The BRF Annual Luncheon
Each year the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation puts on a luncheon to announce it’s annual award recipient. These awards are given to top leaders in the Buffalo community who are effecting positive change through involvement with philanthropic and charitable organizations in Western New York. The purpose of this yearly award is to bring recognition to individuals that demonstrate leadership and service throughout Buffalo and Western New York. 2020’s awards luncheon was cancelled due to COVID, but previous years have honored esteemed friends such as Jeffry Gundlach (2019), Jody Lomeo (2018), and Russell Salvatore (2017).
2021’s Honoree is Dr. Candace S. Johnson. She is an amazing citizen with many awards and distinguishing traits.
Dr. Candace S. Johnson joined the faculty of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in February 2002 and is currently President & CEO since 2015. Dr. Johnson is the M&T Bank Presidential Chair in Leadership and Professor of Oncology at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Prior to her appointment as Roswell Park President & CEO, Dr. Johnson was Deputy Director of the Institute and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics for more than a decade. her major responsibilities were to facilitate the seamless bench-to-bedside development and delivery of promising new cancer therapies involving various types of cancer.
Dr. Johnson is a member of the National Institutes of Health Reviewers Reserve and has served as a member of the National Cancer Institute Review Group Subcommittee A Cancer Center (Parent Committee) and of the Experimental Therapeutics Study Section for two terms. She also is a member of many professional and scientific societies, Senior Editor of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, Associate Editor of Molecular and Cellular Differentiation, Oncology, and Molecular Pharmacology, and a member of the editorial board of Oncology Reports and Molecular Pharmacology.
Dr. Johnson has authored or co-authored nearly 200 journal publications, book chapters, and abstracts and has been issued patents on the “Use of Pretreatment Chemicals to Enhance Efficacy of Cytotoxic Agents” and “Endothelial Specific Targeting”. Additionally, she was the recipient of the 2013 Dr. Thomas B. Tomasi Hop Award; the 2013 Medaille College Excellence in Leadership Award; the 2010 University of Pittsburg Innovator Award; and in 2010 was elected as a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science. In 2019, Dr. Johnson was appointed to the Daemen College Board of Trustees.
Allied Mechanical’s President/CEO has served as an Active Director of the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation for years. He has served as the elected President of the BRF for the past two years (2020-2021). This role gave Michael the honor of presenting Dr. Johnson with the 2021 Woman of the Year award. His opening remarks spoke of the many changes in the world since the BRF’s foundation in 1981. Such things as the world population, minimum wage, rent and home costs. He spoke of the major news events, such as Lady Diana marrying Prince Charles, and the United States’ first female justice Sandra Day O’Connor being appointed to the US Supreme Court.
The consistent focus throughout the years, of course, was the BRF’s commitment to growth in it’s charitable Giving, endowment and forums. Michael spoke of how 100% of the BRF’s fundraising ends up in the hands of charities or organizations that meet the BRF’s mission. He mentioned the foundation’s 2021 Grant Recipients: Buffalo Collegiate Charter School, Friends of Little Portion Friary, Kevin Guest House, Lancaster Baseball Booster Club, Our Lady of Victory National Shrine & Basilica Centennial, The NativityMiguel Middle School of Buffalo, and the Buffalo Renaissance Foundation Community Center.
Scott Bieler, President/CEO of West Herr Auto Group, and an Active Direct of the BRF, was the keynote speaker of the luncheon. Scott spoke of previous honorees of the award, and the amazing work each has done in local Buffalo communities. He mentioned our current sitting mayor, Byron Brown, and the amazing growth that Buffalo has seen during his term. Scott spoke of his own community involvement, and the importance of civic responsibility. He talked about the importance of humility, and the beauty of helping people in need. It was an inspiring and motivating speech, influenced by the work and life of Dr. Candace Johnson.
It was an honor to lift up and celebrate Dr. Candace Johnson and all the work she has done to move Buffalo forward.