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Former Gov. John Sununu among BIA honorees

By MICHAEL COUSINEAU
New Hampshire Union Leader

October 18. 2017 9:19PM
From left are Cathy Duffy Cullity, CEO of Girls Inc NH, which won the NH Advantage Award, Dr. Edward MacKay, former chancellor of University System of New Hampshire, Hon. John H. Sununu, former governor, white house chief of staff, and president of JHS, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, with his son NH Governor Chris Sununu, during the Business and Industry Association of NH annual dinner held at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester on Wednesday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — John H. Sununu, a former governor and White House chief of staff, was honored Wednesday with a lifetime achievement award and praised for his work while the state’s chief executive.

“He held the line against income and sales taxes,” Jim Roche, president of the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire, said in prepared remarks for the 750 guests at the Radisson Hotel.

“He turned a state budget deficit into a surplus,” Roche said. “He supported development of nuclear energy and oversaw dramatic improvements to the state mental health system.”

The governor, who served during the 1980s, also helped George H.W. Bush win the 1988 New Hampshire GOP primary and was rewarded with being named Bush’s chief of staff. The three-term governor’s eight children include sons John E. Sununu, who served as a congressman and U.S. senator; and Christopher Sununu, the state’s current governor.

“I have always felt that my biggest achievement was the family that Nancy and I have been able to raise here in New Hampshire,” John H. Sununu said in an email. “I am so proud of each of them. We are especially pleased that five of our eight children have come back to our state to live and raise their families and frankly, to thrive ... and the three that have not made it back yet are trying to work their way back here.”

Sununu said he was honored to receive the award.

“The business community in New Hampshire is a critical component in all that goes to make our state so special and so great,” he said. “I truly appreciate their appreciation of the little bit of a contribution I may have made to keeping it special and great.”

A second lifetime achievement award went to Edward MacKay, the former chancellor of the University System of New Hampshire.

“Ed was one of the first to see the looming crisis of workforce development coming to New Hampshire,” Roche said. “He is currently serving on several boards and commissions dedicated to enriching the labor pool, so Granite State businesses can remain competitive and thrive.”

MacKay said his biggest achievement during his 37 years, 1976-2013, with the university system was helping to improve the state college campuses. “Working with the USNH board, presidents and staff, we collectively created campus master plans, enrollment strategies, performance measures and funding approaches that enabled investment in new and updated facilities plus other infrastructure needs,” MacKay said in an email.

The BIA awarded Girls Inc. of New Hampshire with its New Hampshire advantage award.

“Girls Inc. makes a difference in New Hampshire because they encourage girls to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges,” Roche said.

“For more than four decades, Girls Inc. has changed the lives of generations of young women in the Granite State.”

Girls Inc. CEO Cathy Duffy-Cullity said completing renovation of its Nashua center, which should be ready to move back into next month, represented a big milestone.

“My first day at Girls Inc. was 21 years ago, to the day, and I knew, walking in, that one of my goals was to give the girls the center they deserve,” Duffy-Cullity said by email.


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