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Grisanti names Cindy Abbott Letro 2014 'Woman of Distinction'

by jmaloni


Sat, May 10th 2014 07:00 am

State senator recognizes Buffalo woman for her many contributions to Western New York

Cindy Abbott Letro will be honored in Albany Tuesday, May 13, as part of a ceremony that recognizes female residents of New York who were recognized as part of the state's celebration of Women's History Month. 

Letro is committed to strengthening the fabric of the community through volunteerism, philanthropy and leadership. Lending her expertise developed over 25 years as a broadcast/marketing professional, Letro has helped a wide variety of not-for-profit organizations in the Buffalo/Niagara region raise millions of dollars.

"I am thrilled to honor Cindy based on her dedication and hard work throughout our community," Grisanti said. "Cindy is a role model for all young women. I am proud to nominate her for this honor, because of the many contributions (she has) made and continues to make in the community. I gladly acknowledge the work that she and all women have done as we celebrate Women's History Month in New York state."

Letro is the past chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society board of directors and chaired its "Carnegie Hall committee," which raised funds for the orchestra's May 8, 2013, performance at Carnegie Hall for the "Spring For Music Festival." The performance broke festival box office records with more than 1,500 Western New Yorkers traveling to New York City. It realized more than $510,000 in revenue for the BPO.

Letro is a past chair of the Burchfield Penney Art Center. During her chairmanship, the center fulfilled its dream of opening a new $35 million facility on the corner of Rockwell Road and Elmwood Avenue on the campus of Buffalo State College.

In April of 2008, Letro was nominated to the Niagara Frontier State Park, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission, a nomination that was subsequently confirmed by the New York State Senate. In spring 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo elevated her to the position of chair of that commission. She is a member of the board of Visit Buffalo Niagara, the area's convention and visitor's bureau, and the board of trustees of St. Bonaventure University. 

Letro is a past member of the board of the Community Foundation of Greater Buffalo. She chairs the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission and is currently, or has been active, on the boards of, the Theodore Roosevelt National Inaugural Site, the National Federation for Just Communities, Young Audiences of Western New York, the Preservation Coalition of Erie County, Just Buffalo Literary Center, the American Heart Association, Crisis Services and the Advisory Council for the UB (University at Buffalo) Center for the Arts. She is a graduate of the Leadership Buffalo Class of 2000 and the June 2004 Buffalo FBI Citizen's Academy.

Letro acts as business manager for her husband's law firm, Francis M. Letro Attorneys at Law. She and her husband of 30 years are supportive of a wide variety of civic projects and cultural organizations. In 2002, the Letros committed $1 million to SUNY Buffalo Law School to establish the Francis M. Letro Courtroom, the first working courtroom in the nation on a university campus where students are able to watch real trials in progress.

In 2013, Letro was named "Outstanding Volunteer Fundraiser" by the WNY Association of Fundraising Professionals and also received the Walter P. Cooke award from the SUNY Buffalo Alumni Association for meritorious service by a non-alumni. In 2011, Letro received the Prestigious Red Jacket Award from the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society and she and her husband were honored by Saint Bonaventure University with the Gaudete Award.

In March of 2007 she was inducted into the Western New York Women's Hall of Fame. In October of 2006 she received the Community Foundation's Burt P. Flickinger Jr. Leadership Award and the Theodore Roosevelt National Historic Site's President's Award. 2006 was also the year in which Letro was named as one of Western New York's "Ten Most Powerful Women."

Letro received a B.A. cum laude from The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, and a M.S. in communications from The Newhouse School at Syracuse University.

The Letros makes their home in the City of Buffalo.

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