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Wallace Altes, John Balint, and Robert M. Curley Named UAlbany Citizen Laureates

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 6, 2011) -- The University at Albany Foundation has named Wallace Altes, Dr. John Balint, and Robert M. Curley the recipients of the 2011 Citizen Laureate Awards.

Altes and Curley were honored as Community Laureates while Balint was named Academic Laureate. The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize outstanding leaders in business and industry, government and academia, and are the most prestigious honor bestowed by The University at Albany Foundation.

Wallace W. Altes
Wallace (Wally) Altes

Wallace (Wally) Altes has spent more than thirty years in strategic business development, including leading his own human resource consulting firm, directing a large and complex business association, serving as executive counsel to the area’s largest public relations firm, and serving on the boards of a bank and an HMO/insurance company.

Altes served as Executive in Residence for both the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, and Union Graduate College in Schenectady. From 1990 to 2002, he served as president and CEO of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, where it was recognized by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives for its innovative programming and sound administrative practices.

In the late 1990s, Altes and the Chamber led the effort to brand the area "Tech Valley," a name now in common usage for the area's technological research and development. Prior to joining the Albany-Colonie Chamber, Altes served as president of Altes Management Resources, Inc., a human resource consulting firm with clients in the United States and Germany.

John Balint
Dr. John Balint  (Photo courtesy of Albany Medical College)

Dr. John Balint joined the faculty at Albany Medical College in 1963 as head of the Division of Gastroenterology. In 1981, he was appointed chair of the Department of Medicine, and in 1994 completed a one-year fellowship in Clinical Medical Ethics at the University of Chicago and established the Center for Medical Ethics Education and Research at Albany Medical College.

From 1960 to 1981, Balint directed a research program in lipid biochemistry funded by the National Institutes of Health. He served as chair of the Institutional Review Board in the early 1970s and was the founding chair of the Ethics Committee of the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) from 1994 to 1999. He was the founding chair of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases since 2000.

Balint is a graduate of Cambridge University (U.K.). Following 10 years of postgraduate training in the U.K., he completed fellowships at the University of Cincinnati and Johns Hopkins University, followed by a faculty appointment at the University of Alabama at Birmingham from 1960 to 1963.

Robert M. Curley is director of Berkshire Hills Bancorp (BHLB) and chairman of the New York region of Berkshire Bank, working with the Berkshire's leadership to direct growth opportunities. From 2005 to 2009, he served as chairman and president of Citizens Bank in New York with more than 200 branches throughout the state. Prior to joining Citizens, Curley served at Charter One Bank as president for New York and New England. From 1976 to 1999, Curley was vice chairman of KeyBank N.A., and served as president and CEO of four subsidiary banks.

Bob Curley
Robert M. Curley (Photo courtesy of the The Business Review)

Curley has served as chairman of Catholic Charities, Coaches vs. Cancer, Wildwood Programs, the Community Lending Corporation, the Doane Stuart School, the Sports Foundation, the New York Bankers Association Retail Council, the City of Albany’s Neighborhood Revitalization Committee, and the annual fund campaigns for both Junior Achievement and the United Way. He also serves on the boards of Siena College, the New York Business Development Corp., the Business Council of New York State, the Albany Local Development Corporation, and the Center for Economic Growth.

Laureate award recipients will be honored at the Hall of Springs in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., on Nov. 16, 2011. John and Ginny Egan serve as honorary co-chairpersons of the Citizen Laureate Awards event. John Egan is president of Renaissance Corporation of Albany and former commissioner of the NYS Office of General Services.

Opportunities exist to support the Citizen Laureate Awards event; for more information, contact Terri Scalise Roller, associate director of Corporate Partnerships at UAlbany, tel. (518) 437-5095.

Funds raised through the event will support student scholarship, research and public service initiatives set by the University and managed by The University at Albany Foundation. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, the Foundation promotes the University's strategic goals by leading UAlbany's fundraising, asset management and stewardship activities.

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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.