Four community leaders will be honored as the National Federation for Just Communities of Western New York holds its 2013 Citation Banquet at 6 p.m. March 20 in Hyatt Regency Buffalo.
The honorees include Sister Margaret Carney, president of St. Bonaventure University; attorney Kenneth P. Friedman, a partner in Hodgson Russ LLP; certified public accountant Gerard T. Mazurkiewicz, a partner in Dopkins & Co. LLP; and Surjit Singh, a retired SUNY Buffalo State chemistry professor and an interfaith community leader.
Carney, the 20th president of St. Bonaventure, was appointed to the post in 2004 and helped restore integrity to the university following the basketball recruiting scandal that forced her predecessor to resign.
She served for eight years as general superior for her community, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God, before joining the St. Bonaventure staff in 1997 and, as president, has worked to reinforce the school’s role as a leading international resource for the Franciscan order.
Friedman, who is listed among the Best Lawyers in America, specializes in corporate law and leads his firm’s Business Practice Area and its Corporate & Securities Practice Group. He and his wife, Amy, a founder of Tapestry Charter School, are recipients of the NCCJ Sisterhood/Brotherhood Award for their dedication to the community.
A former board chairman of the NFJC and Leadership Buffalo, he supports numerous charitable and cultural agencies. He is secretary of the Shaw Festival, vice chairman of the Buffalo History Museum and a member of the boards of trustees for Temple Beth Zion and the Jewish Community Center for Greater Buffalo.
Mazurkiewicz, a former partner in the Buffalo office of KPMG, joined Dopkins in 2004 and specializes in income tax, estate tax and succession planning.
He serves on the boards of Women & Children’s Hospital, Kaleida Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, Hilbert College and University at Buffalo Foundation. Last year, he and his wife, Barbara, received the Bishop’s Medal from the Foundation of the Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
Singh, who was born in India, has fostered a spirit of peace, diversity and interfaith dialogue since his arrival here in 1967. He was on the welcoming committee for the Dalai Lama’s visit to Western New York and after the 9/11 attacks helped lead the prayer service for healing and unity.
He has been a leader in the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service sponsored by the NFJC and the Network of Religious Communities and speaks frequently on interfaith issues. Former president of the Amherst Diversity Commission, he was instrumental in construction of the new Sikh Temple in Niagara Falls.
Co-chairmen of this year’s banquet are NFJC board members Laura A. Zaepfel, vice president for corporate affairs for Uniland Development Co.; and Peter A. Vukelic, vice president of government affairs for Try-It Distributing Co.
The NFJC has worked to combat racism and other discrimination in the area since it was founded as a branch of the National Conference of Christians and Jews in 1951. For information and tickets to the dinner, call 853-9596 or visit www.nfjcwny.org.