Cindy Abbott Letro
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Cindy Abbott Letro is committed to strengthening the fabric of her community through volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership. Lending her expertise developed over 25 years as a broadcast/marketing professional, Ms. Letro has helped a wide variety of not-for-profi t organizations in the Buff alo Niagara region raise millions of dollars.
Ms. Letro is past chair of the Buff alo Philharmonic Orchestra Society Board of Directors. She chaired its “Carnegie Hall Committee,” which raised funds for the Spring For Music Festival at Carnegie Hall, breaking Festival box office records and raising more than $510,000. As past chair of the Burchfield Penney Art Center, the Center fulfilled its dream of opening a new $35 million facility on the campus of Buff alo State College.
In April 2008, Governors Elliot Spitzer and David Paterson nominated Ms. Letro to the Niagara Frontier State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission; she was confi rmed by the State Senate. Governor Andrew Cuomo elevated her to the position of Commission Chair in 2013. Currently serving on the board of Visit Buffalo Niagara and the board of trustees of Saint Bonaventure University, Ms. Letro is a past board member of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. She chairs the Buff alo Niagara Film Commission and has been active on the following boards: Theodore Roosevelt National Inaugural Site, National Federation for Just Communities (NFJC), Young Audiences of Western New York, Preservation Coalition of Erie County, Just Buffalo Literary Center, American Heart Association, Crisis Services and the Advisory Council for the UB Center for the Arts. She is a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 2000 and the June 2004 Buff alo FBI Citizen’s Academy.
Ms. Letro is business manager for her husband’s law firm, Francis M. Letro, Attorneys at Law. She and her husband of 30 years are supportive of a wide variety of civic projects and cultural organizations, committing $1 million to State University of New York Buffalo Law School to establish the Francis M. Letro Courtroom, the first working courtroom in the nation on a university campus.
In 2013, Ms. Letro was named “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser” by the Western New York Association of Fundraising Professionals; she also received the Walter P. Cooke award from the SUNY Buff alo Alumni Association for meritorious service by a non-alumni. Ms. Letro has also received the prestigious Red Jacket Award from the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society; she and her husband were honored by Saint Bonaventure University with the Gaudete Award. In 2007, she was inducted into the Western New York Women’s Hall of Fame, also receiving the Community Foundation’s Burt P. Flickinger, Jr. Leadership Award in 2006 and the Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site’s President’s Award. Ms. Letro has also been named one of Western New York’s “Ten Most Powerful Women.”