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Sephuma wins LGS Alumni Achievement Award

By Journal Staff


DeWITT — Leadership Greater Syracuse (LGS) has awarded Olive Sephuma, of Syracuse, its 2019 LGS Alumni Achievement Award.

Sephuma, an LGS Class of 2004 graduate, was recognized at the organization’s annual “Let’s Get Social” fundraising event on Thursday, April 25, at The Fitz, a speakeasy within the Oh My Darling Restaurant, on South Salina Street in Syracuse.

“This award is special to us because this is our version of The People’s Choice Award. LGS graduates nominate fellow LGSers for the award and all the nominees are put before all 1,300 graduates to vote for the winner,” Pam Brunet, executive director of LGS, said in a news release.

Sephuma is director of the Center for New Americans at Interfaith Works. It’s her passion for the community and the compassion for the people living in Central New York that sets her apart. “She sees the vision of what can be, and works collaboratively to encourage and support people to make it happen,” said former colleague John Eberle in the nomination. 

Beth Broadway, executive director of Interfaith Works, stated in the nomination, “Olive is a leader who brings out the best in people. She leads with quiet confidence and always pursues excellence with and for those she serves.” Sephuma has been instrumental in leading the organization through change and it is now recognized nationally for its forward-thinking programs.

While working previously at the Central New York Community Foundation, Sephuma expanded a neighborhood-leadership training program that served as a “hallmark program” of the foundation, the release stated. 

Beyond her work, Sephuma started a girl’s running club for city teens to encourage young women to take on their health, wellness, and body image. She also served on the Parish Council for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

The LGS Alumni Achievement Award was established to honor LGS graduates who have taken their LGS training to “the highest level and who have exhibited exceptional civic leadership.”    

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