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The University at Albany Foundation Honors Academic Leader Vincent P. Verdile and Community Leaders William J. Cromie, I. David Swawite at Citizen Laureate Awards, Nov. 11

Area leaders to be honored as UAlbany Citizen Laureates on Nov. 11 are, left to right, Academic Laureate Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., and Community Laureates William J. Cromie, M.D. and I. David Swawite.

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 4, 2015) – The University at Albany Foundation will honor the Dean of Albany Medical College, Vincent P. Verdile, M.D.; retired President and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (CDPHP) William J. Cromie, M.D.; and President and COO of Omni Development Company, Inc., I. David Swawite at its 36th Citizen Laureate Awards on Wednesday, Nov. 11, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the SEFCU Arena.

Verdile will receive the Academic Laureate Award, while Cromie and Swawite will each receive the Community Laureate at the dinner and awards ceremony.

The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize outstanding leaders in business and industry, government, and academia, and are the most prestigious honors bestowed by The University at Albany Foundation. Proceeds from the event support UAlbany student scholarships through The University at Albany Foundation. A tradition begun in 1977 as a way to strengthen the ties between the academic and business community, the dinner has become the Capital Region’s premier awards dinner, with over 70 distinguished award winners gracing its history.

Proceeds from the event support UAlbany student scholarships through The University at Albany Foundation. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, The Foundation continues to advance the University’s strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build the University’s ties to the community.

ACADEMIC LAUREATE

Vincent P. Verdile, M.D.

Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., is the The Lynne and Mark Groban, M.D. ’67 Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs at Albany Medical Center, positions he has held since 2001. He is also a professor of Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Verdile, one of the longest-tenured deans of a United States medical college, oversees the operations of Albany Medical College, which is among the nation’s oldest private medical schools. Under his leadership, the College has expanded its academic programs. Approximately 40 percent of the region’s practicing physicians are alumni of the College. He is responsible for four biomedical research centers, which are helping to bring the latest medical treatments to patients, while advancing knowledge of diseases. Under his direction, these research organizations have received more funding from the prestigious National Institutes of Health than any other university or college in northeastern New York. He also manages the College’s more than 450-member physician practice, the largest group of multi-specialty physicians in the region.

A Troy native and 1984 graduate of Albany Medical College, Dr. Verdile held a number of academic and clinical appointments at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he completed his residency training in emergency medicine. In 1993, he returned to Albany as an attending emergency medicine physician, and shortly thereafter was named chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Verdile is the author of more than 60 academic publications and has served on several editorial boards as well as numerous state and national committees. He is the current chair of the National Selection Committee for the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research and is past president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He also served on the board of directors of Union Graduate College and is currently a director of the Fort Orange Club in Albany.

In 2013, he received the national John Marx Leadership Award from the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM). He received the 2011 Meritorious Service Award from the Albany Medical College Alumni Association and the William S. McEllory Award from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Alumni Association.

COMMUNITY LAUREATE

William J. Cromie, M.D., MBA

Dr. Cromie is the retired president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP). Joining CDPHP as president and CEO in September 2001, Dr. Cromie was one of the founding board members of CDPHP, served as vice chairman, and also presided on the executive and finance committees.

Prior to this position, he held the post of Vice Chairman of the Department of Surgery at the University of Chicago, and was also Professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the University. Before that, he served 15 years as Professor of surgery and pediatrics at Albany Medical Center. He also held the post of Staff Surgeon at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Pa., after completing his military service as Assistant Chief of Urology at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland.

Dr. Cromie holds an MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a medical degree from St. Louis University Medical School, and a bachelor's degree from Fordham University. He is internationally recognized in the medical field, has authored numerous publications, and has received many medical honors.

One of the founding board members of the Albany Ronald McDonald House, he also served on the board of the National Ronald McDonald Children's Charity, the American College at Louvain, Belgium, St. Ignatius College Prep, and many others. He was a Senior Scholar for the MacLean Center for Medical Ethics in Chicago, and was a founding member of the Lumen Christi Institute at the University of Chicago. Dr. Cromie was also Past President of the Society for Pediatric Urology, and a member of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Recently he served as a board member of Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Regional Food Bank, and is currently the President of the Fort Orange Club in Albany. In addition, he serves on the advisory board for the Ronald McDonald House, and Assisi in Albany, which assists in finding jobs for entry level clients. In the recent past, he served on the executive committees for the New York State Business Council, the Center for Economic Growth, and America’s Health Insurance Plans. He does leadership and strategy consulting for selected clients. Currently he is volunteering as a physician at a free health clinic, a soup kitchen in the inner city, and in his third career he has joined the team at the Advanced Wound Care Center at Memorial Hospital. Pro bono, he actively advises a number of non-profit social service agencies as they struggle for funding. For enjoyment he skis, sails, sings, golfs, turns bowls on his wood lathe, and immensely enjoys his grandchildren.

Dr. Cromie and his wife, Cynthia, reside in Albany and have five grown children and six grandchildren.

COMMUNITY LAUREATE

I. David Swawite

I. David Swawite is the President and Chief Executive Officer and principal shareholder of the Omni Group of companies, which include Omni Development Company, Inc., Omni Management Group, Ltd., Omni Housing Development LLC and other affiliated entities. Throughout his career, Swawite has served in leadership roles on numerous local non-profit boards and committees. His commitment to giving back to the communities and region in which he has worked has been recognized for excellence by business/professional associations, governments and extensive media reporting.

Through Omni Development Company, Inc. and affiliated ownership entities, Swawite has led and supported major redevelopments and transformational developments throughout the Albany central business district. Some of the projects completed by his company in the downtown area are: Omni Plaza – 30 South Pearl Street, 54 State Street, 35 State Street (major restoration of historic building), 66 South Pearl Street (KeyBank Headquarters), Albany Parking Authority Garage (Hudson & Green), Albany Hilton Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites, 40 Beaver Street (major restoration of historic building), 50 Beaver Street, Dormitory Authority Headquarters (Broadway), Progressive Insurance Headquarters (Quackenbush Square).

Swawite is also Chief Executive Officer of Omni Housing Development LLC, a company that is noted for cutting edge innovations and accomplishments in the creation of affordable housing communities in upstate New York. Omni projects provide financing arrangements, design services and construction management, long term economic sustainability planning, superior energy efficiencies including solar, Internet availability and handicap accessibility. The crucial mission of these projects has been to provide quality, affordable residential communities that contain rising operating costs while minimizing the public investments of taxpayer dollars.

Since committing to the Capital Region in 1977, Swawite has been an influential innovator, highly regarded businessman, community leader and philanthropist. His more than 50 years of business activities initially included 14 years in the practice of public accounting as a Certified Public Accountant including as a partner in a New York City certified public accounting firm as well as 40 years of real estate activities in upstate New York.

Among many other organizations, he is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Building Owners’ Management Association (BOMA), Commercial & Industrial Real Estate Brokers (CIREB) & National Association of Realtors (NAR). He serves on various boards and committees, including The Center for Economic Growth, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Institute of History and Art. Swawite also served as Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District. A graduate of Hunter College, he and his wife Lois reside on Long Island and in Richmond, MA.

CITIZEN LAUREATE CO-CHAIRS

Daniel P. Nolan ’74

A highly successful businessman and respected community leader, Daniel P. Nolan’s contributions to the quality of life in the Capital Region are extensive. Recognized for his business expertise, both in his current role as President and CEO of Hugh Johnson Advisors and throughout his career at Ayco Company and Goldman Sachs, he is also known for his work as chairman of the Board of Trustees for both the College of Saint Rose and Albany Law School.

Nolan graduated from UAlbany in 1974 with a degree in business administration, and received his Juris Doctor degree from Albany Law School in 1978. He is a recipient of the 2014 Community Laureate Award.

John Nigro

John Nigro, of Loudonville, N.Y., is president of Nigro Companies, as well as a board member of the Center for Economic Growth, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and Albany Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the board of trustees for Albany Medical Center, Siena College, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Nigro Companies is a commercial real estate development and management company based in Albany, N.Y. He received an honorary degree from Siena College in 2013, and was a recipient of the 2010 Community Laureate Award.

To learn more about the event, visit the UAlbany Citizen Laureate website, or contact the Office of University Events at (518) 442-5310.

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A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate certificate programs. UAlbany is a leader among all New York State colleges and universities in such diverse fields as atmospheric and environmental sciences, business, criminal justice, emergency preparedness, engineering and applied sciences, informatics, public administration, social welfare, and sociology taught by an extensive roster of faculty experts. It also offers expanded academic and research opportunities for students through an affiliation with Albany Law School. With a curriculum enhanced by 600 study-abroad opportunities, UAlbany launches great careers.