Lois Braverman, President & CEO, Ackerman Institute for the Family announced today the honorees and host for the 10th annual Moving Families Forward gala to take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Monday, October 24th in New York City.

This year’s Ackerman Award Honorees are:

· Blair Brewster – Entrepreneur, Ackerman Distinguished Service Award recipient.
· Gary Mendell – Founder & CEO, Shatterproof.org, Ackerman Partner Award recipient.
· Dana Vollmer – Olympic Medalist in Swimming, Ackerman Moving Families Forward Award recipient.

Tamsen Fadal, eight-time Emmy-winning Pix 11 News Anchor, will return to host the evening for the third year running. The event benefits the vital programs and ongoing services for children and families at the Ackerman Institute for the Family.

“I support the Ackerman Institute for the Family because it helps conventional and unconventional families address and overcome deep and sometimes painful personal and societal issues,” says Tamsen Fadal. “Ackerman is a dynamic institution that is continuously evolving and keeping pace with today’s families in a society that is more complex every day. Family is important to me, and Ackerman believes that strong family bonds and communication are important to the strength of our communities. And I agree wholeheartedly.”

“We are thrilled that Tamsen Fadal is returning to host our biggest fundraiser of the year,” says Lois Braverman, President & CEO, Ackerman Institute for the Family. “By generously giving of her time and talent to help lead our event to success speaks volumes about the importance of family in our society and our lives. I am grateful to Tamsen for lending her support and celebrity in this way.”

Blair Brewster, President & Founder of SmartSign.com, and Entrepreneur will be honored with the Ackerman Distinguished Service Award.

“I am delighted to have this opportunity to honor Blair for his many years of board leadership, service and generosity,” says Lois Braverman. “Blair is one of those quiet and private individuals who exudes calm in times of crisis, and projects unflappable confidence and reassurance. He digs deep into issues and ideas and the Ackerman Institute has benefitted tremendously from his guidance, dedication and deep belief in our work. Kindness, understanding, commitment to family and leadership are the words that come to mind when I think about Blair.”

Gary Mendell, Founder & CEO, Shatterproof.org will be honored with the Ackerman Partner Award.

“A key ambition of Gary Mendell’s work is to reduce the stigma and shame associated with addiction,” says Lois Braverman. “And, that is something that the Ackerman Institute understands deeply and can get behind one-hundred percent. Gary’s work aligns so closely with our non-pathologizing approach to working with children and families in distress and seeing the family as the natural and often overslooked source in healing. We are honored that Gary is accepting the Ackerman Partner Award.”

Dana Vollmer, Olympic Medalist in Swimming, will be honored with the Moving Families Forward Award. Dana is one of the most gold-medaled female USA Olympians of all-time. She has five golds, one silver, and one bronze.

“Dana’s accomplishments as a world-class Olympian and at home are a testament to the strength and resilience that she derives from her family to overcome challenges and to give her the confidence to follow her dreams no matter how difficult the journey will be. As the “momma on mission,” we all can connect with her, and that makes her special," says Lois Braverman.

Moving Families Forward Gala Co-Chairs are Alice K. Netter and Deborah Werner. They are supporters of the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and its work on behalf of the well-being of children and families of our communities. This year’s Gala Planning Committee members are Martha Fling, Vicky Kahn, Gisella Lemos, and Leslie Roberts.

Founded in 1960, the Ackerman Institute for the Family is one of the premier institutions for family therapy and one of the best-known and most highly regarded training facilities for family therapists in the United States. The Institute serves families from all walks of life at all stages of family life.

To purchase tickets to the Moving Families Forward gala call 914-579-1000, email:AckermanGala@BuckleyHallEvents.com, or go online here.

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