Griffo presents New York State Senate Commendation Awards

Joseph A. Griffo

October 30, 2019

UTICA – At a special ceremony today at the Clark City Center in Utica, New York State Senate Deputy Minority Leader Joseph Griffo, R-I-C-Rome, today presented New York State Senate Commendation Awards to several community members.

The award is one way the Senate recognizes exceptional people who have made a lasting contribution to their community.

Those honored included:


  • Bill Worden, former WKTV anchor
  • Ed Welsh, Oneida County legislator and former AAA Northeast regional general manager
  • Rev. Joseph Salerno, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Church and Our Lady of the Rosary
  • Rev. Dr. Maria Scates, CEO and founder of the Johnson Park Center
  • Tim Reed, former Boilermaker Road Race president and co-founder of Real Men Get Tested cancer awareness program
  • Dr. Mark Montgomery, founder of Joseph’s Experience
  • Craig Minor, former deputy clerk for five U.S. District Court Judges
  • Jerry Kraus, former executive director of the Stanley Theater
  • Bill Keeler, radio host and co-founder of Real Men Get Tested cancer awareness program
  • Ed Jackson, U.S. Navy veteran and community advocate
  • Dave Dudajek, Observer-Dispatch opinion page editor
  • Rudy D’Amico, retiring President and CEO of the Central Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired
  • Anthony Colon, cofounder of the Mohawk Valley Latino Association and community advocate
  • Honorable Bernadette T. Clark. Bernadette T. Clark, New York State Supreme Court Justice 
  • Pastor Mike Ballman, pastor of Cornerstone Community Church and Plymouth Bethesda Church and founder and director of the Oneida Square Project
  • Rev. Ursula Meier, COO of the Johnson Park Center


“There are many individuals within our communities who are certainly worthy of recognition for their efforts to enrich the social, religious and educational well-being of their neighbors and fellow citizens,” Deputy Minority Leader Griffo said. “The hard working, caring and dedicated individuals receiving New York State Senate Commendations today have helped to make our neighborhoods, communities, region and the state a better place for all.”

Awardees received a personalized plaque and commendation coin as part of the ceremony.