Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr. Public Service Award
The Citizens Research Council of Michigan is a public affairs research organization noted for its very independent, non-partisan approach to public policy analysis. It has worked with elected officials of all persuasions, civil servants of all types, and policy advocates with many interests. Over more than a century of working to improve Michigan’s state and local governments, the Research Council has focused on the facts.
Public policy is intertwined with politics, and therefore with politicians. For our work to be more than just words on paper, we have to provide the information to, and work with, elected officials, civil servants, community leaders, and concerned citizens. Through these efforts, we have come across many individuals that bear an ethos similar to our mission: to put the well-being of the state above party talking points and political mantras.
The Eugene A. Gargaro, Jr. Public Service Award recognizes and lauds these individuals for these efforts. On behalf of the citizens of Michigan and the local governments they serve, it thanks them for lifetimes of service.
The award is named after Eugene Gargaro, Jr. Gene served on the Research Council’s Board of Directors from 1996 to 2015, with six of those years in leadership roles. Although he retired from the Board of Directors, Gene remained active with the Research Council by assuming the role of Chair of the Council of Trustees, the membership of this 501(c)3 organization. Beyond his leadership and generous support of the Research Council, we honored him and named the award after him in recognition of his behind the scenes work for the betterment of Michigan, his many years leading efforts to support the Detroit Institute of Arts, and his role in coordinating the “Grand Bargain” that helped to preserve the art collection in the DIA while also minimizing the cuts to civil servant retirees’ pensions and health care as part of the City of Detroit’s 2013 bankruptcy.
|2017||Paul Hillegonds||Represented a West Michigan district in the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served as Republican Leader, Co-Speaker, and Speaker of the House; CEO of Detroit Renaissance, CEO of Michigan Health Endowment, board chair for the Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan|
|2018||John Dingell, Jr.||59 years representing a downriver district in the U.S. House of Representatives|
|2019||Doug Roberts, Sr.||Department of Treasury, Department of Management and Budget, Senate Fiscal Agency, Office of State Employer, State Tax Commission, and Northern Michigan University Board of Trustees|
|2021||Dennis Archer, Sr.||Michigan Supreme Court Justice, Mayor of the City of Detroit, Western Michigan University Board of Trustees, past president of the American Bar Association|
|2022||Kelly Rossman-McKinney||Michigan Public Relations Trailblazer; Communications Director for Attorney General Dana Nessel, Governor James Blanchard; Partner at Truscott Rossman|
|2023||Dr. Ora Hirsh Pescovitz||President of Oakland University|
2022 Event Posthumously Honoring Kelly Rossman-McKinney