MANCHESTER — A third-generation newspaperman, a longtime advocate for the arts and the retiring president and CEO of Easterseals won lifetime achievement awards Wednesday at the Business and Industry Association’s 106th Annual Dinner, Lifetime Achievement and New Hampshire Advantage Awards Celebration.
The event, presented by Eversource, was held at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel.
Larry Gammon, retiring president and CEO of Easterseals; Joan Goshgarian, former executive director of New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts; and Joe McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News, were presented lifetime achievement awards before a crowd of more than 750 at the downtown Manchester hotel.
The Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by Whelen Engineering, recognizes “business leaders who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership in their professions, communities, and New Hampshire,” according to a media release issued from the Business and Industry Association (BIA).
“Our honorees have exhibited throughout their careers and commitment to excellence, creativity, and dedication to their professions,” said John Kacavas, Chief Legal Counsel for Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and a member of BIA’s Executive Board. “All of them are really well-deserving and have contributed a lot to their communities, the state of New Hampshire, and their legacy will be those footprints on all the people they’ve touched.”
McQuaid is a third-generation newspaperman, having started at the Union Leader part-time while in high school. He led the effort to open the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. McQuaid became president and publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News upon Mrs. Loeb’s retirement in 1999.
He was inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame in February.
“In the tradition of his predecessors, Joe maintained a strong editorial page,” said Kacavas. “It’s possible … slightly possible …there are a few of us in this room who’ve made a guest appearance in one of his editorials. While he may have a sharp pen, those who know Joe find him to be soft-spoken with a genuine affection for his community. Ink may be in Joe McQuaid’s veins, but New Hampshire is forever in his heart.”
“If there was no BIA in New Hampshire, someone would have to invent it,” said McQuaid. “New Hampshire’s a small state, with a small-ish government, but it needs a full-time outfit keeping an eye out for the business and industry interests in the state, because government has a tendency to grow, and the BIA is here to challenge it when necessary and oppose it when necessary.”
McQuaid said he has been in the news and information business for 50 years.
“I’m happy to say the Union Leader and Sunday News are still in that business, because they are important to this state,” said McQuaid. “As far as this award goes, it’s not just me. It’s the Loebs, it’s my parents, hundreds of people who worked at the Union Leader and Sunday News, and my family who’s here tonight.”
After joining in 1971, Gammon was appointed president and CEO of Easterseals New Hampshire in 1988. Today the nonprofit provides service programming to children and families, seniors, veterans, and those dealing with addiction. The nonprofit now serves more than 32,000 clients throughout Northern New England.
“Without humble beginnings there can be no great success stories,” said Kacavas.“Larry Gammon grew up on a farm in Virginia with parents who never went to high school. He may have started from humble beginnings, but he ends his career as a leader who remains ever humble.”
“It’s a big honor,” said Gammon. “It’s always a reflection on Easterseals, when they recognize someone like me. I’m just carrying the torch, and very happy to do it, and it comes at the end of what I think has been a great career.”
Throughout a 33-year tenure with the NHBCA, Goshgarian has advocated for the role of culture in economic, social, and community development. Goshgarian has served on the boards of NH Public Radio, NHPBS, and The Friends Program.
“Part of Joan’s legacy is the Business in the Arts Awards, which highlights companies and executives who excel in their support of art and culture,” said Kacavas. “Tonight, we recognize her for her own contribution to the cause. On any night around New Hampshire, we can now see a show, stroll an art gallery, listen to some live music, or experience any one of the hundred cultural events that stimulate the economy and enrich our communities.”
“I think it’s wonderful the Business and Industry Association is recognizing someone from the arts field, the cultural world,” said Goshgarian. “All the work that we’ve done over the years to try and promote the creative economy, obviously they understand that there’s a role for the arts and social community and economic development. I’m kind of a representative of that, and I’m really accepting the award on behalf of our rich, creative community here in New Hampshire.”
Previous Lifetime Achievement honoree include Hon. Linda Dalianis, former chief justice of the New Hampshire Supreme Court; Hon. John H. Sununu, former governor and former White House chief of staff; Tom Rath, Rath Young Pignatelli; and John Broderick, former N.H. Supreme Court chief justice.
The group also honored My Turn, a nonprofit that helps youth further their education and obtain jobs, with its New Hampshire Advantage Award.
Since its inception in 1984, My Turn has helped more than 25,000 youth. The nonprofit focuses on economically, socially, and educationally disadvantaged youth in poorer neighborhoods and communities, working with schools, employers, and community and faith-based organizations.
It serves nearly 500 youth annually in six cities with high rates of new immigrants, poverty, dropouts, and unemployment. It provides comprehensive workforce recruitment, education, exploration and preparation placement.
“My Turn works to remove obstacles to personal progress,” said Kacavas. “These may include lodging for those without housing, tuition assistance for those who can’t pay for classes, or even auto repairs for those who can’t get to work. This year, MY TURN will help 650 young adults in Manchester, Nashua, the Seacoast, and the Lakes Region. With an end goal of financial security for their students, My Turn boasts a 90-percent rate of hire for those in their workforce placement programs.”