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Baruch College Honors Jessica Walker and Ron Kim at 2018 "Power of Community" Reception


Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein presented Distinguished Leader and Distinguished Alumnus Awards respectively to Jessica Walker and Ron Kim

Baruch College welcomed representatives from the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership, Manhattan Community Board 6, Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce, Gramercy Neighborhood Association, as well as leaders of citywide civic, business and non-profit groups at its annual “Power of Community” reception held on Dec. 5.

In his opening remarks, Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD spoke to the importance of connecting as a community, as well as the diversity and vibrancy of the neighborhood.

“I am inspired by the progress this community has made since 2010 when I came to Baruch, and I know we can count on each other to keep the forward momentum going,” said Baruch College President Mitchel B. Wallerstein, PhD., in his opening remarks. “This reception is a way of saying thank you for your energy, creativity, and dedication to our community.”

This year’s event honored both Jessica Walker, president and chief executive officer of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, and Ron Kim (D-Queens), Assembly Member District 40, for their contributions and support to Baruch College and New York City.   

Distinguished Leader Award: Jessica Walker

Jessica Walker received the distinguished leader award for her contribution to public service and continued work on behalf of New Yorkers. She is a public policy expert who has advocated on behalf of New York City residents, neighborhoods and businesses for more than 15 years.

As the leader of the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Walker helps drive the organization’s mission to accelerate and sustain business success for its members, which include startups, long-time neighborhood stores, and established companies. The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce supports its members through business development, strategic guidance, and advocacy.  

Before joining the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce, Walker was vice president for government affairs at the Partnership for New York City, an organization that represents the city’s major corporate employers. She served as the chief liaison between elected officials and the city’s business leaders and as a policy analyst/advisor/writer for the organization's influential CEO. The objective was to strengthen New York City's economy and create jobs.

Prior to this position, Walker was a leading advocate for elderly New Yorkers. At the New York Academy of Medicine, she oversaw the launch of Age-friendly New York City, a public-private initiative designed to make the city a better place in which to grow old. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg implemented 59 policy improvements based on this work, such as lengthening the time allotted for pedestrians to cross street intersections.

Distinguished Alumnus Award: Hon. Ron Kim

Ron Kim (’06), an alumnus of Baruch College who holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, was bestowed the Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Kim was re-elected to his fourth term as the representative of the 40th Assembly District in November 2018. He is the first and only Korean-American ever elected to the New York State Legislature.

Since 2012 serving as an Assembly Member, Kim has been committed to providing quality education for all students, securing funding for local schools, and supporting small businesses in the Flushing community—a neighborhood he has called home since the age of seven.

In Albany, Kim has continued to be an active advocate for his community, and currently sits on a several  Committees, including Education.  He recently authored a white paper entitled “Disrupting Student and Education Debt.”

Kim is also a member of the Black, Puerto Rican & Asian Legislative Caucus. In April 2015, he was appointed as the Chair of the Task Force on New Americans, and in January 2017 he was appointed as the Secretary of Majority Conference.

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