July 6, 2015

Area Business and Community Leaders Vincent Verdile, William J. Cromie and I. David Swawite to be Named University at Albany 2015 Citizen Laureates

ALBANY, N.Y. (July 6, 2015) – The University at Albany Foundation announces it will honor the Dean of Albany Medical College, Vincent P. Verdile, M.D., retired President and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan (CDPHP) William J. Cromie, M.D., and President and COO of Omni Development Company, Inc., I. David Swawite at its 36th Citizen Laureate Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 11.

The Citizen Laureate Awards recognize outstanding leaders in business and industry, government, and academia, and are the most prestigious honors bestowed by The University at Albany Foundation. Funds raised by the event will support The University at Albany Foundation’s student programs and its ability to ensure access to the finest higher education experience possible. Established in 1967 to encourage philanthropic support, the Foundation continues to advance the University’s strategic goals and sponsors efforts to build ties to the community.

Verdile will received the Academic Laureate Award, and Cromie and Swawite, the Community Laureate at the dinner and awards ceremony, which begins at 5:30 p.m. in UAlbany’s SEFCU Arena.

Serving as event co-chairs are John J. Nigro, president of Nigro Companies, and Daniel P. Nolan, ’74, president and CEO, Hugh Johnson Advisors, LLC. Nigro and Nolan were, respectively, the 2010 and 2014 recipients of the Community Laureate Award.


Vincent P. Verdile, M.D.

Dean, Albany Medical College

Verdile is The Lynne and Mark Groban, M.D. ’67 Distinguished Dean of Albany Medical College and executive vice president for health affairs at Albany Medical Center. Dr. Verdile oversees the operations of Albany Medical College. Under his leadership, the College has expanded its academic programs. Approximately 40 percent of the region’s practicing physicians are alumni of the College. He is responsible for four biomedical research centers, which are helping to bring the latest medical treatments to patients, while advancing knowledge of diseases.

A Troy native and 1984 graduate of Albany Medical College, Dr. Verdile held a number of academic and clinical appointments at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, where he completed his residency training in emergency medicine. In 1993, he returned to Albany as an attending emergency medicine physician and shortly thereafter was named chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine.

He is the current chair of the National Selection Committee for the Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research and is past president of the New York Chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians. He also served on the board of directors of Union Graduate College and is currently a director of the Fort Orange Club in Albany.


William J. Cromie, M.D., M.B.A.

Retired President and CEO, founding board member of CDPHP

Dr. Cromie earned an M.B.A. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a medical degree from St. Louis University Medical School, and a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University. He is internationally recognized in the medical field, has authored many publications, and has received many medical honors.

Joining CDPHP as president and CEO in 2001, Dr. Cromie was one of the founding board members of CDPHP, served as vice chairman, and also presided on the executive and finance committees.

One of the founding board members of the Albany Ronald McDonald House, he also served on the board of the National Ronald McDonald Children’s Charity, the American College at Louvain, Belgium, St. Ignatius College Prep, and others. Recently he served as a board member of the Albany Symphony Orchestra and the Regional Food Bank, and is currently President of the Fort Orange Club in Albany. He serves on the advisory board for the Ronald McDonald House, and Assisi in Albany, which assists in finding jobs for entry level clients. He volunteers as a physician at a free health clinic, a soup kitchen in the inner city, and he has joined the team at the Advanced Wound Care Center at Memorial Hospital. He actively advises a number of not-for-profit social service agencies on a pro-bono basis.

I. David Swawite

President and COO of Omni Group

Swawite’s more than 50 years of business activities include 14 years as a Certified Public Accountant, including as a partner in a New York City certified public accounting firm, as well as 40 years of real estate activities in upstate New York. A few of his contributions include the original Albany Hilton (now the Hilton Albany), Omni Plaza, 66 S. Pearl Street, the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York headquarters, the Progressive headquarters, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Downtown Albany.

Swawite is President and Chief Operating Officer and principal shareholder of the Omni Group of companies, which include Omni Development Company, Inc., Omni Management Group, Ltd., Omni Housing Development LLC and other affiliated entities. Throughout his career, he has served on numerous local non-profit boards and committees, including as president, vice president, vice chair, and treasurer. His commitment to giving back to the community in which he works has made him a role model for countless others.

A graduate of Hunter College, Swawite divides his time between Long Island and Richmond, Mass.

To learn more about the event, visit the UAlbany Citizen Laureate website, or contact the Office of University Events at (518) 442-5310.

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