Karl W. Monson was born in 1918. He graduated from Wheaton College and planned to attend medical school, but fi rst enlisted in the United States Army as a Private in June 1941. Mr. Monson was assigned to Seacoast Artillery and was serving in San Diego when Pearl Harbor was attacked. He was sent to Officers Candidate School, and in April 1942, he graduated as a “90-day wonder” with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. That July, Mr. Monson was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and in August, Captain in charge of the 602nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery (AAA) Battalion. Mr. Monson rose quickly in the ranks due to his unprecedented intelligence and perseverance.
Sharon Owens, a graduate of Syracuse University, committed much of her energy serving individuals and families within the fields of housing, community development and human services for almost 30 years.
In May 2013, Ms. Owens became the third Chief Operating Officer of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc. in the agency’s history. Her vision to expand services that infuse human services with community revitalization initiatives will further serve even more communities in need.
Lieutenant Colonel Robert McLean (USMC Ret.) was commissioned as a Marine Corps Officer upon graduation from Syracuse University in 1972. During his career, he participated in combat support operations against communist forces in Southeast Asia, while serving as a member of VMFA-232, a Marine F-4 Phantom Squadron, in Thailand in 1973.
Lieutenant Colonel McLean has served as a Staff Officer at Headquarters Marine Corps in Washington, as well as in both the First and Third Marine Divisions and the First Marine Aircraft Wing.
Judith O’Rourke is the Director of the Offi ce of Undergraduate Studies at Syracuse University. In this position, Ms. O’Rourke is responsible for developing and implementing programs to support academic excellence at the University. A graduate herself of Syracuse University, she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1975 and Master’s in Public Administration in 2010.
Mike LaNassa was born in Syracuse, NY, and enlisted in the Army in 1970. He served for six years, obtaining the rank of E-6 Staff Sergeant. In 1976, he graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning, and subsequently held various command and staff positions at the brigade through the company levels. He served as Lieutenant in the 10th Mountain Infantry Division from 1985 to 1995 and retired as Lieutenant Colonel in 1996 from the 27th Infantry Brigade Combat Team Army National Guard located at Hancock Air Base in Syracuse.
Beth A. Broadway, is a model community activist. Executive Director of InterFaith Works (IFW), a 37-year-old non-profit organization that affirms the dignity of each person and every faith community, Ms. Broadway has spent her career assisting those in need.
Through its five programs, IFW uses service, education, and dialogue to build bridges in a divided world. It also provides comfort to frail elderly people, job opportunities to healthy seniors, refugee resettlement to 450 new Americans, chaplains in the jails, hospitals, and nursing homes, and dialogues between people of different ethnicities and backgrounds to break down stereotypes and build understanding and alliances.
Anthony C. “Tony” Nesci, Sr. was born in Syracuse in 1938. A lifelong resident, he graduated from North High School in 1959 and then joined the U.S. Army. He served from 1959-1961, was stationed in Germany and achieved the rank of Private First Class 3. He and his wife, Annette, were married for 45 years and have four children.
Tony was employed by New Process Gear for 43 years, including a position as a peer counselor with the UAW Daimler Chrysler Training Center. He was also a member of the UAW Local 624, serving as CAP and PAC counsel. His greatest legacy, however, is his tireless effort on behalf of veterans in Central New York.
Randi Bregman is the executive director at Vera House, Incorporated, a not-for-profit agency that focuses on serving those affected by domestic and sexual violence. In 1990, she joined the agency as coordinator of the Syracuse-Area Domestic Violence Coalition. Since 2001, Ms. Bregman has served as executive director, with responsibility for administration and financial management, supervision of staff , fundraising and fund development, community education, and professional training and program development.
A veteran of World War II, Albert Paviglianti has been an active member of the American Legion for many years at the county, state and national levels.Born in New York City in 1923, Mr. Paviglianti served four years in the Marine Corps during World War II, as a sergeant. He earned the Pacific Award for his service.After his military career, Mr. Paviglianti stayed active in the American Legion, serving as a commander of the Madison County American Legion. He currently serves as adjutant.For years, Mr. Paviglianti was involved with the Boys’ State program, a weeklong leadership program that teaches high schoolers about government. He interviewed candidates, conducted oratorical contests and served as post adjutant.
Mary Nelson is a true humanitarian who embodies the spirit of giving to others. She is committed to empowering and inspiring others. In her home town of Syracuse, she is the founder of the Annual Youth Day Barbeque, and President/ CEO of The Mary Nelson’s Youth Center, a Not for Profit agency.
In 2009, Ms. Nelson’s Youth Center was opened and offered education, health, and career services. She has also made a commitment to provide free meals to all families in the community when needed. The center’s administrative expenses are paid for by Mary Nelson and her proud and committed sponsors.