2013 MS HUMANITARIAN AWARD
Chairman & CEO
Starwood Capital Group
Barry Sternlicht is Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Capital Group, the private investment firm he formed in 1991 focused on global real estate, hotel management, energy infrastructure and securities trading. Sternlicht is also Chairman of Starwood Property Trust, now the largest commercial mortgage Real Estate Investment Trust in the U.S. traded on the NYSE. Sternlicht is also Chairman of the Board of Societe´du Louvre. For the past twenty-two years, he has structured investment transactions with an asset value of more than $40 billion. Starwood's funds have invested in more than 18,000 apartment units, more than 1,000 hotels, over 22 million square feet of office properties, 15 million square feet of retail and over 20,000 acres of land in residential subdivisions. Today the firm manages approximately $12 billion of investor capital on behalf of its high net worth and institutional partners. Starwood Capital Group employs approximately 225 associates at its headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut, and other offices in Atlanta, San Francisco, Washington, DC, London, Mumbai, Sao Paolo, Paris and Luxembourg. Starwood’s family of products includes Starwood Energy Partners, focused on energy infrastructure investments, and Starwood Real Estate Securities hedge fund. Starwood also owns an interest in Troon Golf.
From 1995 through early 2005, Sternlicht served as Chairman and CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., a company he founded in 1995. Starwood Hotels employs over 120,000 people and is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 895 properties in 100 countries. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchiser of hotels with nine brands, including: St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, W Hotels, Sheraton, Westin, Meridien, and Four Points. Barry Sternlicht has been credited as a dynamic and innovative hotel leader, creating new products and programs with immediate global appeal. Sternlicht created W Hotels, perhaps the world’s most successful “boutique” brand, and built St. Regis Hotels into a brand.
In 2010, Sternlicht was named Executive of the Year and Investor of the Year by Commercial Property Executive. In 2005, Sternlicht was named America’s Best Lodging CEO by Institutional Investor magazine. Sternlicht is a member of the Interior Design Magazine Hall of Fame. He received the Preston Robert Tisch Distinguished Industry Leadership Award from New York University, the CEO Diversity Award by Diversity Best Practices/Business Women’s Network, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Travel Marketing Executives, the Hospitality Heritage Award from the American Hotel and Lodging Association, and the Marketer of the Year Award from Brandweek. Sternlicht’s humanitarian efforts have led to prestigious national honors such as JDRF’s Man of the Year, JDRF’s Living and Giving Award and JDRF’s Chairman’s Award.
Sternlicht is a trustee of his alma mater, Brown University. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Estée Lauder Companies, Restoration Hardware, Mammoth Mountain and TriPointe Homes. He serves as Chairman of the Board of the Robin Hood Foundation and is on the boards of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), the Dreamland Film & Performing Arts Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s National Leadership Advocacy Program, and the Executive Advisory Board of Americans for the Arts. He is a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy, the World Presidents Organization, and the Urban Land Institute.
Barry Sternlicht received his Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, with honors from Brown University. He later earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.
2013 MS HOPE AWARD
President and Chief Executive Officer
Univision Communications, Inc.
Randy Falco is president and chief executive officer of Univision Communications Inc., the leading media company serving Hispanic America. Under his leadership, Univision has taken steps in its ongoing evolution from what was once a niche broadcast network to the general media multimedia powerhouse of today. Since Mr. Falco’s arrival, Univision has quickly expanded, adding three new cable networks and digital offerings, while driving increased revenue and growth across its existing broadcast and cable networks, local television group and radio stations.
Prior to joining Univision in January 2011, Mr. Falco served as chairman and chief executive officer of AOL, Inc., from 2006 to 2009. In this role, he was responsible for setting strategy and overseeing operations as the company transitioned to an advertising-based business model. Before joining AOL, Mr. Falco spent more than 30 years with NBC, most recently serving as president and chief operating officer of NBC Universal Television Group. Named to that position in 2005, Mr. Falco was responsible for the group’s commercial and operational functions including affiliate relations, cable distribution, business development, information technology, network and studio operations, worldwide television distribution, and Telemundo. As president and chief operating officer of NBC Universal Television Group, Mr. Falco also served as an officer of General Electric, then majority owner of NBC Universal.
Prior to that, Mr. Falco served as president of the NBC Universal Television Network Group beginning in 2004 and as group president of the NBC Television Network beginning in 1998. Mr. Falco has also served as chief operating officer, NBC Olympics, for the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City; the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney; the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta; and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. He has won numerous Emmy Awards for these broadcasts. He previously served as president of NBC’s Broadcast and Network Operations division, where he oversaw the facilities and operations of the NBC Television Network worldwide. From 1986 until 1991, he served as vice president of Finance and Administration, NBC Sports. Before that, he held several managerial positions in finance, technical operations, and corporate strategic planning after joining NBC in September 1975. Mr. Falco’s contributions to NBC throughout his tenure include overseeing the design and creation of the Today show’s “Window on the World” studio, MSNBC’s original state-of-the-art broadcast facilities in Secaucus, N.J., and the digital conversion of the NBC Television Network.
Mr. Falco holds an MBA in finance and a Bachelors of Science degree, also in finance, from Iona College. He received an honorary doctorate from Iona College in 2001. Mr. Falco sits on the board of Ronald McDonald House and the Museum of The Moving Image.
2013 J. Walter Kennedy Award
Defensive Tackle, Jets
Damon Big Snacks Harrison has been taking a big bite out of the New York Jets opponents. The 350 lb defensive tackle has played a large role in the Jet’s defense as he continues to amaze coaches with his strength and speed that is usually unheard of for a player of Harrison’s size.
Harrison went undrafted in the 2012 Draft, but the Jets saw potential in the 2011 NAIA All American Player. In his rookie season he was motivated to lose weight by rice krispies treat that were left throughout the facility. This drive is what led to Harrison’s nick name ‘Big Snacks.
Unlike many NFL players, Harrison did not have that much experience before joining the William Penn University football team. There he led the team in tackles during his senior year. Earlier, he dropped out of Northern Mississippi Community College to stock shelves at the local Wal-Mart.
Harrison has two children and grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana where he started playing football in his senior year of high school.
Harrison has 32 total tackles and one sack for this current season and he hopes to continue to be a vital part of the Jet’s team.
2013 J. Walter Kennedy Award
Former New York Ranger
Mike is a retired professional ice hockey goaltender who played his entire 14 National Hockey League seasons with the New York Rangers (Once a Ranger always a Ranger). He is one of the most successful American-born goaltenders in NHL history, and is best known for having led the New York Rangers to the Stanley Cup title in 1994 and for repeatedly representing the United States in international play. His # 35 jersey was retired by the NY Rangers on February 4, 2004 and he was inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. Mike resides in Greenwich Ct. with his wife and children.
2013 J. Walter Kennedy Award
Former New York Ranger
Brian is a retired professional ice hockey defenseman who played 18 National Hockey League seasons with the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, and Boston Bruins. He is generally considered one of the top defensemen in NHL history, being particularly noted for his skating, offense, and playmaking abilities. His # 2 Jersey was retired by the Rangers on January 24, 2008 and he also was also inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2008. Brian was then inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto the following year. Brian resides in Boston/Florida with his wife and children.
2013 Master of Ceremonies:
Armen Keteyian - 60 Minutes Sports/CBS News/HBO Real Sports
The Connecticut Chapter’s MS Dinner of Champions was established in 1978 by National Multiple Sclerosis Society Board of Trustees. This event honors outstanding corporate leaders and champions of the sports industry who have made significant contributions within their own organization and in the community at large.
Since the very first MS Dinner of Champions, which honored Howard Cosell, the event has continued to honor the most prominent “champions of industry” including: Converium Reinsurance, Crystal Rock Water, Ernst & Young, GE Consumer Finance, IBM, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Mutual of America, Pfizer, Pitney Bowes, Simon Property Group, vineyard vines, Wood Logan Associates and Xerox Corporation. In addition to recognizing corporate excellence, MS Dinner of Champions also features “champions of sports.” Past honorees include Brian Cashman, Joba Chamberlain, Brad Faxon, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, Frank Gifford, Billie Jean King, Bobby Murcer, Joe Namath, Mary Lou Retton, John Starks, Mark Teixeira, Bobby Valentine and Steve Young.
The MS Dinner of Champions has raised over $7 million in the fight against MS. This year marks the 35th anniversary of our MS Dinner of Champions. This event celebrates the courageous spirit of the thousands of men, women and children who battle MS each day, caregivers who strive to improve the quality of life for those with this debilitating disease, and volunteers and donors who generously support the Chapter’s efforts to find a cure for multiple sclerosis.
More than 350 guests, including past honorees and celebrities, will be in attendance at the event on November 20, 2013 at the Stamford Hilton Hotel in Stamford, Connecticut.
MS Chapter Contact Information:
National Multiple Sclerosis Society – Connecticut Chapter
Meg Staubley/Special Events Coordinator
659 Tower Avenue, First Floor
Hartford, CT 06112
T: 860.913.2550 x52524