Longtime leader in development, child care and more honored Thursday

By Jeff Smith


jsmith@the-leader.com


CORNING - Marcia Weber, who retired in 2018 as executive director of Southern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development, was named Thursday as the Corning Rotary Club’s newest Paul Harris Fellow.


"I have always been impressed when I’ve read about previous recipients of the award, and I am so pleased to be in their company," Weber told the gathered Rotarians and guests at the Radisson Hotel Corning.


The Corning Rotary Club presents the Paul Harris award to outstanding club and community members in recognition of activities that exemplify Rotary’s motto of "Service Above Self."


Weber said she started out as an early childhood education major in college.


"I believed, and still believe, that improving our world begins with caring for and educating children," Weber said. "Throughout my career, I’ve had many opportunities to work with others to create, find funding for and strengthen programs to help children and families."


Weber said projects she helped work on included the Parent Resource Center, the Corning Area Youth Center, the Tri-County Task Force on Child Care -- and almost all other child care programs in the area.


Jan Harvey, president of the Corning Rotary Club, said Weber, who served as executive director of Southern Tier Central Planning for 15 years, was instrumental in driving much of the area’s economic development and community advancement initiatives.


Weber helped to funnel millions of dollars in aid and funding to the Finger Lakes region through federal Appalachian Regional Commission and Economic Development Administration (EDA) programs and played a significant role in the creation of the Institute for Human Services - an umbrella organization for dozens of area nonprofits.


"I worked a long time in our three-county region, and it is clear that the most valuable resource here is the willingness of people, agencies and local governments to partner with each other," Weber said. "None of what I’ve accomplished could have been done without others who were willing to work together to solve problems and invent new ways to do business."


Weber said she has been inspired and cheered by the collaborations that have been possible and by the decades-long friendships that resulted from building those teams.


"The people I have worked with here are amazing, and even when they retire they continue to make our region better," Weber said. "I still live here because of all of the people who contribute to our progress."


The official mission of Rotary is "to encourage and foster the advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service."