Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award
Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board
Kathleen A. Rapp, Chair David V. Bottar, Executive Director  

Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award

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The Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award was established in 1985 in memory of Rhea Eckel Clark, one of the founders of the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board. Mrs. Clark distinguished herself throughout her career by working to improve the quality of life in Central New York while addressing issues of regional significance such as education, health care, community revitalization, environmental protection, and social justice.

Mrs. Clark spent three terms as chairperson of the CNY RPDB from 1967-1969. During this period she helped to direct the agency through its formative stages and initiated work on a range of comprehensive planning issues confronting the Central New York community.

In addition to her work with the CNY RPDB, Mrs. Clark was president of Cazenovia College from April 1957 to March 1971. She was also named director of the American Management Association for a three-year period beginning in 1968. Upon retiring from her presidency of Cazenovia College, Mrs. Clark headed Governor Rockefeller's State Commission of the Aging.

Before coming to Cazenovia College, Mrs. Clark spent eight years with the New York University School of Education as assistant to the dean and consultant for community education and development. Previously, Mrs. Clark was executive secretary for New York State Citizens Council, Inc., and in 1949, she served in Germany as a visiting consultant to the U.S. Army of Occupation Program. During her lifetime, Mrs. Clark received a number of honors including the 14th Colgate Civics Awards presented to area men and women "who have exemplified, by their own generous service, the principle of democracy in action." Mrs. Rhea Eckel was married to Dr. Wesley C. Clark, who served as dean of the Syracuse University School of Journalism for more than 20 years.


The recipient of this award must:

  • Provide strong regional leadership;
  • Help implement programs that have improved the quality of life in CNY; and
  • Support efforts that foster intergovernmental cooperation and civic participation.

Barbara S. Rivette CNY RPDB's 2014 REC Award Recipient

Barbara S. Rivette (left) receives the CNY RPDB's Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award from Board Chairwoman Kathleen A. Rapp at the Board's 2014 Annual Meeting
Barbara S. Rivette (left) receives the CNY RPDB's Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award from Board Chairwoman Kathleen A. Rapp at the Board's 2014 Annual Meeting

Barbara S. Rivette was named the recipient of the 28th annual Rhea Eckel Clark Citizenship Award at the Central New York Regional Planning and Development Board’s Annual Meeting held on October 17, 2014.

Ms. Rivette is a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Journalism with a distinguished career as a respected researcher, author, and editor with a passion for environmental and historic topics. Her first historical research was published in a statewide publication when she was 14 years old. Since then Ms. Rivette has authored numerous local history books and 25 sections of the NYS Encyclopedia, which included a segment on Onondaga County

Ms. Rivette worked as reporter, photographer, and executive editor on seven weekly newspapers in Onondaga and Madison Counties and served as the president of the New York Press Association in 1989. She currently serves as the local historian for the Town and Village of Manlius and the Village of Fayetteville. In 2007, she received the local Government Historian Award for Excellence from the Association of Public Historians of NYS.

Ms. Rivette is a life member of the Onondaga Historical Association and was a member of the OHA board of directors for more than 30 years. In 2004 OHA honored her with the OHA Medal for distinguished service in helping to preserve and interpret our local history.

Since 2003 Ms. Rivette has served as the Chair of the Onondaga County Council on Environmental Health. She served as a member of the Onondaga Lake Management Council for 23 years during which time she provided testimony at federal public hearings held by Senator Patrick Moynihan in support of establishing the Onondaga Lake Management Conference. As a participating member of the Conference she contributed to the development of A Plan for Action, later known as the first Onondaga Lake Management Plan." When the Onondaga Lake Management Conference was replaced by the Onondaga Lake Partnership, Barbara assumed a key role on the OLP's Outreach Committee until the Committee completed its work in 2012.

Past Recipients

2013 Cornelius B. Murphy, Jr., PhD.
2012 Walter John Tennant, Jr. (posthumously), Chairman, CNY RPDB
2010 Louis Pettinelli, CNY RPDB Board member
2009 Mary Ann Messinger, CNY RPDB Board member
2008 Ferdinand L. Picardi, Chairman, Metropolitan Water Board, Onondaga County Water District
2007 David R. Elleman, CNY RPDB Board member, Onondaga County Comptroller (retired)
2006 Eugene G. Saloga, Director, City of Oswego Community Development (retired)
2005 John Zawadzki, President, Partners Trust Bank; Central Upstate Regional Alliance
2004 James T. Walsh, U.S. Congressman
2003 Robert Doucette, Armory Development & Management
2002 Chuckie Holstein, FOCUS Greater Syracuse
2001 Ralph Standbrook, Chairman, Cayuga County Legislature
2000 Robert H. Kuiper, Mayor, Village of Hamilton
1999 John H. Mulroy (posthumously), former Onondaga County Executive
1998 Ann Petrus, Chair, Cayuga County Water & Sewer Authority; Supervisor, Town of Brutus
1997 Bruce B. Phelps, Oswego County businessman
1996 Arthur W. Ospelt, Oswego County Administrator
1994 Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation Representative; CEO, Nation Enterprises
1993 Tarky Lombardi, Jr., former New York State Senator
1992 Vijay Mital, Director, Department of Planning and Economic Development, City of Auburn; Team Snyder General
1991 Marilyn Higgins-Rohde, Senior Vice President, Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce
1990 Robert J. Congel, President, Pyramid Companies
1989 Warren H. Frank, Executive Director, CNYRTA
1988 Mayor Tom Young’s Advertising Advisory Council
1987 Francis P. Benton, Former CNY RPDB Chairman
1986 L. Steve Riford, NYS Senator
1985 Hollis Iselin, Chair, Oswego County Legislature
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