The Medaille University community and friends from Western New York will gather at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum on Friday, November 11, for the 2022 Founders Day Dinner. Founders Day, Medaille’s signature philanthropic event, raises money to provide resources and opportunities for students to thrive during their time at Medaille and beyond. This year, the event will also pay tribute to Medaille’s roots and the institution’s founding values by serving to recognize the excellence, achievements and service of esteemed alumni and community members.
Medaille is excited to announce that Elizabeth Galanis-Miller ’01, president & chief operating officer of Sealing Devices, Inc., has been selected to receive the 2022 Distinguished Alumni Award. Medaille trustee and MBA alumna Brandye Merriweather ’07, president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, has been selected to receive the 2022 Father Medaille Community Impact Award. Lastly, Mohamed Maalim ’22, founder & CEO of Safari Taxes, LLC, and a management trainee at M&T Bank, has been selected to receive the 2022 Young Alumni Leadership Award. All three recipients will be honored with a formal awards presentation during the Founders Day Dinner proceedings.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to a Medaille alumnus or alumna who demonstrates exceptional commitment, service and dedication to the Medaille community and Western New York. Galanis-Miller, who graduated from Medaille with a bachelor’s degree in sport management in 2001, has been with Sealing Devices, Inc. for over 15 years and is a rising third-generation leader in the family business, which is a national rubber products manufacturer and supplier headquartered in Lancaster, New York. She is active in her community, and serves on the Buffalo & Erie County Workforce Investment Board and the Buffalo Niagara Partnership’s Manufacturing Council. She was also named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 200 Women” list, as a prominent Western New York woman whose talent and influence fuel economic, social and cultural growth in our region.
“I feel honored to be recognized as the recipient of Medaille’s Distinguished Alumni Award,” says Galanis-Miller. “I have valued my time spent both academically and athletically at Medaille, and it has helped shape me into the leader I am today. The small community atmosphere allowed me to learn and grow, as I continued to make connections.”
Father Jean-Pierre Médaille founded the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph with the mission to embrace a life of service to those in need. In this spirit of serving others, the Father Medaille Community Impact Award is presented to an individual and their organization whose contributions have enriched our community's quality of life. As president of the Buffalo Urban Development Corporation, Merriweather is the first African American woman to lead an economic development agency in Western New York. In her role, she is overseeing several initiatives to further Buffalo’s resurgence by securing funding and coordinating projects to improve downtown infrastructure and Buffalo’s waterfront. Her work includes overseeing the adaptive reuse of vacant and underutilized buildings. Merriweather is a member of the 2014 class of Leadership Buffalo, a recipient of a 2016 Black Achiever’s Award and was one of the 2018 International Downtown Association’s Emerging Leader Fellows. She was also named to the 2022 Buffalo Business First “Power 250” and “Power 200 Women” lists, as a prominent Western New Yorker whose talent and influence drive economic, social and cultural growth in our region.
“I am thrilled to be this year’s recipient of the Father Medaille Community Impact Award,” says Merriweather. “As a Medaille graduate, this recognition is particularly meaningful for me, as I have been able to take the skills learned through the MBA program and utilize them in ways that uplift the Buffalo community. I look forward to continuing to serve the City of Buffalo, and I thank Medaille University for this incredible honor.”
The Young Alumni Leadership Award is presented to a rising community leader who graduated in the past five years and has profoundly impacted their community. A 2022 first-generation graduate from Medaille’s international studies program and a current Master of Arts in organizational leadership (MAOL) student, Maalim is already putting his education and talents to good use by serving his fellow immigrants. After coming to the United States with his parents as a child, as a refugee from Nairobi, Kenya, and growing up on Buffalo’s West Side, Maalim was inspired to create Safari Taxes, LLC. The organization provides low-cost tax services and other tools, such as translation and immigration assistance, to the refugee and immigrant communities in Buffalo.
“Receiving this award means a lot to me, as I want to continue making an impact in my community and across the world,” says Maalim. “I am driven to help those who need help, to lead those who need leading and to be open-minded to those different from me. At Medaille, I have gotten to meet people from different backgrounds, which has broadened my perspective when it comes to diversity. This has helped me develop my intercultural skills, which I use all the time in my work.”
As embodied by the 2022 award recipients, the generosity of Founders Day sponsors and supporters has a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of Medaille students and the communities in which they live and work.
The 2022 Founders Day Dinner will include fine food, cocktails and live entertainment at the Buffalo Transportation Pierce-Arrow Museum, home to one of the most unique car collections in the world. Tickets include an open bar, hors d’oeuvres, dinner stations, dessert and museum admission. Learn more and purchase tickets by October 28.
Pictured left to right: Elizabeth Galanis-Miller ’01 (2022 Distinguished Alumni Award), Brandye Merriweather ’07 (2022 Father Medaille Community Impact Award Recipient) and Mohamed Maalim ’22 (2022 Young Alumni Leadership Award Recipient)