The National Council of Jewish Women, Syracuse Section At-Large, is pleased to announce that Diane E. Kuppermann will be the recipient of its 2008 Hannah G. Solomon Award -- a national award presented by individual sections of the National Council of Jewish Women. It is named for the founder of NCJW and is given to women who have demonstrated exceptional service to both the Jewish community and the community-at-large. Based on the depth of her service both to her profession and the greater Central New York community, Kuppermann is indeed an exceptionally worthy recipient.
Hired as the organization's first paid staff member, Kuppermann has served as the president and CEO of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central New York for the past 15 years. The local chapter serves 15 counties in CNY and grants wishes to children with life-threatening illnesses to enrich the human experience with hope, strength, and joy. With only six full-time and two part-time employees, the organization depends largely on volunteers. Since its incorporation as a local chapter of the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America in 1985, the chapter has fulfilled the wishes of more than 1100 kids. It is expected that 80 wishes will be granted this year. The average cost of a wish exceeds $6,500 and the foundation's annual budget is nearing $1 million.
In addition to her role with Make-A-Wish, Kuppermann is engaged in a variety of volunteer activities. She is a 1994 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse and a member of the Leadership Greater Syracuse Alumni Association. She was the co-founder and a past co-chair of Youth Leadership Greater Syracuse. She is a graduate of the Syracuse Jewish Federation Young Leadership Class and has been active in many roles with the Federation including serving on its Board of Directors and the Community Relations Committee.
Kuppermann received the Hiram Weisberg Young Leadership Award in 1994 and was voted a 40 Under 40 Award Recipient in 1999. She was also named a Women in Business Award winner in 2003 and is a member of the Human Services Leadership Council and the local Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). For three years she was also a presenter for and member of the Volunteer Center Board Development Steering Committee.