Events

Astor Gala: Honorees

Our Honorees

PROTIVITI – Corporate Award

Protiviti is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Our consulting solutions span critical business problems in technology, business process, analytics, risk, compliance, transactions and internal audit.  We are committed to attracting and developing a diverse workforce of professionals that share the common value of collaboration.  As an organization, we believe that by teaming together, with each other, and our clients, we can see beyond the surface of changes and problems organizations face in this fast changing world to discover opportunities others might miss and face the future with greater confidence.

 

HARRY BROWN – Alumni Achievement Award

When Harry Brown came to Astor’s Residential Program in Rhinebeck, NY in 1959, he was eight years old and thought he did not have any family as he was being sent from one foster home to another – a total of seven prior to arriving at Astor. Harry described his years at Astor as the “best years of my life…and I did not want to leave when it was time to do so,” as he found the “family” he was looking for where he received unconditional love, care, encouragement and acceptance and where “everyone involved with Astor made sure that kids got to be kids.”

Harry discussed how important it was for him to have people in his life who encouraged and supported him in whatever his interests were. He loved to read, listen to music, build model airplanes, ships and cars; and his teachers and counselors all were very supportive. In fact, he fondly recalled having all sorts of model airplanes and cars displayed in his room.

Harry’s wanderlust for life was developed and encouraged by Astor’s staff. He was given a globe that he kept in his room and would read about all the places in the world he could visit someday. This wanderlust was realized when Harry had the opportunity to visit many of the places he read about. In 1979, after returning from service in Vietnam, Harry He used his training as a radio technician and was a merchant seaman for many years working on cargo lines. He saw parts of Asia, Europe, Latin America and many other places in between.

Harry spoke of one special therapist who first introduced him to horses by taking him to the Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck. There he had the opportunity to spend time with the horses (i.e., grooming them and eventually learning how to ride). This experience has impacted his love and affection for horses throughout his life. Today, he owns and trains horses where he lives in California.

Although there was some readjusting for Harry when he left Astor at age 14, he relied on the strong of his years at Astor to navigate throughout some of the difficult times he encountered. Harry credits Astor for his exceptional academic training. When he left Astor, for example, he was advanced two years in the public school he attended. He went on to get an Associate Degree from Boston University. He is also a Master Radio Technician.

“It is so important for Astor’s staff to know that what they do have value…the time, energy, commitment and unconditional love they give to each child is meaningful…it helped me achieve a lot in life.” 


Keynote Speaker

First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin B. Tucker, New York City Police Department

Benjamin B. Tucker began his career with the New York City Police Department in 1969 as a Police Trainee. In this role, he conducted an innovative school-based drug prevention education program. He became a Police Officer in 1972 and was promoted to Sergeant in 1987. During his 22 years with the NYPD, Mr. Tucker performed patrol, school task force, anti-crime and community affairs assignments; in addition to serving as a Police Academy instructor, legal advisor in the Office of the Deputy Commissioner, Legal Matters; and as the Assistant Director of the Civilian Complaint Review Board.

Following his career with the NYPD, Mr. Tucker continued his public service as an executive in several local and federal government agencies. In New York City, under Mayor Edward I. Koch, Mr. Tucker served as the Deputy Assistant Director for Law Enforcement Services in the Mayor’s Office of Operations, First Deputy Commissioner and Executive Director of the Commission on Human Rights, Chief of Operations in the Office of the Manhattan Borough President, and Chief Executive for School Safety and Planning for the Department of Education.

In 1995, President William Jefferson Clinton appointed Mr. Tucker as the Deputy Director for Operations in the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services at the United States Department of Justice. In 2009, Mr. Tucker was nominated by President Barack H. Obama, and confirmed by the United States Senate, as the Deputy Director for State, Local and Tribal Affairs within the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

Mr. Tucker has also coordinated and directed research demonstration projects at the Substance Abuse Strategy Initiative at New York University and the Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. These projects were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of post incarceration services for substance abusing ex-offenders and services for pre-adolescents at risk of getting involved in drugs and crime.

His unique blend of law enforcement, public service, and academic experience led to Mr. Tucker’s appointment as Deputy Commissioner, Training, during Police Commissioner William J. Bratton’s reengineering of the New York City Police Department in 2014. In 2015, Mr. Tucker was promoted to First Deputy Commissioner and entrusted to design and implement a broad range of policy, programs, and training to strengthen community relations and improve the performance of the Department.

First Deputy Commissioner Tucker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, a J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, and is a tenured professor at Pace University.


Emcee

Evi Siskos

Graduated with a bachelors in International business and a concentration in Mandarin. Her love for languages led her to study Mandarin in Shanghai, China.

After finishing her studies, her passion for the arts led her to participate in Miss Dominican Republic Universe 2011, placing her as a finalist.

Miss Dominican Republic Universe opened the door for her to pursue her dreams of television and film. Since 2011, she has been in various commercials, television programs, music videos and short films.

Her first steps were in radio as co-host of the show NipTuck with celebrity surgeon Dr. Steven Greenberg and Almorzando con Cantaso. Evi has starred in TV pilots and films such as Lower East Asides, Unicorn Sky, and Keep the party going.

She was a part of Cosmopolitan Magazine web-series for Latinas. Evi has been a spokesperson for Goya Foods, for their segment La Cocina de Goya with their campaign, Mi Plato, promoted by first lady Michelle Obama. She has also been the face of International brands such as Chez Handbags and Galilli Diamonds. Ms. Siskos can be currently seen as one of the main hosts of the daily entertainment show, Acceso Total, on Telemundo Monday thru Friday. Evi also was in the Shakespeare theater production As You Like, playing the leading role of Rosalind.