College President to Accept Organization's 2009 Leadership Award During Dec. 1 Event

PHOTO: Dr. William RichardsMIDDLETOWN, N.Y. – The Leadership Orange Board of Directors recently announced that Dr. William Richards, president of SUNY Orange, has been named the 2009 recipient of the organization’s prestigious Leadership Award. The Award will be presented Tuesday, Dec. 1 at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor during the Orange County Partnership’s Annual Networking Event.

“Dr. Richards engenders innovation, creativity and courage to reach ever-higher goals in his student body and his staff,” said Teresa Gurdineer, chair of the awards program. “He’s brought SUNY Orange to the next level and has set a path for excellence on a number of fronts,” she said. “His leadership in the community will affect our residents for years to come.”

Previous Leadership Award winners include: Tom Weddell, Orange County Legislators Alan Seidman and the late Spencer McLaughlin, Jonnie Wesley-Kruger, Jerry Brisman, Silvio Petrucci, Ken Abt, Jill Varricchio, Izzy Lopez, Ruth Kassel, Barbara Sampson, Alanna Smith, and Jim Smith, among others.

Richards has been president of SUNY Orange since August 2003. Three major goals he’s outlined for the College include: enriching lives through learning, enhancing economic opportunities in the area the College serves, and participating in and leading community development.

He has also spearheaded two strategic planning efforts that have resulted in the development of academic, facilities, technology, and enrollment management plans for the College. Under his leadership, technology as a tool for learning and programming has become a major focus.

Richards has worked tirelessly to develop and lead a capital campaign to support the College’s strategic plan by enhancing the Middletown campus and expanding the Newburgh campus. Construction of Kaplan Hall, the first structure on the new Newburgh campus, is moving forward and improvements to the Middletown campus are under way.

Prior to his presidency at SUNY Orange, Richards was CEO of the Westminster Campus, Front Range Community College in Denver, Colo. His experience as an academician – as an instructor, dean, and administrator – is vast.

Leadership Orange is a 10-month leadership program with the dual focus of providing leadership training to leaders and emerging leaders, and equipping them with a breadth of knowledge about Orange County, its challenges and its resources. Topics include education, health and human services, communications, government and politics, the environment, culture and recreation, economic development, leadership development and the judicial system.

"Completion of the course enables participants to better understand and serve our community: whether as citizens, business or government leaders, volunteers or non-profit executives,” said Richie Lay, Program Chair. More than 430 people have graduated from the Leadership Orange program since its inception in 1993.

Tickets for the Partnership event are $125 each or $1,375 for a table of 12. Seats can be reserved by contacting Grace Beyea at 845-294-2323. For more information about Leadership Orange, please contact Susan D’Onofrio or Teresa Gurdineer at (845) 457-1550 or visit www.leadershiporange.org.

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Mike Albright
Communications Officer
115 South Street
Middletown, NY 10940