Meet RISE’s 2021 Night of Nations Honorees!

Aminy Inati Audi, CEO & a Board Chairman of L & J.G. Stickley; Sharon F. Owens, Deputy Mayor for the City of Syracuse; Beth Broadway, President/CEO Interfaith Works; Mike Melara, CEO Catholic Charities, Monu Chhetri, Staff Interpreter and Social Worker at Aurora of CNY, Inc; Sangabo Abdi, Former RISE Board Chair.

This event will be a can’t-miss opportunity for donors and community members to interact with the refugees and immigrants who contribute so much to Syracuse, as well as learn more about the impact of our service in the community.

The evening will also honor community leaders who have ardently advocated for our clients, RISE 2021 Night of Nations honorees are:

Rise’s 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award, Recipient 

Aminy Inati Audi

Aminy Inati Audi
CEO & a Board Chairman of L & J.G. Stickley

Mrs. Audi is an N.Y. University graduate, former freelance writer, and reporter for The Voice of America. She served as a non-governmental delegate to the United Nations Conference on Human Rights in Vienna in 1993 and the U.N. World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. She participated in the 1996 Women Leaders’ Summit and has served as a trustee for the State University of New York. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Colgate University in 2006.


Rise’s 2021 Community Builder Award, Recipient

Sharon F. Owens

Sharon F. Owens
Deputy Mayor for the City of Syracuse

Sharon Owens has worked for more than 30 years in housing, community development, human services, and government. In her current deputy mayor position, Owens oversees city services that address quality of life in our community, including Neighborhood and Business Development and the Police and Fire Departments.
In her interview with, Owens was quoted saying “Every day of my life, the ultimate goal is that every resident deserves to live in a safe, affordable, clean, prosperous neighborhood,” Owens.


Rise’s 2021 Community Builder Award, Recipient

Beth Broadway

Beth Broadway
President/CEO Interfaith Works

Beth A. Broadway is currently the President/CEO of InterFaith Works, managing 32 employees with the vision of building cross-cultural bridges of understanding between the many ethnic, religious, and socio-economic groups in Central New York. Prior to becoming CEO, she led the Community Wide Dialogue to End Racism, (CWD) a program of InterFaith Works. Now known as the El-Hindi Center for Dialogue, CFD works in grammar schools, middle schools, high schools, and with adults to break down stereotypes, build trusting relationships, and address racial equity and the systemic problem of racism in our community. She initiated the annual Duck Race to End Racism now in its 15th year.


Rise’s 2021 Community Builder Award, Recipient

Mike Melara

Mike Melara,
CEO Catholic Charities

As the CEO of Catholic Charities in Syracuse, Melara is responsible for overseeing a $65 million agency’s day-to-day operations, including strategic planning, resource development, budget planning and management, human resources management, public relations, and Board relationships. With a workforce of nearly 1,600 staff, Catholic Charities serves over 100,000 people across the seven counties in Syracuse Diocese. Melara has extensive experience in social service leadership roles serving as the past Executive Director of Huntington Family Center in Syracuse, Director of Child and Family Services at Liberty Resources, Inc. as well as social service positions within Catholic Charities and the Department of Mental Health.

Rise’s 2021 Ambassador Award, Recipient

Monu Chhetri

Monu Chhetri
Staff Interpreter and Social Worker at Aurora of CNY, Inc

Monu Chhetri was born in Bhutan and lived in the Jhapa Khundunabar refugee camp in Nepal, where she resided for nineteen years. Monu holds a Court Certificate for Interpreter and is working towards becoming a National Certified Deaf Interpreter to help many others locally and statewide. As a Nepali Sign Language Interpreter, Monu Chhetri communicates with the following Nepali deaf community by signing NSL, which has become accessible for others to see outside Onondaga County.

Rise’s 2021 Ambassador Award, Recipient

Sangabo Abdi

Sangabo Abdi 
Former RISE Board Chair

Sangabo is Somalia-born; she and her family migrated to Kenya for safety and lived in the refugee camp for a decade. Sangabo family was given a second chance at life, and they arrive in Syracuse, NY, in 2003 when she was 17 years old. Since arriving, Sangabo has dedicated her life to serving both the Somali and New American communities and giving back to those in need while building her new life in the US. Sangabo has been involved with Rise for many years, from being a client, a volunteer and serving on Rise’s board, and is currently the proud owner of a Somali store in North Salina, selling imported food, clothing, and skincare products. Sangabo is an active member of the New American community and an inspirational entrepreneur.

Save the Date: RISE’s 3rd Annual Night of Nations Virtual Fundraiser!

 At RISE, there are multiple ways for you to get involved with our mission and give back to the refugees and immigrants in your community, whether it’s by donating your money, time, or expertise. You can be a part of this empowering event by sponsoring or donating.

Sponsor or Donate Today!

Register Today!

Get creative! If you’re interested in speaking to a development staff member more about how you can get involved during this giving season and beyond, email to learn more.