President's Medal - Commencement
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This award is intended to recognize individuals for exceptional contributions to the field of adult and distance education, as well as to Excelsior and its mission.
Wallace W. Altes
Wallace (Wally) Altes has more than 30 years of strategic business development experience, including leading his own human resource consulting firm, directing a large and complex business association, and serving as executive counsel to two of the Capital Region's largest public relations firm. He currently provides strategic policy guidance to a select group of executives and continues to serve on the boards of many community organizations.
Altes has served as executive in residence for both the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., and Union Graduate College in Schenectady, N.Y. He was formerly the host of The Bottom Line, a business-oriented show on WMHT, the Albany area's public television station. Altes has lent his expertise on many state, regional, cultural, and business boards, including the Chamber Alliance of New York State, the Albany Institute of History and Art, Berkshire Bank, MVP Healthcare, and Excelsior's President's Advisory Council.
From 1990 to 2002, Altes served as president and CEO of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce. He and the Chamber lead the effort to brand the area as Tech Valley, a name now in common usage and which captures the growing technological research and development occurring in the greater Albany region.
Among his most recent awards and recognitions are the Citizen Laureate Award from the University at Albany and the Chamber's James W. Michaels Award for Distinguished Service to the Region. He and his wife Jane Altes received the Accolade for Community Service from the Arthritis Foundation of Northeastern New York for their humanitarian endeavors and volunteerism and were recognized by the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall for their contributions to the area's art and cultural communities.
Altes holds a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts from Southern Illinois University and received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from the Sage Colleges in 2001.