Congratulations to all of the 2015 GOBY Award Winners and thank you to everyone who came and showed their support for these amazing people! On behalf of The Stakeholders, Inc., it was truly an honor to be able to present each and every one of these outstanding individuals. Each has shown an enormous amount of commitment, courage, honor, diligence, and pride through every action that they take to support the community and society as a whole. Each of these individuals has their own inspiring story, and an amazing ability to take those stories and share them to help others. The success of their contributions does not go unnoticed and the community is so fortunate and grateful to have such wonderful individuals.

And a special thanks to Catherine Hedgeman, President of The Stakeholders, Inc. for her hard work and dedication in setting up and running the event! None of this would be possible without you.


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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We are proud to honor Regina Stewart with the Dreamer Award at this year’s GOBY Awards Ceremony!  The Dreamer Award recognizes an individual for entrepreneurial spirit in creating a positive impact through a special project or business they’ve created to benefit our community.  Congratulations, Regina for being an extremely positive and influential individual in our community, we can’t wait to present you with this award on April 14, 2015.

regina stewart

After losing the younger of her two sons on December 1, 2012 which resulted from a reckless car crash caused by a twenty-two year old driver speeding and texting while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, Regina has opted to share her story to prevent this from happening to others.  Regina’s message to “Steer Clear” is one she hopes will resonate with her audience as they listen and make a personal commitment to clear minded driving for their sake as well as everyone else on the road.  She makes it her purpose in life daily, as she feels compelled to explain to her audience how one poor decision affects so many people.  Regina shares her story with students, parents, civic groups, and a variety of prevention awareness networks.  She truly is influential and has an enormous impact in the community.  You are an amazing woman, and definitely an inspiration to those going through similar life changing events.  Thank you Regina.

Visit Regina’s blog: chrisstewart69.blogspot.com or follow Steer Clear America on Twitter and Facebook!


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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The Everyday Hero Award recognizes a first responder, disaster service volunteer or veteran who has had a significant impact in their community.  We are proud to honor Soldier’s Heart with this GOBY Award on April 14, 2015!  Congratulations!!!

soldier's heart

Soldier’s Heart is a non-profit organization in Troy, New York that assists soldiers with the reintegration process.  It’s founder Ed Tick, author of “War in the Soul,” and his wife, Kate Dahlsteadt, passionately tend the invisible wounds resulting from war and military service. These wounds are now commonly called “PTSD”; during the Civil War, they were known as “Soldier’s Heart.”  Their mission focuses on veterans and their families but actually transcends their wounding to include the entire society.  They provide private counseling and retreats for veterans of all wars as well as education and support to their families.  They engage the community in many ways to take an active role in welcoming our warriors home no matter how long it has been since the war was over.  They also spend a great deal of time educating the community colleges and public forums regarding our civic responsibility to these men and women.

One of their services is Athena’s Shield for Women.  Being a woman in the armed forces truly has its own inherent challenges and trials. These are often ignored or denied by the community at large, leaving our female veterans isolated as they struggle to reshape their lives once they are home. To a greater degree than their male counterparts, women have to contend with job discrimination, the difficulties of parenthood during deployment, and military sexual trauma (MST).  Soldier’s Heart offers any woman who has served or is serving in the military opportunities to speak her truth about her military experience and reintegration, and to gain sensitive, heartfelt guidance.  The organization also provides retreats for women troops, veterans, family, and community as well as bi-weekly virtual talking circles.

Soldier’s Heart is an outstanding organization and a great contribution to our community and society as a whole.  Congratulations, Soldier’s Heart, you are an inspiration.


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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Congratulations, James Melvin Ader for receiving the Everyday Hero Award!  This award recognizes a first responder, disaster service volunteer or veteran who has had a significant impact in their community which is why we are proud to honor you with it on April 14th, 2015 at the Annual Stakeholders GOBY Awards Event!

james melvin ader

James is a Veteran Service Officer at the Albany County Veterans Services Bureau.  His work in the veteran community offers hope for the future.  American Legions and Veteran of Foreign War Posts are facing a huge challenge.  Their very existence relies upon Veteran volunteers to man and run the facilities.  Jim is a past commander of the Sheehy Palmer VFW Post #6776 in Albany, NY.  His hard work has ensured the immediate future for the 6776, although he knows the work is far from done.  He continues to actively seek out new members and encourage their involvement in the Post.  He knows that in order for the Veteran to feel whole again upon returning overseas, help others is vital.  He is extremely passionate about his work with Veterans and is the hardest worker to say the least.  Perhaps James’s biggest achievement within the Veteran community is the “Freeze Out.”  For the past three years on the last Saturday in January, James and his fellow Veterans, as well as supporters have slept on the front lawn of the Post.  The initial “Freeze Out” was done in order to shine a bright, unwavering and unfaltering light upon the plight of the homeless Veteran.  It has since evolved, and is an amazing act done by James and everyone else involved.

In late 2013, the Sheehy Palmer VFW Post #6776 asked for interview/professional clothing.  The resulting display of compassion from the community manifested itself in the back room of the Post where more than enough suits and ties were piled high by the end of the three week long event.  This was done all because their “Freeze Out” truly appealed to the community and gained their support.  There are now three other “Freeze Outs” which include the Vermont Chapter of ABATE, the Niskayuna American Legion, and James’s Brother in Arms from Iraq.  As for the future, James pledges to “keep his boot on the neck of Veteran’s homelessness.”  Thank you for everything you do, James and congratulations for receiving this outstanding award.  It will truly be an honor to present you with the Everyday Hero Award this year.


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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The Future Stakeholder Award recognizes a next generation individual (under 22) who has had a significant impact in their community through volunteerism.  Congratulations, Lily Herrmann!  It is our honor to present you with the Future Stakeholder Award this Year at the GOBY Awards Ceremony!

lily herrmann

Lily Herrmann is currently a student at Schenectady High School.  Miss Herrmann has been very active in our school and community. Her involvement in Schenectady High School and the surrounding community has been extensive. Lily has been involved as a participant, staff member and President of NYE Area 5 for the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Organization. She is President of National Honor Society and the Nature’s Classroom Club. Lily is the team leader for the Olympics of the Visual Arts where she has used creativity and artwork to solve problems. She is a member of the Girls Varsity Swimming and Diving Team, and lifeguards for the YMCA. She plays for the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team, where she has started for the past four years. She interns once a week at a local hospital and shadows doctors and nurses and has had some incredible experiences for a high school student.

Academically, Miss Herrmann has taken and excelled in our schools most rigorous academic courses including being a full International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate. Lily truly enjoys learning and working as part of a collaborative team. Lily sees her peers and teachers as part of her education, not as competition or authoritative figures that are there to give her homework and tests. She is ranked third in her class and has a 4.0 grade point average in a very talented class of 583 and scored a perfect 800 on the reading section of the SAT. Lily was the recipient of the University of Rochester’s Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, The Presidents Volunteer Service Award, and the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Organization’s Certificate of Recognition for her extensive record of community service.

Lily has an extensive record of volunteering. She volunteers on a regular basis for Habitat for Humanity as both a builder and in their ReStore, The Schenectady Public Library and Schenectady’s Green market. She spent last summer as a full time mentor for an inner-city elementary school. She also read to city elementary students once a week as part of the Page By … ..A national award winning district Page Youth reading Program. This past summer, Lily finished a year-long community service project called “Splash Down” to raise money and awareness for Doctors Without Borders. She enlisted the help of over fifty volunteers and numerous businesses. Lily can always be counted on to participate at the various charity walks and runs that occur on a yearly basis and she is really, really good at getting her peers to step up and help as well.

Lily’s experiences in an inner city high school have given her the opportunity to work with all different kinds of people from different walks of life. She is a bright, inquisitive, compelling young woman who believes in giving back to her community. Congratulations again Lily!  Keep up your amazing efforts and you will excel in all you do!


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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The Community Mentorship Award recognizes an individual committed to service and philanthropy who, by example and mentorship, cultivates a spirit of service and philanthropy for the next generation.  Congratulations, Steve for all of your achievements!

steve lobel

Steve Lobel is the Vice President of the Anchor Insurance Agency.  Steve has mentored many generations of business and thought leaders in the Capital Region, myself included. He is a tireless community activist, philanthropist and altogether magnificent human being. He was, for many years, Chairman of the Board of the Albany Symphony, and gave tirelessly of his time, expertise and money to support and grow the symphony and its Board and staff. He is involved in so many community activities that it would be impossible to list them all. He currently sits on a great number of not-for-profit boards of directors, including the Symphony’s and that of the Community Foundation. Throughout his long life and many careers, he has always spent the bulk of his time helping others and mentoring young professionals. Whether traveling to Latin America to bring eyeglasses to poor people there or photographing bum victims to bring attention to their plight, everything Steve does is for the good of others. We often joke about the fact that it is a miracle he has been able to build his very successful insurance business, given that 98% of his time is given over to community service and philanthropy. From the very start of his first career, founding and running “The Cheese Connection” through his time at SUNY Alumni affairs, to the present, he is and has always been devoted to nurturing the strengths of others, especially younger people, and mentoring them. He is a priceless human being, a real mensch, and altogether deserving of this award.

Thank you and congratulations again, Steve Lobel!  Please continue all of your amazing work and to mentor our future generations in this community, your efforts and achievements do not go unnoticed!


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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The Volunteer Spirit GOBY Award recognizes an individual who, through his or her volunteer efforts, embodies all that is true community service which is why Ebony Belmar is the recipient! Congratulations, we can’t wait to honor you with this award on April 14th, 2015 at the 2015 GOBY Awards Ceremony!

Ebony Belmar has been a strong volunteer participant in the Working Group on Girls (WGG) program which began eleven years ago with local community forums on girls’ issues. The Girls’ Day Out/Girls’ Circle began program six years ago, and Ebony has been a key player. She has been the main organizer of the Girls Day Out workshops; recruiting community workshop leaders and creating new workshop topics, such as ‘Surviving 7th grade and beyond’ with older girls on a panel and ‘Lose the Tude’ introducing girls to relaxation and calming strategies, dealing with negative influences. Ebony has been an important member of the Planning Committee and now is on the new Board of Directors. She is the liaison between WGG and the schools and plays an important role recruiting adult Muses from the community to colead Girls’ Circles, even serving as a Muse herself one year. Ebony exudes boundless positive energy which, combined with her intelligent and creative approach to responsibilities and challenges, results in tasks completed on time with superior results.

In addition, to the Working Group on Girls and Girls Day Out and Boys Day Out, she was an active participant in the Community Empowerment Partnership, a group that was formed to address the suicide contagion in the community in 2011-2012. She is currently involved in Bridges Out of Poverty and was very instrumental in getting young people to participate in a conference in December 2014, “A Call to Action for Schenectady’s Youth.” This is an effort of a coalition of citizens and organizations who believe that our community is in a pivotal position regarding the well-being and empowerment of our youth.

Ebony Belmar inspires young people to strive to live up to their greatest potential. She has the wonderful and rare capacity to pull people in young and old, once capturing them, to encourage and lead them to achieve their very best. Ebony has touched the lives of hundreds of young people. As a major contributor to the Working Group on Girls. Knowing the value of the program, she has now brought together men in the community to initiate Boys Day Out and other programs for boys and teens such as Save Our Sons. Now, thanks to Ebony’s efforts, girls and boys can benefit from these opportunities so valuable for their healthy development.


Based in Albany, New York, The Stakeholders is a not-for-profit organization that inspires and equips people to take positive action in their communities. Stakeholders, Inc. is a New York State Regional Volunteer Center for an eight-county region, as well as an affiliate of the National Points of Light Institute.

To purchase tickets, please go to: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2015-stakeholders-goby-awards-tickets-15352887901

For more information visit: www.gobyawards.com

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