Food Marketing Institute has presented its Sidney R. Rabb Award to Neil Golub, Price Chopper Supermarkets’ executive chairman of the board, for his statesmanship and community service.
Golub received FMI’s highest honor at the Midwinter Executive Conference in Phoenix.
Golub is a recognized humanitarian and public servant in his community and the entire food retail industry. Most notable among his professional accomplishments is the revitalization of downtown Schenectady, N.Y., where the company is based. After decades of significant layoffs and the exodus of large companies that left his hometown struggling and economically distressed, Golub stepped forward to help lead the change that has turned the city into a vibrant modern community.
“Neil was instrumental in developing Schenectady 2000, creating the Schenectady Country Metroplex Development Authority and promoting legislation that resulted in one half of one percent of county sales tax being dedicated to redevelopment efforts in the community,” said Ray Gillen, commissioner of the Schenectady County Economic Development and Planning Department.
The sales tax creates a recurring revenue stream, amounting to approximately $10 million per year, to boost community rebuilding and branding efforts.
“The result has been over $700 million in new private and public investment and a major upgrade to downtown Schenectady,” Gillen said.
In 2010, Golub further demonstrated his commitment to Schenectady by relocating Price Chopper’s multimillion-dollar headquarters to the revitalized downtown area. The building is LEED Gold-level certified and was built on the site of a deserted American Locomotive Co. plant.
“The building not only speaks to his commitment to the current community, but also demonstrates his forward-thinking about the next generation and sustainable growth within our town," Gillen said. "Neil built a new, green building on a brown field site.”
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The move further revitalized the capital region by jumpstarting a 60-acre waterfront redevelopment project that will include office, retail and residential space. In addition to helping revitalize Schenectady through investments and resources, Golub and his wife, Jane, dedicate their lives to philanthropy. Since the late 1980s, the Golubs have worked with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) across the country to help mitigate bullying, cyber bullying and bigotry in schools through a program called “A World of Difference.”
They were also the catalysts for an anti-bias campaign called “Be an Ally” and partnered with a CBS affiliate and ADL to promote the program. In 1984 and 1986, Jane and Neil Golub, respectively, became the first couple ever to be honored with the ADL Americanism Award for Community Service.
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From the United Way to the Special Olympics to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Golubs are active in supporting the needs of the community. In particular, Neil Golub has dedicated the last 21 years to the Double H Ranch, a Serious Fun camp funded by Paul Newman for children and families dealing with life-threatening illnesses. The camp started with four children in 1993 and now serves 2,200 children and members.
The camp’s CEO and executive director, Max Yurenda, said, “In his current role, Neil continues to have a tremendous impact on the children and staff at Double H, working closely with every level of employee to ensure they understand the importance of their work and the impressive influence of the Double H team. He unites staff and families in order to impart the importance of giving back and demonstrate how businesses can be a part of the community.”
For the past 30 years, Golub has co-anchored the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) telethon in the Capital Region of New York and served as a national vice president for the organization; he has also served on the Ellis Hospital board and foundation board, chairing numerous capital campaigns. Additionally, Golub served as chairman for Bellevue Women’s Hospital for six years.
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