2019 WISDOM KEEPERS
The Board of Directors of FOCUS Greater Syracuse Inc. is pleased to announce there are two Wisdom Keepers for 2019: Melanie Littlejohn and Maarten Jacobs. These Wisdom Keepers join a long list of people who have shown leadership, continual caring and an understanding of the importance of the vision for tomorrow.
Melanie Littlejohn is vice president for New York Customer & Community Management at National Grid and chair of the Centerstate CEO Board of Directors.
A thought leader and a visionary, Melanie joined National Grid in 1994 as the director of inclusion and diversity for U.S. operations responsible for the company’s overall strategy for inclusion and diversity and compliance, a mission she carries on today in community as well as business roles.
Maarten Jacobs is the Director of Community Prosperity at the Allyn Family Foundation. He is co-developing a Community Prosperity Initiative to disrupt concentrated poverty in neighborhoods by empowering residents to fulfill their potential, contributing to the wellbeing of their families and revitalization of their neighborhoods.
Tapping their creativity and drive, Melanie and Maarten asked that the Wisdom Keeper event for 2019 be a celebration that brings together all parts of the community in a community venue. So the 2019 Wisdom Keeper event was a celebration of our community unlike any other. It took place Oct. 2, 2019, in the midst of an exhibit by Yoko Ono in the incomparable setting of the I.M. Pei designed Everson Museum of Art, 401 Harrison St., Syracuse, NY. PHOTOS HERE.
Read on to learn about previous Wisdom Keeper events.
WISDOM KEEPER 2018
Each year FOCUS celebrates and honors an inspirational leader who provides an example of continual caring and understanding of the vision for tomorrow. FOCUS Wisdom Keeper for 2018 Sean Kirst celebrated with us by honoring the people of Central New York who made his storytelling career possible.
Sean Kirst is an award winning columnist, author of three books the most recent being “The Soul of Central New York” – MORE ABOUT SEAN.
The 2018 event held April 4 in the Finger Lakes Ballroom of the Marriott Downtown Syracuse – historic Hotel Syracuse was extraordinary. Among the speakers were Deputy County Executive Ann Rooney and Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh, who declared the day as Sean Kirst Day.
In 2017 FOCUS Greater Syracuse honored Bethaida “Bea” González, Syracuse University Vice President of Community Engagement. Pictured on the home page and above is the 2017 event in the Grand Ballroom of the Marriott Downtown Syracuse and many of the Wisdom Keepers attending.
Previous Wisdom Keepers have been:
Charlotte “Chuckie” Holstein
Rev. James Mathews
Dr. Sharon Brangman
Bethaida “Bea” González