Charlotte (Chuckie) Holstein is a founder and recently retired executive director of F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse, a citizen-driven not-for-profit organization that promotes intelligent, inclusive and sustainable decision-making by citizens through education, outreach and engagement to foster change in Central New York.
Mrs. Holstein is a founder of Leadership Greater Syracuse and Youth Leadership Greater Syracuse, the Syracuse Commission for Women, Meals on Wheels, and the City/County Office on Aging. She also served President Jimmy Carter on the Advisory Committee for the White House Conferences on Families, Governor Nelson Rockefeller on the New York State Board of Social Welfare, and Governor Hugh Carey as a member of the New York State Division for Youth. In partnership with University College of Syracuse University, Mrs. Holstein was instrumental in founding the Citizens’ Academy, a course of study about local governments. She chaired the Syracuse University School of Social Work Advisory Committee for many years and was instrumental in creating the All University Gerontology Center. She also served on the Syracuse College of Nursing Board of Advisors. A graduate of SUNY College at Brockport, Mrs. Holstein served on the board of the Brockport Foundation.
Mrs. Holstein served for 13 years as chair of Loretto, a multi-service cluster of organizations that provides care for older people. She spearheaded the development of The Nottingham, the first retirement community of its kind in New York State. Mrs. Holstein was vice-chair of the board at Manlius Pebble Hill School during the merger of the Manlius Military Academy and Pebble Hill School.
Mrs. Holstein has been married to Alexander Holstein, also a civic leader, for 70 years. They have four children, eight grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. Each member of the Holstein family participates in civic engagement in their communities.
Chuckie Holstein often speaks of her family’s commitment to the tradition of “tzedakah,” a Hebrew word for righteousness, fairness and justice, and the responsibility to transmit these values from generation to generation, “L’dor V’dor.”