(Syracuse, N.Y. – April 23, 2013) – Leadership Greater Syracuse (LGS) recognizes two individuals and one business for their outstanding commitment to CNY.

Winners of the annual Distinguished Community Leader Awards are:

Leadership Greater Syracuse Alumni Achievement Award – Lt. Col. Edward Cook, Jr. LGS Class of 2010

Community Trustee INDIVIDUAL Award – Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein

Community Trustee BUSINESS Award – SRC, Inc.

The Leadership Greater Syracuse Distinguished Community Leader Awards were established in 2008 to honor and recognize exceptional civic leadership. The award recipients are men and women and organizations who exemplify the LGS mission.  “With the skills acquired through LGS, graduates are encouraged, and highly skilled, to take active roles in the community,” said Pam Brunet, executive director of LGS.

Leadership Greater Syracuse Alumni Achievement Award – Lt. Col. Edward Cook, Jr. LGS Class of 2010

The LGS Alumni Achievement Award is a new category this year. LGS alumni nominated several individuals for this award and then an on-line voting process among LGS graduates took place during the month of February.

Lt Col Edward Cook has devotes his life to his community and to the United States. He currently serves as the Logistics Readiness Squadron Commander at the 174th Attack Wing of the New York Air National Guard. He dedicates countless hours to community service including handling the logistics for the annual Salvation Army Christmas Bureau, and is also chair of the annual giving for the ARISE Foundation. Since 1998, Lt Col Cook has been the logistics advisor and lead for all the food and toy pickups, drop offs and distribution for the Salvation Army Christmas Bureau. A year-long planning process, Lt Col Cook collaborates with more than 30 non-profit organizations. Lt Col Cook was recognized with the “Can Do” award in 2010 from the Salvation Army for his more than 10 year commitment to the program.

As an ARISE Foundation board member and the Annual Giving Chair since 2010, Lt Col Cook leads the committee which has raised $52,000, a 58 percent increase in income for the non-profit’s therapeutic horse riding program. Lt Col Cook also served as an Explorer Post Advisory for Post 174 and, along with LGS, has graduated from the CNY Political Leadership Institute. He has been deployed 8 times in support of Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom, Southern Watch and Noble Eagle.  Lt Col Cook is a decorated Air Force Officer.

 “With nearly 1,000 LGS graduates in our community taking on very important roles, we are pleased to add a new category which recognizes a graduate who embodies the LGS mission -- to get involved,” said Brunet.

Community Trustee INDIVIDUAL Award – Chuckie Holstein

For 60 years, Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein, executive director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, has been the driving force behind many CNY community institutions including Leadership Greater Syracuse and  F.O.C.U.S.

Whether in her 30s or 80s, Holstein has persevered through countless challenges and obstacles to find solutions that have made Central New York a better and stronger community. The single thought that has motivated her through 6 decades of tireless determination is her desire to leave this world better for future generations than the world she inherited. Through F.O.C.U.S., Holstein’s mission is to ensure that citizens have a voice in the decisions that impact them. Recently, she led the effort to provide a roadmap to Onondaga County Executive Joanne Mahoney and the county legislature on what Citizen’s — past and present — want for the future of OnondagaLake and its shoreline. 

Holstein has served the City of Syracuse through her founding of Leadership Greater Syracuse, Youth Leadership Greater Syracuse, The Syracuse Commission for Women, Meals on Wheels, CitizensAcademy, and the City/County Office on Aging. She has served the Central New York area as the Chair of Loretto, a member of the Central New York District Board for Key Bank, a trustee of Cazenovia College and the Manlius Pebble Hill School, chair of advisory boards for the School of Social Work and College For Human Development of Syracuse University, and a member of the College at Brockport Foundation.

Holstein has also served her state, her nation, her faith and the world, in a number of initiatives dealing with social justice, world peace and women's issues including the U.N. World Conference in Beijing, the United Nations NGO Conference for Women in Nairobi, and the “Women’s Interreligious Mission” to Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel. Holstein has served President Jimmy Carter on the Advisory Committee for the White House Conferences on Families, Governor Nelson Rockefeller on the New York Board of Social Welfare, and Governor Hugh Carey as a member of the New York State Division of Youth.

Always ahead of her time, Holstein currently is helping CNY leaders understand the economic, cultural and social issues facing our community as the Boomer population retires and finding solutions on how Central New York can keep them here as contributing members of our community. Holstein is a 1946 graduate of SUNY Brockport where she studied to become a school teacher.

Community Trustee BUSINESS Award – SRC, Inc.

SRC is a not-for-profit research and development company with more than 55 years of experience in defense, environment and intelligence. Through innovation in science, technology and information, SRC is redefining possible® – helping keep America safe and strong. The company works with the customer for the best solution – not the bottom line – resulting in nationally significant, next-generation products and services.


SRC strongly believes in taking an active role in the community and focuses its philanthropic efforts on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, military and veteran-related causes, and

United Way
organizations. The company supports a variety of local organizations and initiatives such as Say Yes to Education, OnondagaCommunity College, Honor Flight Syracuse, Team Red, White and Blue, the Food Bank of Central New York and the Rescue Mission. 

Most notably, SRC has pledged $1.525 million to the OCC Presidential Scholars Program. This gift demonstrated a deep commitment to provide access to higher education for all students. The company also created a $5 million matching grant pledge for the Say Yes to Education scholarship fund to encourage other local companies to support this scholarship program and ensure all students who graduate from the SyracuseCitySchool District have access to higher education.

Through the SRC Cares volunteer program, SRC employees donate thousands of hours to hundreds of local organizations each year. Whether it’s serving on the board of a local non-profit, preparing meal for the hungry, coaching a team, participating in a PTA, or serving as a volunteer firefighter, SRC employees are always willing to roll up their sleeves and get involved to help make our communities stronger.

The mission of Leadership Greater Syracuse is to inspire current and future leaders to make a difference in the community where we live and work. LGS is proud to be a collaboration of the City of Syracuse, OnondagaCounty, OnondagaCommunity College, and the CenterState CEO, with major support from C&S Companies, Honeywell, Inc., Rural/Metro Medical Services, United Radio, Inc., and Lockheed Martin. LGS Media Partners include The Central New York Business Journal, News/Talk 106.9 and 570 WSYR, Syracuse.com, Visual Technologies Corporation, and YNN.