Leadership Genesee names Paul Osborn 'Alumnus of the Year'
Leadership Genesee will present awards honoring the 19 members of the Class of 2022 along with the 2022 Outstanding Alumnus Award at the Annual Graduation Celebration at Terry Hills on Dec. 1.
Paul Osborn, a graduate of the Class of 2005, has been named the Leadership Genesee Alumnus of the Year. The award is presented annually to an alumnus who works to fulfill the program’s mission displaying exceptional achievements and contributions to the community and Leadership Genesee.
When Paul was asked what Leadership Genesee meant to him, he said, “Leadership Genesee was an opportunity for me to learn more in-depth details regarding our community and focus on how I could become a better leader. The program provides tools and activities that make you more self-aware of the bigger picture, to think before you react, and ways to understand people to communicate more effectively.”
Tim Hens LG 2001 nominated Paul, sharing, “Paul is involved in every organization that you can imagine. He spends literally his entire time making life better for the residents and youth of his village, town, and county.”
Paul’s community involvement includes active participation and leadership roles with the following organizations: Oakfield Lions Club, Oakfield Betterment Committee, Alabama-Oakfield Dollars for Scholars, Oakfield Recreation Committee, BEA Camp Hard Hat for students providing experience in a building trades environment, GLOW Corporate Cup, Green Genesee/Smart Genesee, Genesee County Youth Board, Genesee County Parks Advisory Committee, Genesee County Job Development Youth Employment Program and the Association for the Conservation of Natural Spaces (ACORNS), to name some of the organizations Paul helps steward.
Paul shared that it’s been difficult to stay directly active with Leadership Genesee as his professional responsibilities as the Deputy Highway Superintendent for Genesee County include overseeing the Genesee County Jail Project, which takes much of his time. However, Paul continues to help Leadership Genesee because he gained tremendous insights and opportunities for engagement with many Genesee County agencies that are the backbone of our community. Paul shares, “Leadership Genesee is a catalyst for motivating graduates to get out and get involved. Doing what I can is my way of giving back to LG.”
Leadership Genesee director, Peggy Marone LG ’02 shares, “Paul has always been an advocate for Leadership Genesee, concentrating his efforts in the community, which is a goal of our program. When we knew we were losing the opportunity to hold Outdoor Leadership Challenge at Camp Hough, we talked with Paul about relocating the session to the Genesee County Park. He worked to ensure the elements he built were done to specifications allowing LG classes to experience teambuilding activities at the County Park.”
Paul is a Landscape Architect by training and has volunteered his love of natural beauty with so many organizations, including helping in the design of the International Peace Garden. Paul has led the transformation of the Genesee County Park system and has turned things like the DeWitt Recreation Area and the Ellicott Trail into regional award-winning community assets. Paul received the 2020 American Public Works Association Western Region award for involvement in the design and construction of the 9.8-mile Ellicott Trail project and the 2022 American Planning Association Upstate Chapter Award for Excellence in Comprehensive Planning for involvement in the 2050 Comprehensive Plan for Genesee County.
Paul’s advice to anyone who is thinking about applying for LG is, “Go…don’t hesitate! There is so much more to the program than meets the eye. This program will provide you an opportunity to engage, learn, network, share your story, and most of all…be open to different ways of thinking.” Paul enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and learning about other places, especially Europe.
The Outstanding Alumnus Award is sponsored by Skip Helfrich of Human Energies. Leadership Genesee is a program of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Genesee County, an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and provides equal program and employment opportunities. For more information about Leadership Genesee, please visit our website at http://genesee.cce.cornell.edu/leadership-genesee.
Photo: File photo of Paul Osborn, 2012, by Howard Owens.