Civic Leader of the Year Award Winners

Stay Work Play, New Hampshire Public Radio and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation have a mutual interest in encouraging the growth of future community leaders and the next generation of individuals who will foster social capital and lead a strong New Hampshire into a global world. To promote the importance of this next generation of civic leadership NHPR and the NH Charitable Foundation joined together in 2011 and 2012 to present the Next Gen Civic Leadership Award. In 2013, when forming a partnership with NHPR, Stay Work Play incorporated the (present day) Civic Leader of the Year award into the annual Rising Stars Awards.

2020 Winner

Martin Toe of Concord

Martin Toe is the co-founder of Change for Concord, a diverse group of young adults who are working together to improve the quality of list for young people in the Concord community. Martin’s vision has been to lift up the community that he is in and inspire the people around him to achieve their goals and make a difference. While leading Change for Concord, Martin has served as the Grassroots Organizer Intern for the American Friends Service Committee where he organized “Know Your Rights” training, a Civics Academy, and a delegation of young adults that traveled to Washington, D.C. to advocate with our congressional delegation for immigrant rights. In addition, he coordinated a successful campaign to ensure that young adults would have free access to the new Concord Community Center for community-building events. Martin’s goal is to his help Concord be a more inclusive and accessible community. 

2019 Winner

Cecilia Ulibarri of Nashua

Cecilia Ulibarri is the co-founder of Positive Street Art, a non-profit arts and culture organization whose mission is to inspire passion for urban arts in a productive way and to build stronger communities through educational workshops, community events and artistic services. Cecilia is also the Constituent Services & Cultural Affairs Coordinator for the City of Nashua Mayor’s office where she works with the city government, private agencies and citizens to address questions and issues throughout the wide array of cultural communities in the Greater Nashua area. On top of Cecilia’s responsibilities at the Mayor’s office and with Positive Street Art, she finds time to volunteer as a crisis intervention advocate volunteer for bridges, an agency committed to helping survivors and victims of domestic and sexual violence, and is the Director of Programs and Events for the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce. Cecilia’s three nominations are a testament to the amazing impact she is making on the Nashua community. 

2018 Winner

Sarah Wrightsman of Durham

Sarah Wrightsman is the Executive Director of the Workforce Housing Coalition of the Greater Seacoast. An undergraduate and graduate student from the University of New Hampshire, she was a leader among her classmates and earned the distinction of “Master in Public Policy Student of the Year.” Her commitment to community has led to her involvement with various organizations. A Garden Coordinator with Plan for Growth; a facilitator with New Hampshire Listens/Portsmouth Listens; a charette team member with PLAN New Hampshire; a Program Manager with the Echo Thrift Shop/Friends in Action; and a member of the Seacoast Women’s Action Network. Her nominator stated “Sarah does this work because she understands how the shifting demographics present new challenges for New Hampshire’s economy. Her love for her home state drives her to do all that she can to ensure a bright future for New Hampshire and its residents.”

2017 Winner

George Hansel of Keene

George Hansel is the owner of Filtrine Manufacturing Company. George is dedicated to making the Monadnock region a great place to stay, work, and play. He serves on the Keene City Council as one of the youngest city councilors elected in Keene’s history being a key instigator, pushing city staff to become more developer friendly and encouraging policies that realize the community vision. This effort has contributed to a marked surge of new development in Keene, with over $100M dollars of new construction slated for 2017. George has made significant contributions to several public health initiatives. A non-profit he started is currently developing two revolutionary websites that will help connect kids with behavioral health issues to the resources they need. In 2015, he was named a Business Monadnock Magazine “trendsetter,” and in 2017, was honored as one of the Union Leader’s “40 under Forty”.

2016 Winner

Arnold Mikolo of Manchester

Arnold Mikolo is a team leader with the Manchester Immigration arnold-mikoloIntegration Initiative, also known as Welcoming Manchester. His involvement with two other nonprofit organizations, the New American Africans and the Congolese Community of New Hampshire, has showcased his passion for building an immigrant-friendly community within the Queen City. During the judging process, it was recognized that Arnold’s work with these organizations has influenced change for those that are new to the community – allowing those that are new to the area to have a voice when it is needed most. As his nominator said, Arnold has a “servant’s heart and a strategist’s mind” and he is someone that is “humble, curious, and always seeking ways to improve his knowledge and his efforts.”

2015 Winner

Bryan Bouchard of Manchester

Bryan_BouchardBryan Bouchard is a full-time instructor at SNHU in the Accountancy and Taxation department. He is a board member for Easter Seals of NH while also serving on their fiscal committee, as an advisory board member for the Bhutanese Community of NH, and he is an advisor for the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA-PBL) at SNHU. Bryan’s genuine passion for giving back to the community runs deep and he works hard to instill civic engagement in his students by providing them with opportunities to work with local non-profits.

A current resident of Manchester, Bryan was also named to the 2012 class of “40 Under Forty” by the Manchester Union Leader. Bryan’s nominator wrote that Bryan has strong feelings that being a “good citizen” means helping those in our society that need assistance.

2014 Winner

Laura Brusseau of Laconia

Laura is a 9th grade social studies teacher at Inter-Lakes High School in Meredith. LauraBrusseauIn addition to co-founding the Faith Hope and Love Foundation, Laura is an avid volunteer. One of her references said, “Laura is an amazing role model who teaches her students to believe in their abilities and to make a difference through civic engagement.” Laura’s nominator also wrote of Laura’s life-long love of giving back to the community starting when she was a young girl and continuing through today. Church suppers, Girl Scouts, AmeriCorps, alternative spring break work with Habitat for Humanity, fundraising events, committees, boards, and so much more. The judges were impressed with Laura’s clear dedication and especially her desire to pass the value of service onto her students.

2013 Winners

Mary and Eric Goldthwaite-Gagne of Peterborough

ericandmaryMary is artist and an art teacher at ConVal High School in Peterborough and Eric is a musician and runs the music department at Toadstool Bookshop, also in Peterborough. Together they are the founders and organizers of the “Broke” affordable arts fair and the “Thing in the Spring” festival bringing art, music, creativity and social activity to the Monadnock region. Through “The Thing in the Spring,” a weekend of art and music in downtown Peterborough, Mary and Eric have brought in performers from all over the country putting the Monadnock region of NH on the map. Meanwhile “Broke,” the affordable arts fair, where vendors commit to presenting at least 75% of their wares for less than $50, has become known and generate interest throughout the Northeast. Mary and Eric have been proactive and innovative in helping to foster an artist’s community in Peterborough and as one of their references said, “things like this give folks like us inspiration and ability to continue to create culturally important events for our communities.”

2012 Winner

Pamela Laflamme of Berlin

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2011 Winner

Amanda Grappone Osmer of Concord

Amanda_Grappone_OsmerRead more about Amanda