Roger Hannay, small-business advocate and third-generation leader of a family business, to receive 2014 Corning Award

Roger Hannay, a leader of a nationally successful manufacturer in a rural Albany County town for nearly half a century and a quietly forceful advocate for small business in New York, has been named 2014 recipient of the prestigious Corning Award for Excellence by The Business Council of New York State.

The award, sponsored by Corning Incorporated, will be presented to Hannay on Wednesday, September 17, at The Business Council’s 2014 Annual Meeting at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, Warren County.

“The Corning Award recognizes leaders from all walks of life whose success is driven by their achievement and their commitment,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq, president and CEO of The Business Council. “In presenting this honor, we recognize not just achievement in a single business sector or professional field, but also an unwavering commitment to making New York a better place for New Yorkers.

“Roger Hannay embodies those virtues.”

G. Thomas Tranter, Jr., president of Corning Enterprises and a vice chair of The Business Council Board of Directors, will present the award to Hannay.

“Roger has devoted his life to manufacturing things, and New York is better for it,” Tranter said. “He has made reels that businesses and consumers recognize as an unsurpassed standard of excellence. He has made his family enterprise clear proof that small businesses with strong leaders can thrive in New York State. And he has made a consistently powerful case that policy changes in Albany can make this state and its prosperity even stronger.

“Businesses of all size in New York are in his debt, and so are 19 million New Yorkers.”

First awarded in 1979, the Corning Award is a magnificent piece of original Steuben Glass, handcrafted by masters in Corning, New York.

Hannay began to discover his passion for making things and making things work better while working at his grandfather’s side as a lad growing up in Westerlo in the hills of western Albany County. After earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Wheaton College and an MBA from the University of Michigan (1964), he volunteered for the U.S. Army and served in Vietnam.

In 1966, he joined the family company, Hannay Reels, Inc. Throughout his many years with the company he specialized in manufacturing, legal issues, health insurance, and human resources. He became president and CEO in June 1990. He now serves as executive chairman. Two of his four children, a son and daughter, now represent the fourth generation of company leadership.

Hannay has always been active in family, community, business, political, and religious organizations, providing strong, active leadership on many boards. As a long-time member of the board of The Business Council, he has been a strong and visible advocate for policy changes of special interest to smaller businesses and manufacturers, including tort reform, estate tax reform, and support for family-owned manufacturers. In 1998, he was recognized at The Business Council’s Small Business Day as Small Business Advocate of the Year Award.

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