2015 Golisano Foundation Move to Include Award
Daniel M. Meyers
Dan Meyers is President of Al Sigl Community of Agencies. We are honoring him for a lifetime commitment and achievement on behalf of people with intellectual and other disabilities.
Dan is a treasure, a legend, he has touched countless lives.
He gives everything 1000% percent and all his heart.
Dan has spent the last 28 years growing resources for a unique community collaborative network of independent human service agencies – passionately working together to take the “dis” out of disabilities and to grow opportunities for inclusion for tens of thousands of people and families in and around Rochester, New York.
The words collaboration and network cannot be used lightly when used to describe Dan. As we say so often, we can’t do it alone. Dan lives this every day, connecting people and resources to make great things happen.
And what an exceptional steward he is of resources, maximizing their use for the greatest priorities.
Thank you Dan for all you have done for our community. Congratulations on your award!
Dan Meyers is President of Al Sigl Community of Agencies where he has spent the last twenty-eight years growing resources for a unique community collaborative network of independent human service agencies passionately working together to take the “dis” out of disabilities and to grow opportunities for inclusion for tens of thousands of people and families in and around Rochester, New York.
Dan is a Board Member of Rochester Regional Health (RRH) and Chairman of Greater Rochester Independent Practice Association, a partnership of RRH and its physicians. Additionally, he serves on the board of George Eastman Museum and several not-for-profit institutions and foundations.
In 2013, he received the B. Thomas Golisano Philanthropy Award from the Rochester General Hospital Foundation and the Legacy Award from the Ad Council of Rochester where he was already a Lantern Award recipient. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rochester Rotary Club in 2011. In 2009, he received the President’s Medal for Service to the Rochester Community from his alma mater, St. John Fisher College. He was named the 2006 Executive of the Year by the United Way/Rochester Business Journal. Dan received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Nazareth College in 2005. He was recognized as the 2001 Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the International Association of Fundraising Professionals.
About the Award
An Award that challenges its very name
Samuel Beckett, the novelist and poet observed, “Words are all we have.” If that is true then we need to be mindful of those we use.
The disability field is fond of the word “include,” believing it refers to society embracing and celebrating value in human diversity. The reality is that the word is derived from the Latin word meaning “to shut in, enclose.” It can mean to “make room for,” “take into account,” “work in,” “accommodate,” and “admit.” All of which, does not describe the Golisano Foundation’s Move to Include Award.
This Award is not given to individuals and organizations that strive to “fit people in,” and “make room” for people with intellectual disabilities. The Award is not intended to honor the movement to include people despite their disabilities; and certainly not because of their disabilities
The Golisano Move to Include Award was designed to demonstrate that inclusion should never be an afterthought, a “make room” effort or a “do over” effort in social justice. The Award points out that in our society there are individuals and organizations that understand that inclusion, true inclusion is not something that is created through a mission statement, a tagline or a bumper sticker. The Move to Include Award celebrates the “movement” - the arduous and tenacious movement - that strives to embrace people, not as an afterthought, and equally important to move the psyche of individuals, systems, communities and societies that will one day eliminate the need to offer awards noteworthy for succeeding in “allowing people; people with novelties” to be welcomed into the fold.
We do not learn anything by simply “including,” “allowing,“ or “permitting” others to live and work alongside of us. We do not profit or grow by “accepting,” or even “welcoming” people with disabilities.
We, as a neighborhood, community and society learn, grow and profit by “believing” in the sanctity, value and merit of “together.” The essence of “together” transcends “inclusion.” The Golisano Award belongs to those who believe that being together, not by mandate, statute or fiat; is the only way we can benefit from the joys, challenges and perspectives that “believing in being together” can be promoted and realized.
The Golisano Move to Include Award is given to those who both “believe” and “act” in the purest realm of the essence of “move to include.” It is given in the hope that the understanding of “include” can be elevated, promoted, ingrained and demonstrated at the highest levels of human behavior.
Award narrative written by Rick Rader, MD, Co-Founder, American Association of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry