Adam J. Lawless is the Community Engagement & Marketing Manager at the United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica Area.

Adam was nominated by both Michelle Roberts and Patti Robinson,  Patti writes: Adam has one of the most contagiously positive attitudes anyone can have the pleasure of coming across. Delightful, funny, smart and witty would be some of the attributes that people would throw around about Adam. He is the life of any party. Look deeper, however, and you will find a man who knows himself who loves his life and who only wants to give to his community. Whether you are a mom needing diapers, a gay teen looking for direction and acceptance, a child needing to learn to read or a song needing to be sung…Adam is there. Adam is the man behind many of the initiatives that give the United Way its active presence with the people who need them. Adam created and runs the Day of Action, an annual day of service that brings people together to help make an impact in neighborhoods. Set during the workweek, many companies allow employees to utilize work time to volunteer for this one day. Under his direction, in 2012, nearly 80 volunteers helped to paint over graffiti throughout the city of Utica. The United Way’s popular drives are Adam’s concepts also. The Diaper, Summer Reading, and Back-to-School drives all help to collect much-needed supplies to aid children and families struggling to make ends meet. Volunteers help to spread the word throughout the community and collect supplies within their workplaces and/or civic organizations. This year the Back-to-School drive donated over 2,500 lbs of school supplies to local agencies, who then distribute the supplies to their clients. Adam also developed the idea for Day of Caring, a program that provides direction and aid to companies, agencies and other organizations that need help putting on an event or who have members or employees that would like to volunteer around the community. Adam is active in local theater playing lead roles in Game Show and RENT the Musical among many others. Live theater gives people a chance to come together and feel part of a community that is alive and vibrant. It increases our quality of life. One of Adam’s many interests includes the LGBTQ community. He was proactive in putting the strength of his public relations expertise towards the support of the New York State Marriage Equality Act. In October of 2011, Adam married his long time boyfriend Don Shipman becoming one of the first couples in Oneida County to take advantage of the newly passed Marriage Equality Act. True to Adam’s nature, he courageously leads the way so other’s lives will be easier. Having thought about this award for two years now, I cannot think of another person who spends the majority of their time behind the scenes, doing the hard hands-on-work that makes our community vibrant and peaceful. Nor one who is more fitting for an award such as the Community Peacemaker Award.


 Adam was also nominated by Michelle Roberts who writes: Adam should receive this award for his leadership and strong sense of giving to the community. Adam has been helping me with my business for years with this amazing writing and people skills. His positive attitude, delightful demeanor and love for the community has shown through in a million ways. Adam helped me start my business up by bartering services a few years ago. He has helped me publicize my work in a way that the media picks up on it and with today's social media it can be very difficult to stand out. His help with PR has been incredible to my business. He has become part of my creative team through the years helping my small business in a very unselfish way. He really is helping other's by helping me get my business heard and seen and in a lot of ways he is helping me bring art to the life's of people everyday. I really hope that Adam receives this award, he is well deserving of it! Thank you!