2023 Honorees

Randi Weingarten


Randi Weingarten, named one of the most influential New Yorkers of the past 25 years by the New York Observer, is president of the 1.7-million-member American Federation of Teachers and previously served for 11 years as president of the United Federation of Teachers. A former high school history teacher and Wall Street lawyer, she is actively involved in numerous professional, civic, religious, and philanthropic organizations. She recently arranged vital support for war-impacted Ukrainian children. Ms. Weingarten will receive a special introduction at the Gala by Dr. Irwin and Karen Redlener.


Dr. Channing Stave


Dr. Channing Stave is an inspirational leader with a heart for making a difference. Currently Chief Operating Officer of Newristics, an innovative behavioral sciences firm, he has held senior roles at Express Scripts, Pfizer, and IBM over the course of his long career. A dedicated advocate for children, he co-founded Solving Kids’ Cancer and continues his advocacy as the President of the Board of Directors for Camp Zeke and the Board Secretary of Madison Strategies Group.

Rosemarie Sinclair


Rosemarie Sinclair’s commitment to education and leadership has led to a 36-year career in the New York City Department of Education. This exceptional leader and advocate for quality education has been a teacher, administrator, assistant principal, principal, grants manager, and member of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, of which she is now Executive Vice President. Ms. Sinclair has received numerous awards including the Beacon of Hope Award, the Sojourner Truth Award, and Educator of the Year. Throughout her career she has secured and managed tens of millions in grants.

Mary Cheng


Mary Cheng is a passionate advocate for education and empowerment in Chinese-American and immigrant communities. From her beginnings at Chinese-American Planning Council’s School-Age Child Care Center to becoming their Director of Childhood Development Services, Ms. Cheng has dedicated her life to inspiring and empowering more than 1,300 children annually. As a 2017 Day Care Council Unsung Hero and recipient of the 2023 PASEsetter Award, she continues to champion the importance of community engagement and support for the future of our children.

Dr. David M. Milch


Dr. David Milch is a committed entrepreneur, philanthropist, and investor, whose extraordinary journey spans the realms of medicine, entertainment, and social impact. A Harvard MD and Stanford biochemist, Dr. Milch’s groundbreaking ventures revolutionize cancer treatments and advance medical technology. His altruistic spirit, fueled by the Dr. David M. Milch Foundation, tackles societal challenges, empowers disadvantaged youth, and confronts intolerance. As a Genius 100 member, he’s celebrated for his vision and impact on both science and humanity. 

Mary Somoza


Mary Somoza, a tenacious advocate for those with disabilities, has dedicated more than 20 years to transforming lives. Mary founded Parent Advocates Come Together (PACT) and completed the first Family Support training session with the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council in Albany. With a wealth of experience including election to Community School Board 2, numerous awards, and advisory roles, she continues her relentless mission as a disability consultant, working alongside her daughters to create a better future for all.

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