our sleeves and jump in to effectuate change. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

The advice I remember most is to be a team player. This advice came from colleagues throughout my career. 

Hector Batista

Executive Vice Chancellor and COO, The City University of New York

Hector Batista
Submitted

What does social responsibility mean to you? 

When I was appointed CUNY’s COO in July 2019, I was eager to help advance its mission to provide students with a valuable and affordable education. As a person of color who came from a modest background, social responsibility means that I am committed to providing our students with a pathway to the middle class and beyond that will in turn have a positive impact on the future of our city and state. 

Best advice you ever received? 

The best advice I have received came from a professional mentor who said, “Surround yourself with people who have opinions that are different from your own, as they will offer you different perspectives that can only enrich your decision making.”

Singleton Beato

Chief Diversity and Engagement Officer, McCann Worldgroup

Singleton Beato
Singleton Beato

Tell us about your work.

My job entails designing and leading strategic initiatives that increase organizational capacity, innovation and growth. I enjoy what I do because I know that people are more fulfilled, and companies are most successful when their company culture is fully inclusive.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility means leveraging a company’s resources to drive positive and meaningful change in society.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

To move toward, or take on challenges that scare me.

Whitney Benner

Chief People Officer, Dataminr

Whitney Benner
Whitney Benner

Tell us about your work.

I drive key initiatives and best practices, and provide strategic direction and expertise for the global human resources function.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s important that we prioritize doing our part in encouraging and inspiring those around us to responsibly participate in taking civic action to shape our country and the world we want to live in. Our Social Impact program is one of the ways we bring this to life. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

The most impactful, comforting piece of advice I’ve received was that introversion is not a barrier to being a successful leader. That was a real game-changer for me!

Peg Breen

President, The New York Landmarks Conservancy

Peg Breen
Rick Bruner

Tell us about your work.

Running one of the oldest and largest preservation organizations in the country and helping people in the city’s diverse communities save homes and institutions is very soul-satisfying. We’re preserving the city we love.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Our loans and grants have always assisted people in New York’s underserved communities. We have often been the only source of outside help for a homeowner, local nonprofit or religious institution trying to restore their building. We also advocate to officially landmark buildings and neighborhoods that matter to diverse communities and try to protect these from inappropriate development.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Trust your gut.

H. Todd Bullard

Partner and Leader of Diversity Compliance Practice Group, Harris Beach PLLC

H. Todd Bullard
Harris Beach PLLC

Tell us about your work.

My job entails advising and counseling clients to address legal issues they may confront during their respective activities.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means recognizing and acknowledging the need for society to reach social equity in terms of addressing inequalities with respect to economics, racial disparity and political power. I achieve it by working with clients who serve those in need, providing them with top-flight, skilled legal advice to accomplish their respective missions.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

It was from a senior African American attorney who advised me to work within the system in order to change it.

Karen Cahn

Founder and CEO, IFundWomen

Karen Cahn
Stephen McFadden

Tell us about your work.

As founder and CEO of IFundWomen, which is the go-to funding marketplace for women-owned businesses and the people who want to support them, my team and I eat, sleep and breathe driving funding to women entrepreneurs. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means giving everyone the access they deserve and need to thrive. At IFundWomen, we are all about access: access to capital, access to coaches and mentors that look like you, access to the connections that push you forward. We’ve supported our entrepreneurs as they’ve raised over $50 million in capital and created thousands of jobs.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Fail fast and fail cheap.

Mark Cannizzaro

President, The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators

Mark Cannizzaro
Rachel Elkind

Tell us about your work.

I represent over 16,000 in-service and retired New York City school leaders and early childhood directors, protecting their well-earned rights, advocating on their behalf, and supporting their efforts to provide our city’s students with a well-rounded education. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

We have a duty to make certain our behaviors benefit not just ourselves and our loved ones but all of society. Education changes lives and often saves lives; we take that responsibility seriously.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

The students who are the most difficult to connect with are often also the students who need the most support. Educators quickly learn that you must never give up on a child!

Gisele Castro

Executive Director, exalt

Gisele Castro
Gisele Castro

Tell us about your work. 

As executive director, I am responsible for exalt and the strategic plan of the organization. What gives me great joy is advancing our youth, my staff, and the communities that we serve.

What does social responsibility mean to you? 

Social responsibility means to me to improve the lives of so many youth involved in the justice system by advancing exalt’s vision through growing the organization to a new level. I have taken exalt to more than double the size of the approved budget when I took the position in 2016. Social responsibility, in its simplest form, is “education versus incarceration.” Taking young people out of the school-to-prison pipeline by improving their lives, removing the burden of incarceration, and demonstrating to the world, that this can indeed be done. 

Alfred Cerullo

President and CEO, Grand Central Partnership

Alfred Cerullo
Goor Studio

Tell us about your work.

My job entails leading a neighborhood-based, hyperlocal, fully funded nonprofit focused on beautifying and maintaining the public realm and providing public safety initiatives while promoting our businesses to foster a thriving and vibrant central business district. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Focusing on an individual’s obligation to work and cooperate with others for the benefit of society at large, particularly often underserved communities and constituencies around our city.

What's the best advice you ever received? 

The best advice I ever received came from my mom when I was very young: “Keep your nose clean!” For my family, this meant stay out of trouble, mind your own business and work as hard as you can. 

Mark Chambers 

Director, NYC Mayor's Office of Sustainability

Mark Chambers, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability.
New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

Tell us about your work.

My chief responsibility is to steward our city’s fundamental relationship with our home planet for the next 100 days and next 100 years. I lead the policy and governance effort of our city to improve the health and wellness of our residents by quickly transitioning all aspects of our lives away from harmful polluting practices and towards social and environmental justice. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility, for me, is about living and working passionately in the service of others. This commitment to service requires a commitment to empathy -- a commitment to reserving judgement and meeting people where they are in order to help them organize and act in common cause for a livable future for us all.

Peta-Gay Clarke

Diversity Manager, Google

Peta-Gay Clarke
Natalie Chitwood

Tell us about your work.

My job entails helping Google examine their pathway opportunities, their products, and offering interventions or solutions to make Google more diverse, inclusive and equitable. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s acknowledging that we live in a world where there are groups of people that have been experiencing disadvantages for years and in some cases generations, and that as members of society we have a civic duty to use whatever privilege we have to authentically and empathetically show up and help these communities.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

You can’t be everything to everybody. Do what you can, with the resources you have, wherever you are.

Joel M. Cohen

Partner, Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, LLP

Joel Cohen
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP

Tell us about your work.

I co-chair the white collar and investigations practice at Gibson Dunn, a leading global law firm. I regularly defend companies and individuals in connection with criminal, regulatory and civil matters, and try cases in federal and state courts. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s about practical and moral imperatives. Democracy depends on contributions from citizens to thrive. It also is morally necessary to contribute. My religious tradition teaches that anything that helps repair the world is a blessing.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Listen, think of the answer, answer, then stop talking. This is advice I give to clients preparing to testify, but it applies equally to everyone at all times. 

Cathleen Collins

Principal, Social Impact, Capalino

Cathleen Collins
Leigh Beckett

Tell us about your work.

I get to work with a mix of companies and nonprofits to help meet their goals, from developing programs for companies – including grantmaking, employee engagement and partnership development – to helping nonprofit organizations secure new funding, navigate government agencies, or plan for future sustainability. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It simply means always striving for the most positive impact you can have with the resources available to you – whether you are an individual, a small startup or a large corporation. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Trust your instincts and practice authenticity. There is no one way to lead or manage change.

Samara Daly

Partner, Bolton-St. Johns, Co-Founder, DalyGonzalez

Samara Daly
Lewis Daly

Tell us about your work. 

My job entails lobbying that includes government and community engagement to support our clients ranging from nonprofits, tech companies and mixed-use affordable housing developers. I love my work because at the core, it’s about building public-private partnerships to create sustainable and long lasting outcomes with our clients and government. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility means giving back to our communities. In my work, I achieve this by being a strategic partner with our clients to help nurture relationships both in government and in the private sector. Personally, I serve on the boards of directors of several nonprofits and give back philanthropically and by volunteering on a variety of committees.

Daly shares this honor with Juanita Scarlett, partner at Bolton-St. Johns.

Stephen Dahmer

Chief Medical Officer, Vireo Health

Stephen Dahmer
Viero Health

Tell us about your work.

One of the most important roles of a physician is to be a patient advocate. This same advocacy and service attitude has influenced my role with a company that has now served over 75,000 patients with safe, all-natural, cannabis-based products via a compassionate and informed patient experience.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

To take into consideration the impact of every decision you make on the world that we all inhabit. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

My grandmother, before she passed, shared her favorite prayer, which I say daily: “Today is my day of opportunity. What fine assets I have – my home, my family, my job, my health. I have so many blessings. I will do my best all day and God will help me. I am glad to be alive.”

Seth Diamond

CEO, Westchester Jewish Community Services

Seth Diamond
WJCS Development Office

Tell us about your work.

Westchester Jewish Community Services is one of the largest human service agencies in Westchester, providing care to people of all ages and diverse backgrounds who are confronting significant challenges. I enjoy working with programs that are deeply invested in helping people overcome their personal obstacles and live the best life they can.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It is a commitment to the people you are serving to help them confront their most difficult challenges, and to work together with your colleagues to build a better community.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

“All roads lead to where you stand.” Take where you are, make the best of it and move forward.

Kenny Dichter

Founder and CEO, Wheels Up

Kenny Dichter
Wheels Up

Tell us about your work.

The Wheels Up team, along with our network of members, customers, investors and ambassadors, are committed to lending our support to philanthropic organizations that truly matter to us. I am very proud of our Wheels Up Cares program where we custom paint aircraft to serve as flying symbols of the causes we care deeply about.

What does social responsibility mean to you? 

It is heartbreaking to see how the global pandemic is devastating families. I was inspired by watching how people were helping their neighbors. Wheels Up created Meals Up with our partners and Ambassadors Russell and Ciara Wilson. We partnered with Feeding America to help address the growing need. 

John W. Dietrich

President and CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings

John W. Dietrich, President and CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings
Submitted

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility means being committed to our people, the communities in which we operate, and the world. It also means being a catalyst for economic and social progress. Corporate citizenship is firmly rooted in our core values. 

Best advice you ever received? 

I have had the good fortune of working for and succeeding very talented, inspirational leaders throughout my career. When I was rewarded with my first promotion early in my professional journey, my trusted mentor and boss offered me a piece of advice that has always served as a constant guide. It was as simple as this: “Be yourself.” Authenticity is at the heart of every great leader. 

Stephen Donofrio

Founder and Principal, Greenpoint Innovations and Greenpoint Earth

Stephen Donofrio
GreenPoint Innovations

Tell us about your work.

I have worked in environmental science and climate change solutions my entire career.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Protecting the planet from the harm humans have caused is a moral obligation we owe our children. I’ve been lucky to work with giants in the field and organizations leading on global climate solutions like UNICEF, UN SDG Action Campaign, and Climate Week NYC to raise awareness of this truly existential threat. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

It came from my grandma. She taught me the importance of having quiet strength, determination and acceptance of all people. 

Gilda Doria

Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, IBM

Gilda Doria
Daviana Doria

Tell us about your work.

I manage IBM Corporate Social Responsibility’s portfolio for eight states on the east coast. This is for both internal stakeholders (IBM employees and executives) and external stakeholders (nonprofits). 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s understanding that talent is universal – but that opportunity is not. It is my life’s mission to use the resources available through technology to bring resources to the people that need them most. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

“Focus on the process of being great, not being great.” Greatness is not a destination, it is a constant desire of striving for more, growing, and evolving. 

Jonnel Doris

Commissioner, NYC Department of Small Business Services

Jonnel Doris
NYC Department of Small Business Services

Tell us about your work.

I am charged with leading a city agency that helps unlock economic potential and create economic security by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

For my agency, it means weaving these principles into how we distribute our resources equitably to all 240,000 small businesses in our city and guide business creation and growth. We must advocate on behalf of New York City’s hard-working business community and to continually be there for them.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Be authentic! Be yourself and bring all of you to whatever you do. 

Nancy Downing

Executive Director, Covenant House New York

Nancy Downing
Chantal Heijnen

Tell us about your work.

My role entails leading and supporting a team of dedicated professionals in fulfilling the Covenant House mission to serve youth experiencing homelessness with absolute respect and unconditional love. We help to build bridges from homelessness to hope; we help to build a community of support for our youth; and we celebrate each wonderfully unique youth for who they are and where they are in their lives.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means ensuring that the most vulnerable among us have what they need not only so they can survive but so they can thrive.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Live and love wholeheartedly and humbly.

Demetric Duckett

Managing Director, Living Cities

Demetric Duckett
Living Cities

Tell us about your work.

I oversee two $40 million structured debt funds: the Catalyst Fund, which is fully deployed, and the Blended Catalyst Fund. As managing director for Capital for the New Majority, I lead the vision for Living Cities’ third investment vehicle.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

From the social sector’s perspective, social responsibility must go beyond good intentions and charitable efforts. From our point of view, closing the wealth gap is not about charity but about survival.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

A dear friend told me: Remember how it felt experiencing the ocean when you were 3 versus 30? You realize that the ocean didn’t change; you did. 

Brandilyn Dumas

Shareholder, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Brandilyn Dumas
Greenberg Traurig

Tell us about your work.

I focus on commercial real estate transactions, including acquisitions and dispositions, financing, joint ventures and development, with respect to a variety of assets, including shopping centers, office buildings, hotels and resorts, multiuse developments, industrial properties and multifamily developments.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means understanding that you are endowed with certain privileges and that you must work to positively affect outcomes for those with whom you work as well as members of your community.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Whether you are a paralegal, junior associate or shareholder, operate as if you are the last line of defense between the deal succeeding or failing.

Martin Dunn

Founder and President, Dunn Development Corp.

Martin Dunn
Dunn Development Corp

Tell us about your work.

We’re a mission-driven developer that builds award-winning affordable and supportive housing for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, including the formerly homeless and those with disabilities. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Making the world a more just and equitable place; seeing and embracing the humanity in others; and giving of yourself. As long as we wait for others to solve the problems facing our communities and our world, there will be no solutions. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

My father always encouraged us to take the initiative if we saw something that needed to be done – to go ahead do it and never assume someone else would. 

Marisa Estrella

Founder and President, Worldwide Veterans and Family Service

Marisa Estrella
Marisa Estrella

Tell us about your work.

Because I’m a disabled veteran, honorably discharged in 2006, I know first-hand the challenges our military men and women face returning to civilian life. My goal is to reduce homelessness among our veterans, help them to have a dignified life and reduce the suicides among veterans.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

That an individual has an obligation to work and cooperate with other individuals and organizations for the benefit of society at large – and I achieve it in my work when we work together to provide support and help to our veterans with their needs

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

“Marisa, keep doing the good work that you have been doing.”

Mark Fallon

Chair and CEO, APTIM

Mark Fallon
Submitted

Tell us about your work.

My job is to ensure that my more than 5,000 teammates have the resources, support and tools that they require to serve our clients and communities safely, reliably and profitably.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

To me, social responsibility means honoring social contracts as well as commercial contracts. These social contracts exist between our company and our talented people, between the people who I lead and myself, and between APTIM and the communities we serve. We are proud of the work that we do to make communities more resilient, to restore the natural environment and to enhance the built environment.

Best advice you ever received? 

“If it doesn’t make a difference, then it is not worth doing.”

Rick Fedrizzi

Executive Chair, International WELL Building Institute

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Tell us about your work.

I am always questioning myself on whether I’m the coach or the cheerleader. I have often found that combination and tension has worked well for me. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s a moral imperative that also happens to be the biggest business opportunity of the 21st century. Contrary to conventional beliefs, social responsibility can be leveraged to improve people, planet and profit. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

On a business level, it was to never let your marketing get out in front of your technology. On a personal level, my dad told me a long time ago that “there’s no problem that can’t be solved by taking a long walk in the woods.”

Ken Fisher

Partner, Fisher Brothers; Chair, Fisher House Foundation

Ken Fisher
Submitted

Tell us about your work.

I oversee the leasing, operations, and marketing of our real estate portfolio. Additionally, I serve as the co-chair of the Intrepid Museum and chair and CEO of the Fisher House Foundation. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means giving back to your community, setting an example for others to follow, recognizing unmet needs, and working to fulfill those needs. It is up to all of us to do what we can. “Thank you for your service” is nice, but it’s not enough.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

That if you want to make a difference in this world, giving money is not enough – you need to find time to give as well. 

Laura Fruitman

Co-Founder and General Manager, The Right To Shower; Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Unilever

Laura Fruitman
Laura Fruitman

Tell us about your work.

I founded a social enterprise brand of high-quality soaps and body washes that donates profits to bringing showers to people living on the streets.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

I believe we can use the power of business to make a sustainable and substantive impact in the world we live in. I work to use my business and brand to drive social change, to ensure that everyone has the right to health, hygiene and dignity.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

You’ll hear “no” more than “yes.” It’s up to you to decide how hard you want to work, and keep pushing to make it a “yes.”

Miles Gardiner

Director, Americas, City Football Group

Miles Gardiner
Miles Gardiner

Tell us about your work.

My role is to grow the game of soccer in the U.S., and expand the reach of the UK team Manchester City and City Football Group (owners of New York City FC) to a U.S. audience.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Being able to take a step back and look at your personal and collective actions and recognize how they impact the different stakeholders affected by those decisions.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

“You want to have been able to look back on your life and feel pride in the relationships you have cherished, the laughter you have shared and not the objects you have accumulated.” – Muriel Schwartz

John A. Gasparine

Transit and Rail Market Leader, WSP USA Inc.

John Gasparine
Adam Pariante

Tell us about your work.

In March of 2020 my career became intensely focused on helping shape the public transportation industry’s response to COVID-19. It was the first time in my career that my professional backgrounds in public health, epidemiology and public transportation came together. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s about bringing an altruistic mindset to the day’s events. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

It was from Jerry Jannetti, one of my mentors. After asking him for advice on achieving success, he said, “Help make everyone around you successful, and you will make yourself indispensable in the process.” That drives how I serve my family, my colleagues, my clients and my community. 

Junius J. Gonzales

Provost, Vice President for Academic Affairs, New York Institute of Technology

Junius J. Gonzales
New York Institute of Technology

Tell us about your work.

I oversee all aspects of academic affairs, faculty affairs, student engagement and development and research and scholarship for New York Tech. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s the idea that individuals must work not only for their individual benefits, but contribute positive change efforts for a greater group, like communities and society.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

Be grateful for the sharing of experiences with others, and be mindful that those represent only a snapshot. And never forget your own lived experiences. Understand, if possible, how they can, sometimes through joy and pain, help you make a more positive impact on those around you.

Corinne Hammons

President and CEO, Little Flower Children and Family Services

Corinne Hammons
Lee Hammons

Tell us about your work.

I am responsible for implementing the strategic vision of our organization, helping children and adults to reach their full potential.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility has always meant to me that we are all interconnected and interdependent. Our actions and choices affect all of us, so each of us should be considerate and thoughtful in our actions and words.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

It’s from my mom and dad: Work hard, be conscientious, make careful decisions … and get up in the morning and put one foot in front of the other!

John S. Harris

Partner, Brown & Weinraub PLLC

John S. Harris
Timothy Rabb

Tell us about your work.

I spend most of my time advocating for client interests, interacting with decision makers, NGOs and staff. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Working to make the world we live in a better, healthier place that provides opportunities for all is how I view social responsibility. It also requires us to give back where possible. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

“You earn your luck.” My college soccer coach was fond of saying this phrase. Whether on the athletic field, in business or personal life, I’ve found that when you work hard at something, you typically generate more opportunities for success.

Jen Hensley

Senior Director of Policy , Lyft

Jen Hensley
Intersection

Tell us about your work.

I work with colleagues throughout our business to deliver services and benefits to drivers, riders and the communities where we operate. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means care and protection for your community and supporting short- and long-term sustainability. It includes Lyft’s commitment to have 100% electric vehicles on our platform by 2030, making us less reliant on fossil fuels and improving air quality.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

My parents always told me I could do anything I set my mind to. That support and encouragement, especially at such a young age, gave me the confidence and courage to do hard things in my life. 

Wendy Hilliard

Founder and CEO, Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation

Wendy Hilliard
Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation

Tell us about your work.

My job is to continue providing access to gymnastics to underserved communities and empower urban youth by improving their physical and emotional health through the sport. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It means supporting the community and making an effort to bring positive change. Outside of the gym, I try to teach the gymnasts the importance of giving back so that they can be better students and citizens. 

What’s the best advice you ever received?

My experiences have taught me that when you get knocked down, get back up and keep going. Life can be challenging, but it’s important to have a strong mentality and know the value you bring to the table. 

Gary Hoberman

Founder and CEO, Unqork

Gary Hoberman
Unqork

Tell us about your work.

I founded Unqork to give enterprises a way to build better software, faster and at a lower cost without having to write any code. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

It’s important to me to build an organization that not only prioritizes diversity and inclusion across all teams, but strives to create technologies that can genuinely make our society better. Locally, Unqork is an active participant in HERE2HERE by giving New York high schoolers real job experience as apprentice employees.

What’s the best advice you ever received?

Hire people that are not like you. You will appreciate ethos most when challenges come your way and you get to see many different perspectives.

Michael Holtz

Founder and CEO, SmartFlyer

Michael Holtz
Leila Brewster

Tell us about your work.

My role is to advocate for our discerning clients to ensure they have the most seamless trip possible. 

What does social responsibility mean to you?

I feel it’s my social responsibility as a business owner to create a supportive environment for our team, with mental health and sustainability as causes I support through donations to nonprofits and carbon-offset programs.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

At a young age, I remember being told, “You have two ears and one mouth – listen more and speak less!” When you truly listen to what millennials and Gen Z have to say, you’ll be amazed at how their perspective can open your eyes. 

Keith R. Jacques

Partner-in-Charge, Albany Office of Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP

Keith Jacques
Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman

Tell us about your work.

I serve as the team leader for my firm’s public sector labor practice, representing one of New York’s largest law enforcement unions as its chief lobbyist and counsel. Advocating for better working conditions for the men and women of New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, who perform some of the most difficult and dangerous jobs in the state, is what drives me.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

I think the best advice I have ever received is twofold: Stand up for what you believe is right; and realize that God has placed you exactly where He wants you since He doesn’t make mistakes.

Walter Jin

Chair and CEO, Pager

Walter Jin
Pager

Tell us about your work.

I enjoy realizing our mission and vision to provide people with a “doctor in the family” experience.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

I specifically came out of retirement to assist in the historic digital transformation that the industry is experiencing. COVID has accelerated that change, and it is a reminder of the importance of being involved in the transformation of how we deliver and manage health care.

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

I had the opportunity to go to law school; I loved studying philosophy and constitutional law. My boss – a lawyer turned banker – advised me to pass on law school, and that led to my run in health care.

Kirsten John Foy

President and CEO, The Arc of Justice

Rev. Kirsten John Foy
The Arc of Justice

Tell us about your work.

My job entails fighting for oppressed and marginalized individuals and communities by innovating public and private sector policies and practices to incorporate justice, equity and equality.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

Social responsibility means full recognition of our obligations under the social contract of civil society ... the meting out of justice, equal protection under law, and equal access to all areas of civil life.

Best advice you ever received? 

That we love one another as Christ loves us.

Craig M. Johnson

Founder and CEO, Long Point Advisors

Craig M. Johnson
Long Point Advisors

Tell us about your work.

My firm provides forward-thinking government relations strategy and counseling to companies, organizations and individuals that helps them navigate the complex and dynamic government systems in New York state.

What does social responsibility mean to you?

I believe we all have an obligation to ensure that our actions improve our society. That was one of the reasons why I originally entered public service and why I continue to serve as an advocate for my clients. 

What’s the best advice you ever received? 

My late mother (and mentor) always advised me, “Make sure you don’t kick those persons you pass as you climb the ladder of success. You may need them if you slip down the very same ladder.”

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