Christa Glazier ’01 was presented with the second Cornell New York State Hometown Alumni Award in Syracuse Aug. 28.
Glazier, who was a natural resources major in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), is vice president of communications and marketing for the Onondaga County-based CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO).
Surrounded by her family, colleagues and fellow Cornellians, Glazier was honored at the recently renovated Marriott Syracuse Downtown hotel – itself one of the high-impact economic growth projects to which CenterState CEO has directed funding.
CenterState CEO is an independent economic development strategy and business leadership organization that serves about 2,000 members of all sizes (including Cornell University) in 19 counties across central and northern New York state.
The Cornell University New York State Hometown Alumni Award recognizes Cornell graduates who have returned to their home counties to start or enhance a business or nonprofit, and who regularly volunteer and make an impact in their communities.
After her graduation from Cornell, Glazier took a job as a senior district aide in the Syracuse office of U.S. Rep. Jim Walsh (R-25th Dist.). She worked in constituent services, helping residents with requests involving federal agencies, as well as on environmental-related issues in the district – most notably the Onondaga Lake cleanup project.
Glazier joined CenterState CEO in 2010 as director of communications and was promoted to vice president of communications and marketing in 2014. She was the lead author of the Central New York Regional Economic Development Council’s 2015 Upstate Revitalization Initiative proposal, which garnered an initial award of $500 million that has been leveraged into $1 billion in funds targeting high-impact economic growth projects.
She is a current director and a past president of the Cornell Alumni Association of Central New York and has served on the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County’s board of directors and with the Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network.
“Christa, Cornell is proud to recognize alumni like you,” said Joel Malina, Cornell vice president for university relations.
Joanie Mahoney, Onondaga County executive, noted Glazier’s long record of hard work on behalf of residents of the community. Noting that Glazier once thought she might end up in a “more exciting” metro area after college, Mahoney said: “What you did was make our community a more exciting place, and I’m grateful, because my kids are more likely to pick a place like Syracuse to live because of the work you have done here.”
Rob Simpson, president and chief executive officer of CenterState CEO, said Glazier “helped provide me, and our entire organization, the confidence to launch endeavors and initiatives that, frankly, were more ambitious than we had any right to ask for.”
Simpson called her “the consummate professional – even asking just a few days ago whether or not I needed remarks prepared for today,” he said to laughter. “I told her, ‘I got this.’”
Malina presented Glazier with the award, which honors her “for her steadfast, proactive leadership in Onondaga County … with appreciation for utilizing your Cornell education for the betterment of your home community, New York state and the common good.”
“Clearly, Cornell holds a special place in my heart,” Glazier said. “… those academics and the lifelong friendships and wisdom, gained both in and outside the classroom, had a lasting impact.”
Glazier said the “common thread” that has been woven through her life since graduating has been that of serving a greater purpose. “And, while giving back certainly isn’t unique to those who attended Cornell, I do believe that we share a common thread thanks to the values instilled by our alma mater – among them, a commitment to public engagement and positive change in the community and world,” she said.
Glazier said some of the most gratifying work she did with Walsh’s office was assisting immigrants throughout the region, and she selected the Syracuse-based InterFaith Works’ Center for New Americans to be the recipient of a $1,000 contribution Cornell will make in her name.
“Their work espouses Cornell’s values,” she said, “striving to create life-changing experiences in a more equitable community. I am truly grateful to Cornell for this opportunity to give back to an organization that is having such a significant impact on people’s lives here.”
Cornell’s Division of University Relations – in collaboration with Alumni Affairs and Development and other campus units – launched the Cornell University New York State Hometown Alumni Award earlier this year; the first recipient was Nate Chittenden ’00, a third-generation dairy farmer in Columbia County.