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ADAPT Community Network’s 2018 Inaugural ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala

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To Be Hosted By Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour

Honoring Al Roker & Deborah Roberts, The Hausman Family, Marissa Shorenstein, and Amy Wright

Thursday, March 8th 2018 At Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City

Lynda Carter is Honorary Chair of the Gala

New York, New York, February 6th 2018 Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network announced its 2018 ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala will take place on Thursday, March 8th at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Judy Woodruff, Anchor and Managing Editor of the PBS NewsHour will host the event.

2018 ADAPT Leadership Award honorees include, Al Roker, Co-host and Weatherman of NBC’s Today Show and his wife Deborah Roberts, ABC News Correspondent for 20/20, Nightline, Good Morning America, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir; The Hausman Family, one of the Founding families of United Cerebral Palsy of NYC; Marissa Shorenstein, President, Northeast, AT&T; and Amy Wright, Founder and CEO of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, and 2017 CNN Hero of the Year.

2018 Co-Chairs of the gala are: James Hausman and Liz Cohen Hausman; James Kase and Helene Miller; Sabina McCarthy; and Alan Zack.

Honorary Chair of this year’s gala is Lynda Carter, Actress, Singerand Activist. Honorary Co-Chairs are Tamsen Fadal, Eight-time Emmy winning Anchor of PIX 11 News and Mike Woods, Meteorologist and Reporter FOX 5’s Good Day New York.

“We are honored to have such distinguished and deserving honorees for our inaugural ADAPT Leadership Awards,” says Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network. The Hausman Family is the founding family of this organization. We are extremely proud to recognize their enormous achievements and contributions over four generations. I am personally grateful for their incredible support and encouragement during my almost 30 years here. Al Roker and Deborah Roberts are not only leaders in the media world but have worked for over two decades to help children and families from all walks of life including children with disabilities and are longtime supporters of ADAPT Community Network. We recognize Marissa Shorenstein for her leadership and important ongoing philanthropic work and for the role AT&T plays in innovative technology for people with disabilities. We are particularly pleased to honor parent, advocate, business leader and role model Amy Wright whose vision and courage as a mother of four children (two with disabilities) is a story of inspiration which has resonated and touched the lives of people around the world.”

Judy Woodruff is the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. She is also a past Women Who Care honoree. Woodruff has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at CNN, NBC and PBS. For 12 years, Woodruff served as anchor and senior correspondent for CNN, where her duties included anchoring the weekday program, “Inside Politics.” At PBS from 1983 to 1993, she was the chief Washington correspondent for The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour. From 1984-1990, she also anchored PBS’ award-winning weekly documentary series, “Frontline with Judy Woodruff.”

She is the recent recipient of the Cine Lifetime Achievement award, a Duke Distinguished Alumni award, the Edward R. Murrow Lifetime Achievement Award in Broadcast Journalism/Television, the University of Southern California Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, the Al Neuharth/University of South Dakota Award for Excellence in Journalism and the Gaylord Prize for Excellence in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Oklahoma, among others.

Al Roker is currently the Co-host and Weatherman of NBC’s Today Show. As a host and weatherman of NBC’s Today Show, along with Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, Al Roker has the undivided attention of the nation (over 32 million viewers per week) every weekday morning as America prepares for work. Spanning a 35-year plus career and a thirteen-time Emmy winner, Al conducts interviews with celebrities and newsmakers around the world and does a wide variety of segments on every imaginable subject.

Al is also an accomplished television producer. He is CEO of Al Roker Entertainment, Inc. (ARE); a thriving multimedia company involved in the development and production of network, cable, and home video. ARE produces programming for a diverse clientele including NBC News, MSNBC, Spike TV, Lifetime Television, A&E, The History Channel, E!, Discovery Networks, PBS, TV ONE, Oxygen, The Cartoon Network, The Weather Channel and NBC Television Stations Group.  More:

As a leader in new media broadcasting, Al recently launched Roker Media (@RKRMedia), a creative consortium combining talent, production, amplification, and brand building for digital and live streaming platforms, leveraging audiences where they live online. Working with the latest media technology, Roker Media produces a new generation of shareable social video content for an on-the-go, mobile-first audience.

Al is a bestselling author with ten acclaimed books to his credit and just completed his first book for kids, “Al Roker’s Extreme Weather: Tornadoes, Typhoons, and Other Weather Phenomena” – released in August from Harper Collins. His mystery novel, “The Midnight Show Murders” is now being made into a TV movie for the Hallmark Channel, starring Holly Peete Robinson, coming 2018.

Deborah Roberts is an award winning ABC News Correspondent for 20/20, Nightline, Good Morning America, and ABC World News Tonight with David Muir. A media veteran, Roberts is a highly respected journalist who has traveled the world in her reporting.  She has also served as substitute anchor for Good Morning America, World News Weekend and 20/20, as well as a co-host on The View.

Roberts’ long form reports on  20/20 have consistently produced extraordinary narratives such as an intimate profile of first lady Michelle Obama, first daughter Ivanka Trump and an in depth investigation into abuse within the Amish community. She has reported from Africa on children orphaned by the HIV/AIDS crisis and was part of the historic coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Roberts has been awarded multiple Emmy awards for her international and national coverage of world events, including her poignant reporting on an Ethiopian American woman’s emotional journey back to her African village to discover her long lost mother.

Roberts is author of “Been There, Done That: Family Wisdom For Modern Times,” a book written with her husband, Al Roker. She makes her home in Manhattan with her husband and two children.

The Hausman Family has had a profound impact on healthcare systems in New York over decades.  This began with three brothers born and raised in New York; Sam, Jack and Leo Hausman, who spent their lives in the textile industry building a family-owned and operated national business.  Their philanthropic nature combined with a personal connection to disability, when Jack and his wife Ethel Hausman’s son Peter was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at a young age.  This sparked a family commitment to raising money for medical advances, research and life improvements for children andadults with cerebral palsy and related conditions.  In 1946, they founded United Cerebral Palsy of New York City (now ADAPT Community Network), which is celebrating its 71st year. Jack and Ethel, together with Leonard and Isabelle Goldenson, then created the Cerebral Palsy Research & Education Foundation and established the Greater NY & National UCP Telethon, which raised over $500 million. Leo Hausman served as Board Chair of United Cerebral Palsy of NYC for 40 years.

As the Hausman families moved from the Bronx to Long Island, they also took this spirit in helping found both North Shore and Long Island Jewish Medical Centers now known as the Northwell Health System, which is the largest health care system in NY State. While Leo and Jack were always at the forefront, Sam was always using his relationships with the State’s gubernatorial and legislative leadership to help fund these needed services.

The legacy of the Hausman family has continued for four generations with their children and grandchildren who proudly participate today in leadership roles on the ADAPT Community Network Board of Directors and in volunteer capacities.

Marissa Shorenstein currently serves as Regional President, Northeast Region for AT&T where she oversees the company’s external affairs for all states from Maine to Virginia, including Washington, DC.  She previously served as AT&T’s New York State president. Prior to joining AT&T, Marissa ran Marissa Shorenstein LLC, where she offered strategic communications consulting services to a wide range of clients including private sector institutions facing PR crises, tech startups looking for guidance on product launches, hedge funds and private equity firms requiring investor relations and sales and marketing assistance and non-profit organizations desiring speechwriting and story placement expertise.

Marissa was Director of Communications for Andrew Cuomo’s successful 2010 campaign for Governor of New York State. Before joining the Cuomo campaign, she was Press Secretary and Deputy Director of Communications for Governor David A. Paterson where she also oversaw communications for the dozens of states agencies across the state.

Shorenstein serves on the Executive Committees of the New York State Business Council, the Citizens Budget Commission, the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York (JCRC-NY) and the Women’s Forum of New York. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Girls Who Code, the Women’s Leadership Council of the Lincoln Center Corporate Fund, The Battery Conservancy and the YMCA of New York City’s Development Committee) in addition to representing AT&T at the Partnership for New York City.

Amy Wright is the Founder/CEO Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. Born the oldest of five children, Amy has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Eventually, her backyard talent shows were replaced with a stint on Broadway after she earned her BFA from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Fortunately, along the way, she met and married “Mr. Wright.”  Today, they’re the proud parents of four children – their two youngest having Down syndrome, which makes them feel like they won the lottery twice! As an advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), Amy has worked collaboratively with the Special Olympics and Best Buddies International producing music videos that promote their platforms.  She is also a contributing writer for Maria Shriver’s “Architects for Change.”

Amy helped develop the first business model for employing people with IDD in the financial services sector at Dye Creek Capital, an independent investment practice owned by her husband, Ben. She later founded ABLE to Work USA, a non-profit that helps people with IDD find meaningful employment. Amy’s vision for changing the 80% national unemployment rate for people with IDD, led her to her most fulfilling business venture yet – founding Bitty & Beau’s Coffee. The shop, which is run by 40 people with IDD, has been featured on the Today Show, CNN, Good Morning America, BBC, Harry Show, Southern Living & People Magazine as well as the Rachael Ray Show, where the brand was named the OFFICIAL COFFEE of the Rachael Ray Show.

Amy is the 2018 recipient of the William C. Friday Award, the Trillium Transformation of Lives Award, The National Inclusion Project Champion Award, the UNCW Citizen of the Year Award, and was recently named 2017 CNN Hero of the Year. Bitty & Beau’s Coffee’s headquarters are located in Wilmington, NC with additional shops opening nationwide.

About ADAPT Community Network

ADAPT Community Network (formerly United Cerebral Palsy of New York City) is the leading human service not-for-profit and a pioneer in providing cutting edge programs and services for people with disabilities. Every day, we build a more inclusive world for thousands of New Yorkers through education, technology, health, residential and recreational programs in all five boroughs. Our schools and services encompass many people who have challenges beyond cerebral palsy such as autism, Down syndrome, spina bifida and neuromuscular disorders, among others. We are the largest provider of pre-school education for children with disabilities in New York.  ADAPT’s 100 comprehensive programs serve over 18,000 children and adults with disabilities and their families.


For press information, or to cover the ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala, contact Matt Flynn at JGPR:  | 917-626-1300.

For ticket & table information, or sponsorship opportunities contact: | 212-683-6700 x1201.



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