The Hero Awards

What are the Hero Awards?

MedallionThe Foundation’s Hero Awards awards recognize honorees for their effort and passion on behalf of our nation’s first responders and their families.  Corporate Heroes have a history of interfacing with and supporting police and firefighters through their business and or philanthropic efforts.  Public Service Heroes have demonstrated their dedication to our uniformed and fallen heroes through a life time public service.

Public Service Hero Award 2017 – NYPD Chief Chaplain, Rabbi Alvin Kass

Public Service Hero Award 2016 – Salvatore J. Cassano, former Fire Commissioner of the City of New York

Corporate Service Hero Award 2014 – Emanuele A. Conti, Chief Executive Officer of Kroll, Inc.

Public Service Hero Award 2014 – William J. Bratton, Police Commissioner of the City of New York

Corporate Hero Award 2013 – John T. Chambers, Chairman & CEO of Cisco Systems

Public Service Hero Award 2013 – The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor of the City of New York

Hero Awards – 2017

The First Responders Children’s Foundation (a DBA of The National Law Enforcement & Firefighters Children’s Foundation) awarded our fourth Public Service Hero Award at our 17th annual Thanksgiving Parade Breakfast on November 23rd, 2017

NYPD Chief Chaplain Rabbi Alvin Kass was presented the Public Service Hero Award by NYC Police Commissioner, James O’Neill, in honor of the Rabbi’s 50 years of service in the Chaplaincy.

Rabbi Kass is the longest serving chaplain in the annals of the NYPD.  He earned both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Columbia University where he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was the salutatorian of his undergraduate class.  He attended the Jewish Theological Seminar where he received his rabbinical ordination, Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees of Hebrew Letters and was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.  The Rabbi is a Quackenbush Foundation Scholar, a Harry J. Carman Fellow, Herbert H. Lehman Fellow, and National Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He has also earned a PH.D. from New York University.  In 1966 Rabbi Kass was appointed to serve as the NYPD’s third Jewish Chaplain.  In his fifty years of service as a chaplain to the Department, the rabbi has provided counseling and spiritual assistance to officers of all ranks.  On 9/11 he was intimately involved with ministering to injured officers and families of the survivors. With his fellow chaplains, he spent countless hours at Ground Zero providing support to thousands of first responders performing rescue and recovery work.  In 2002 Rabbi Kass was named as the Department’s first-ever Chief Chaplain, which bestows upon him the two-star rank of Assistant Chief.  Rabbi Kass has also served as an Air Force chaplain and is concurrently chaplain of the New York office of the FBI and the New York Field Region of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  On the occasion of the celebration of his 50th year anniversary as a police chaplain, Police Commissioner James O’Neill bestowed upon him a third star, the first time in history of the New York Police Department that a chaplain has been named a three star chief. In addition to his chaplaincy duties, Rabbi Kass is the Rabbi Emeritus of the East Midwood Jewish Center in Brooklyn an Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and serves on the faculty of the Temple Emanu-el Striecker Center.  He has taught classes in American and European History, Philosophy, Police Science, Contemporary Civilization, Urban Minorities, Ethics and Law, Jewish Studies and Comparative Religion at such educational institutions as Columbia University, Long Island University, New York Institute of Technology, St. Francis College, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, the Jewish Theological Seminary, the University of Illinois, the Herzl Institute, and the New York City Police Academy.  Rabbi Kass is a renowned lecturer and published author whose works include Politics in New York State 1800 -1830 (Syracuse University Press) and Eyewitnesses to Jewish History (Union of American Hebrew Congregations).  For 13 years he edited the United Synagogue Review as well as the Proceedings of the international conventions of the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism.  He has hosted numerous radio programs and appeared on many television news programs.  He is affiliated with many professional organizations including the New York Board of Rabbis, of which he is past president.  He has served as a trustee of the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts at Brooklyn College, as well as director of the college’s Hillel Foundation.

Hero Awards – 2016

The NLEAFCF awarded our third Public Service Hero Award at our 16th annual Thanksgiving Parade Breakfast on November 24, 2016.

Former FDNY Commissioner Salvatore J. Cassano was presented with the NLEAFCF Public Service Hero Award by Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.

Sal Cassano served as the 32nd Fire Commissioner in the 151-year history of the New York City Fire Department.  Commissioner Cassano spent over 44 years in the FDNY and held every uniformed rank prior to his appointment as Commissioner in January 2010. He was cited for bravery five times during his career.  Cassano served as the FDNY’s Chief of Department from 2006 – 2010. As both Chief of Operations and Chief of Department, Commissioner Cassano played a crucial role in rebuilding the Department in the wake of 9/11 and the loss of 343 members of the Department. Under his leadership, the FDNY became better equipped, trained and prepared than ever before in its history, and achieved unprecedented success with the fewest civilian fire fatalities ever and the fastest response times on record.  Prior to joining the FDNY, Commissioner Cassano served in the U.S. Army from October 1965 through July 1967 and was deployed to Vietnam in September 1966.  While a firefighter, he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Fire Science.  Commissioner Cassano also received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from St. John’s University in May, 2013.   In September 2990, Commissioner Cassano was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion D’Honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.


Hero Awards – 2014

The 2014 NLEAFCF Hero Awards were presented at our  HERO AWARDS GALA on Monday, September 29, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.  At the Gala we honored Emanuele A. Conti, Chief Executive Officer of Kroll, Inc. with the Corporate Hero Award and William J. Bratton, Police Commissioner of the City of New York with the Public Service Hero Award.

Emanuele “Manny” A. Conti is the former Chief Executive Officer of Kroll and served as a member of Kroll’s Board of Directors. Kroll is a leading global provider of investigations, compliance and risk management services, cyber security solutions, ediscovery services, and data and information services. Mr. Conti brought more than 20 years of significant leadership experience at companies across a diverse range of industries around the world. He joined Kroll after serving more than a decade in senior positions with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), most recently as President, North America, a business with over $1 billion in annual revenue. In his tenure with the firm, Mr. Conti held full P&L responsibility for each of D&B’s major business units—including roles as Vice President-Small Business Solutions, President-Europe, and President-International. During his tenure, Mr. Conti improved operational performance, accelerated growth, and expanded margins in various markets worldwide. Prior to D&B, Mr. Conti led the Corporate Strategy team for Qwest Communications. He also held leadership positions at Viant, an e-commerce consulting firm, and Ernst & Young LLP, where he was a founding member of the firm’s strategy practice. Earlier in his career, he held various positions with General Motors.

William (Bill) J. Bratton was sworn in as the 42nd police commissioner of the City of New York on January 1, 2014, the second time he has held the post.  Commissioner Bratton established an international reputation for re-engineering police departments and fighting crime in the 1990s.  As Chief of the New York City Transit Police, Boston Police Commissioner, and in his first term as New York City Police Commissioner, he revitalized morale and cut crime in all three posts, achieving the largest crime declines in New York City’s history.  As Los Angeles Police Chief from 2002 to 2009 he brought crime to historically low levels and greatly improved race relations.  A U.S. Army veteran of the Vietnam War, Commissioner Bratton began his career in 1970 as a beat cop in the Boston Police Department.  By 1980 he had risen to Superintendent of Police, the department’s highest sworn position.  Commissioner Bratton is a graduate of Boston State College and the FBI National Executive Institute. At Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, he was a Senior Executive Fellow in Criminal Justice and a member of the school’s National Executive Session on Policing.

Hero Awards – 2013

The first NLEAFCF Hero Awards were presented at our first HERO AWARDS GALA on Monday, September 23, 2013 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City.  At the Gala we honored John T. Chambers, Chairman & CEO of Cisco Systems with the Corporate Hero Award and The Honorable Rudolph Giuliani with the Public Service Hero Award.

John Chambers is the former Chairman and CEO of Cisco. Since January 1995, when he assumed the role of CEO, Chambers has grew the company from US$1.2 billion in annual revenues to record revenues of $46 billion in fiscal year 2012. He has received numerous awards for his leadership including being name as one of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” and one of “America’s Best Leaders” by US News & World Report. Chambers has been widely recognized for his and Cisco’s philanthropic leadership, receiving the first-ever Clinton Global Citizen Award from former U.S. President Bill Clinton, and a two-time recipient of the U.S. State Department’s top corporate social responsibility award from Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Chambers has served two American presidents, holding the Vice Chairman role of the President George W. Bush National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC), where he provided industry experience and leadership to help protect the United States’ critical infrastructure.

In 1993, Rudy Giuliani was elected Mayor of the City of New York.  Under Mayor Giuliani’s leadership, New York City—once considered the crime capital of the country—became the safest large city in America according to the FBI.  New York City’s law enforcement strategy has become a model for other cities around the world. On September 11, 2001, America suffered the worst attack in its history when terrorists crashed planes into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.  Thousands of New Yorkers were killed, including hundreds of members of the city’s uniformed services, who rushed to the scene to lead the heroic rescue of tens of thousands of people.  Mayor Giuliani led the recovery of the city as it faced its darkest hour and was widely lauded for his steady hand during challenging times. Limited by New York City law to two terms as mayor, Rudy Giuliani founded Giuliani Partners in January, 2002, quickly establishing the professional services firm as a leader in emergency preparedness, public safety, leadership during crises, and financial management. Mayor Giuliani is also a Partner in the law firm of Greenberg Traurig LLP.

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