Meet Our 2015 “Civic Leader of the Year”

Bryan Bouchard

Photo by Allegra Boverman. Winners of the Rising Stars Awards 2015 held on Mon., Oct. 5, 3015 at Space Center, Hooksett by Stay Work Play New Hampshire, NHPR. Bryan Bouchard was named Civic Leader of the Year.

Photo credit by Allegra Boverman Photography

How did you feel when your name was called as the “Civic Leader of the Year?”

I was extremely honored. To be recognized as Civic Leader of the Year was very gratifying. I take great pride in the work I do in the community and at Southern New Hampshire University, so this meant a lot to me.

What do you find to be the most rewarding experience when working with individuals and organizations?

I find the feeling of knowing I have helped out to be the most rewarding experience when working with individuals and organizations. I have been very lucky in life and to be able to help out others is very important to me. I think we all have a duty to help in any way that we kind. It isn’t about the external rewards; it is about the internal rewards.

Who do you consider to be your mentor and why?

In regards to civic engagement and community service I consider Eleanor Dunfey-Freiburger to be my mentor. I was lucky enough to take a few of her classes when I was an undergraduate in college. I later got to work with her at Southern New Hampshire University. She was the one who got me interested in assisting nonprofits in the state, and she also was the one who got me involved in serving on my first nonprofit board. She got me involved in service learning and seeing the importance of having students apply what they learn in the classroom to assisting nonprofits in the community.

When you have free time, how do you choose to spend it?

When I have free time I love to go to the Lakes Region and also to the beach. Those are my two favorite places to go when I have free time. I love being around water, and I’m lucky to live in NH to be able to experience it so easily.

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would it be?

I would tell myself to learn to say no. I have always had a hard time saying no to people because I don’t want to disappoint others or let them down. I would have also advised myself to not worry so much. Things tend to work out just fine.

You’ve been with Southern NH University as an instructor for quite some time. How do you encourage your students to get involved in their community?

Luckily in my role as a faculty member I can bring civic engagement into the classroom. The nonprofits my classes have helped have far-reaching impacts in the community and state. I also am the advisor to the Future Business Leaders of America at SNHU. This group takes on a nonprofit every year to raise funds for, so this is a great way to get people involved.

We know you love the Granite State, so tell us:

What’s your favorite local watering hole?

I love the Hanover Street Chophouse. It is my favorite restaurant, and my uncle and I go regularly for lunch.

Where’s your favorite place to get away for the weekend?

I love spending time in the Lakes Region at Lake Winnipesaukee or heading out to the seacoast. I love to get out on the lake and visit all of the surrounding towns. I enjoy being near water which is why I live on the Merrimack River here in Manchester.

Which is the best season and why?

My favorite season is summer. I love getting out to the seacoast and Lakes Region and spending time near the water.

Which city/town have you yet to visit but look forward to once time presents itself? What would you want to do once you got there?

I have not been to the North Country very often. I would love to visit there in the winter to go snowmobiling. I have heard great things about the snowmobile trails, and I loved riding in my backyard when I was younger.

Which Do you prefer the sunrise or the sunset? And where in NH do you catch the best?

I prefer the sunset. I tend to be a night owl and often stay up late working. So I am usually not up in time to see the sunrise. The best place in my opinion to see the sunset is at the seacoast!

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