The Municipal Forum of New York presented special awards to five public finance leaders and a student at its annual fund-raising dinner on Wednesday night in Manhattan. Money raised at the dinner is used to support the Urban Leadership Fellows internship program, which helps New York City high school seniors learn about public finance.

Dean Fuleihan, Director of the New York City Mayor’s Office of Management and Budget, was presented the Muni Forum’s Public Service Award at the gala ceremony.

“I am honored to receive the Public Service Award from the Municipal Forum,” Fuleihan said. “The municipal finance community fulfills a vital role in the success of our city and our administration is grateful for that continuing partnership.”

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio presented the award to Fuleihan.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presents The Municipal Forum of New York's Public Service Award to  Dean Fuleihan, Director of the city's Office of Management and Budget.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio presents The Municipal Forum of New York's Public Service Award to Dean Fuleihan, Director of the city's Office of Management and Budget. Dan Nelken

The Muni Forum’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Dominick Antonelli, chair and chief executive officer of Roosevelt & Cross, Inc.

“For 57 years, it’s been an honor to work in the municipal bond business,” Antonelli said. “I glad am being honored – because it really honors the Urban Leadership Fellows program, which I have been so much a part of for the past 25 years. It’s a great program that helps connect our inner city youth to higher education.”

Antonelli’s award was presented by Paul Lamas.

Suzanne Shank, chair and chief executive officer of Siebert Cisneros Shank & Co., was given the Muni Forum’s Austin Koenen Career Achievement Award.

"I am humbled to be bestowed with a career achievement award from my peers in the name of Austin Koenen, who contributed so richly to our industry," Shank said. "This year marks my 30th year in the business and I am so grateful for the numerous issuers, investors, colleagues, and employees who have been supportive of both me and the firm in our dramatic growth over the years. I'm honored to receive this award along with such accomplished professionals as NYC Budget Director Dean Fuleihan and Roosevelt & Cross CEO Dominick Antonelli and congratulate them on their awards. I applaud the Municipal Forum of New York for upholding high standards within our industry and fostering critical internship and mentorship programs for the city's youth. "

Shank’s award was presented by Connecticut Treasurer Denise Nappier.

In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the ULF program, the Muni Forum also gave special awards to SIFMA managing directors Michael Decker and Leslie Norwood for their many contributions to the municipal market and their active support of the ULF Program.

“SIFMA is pleased to support the Urban Leadership Fellows Program, as it introduces young people to the municipal securities industry and fosters their interest in pursuing careers in the financial services industry,” said Norwood. “We are pleased to be recognized for our participation in this important program.”

Decker concurred, saying “The Municipal Forum of New York provides opportunities for high school seniors to foster their interest in the financial services industry. SIFMA appreciates this important and unique work and, on behalf of our members, we are pleased to be honored by the Forum.”

The awards were presented by Mary Francoeur, managing director at PFM Financial Advisors.

Celebrating 25 years, the ULF program was created in 1992 to introduce students to the municipal securities industry. It provides a paid, mentored summer internship for graduating New York City high school seniors who are interested in careers in finance. The program places the students at banks, law firms, rating agencies, and public authorities all across the city.

Last year, the Muni Forum created a scholarship fund last year in memoriam to Carey Gabay, an aide to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo wo was tragically slain in 2015 at age 43.

The first Carey Gabay Excellence Award was presented at Thursday night’s dinner by Gabay’s widow Trenelle to Rumon Miah who is an alumnus of the ULF program and a student at Baruch College.

Also at the dinner, a partnership was formally announced between the Muni Forum and the New York City Housing Authority, which are uniting to let high school students who live in public housing about the ULF program with the goal of increasing the amount of internship applicants.

Making the official announcement were Shola Olatoye, chair and CEO of the New York City Housing Authority, Robin Prunty, president of the Muni Forum of New York’s Board of Governors, and Geoff Proulx, a member of the board.

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Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett

Chip Barnett is a journalist with more than 40 years of experience. Barnett is currently Senior Market Reporter for The Bond Buyer.