HGAR’s DEI Officer Honored by Marist College

HGAR’s DEI Officer Honored by Marist College
From left, Marist College President Kevin Weinman and Freddimir Garcia, Diversity Equity and Inclusion Officer for the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors

POUGHKEEPSIE—Marist College recently honored three distinguished members of the Hudson River Valley community at the college’s annual President’s Community Breakfast, including Freddimir Garcia, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc.

The honorees all received President’s Awards for Community Service for their significant contributions to the local area from Marist College President Kevin Weinman.

The other two honorees were: Brian Doyle, retiring CEO of Family Services, and Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Executive Director of The Art Effect.

The President’s Award is the longest-standing community service honor in the region and is presented to individuals who have had a significant positive impact on our area. The 53rd annual breakfast was attended by past award winners, members of the Board of Trustees, local business leaders and elected officials.

“These distinguished honorees have made valuable contributions to our community by demonstrating exceptional leadership and a commitment to service,” said Weinman. “Each of them has given their time and expertise to make their communities stronger by making them more equitable, lending them a lifeline when needed, and by giving our most vulnerable a voice. We are proud to recognize Nicole, Brian and Freddy for their dedication to the Marist principles of excellence in service to others.”

Garcia is a Marist College alumnus as both an undergraduate and graduate student and was also a Presidential Fellow. He is now the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, which represents more than 13,000 real estate professionals.

“I am truly humbled to be recognized by the institution that has already given me so much,” said Garcia, ’09/’14M. “It was truly a blessing when I chose to come to Marist. It’s easy to give back when you are part of a place that values the creation of community and commitment to service. These are some of the most caring, dedicated, impactful and committed individuals of the Hudson Valley, and never did I ever imagine seeing myself up here.”

Marist has long benefited from strong partnerships with the local community. Weinman highlighted the college’s Liberty Partnership Program and Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership as just two of the many programs students are engaged in that offer experiential learning, internship experiences and real-world application of the skills they’re learning in the classroom.

Fenichel-Hewitt is Executive Director of The Art Effect, an organization that introduces local youth to visual arts and media by giving them the opportunity to develop their voice and their futures.

Doyle has a connection to Marist that spans more than five decades, as an undergraduate student, graduate student and adjunct professor. As CEO of Family Services for more than a decade, he has overseen a non-profit organization that serves as a lifeline to those in need. His organization provides critical support services in Behavioral Health, Victim Services, Family Programs, Youth Services, and Community Safety and Prevention.

The annual President’s Community Breakfast highlights the importance of a strong sense of community, honors those who are working so hard to lift our communities up and help them thrive, and to deepen the connections that local community and business leaders have with Marist College, college officials stated.

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