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John Catsimatidis To Receive YAI Humanitarian Award

November 1, 2012

John Catsimatidis, a New Yorker known as much for his business acumen as his commitment to bettering the city he arrived in as a child with no money or knowledge of English, has been named the honoree of this year's YAI gala on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2012 at The Pierre, Fifth Avenue at 61st St. The event has been rescheduled due to this week's storm.


"John Catsimatidis shows how determination and empowerment can help individuals overcome the challenges they may face," said YAI CEO Stephen E. Freeman. "Seeing beyond disability is at the core of YAI's philosophy and mission."

Catsimatidis is well known to New Yorkers as a hugely successful entrepreneur and philanthropist — CEO of Gristede's and Red Apple among other businesses -- who is actively engaged in the political life of the city. YAI is one of New York State's largest providers of service to people with disabilities and will make innovation the focus of the gala, Think!Again, a Night of New Ideas, from 6:15-10:30 p.m.

"I am impressed by the YAI's entrepreneurial approach," Catsimatidis said. "As a businessman I know that when our city and state have expanding needs and limited resources, we need innovators like YAI to step up. Everybody wins when people are enabled. I hope all of my colleagues and other civic-minded people will join my wife Margo and me in helping this agency create new models of services."

Think!Again will showcase a sampling of YAI's innovative projects, part of an agency-wide initiative to promote empowerment and meaningful community inclusion of the thousands of individuals who receive support from the agency.

"John is the right honoree at the right time for our agency and our field," Freeman said. "A man associated with businesses that help define this city knows what it takes to bring ideas to life."

For more information or to purchase tickets, click here or contact Joanne Kaplan at 212-273-6192 or