Edward R. Matthews, CEO of ADAPT Community Network, has announced that Ali Stroker, Tony-winning stage, film, television star, and author, will present the ADAPT Leadership Award to honoree Willie Geist at the ADAPT Leadership Awards on Thursday, March 9th, 2023, at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City.

The awards gala will support the important ongoing work of the non-profit organization.

Ali Stroker is a longtime Celebrity Ambassador to ADAPT Community Network. Last year, she was honored with the ADAPT Leadership Award and served as Co-Chair of ADAPT’s Women Who Care Awards Luncheon for many years.

Ali is a Tony Award winner for her role as Ado Annie in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma! She made history as the first actor in a wheelchair to appear on Broadway, in Deaf West’s acclaimed 2015 revival of Spring Awakening. She’s a series regular in the Netflix series, Echoes, and starred in the Lifetime holiday film, Christmas Ever After. Ali recurred in the final season of Netflix’s Ozark and is recurring in Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building. She co-wrote the 2021 novel, The Chance to Fly, and wrote the 2022 children’s book, Ali and the Sea Stars. She played Lady Anne in the Shakespeare in the Park production of Richard III. She has performed her one-woman show all over the country, including the Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. Her mission to improve the lives of others through the arts is captured in her motto: “Turning Your Limitations Into Your Opportunities.”

The 2023 ADAPT Leadership Award honorees will be: Willie Geist, host of NBC News’ Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist, co-host of MSNBC’s Morning Joe; Jeanine Salvatore, Philanthropist, and Louis Salvatore, Co-Head of Blackstone Credit’s Performing Credit team.

John D. Kemp, Esq., President & CEO of Lakeshore Foundation, Co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities, and author of Disability Friendly: How to Move from Clueless to Inclusive, will be honored with the Hausman Humanitarian Award in a presentation by ADAPT CEO Edward R. Matthews.

Abigail Hawk, star of the CBS series Blue Bloods, will host the awards gala for the first time. Honorary Gala Co-Chairs will be: Cara Buono, star of Stranger Things and Emmy-nominated for Mad Men; LaChanze, Emmy, Tony, and SAG-winning actress, singer, and activist; Tamsen Fadal, Emmy-winning PIX11 News anchor, and host of The Broadway Show with Tamsen Fadal; Susan Lucci, Emmy-winning actress, entrepreneur, and New York Times best-selling author; and Deborah Roberts, Emmy Award-winning journalist, ABC News Senior National Affairs Correspondent, and Contributing Anchor for 20/20; and Judy Woodruff, senior correspondent and former anchor and managing editor of PBS NewsHour.

ADAPT Leadership Awards Gala Event Chairs are Liz Cohen Hausman and James Hausman.

For more information about the 2023 ADAPT Leadership Awards, click here.

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