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President's Medal

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.

Brad Sheer

Brad Shear is president and chief executive officer of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the oldest and largest animal protection organization in New York's Capital Region. He has worked in the animal protection field since 1996 and has been the director of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society since 2007. Shear is one of only two Certified Animal Welfare Administrator (CAWA) in the Capital Region.

Since Shear became the CEO of the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, the organization's annual budget has more than doubled and its reserves have nearly doubled. This stability has allowed for a period of rapid expansion including the creation of a Safe Haven program to house the pets of domestic violence victims, a pet food pantry that partners with seven human food pantries in the region, and an education program that reaches out to schools throughout a three-county area.

Shear is a founding member of the County Animal Response Team, which responds to help animals when disaster strikes in Albany, Rensselaer, and Schenectady Counties. He also helped to establish the Albany County District Attorney's Animal Cruelty Task Force, which coordinates animal cruelty investigations and trains law enforcement officers to better understand animal laws.

In addition to his position at the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society, Shear is a founder and serves as the president of the board of the New York State Animal Protection Federation. He also serves on the boards of Community Works of New York State and the international Society of Animal Welfare Administrators. He is a past chair of the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council.

Shear was born and raised in New York City, and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.