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RISE’s 3rd Annual Night of Nations Fundraiser

Advancing Our Agenda

RISE is hosting its 3rd Annual Night of Nations Fundraiser, and we need your support to help continue the tradition!
The Annual Night of Nations Fundraiser is the single most important vehicle through which RISE raises critical funds to continue providing the meaningful programs that assist our clients as they become empowered and fully self-sufficient.


Aminy Inati Audi

Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree

Aminy Inati Audi, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of L. & J.G. Stickley, is a graduate of New York University. Prior to joining Stickley, she was a freelance writer and reporter for the Voice of America. Under her direction, Stickley continues to receive national attention. The company has been featured in Forbes, Money, House Beautiful, Architectural Digest, Furniture Today, the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Boston Globe, Gap Japan and almost every major newspaper in the country.

Aminy has conducted seminars throughout the country and in Tokyo, Japan on Stickley's continuing mission and the pivotal role; Stickley plays in the revival of the Arts and Crafts movement. She has been the commencement speaker at Alfred State University and Morrisville State College as well as the keynote speaker at the annual Prayer Breakfast for the home furnishings industry. As a trustee of the State University of New York and Co-Chair of its International Studies Committee, Aminy represented SUNY in Turkey, Poland, Russia and Mexico. In addition to her responsibilities at Stickley, Aminy serves on many community and industry boards.

She is a founding member of the women’s fund of Central New York and is chair of the Circle of Red for Women of the American Heart Association. She is the recipient of countless achievement awards.


Monu Chhetri

RISE Ambassador Award Honoree

Monu Chhetri, who is Deaf, was born in Bhutan and lived in the Jhapa Khundunabar refugee camp in Nepal for nineteen years. She works at Aurora of CNY, Inc., where she is a Staff Interpreter and Social Worker engaging with New Deaf American community. She holds a Court Certificate for Interpreter and is working towards becoming a National Certified Deaf Interpreter so that she can help many others locally and statewide.

In 2017, she went back to Nepal and visited several refugee camps to educate Deaf refugees about acclimating to life in America. Unfortunately, the seminar offered in the camps to prepare Deaf refugees with their transition to the states were not accessible to Deaf and isn’t designed for the Deaf community. Her hope is to bring more programming to the Deaf community so that they can break the mentality of having a disability limit what each person can accomplish.She continues to volunteer for community organizations that service new Deaf Americans.

Her roots are here in America, because in her country of origin Bhutan she does not have land to go back home to. Her family fled from Bhutan to Nepal because of the ethnic disputes. Today, she is happy to call herself a Deaf New American and she is happy to say that she now has land and a country to call her home. As a new Deaf American, she has many opportunities that were never available to her before; she and others can pursue higher education, career, and can own cars and homes. In America, Deaf New Americans have the freedom to pursue their dreams.


Deputy Mayor Sharon Owens

Community Builder Award

Sharon Owens has worked for more than 30 years in the fields of housing, community development, human services, and government. In her current position of deputy mayor, Owens oversees city services that address quality of life in our community, including Neighborhood and Business Development and the Police and Fire Departments. Owens also serves as chief of staff to the mayor. Prior to this appointment, Owens served as the third CEO of Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, Inc., where she secured expanded services that infused human service provision with community revitalization initiatives to further serve an increasingly needing community.

She previously worked for the City of Syracuse as Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development from 2010 to 2013 during the Miner Administration. In this role, Owens administered the city’s Community Development Block Grant funding to foster the revitalization of neighborhoods and the creation of job opportunities through housing, community development, and economic development efforts. She also managed Section 3 and Minority/Women-Owned Business participation in funded projects.

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Beth Broadway

Community Builder Award

Beth A. Broadway is currently the President/CEO of InterFaith Works, a 43-year old non-profit organization founded and operating in Central New York that affirms the dignity of each person and every faith community. Through its programs, InterFaith Works uses service, education, and dialogue to build bridges in a divided world and to provide comfort to frail elderly people, job opportunities to healthy seniors, refugee resettlement annually for 500 new Americans, chaplains in the jails, hospitals, and nursing homes, and dialogues between people of different ethnicities and backgrounds to break down stereotypes, build understanding, and alliances.

Prior to becoming CEO, she led the Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, (CWD) a program of InterFaith Works. Now known as the El-Hindi Center for Dialogue, CFD works in grammar schools, middle schools, high schools, and with adults to break down stereotypes, build trusting relationships, and address racial equity and the systemic problem of racism in our community. She initiated the annual Duck Race to End Racism now in its 15th year.


Mike Melara

Community Builder Award

Mr. Melara is a native of Watertown, New York. He has a BA from Le Moyne College and an MS from Chapman University. Mr. Melara has over 35 years of experience in not-for-profit and government work, including being a direct service provider, supervisor, and administrator. Prior to being appointed CEO of Catholic Charities, Mr. Melara spent four years as the Executive Director of Huntington Family Centers.

He has also worked for Liberty Resources, NY State Office of Child and Family Services, and Onondaga County Department of Mental Health. In his current role, Mr. Melara is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of a $65 million agency, including strategic planning, resource development, budget planning and management, human resources management, public relations, and Board relationships.

With a workforce of nearly 1,600 staff, Catholic Charities serves over 100,000 people across the seven counties in the Diocese of Syracuse. Mr. Melara serves on several area boards including Toomey Residential Services, Lourdes Camp, Christopher Community as well as serving on the Member Board Loretto and Brady Faith Center.

He is a 2004 graduate of Leadership Greater Syracuse, a 2008 graduate from the Central and Western New York Community Health Foundation Fellows program, the recipient of the 2011 Kathy Award (Leadership Award),and a 2018 recipient of an Honorary Degree from Onondaga Community College.