Bernard H. Brown Jr. Named 2012 Israel A. Shapiro Award Winner

Special to
Published December
5, 2012

The Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Bernard “Bernie” H. Brown, Jr. has been named the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Shapiro Award.

Mr. Brown is the Chief Executive Officer of Bernier Carr Associates, P.C., a company he has been with since 1984. Starting with the firm as the first Architect in a firm of Engineers and Surveyors, Bernie has led a steady path of growth and expansion that has made the architectural division what it is today. His professional expertise is recognized in the North Country construction industry and beyond.

According to Mr. Brown’s nominator, Dan Villa, the 2008 Shapiro Award Recipient, Bernie is continuously looking for ways to support and make his community better. He has been committed to youth in our community by supporting such programs as Boy Scouts, the student intern program at BCA, career development programs at both high schools and colleges, and has been instrumental in organizing the annual Community Gift and Fund Drive now in its 17th year. Mr. Brown has been the driving force in the Bernier Carr & Associates Christmas toy program.

Mr. Brown is a graduate of the Jefferson Leadership Institute, has served as Chair of the American Heart Association Heart Walk and continues to be a member of the Executive Leadership Team. He and his wife Beverly were the Co-Chairs of the 2000 Mayor’s Ball. He also leads the BCA community volunteer efforts with BCA Relay For Life Team, Adopt a Platoon, Hospice Angel Tree, and Jefferson Community College Alumni Scholarship Program. He has served as the President of the Board of Directors of the Northern New York Community Foundation, and has served as Senior Warden of the Vestry of Trinity Episcopal Church in Watertown. Bernie has also served on numerous boards including the YMCA, Boy Scouts, and the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra.

In his nomination of Bernie Brown, Dan Villa writes “Probably one of the most important attributes of good citizenship that Bernie emulates is to lead by example; there are so many things he has done, anonymously and without fanfare, to make our community a better place. Good citizenship is part of his character and who he is as a man, they are inextricable”.

In a letter of support offered by Jayn Graves, chief professional officer of the United Way of Northern New York, Inc., Ms. Graves refers to Mr. Brown’s role in the restoration and re-design of the interior of the Flower Memorial Library in Watertown. “This landmark building is now gathering visitors from across the world because of Mr. Brown’s designs and implementation. His work here is a gift of immeasurable significance to our community”.

Mr. Rande Richardson, executive director of Northern New York Community Foundation and 2002 Shapiro Award Recipient, writes in a letter of support for Mr. Brown, “He always strives to be on the cutting edge of affecting the region for the better, both professionally and personally…I have witnessed several incidences of Bernie’s willingness to extend a helping hand to an individual or organization in need. This type of humble leadership is all too rare, but, inspirational nonetheless”.

Mr. Brown has proven his citizenship not only to our community but also to our country having served in the United States Army until 1979. He was awarded the Medal for Meritorious Service in September of 1976.

The award will be formally presented at a dinner hosted by the Greater Watertown –North Country Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, February 7, 2013, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Watertown, beginning at 6:00pm. Reservations can be made by contacting the Greater Watertown – North Country Chamber of Commerce at 1241 Coffeen Street or online at

This event is sponsored by ABC 50/The North Country CW and Slack Chemical Co. Inc. The award was established by Arnold I. Shapiro to honor the memory of his father, a long time business leader in the community. A director of the Chamber at the time of his father’s death in 1952, Mr. Shapiro sensed a need in Watertown for a symbolic annual recognition of exceptional leadership on behalf of our city. Over the years, the award has been presented to many deserving individuals for their contributions and service to our community.

This award is made on the basis of outstanding citizenship or for outstanding contribution in civic or social welfare activity. Entries were judged on five key areas (outstanding citizenship, achievement, leadership, dedication, and motivation) by a panel of past Shapiro Recipients.

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