Campus Communications

Marist Honors Community Leaders at President’s Breakfast

Anthony Proia, Director of Media Relations
From left to right: President Kevin Weinman, Freddimir Garcia, Brian Doyle and Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt

December 6, 2022 – Marist honored three distinguished members of the Hudson River Valley community at the College’s annual President’s Community Breakfast. The honorees all received President’s Awards for Community Service for their significant contributions to the local area from President Kevin Weinman.

The 53rd annual breakfast was attended by past award winners, members of the Board of Trustees, local business leaders and elected officials. The three honorees included: 

  • Brian Doyle, retiring CEO of Family Services
  • Nicole Fenichel-Hewitt, Executive Director of The Art Effect
  • Freddimir Garcia, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer at Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, Inc. 

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.

“These distinguished honorees have made valuable contributions to our community through their exceptional commitment and leadership,” said Weinman. “They have collectively made the Hudson River Valley a better, more vibrant, and more equitable place to live. We are proud to recognize Brian, Nicole, and Freddi for their embodiment of the Marist principles of excellence in education, a sense of community, and a commitment to service.”

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.

About the honorees

Garcia is a Marist College alumnus as both an undergraduate and graduate student and was also a Presidential Fellow. He is now Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, an organization representing 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.”

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.

“I was thinking about how much I love coming to this campus. It’s a place of learning and growing and challenging oneself to keep striving to be better,” said Fenichel-Hewitt. “I do what I do because it feels good to do things that bring out the best in people. I’m so humbled to be honored by such an incredible learning institution.”

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.

“I have much to be grateful for, and Marist College having offered me that chance to engage in true experiential learning is a huge a part of who I am today,” said Doyle '73/'90M. “My work in human services goes back 50 years when at Marist, I spent a semester immersed in field work in Red Hook. I worked for the Office of Economic Opportunity and learned how people living in poverty were not ones to be looked down upon but rather had endured daily circumstances of deprivation and trauma which would then be passed on from one generation to the next."

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.

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