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Alex Plinio Receives Prestigious Leadership Award

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Alex Plinio, co-founder of the Institute for Ethical Leadership at Rutgers Business School, has been honored as the 2016 Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award honoree. The award was given Dec. 1, 2016, at Rutgers University-Newark.

The Institute for Ethical Leadership announced earlier this fall that Plinio is retiring.

The Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award is a prestigious tribute established in honor of a dear friend and champion of the Institute for Ethical Leadership, Steven J. Diner, former Rutgers-Newark Chancellor. The Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award is presented annually to an individual who demonstrates a long-term commitment to strengthening civil society through ethical leadership in the City of Newark and beyond.

"As an ethical leader, Alex continues to inspire all of us to be our higher selves," said IEL Executive Director Judith Young, "It is our great fortune to work with Alex as he focuses on achieving results through ethical behavior. We are inspired by his daily example."

Plinio’s lifelong passion for leadership development, community and civic action, as well as his commitment to the revitalization of Newark, inspired him to join with like-minded colleague, James Abruzzo, to establish the Center for Nonprofit and Philanthropic Leadership (CNPL) over 12 years ago. Four years later, with support from the Prudential Foundation and Prudential Financial, CNPL expanded to become the Institute for Ethical Leadership (IEL) at Rutgers Business School in Newark. The Institute continues the work of developing leaders in the nonprofit sector locally and across the east coast, while also delivering programs for corporations, government agencies and within Rutgers, to promote and help create a stronger ethical culture. The Institute for Ethical Leadership’s programs are distinguished by the practical knowledge, experience, entrepreneurial spirit and social conscience of its founders.

Prior to his time at Rutgers, Plinio was the president and CEO of American Field Services (AFS-USA), the largest nonprofit international and intercultural student exchange program in the United States, where he engineered the successful turnaround of the organization. He previously played an integral role in the founding of the Prudential Foundation, then served as its president, performing an instrumental role in the redevelopment of the City of Newark during its renaissance. He has founded and served on the boards of many organizations devoted to community and economic development, youth, education and the arts. He is a recipient of the Private Sector Initiatives Award from the president of the United States and the Rutgers Outstanding Alumnus Award.

Keeping with tradition, the Diner Award honoree names a nonprofit organization of his/her choice in Newark that receives a monetary prize on behalf of the IEL on the evening of the reception. This year, Mr. Plinio has chosen the Ironbound Community Corporation to receive the monetary prize in his honor. Founded in 1969, ICC’s mission is to engage and empower individuals, families and groups in realizing their aspirations and, together, work to create a just, vibrant and sustainable community. ICC impacts the lives of nearly 1,000 people daily and thousands annually. The majority of ICC’s 3,000 annual clients are from very low to low income households with low literacy and English proficiency and multiple family stressors.

Previous Steven J. Diner Ethical Leadership Award winners are Rev. Dr. M. William Howard, Jr., retired Pastor of Bethany Baptist Church; Michelle Lee, Eastern Region President of Community Banking at Wells Fargo; Alfred Koeppe, former CEO of the Newark Alliance; Mary Sue Sweeney Price, former Director and CEO of the Newark Museum; and the award’s namesake, Steven J. Diner.

For Information on how to RSVP for the award reception or to support the award.