The board of managers of The Buffalo History Museum has named community leaders Jake and Katie Schneider recipients of its annual Red Jacket Award. The board will present the awards at the Red Jacket Awards ceremony on Oct. 8.
During the ceremony, two additional awards will be presented: John A. Edens will receive the Owen B. Augspurger Award, which recognizes an individual devoted to the preservation of local heritage; and Explore Buffalo will receive the Daniel B. Niederlander Award for outstanding programming as a local cultural organization.
Details regarding the ceremony, which will follow COVID-19 protocols set forth by the New York State Department of Health, will be available online at buffalohistory.org. Corporate sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information on sponsorships or the ceremony, contact Britt Call, donor and corporate relations manager, at 716-873-9644, ext. 344, or [email protected].
The Red Jacket Award – Jake & Katie Schneider
The Red Jacket Award is given annually “in recognition of quiet, continued, unbroken devotion to civic progress.” In 1792, President George Washington presented Red Jacket with the medal after which the museum’s award is modeled.
Following their marriage in 1978, Jake and Katie Schneider chose Buffalo as their home and have continued to contribute to its wellbeing through philanthropic activities, volunteering, historic reuse and economic development. Jake, a graduate of University of Notre Dame’s School of Architecture, has practiced architecture in Western New York since 1981. Katie, a graduate of Wells College, worked at her family’s printing company, Greater Buffalo Press, and is now a professional photographer with her own firm, Katie Schneider Photography.
Through commissions at Schneider Architectural Services PC, Jake has contributed to mixed-use, multifamily housing, educational, religious and adaptive reuse projects in Buffalo. In 2002, he founded Schneider Development Services LLC. This property development and management company has revitalized over 500,000 square-feet of local derelict buildings, adapting them into mix-use space. Jake was appointed to State Historic Review Board in 2016 and has spoken at a number of events to the use of historic tax credits to generate economic growth in challenging real estate markets. Some of his positions in the community include service on the Buffalo/Niagara Partnership’s development advisory board, the Buffalo Civic Auto Ramps Board, the University at Buffalo’s School of Architecture real estate development advisory board, and past chair of the board of Southtowns Catholic School.
Katie has served in a number of philanthropic and charitable roles to contribute to the development of historic, religious and educational sects of the community. Some of her past roles include chair of the board of Southtowns Catholic School and a member of the boards of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Lake View, the Children’s Guild of Buffalo, the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and Canisius College. Currently, she is the chair of the International Institute of Buffalo and is a member of the Say Yes Buffalo board and the Vogt Family Foundation.
Jake and Katie have served in a number of chair capacities as a duo. These include, but aren’t limited to, the 2006 St. Francis High School Justinian dinner auction, with the 2015 Catholic Charities Appeal, and as co-chairs of the 2019 Buffalo Olmsted Parks Gala. They and their children have a been recognized with honors for their combined volunteering efforts with the Gaudete Medal from St. Bonaventure University, the Exemplary Citizens Award from the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, and the Exemplary Citizens Award from the Nativity Miguel School.
Owen B. Augspurger Award – John A. Edens
The Owen B. Augspurger Award, established in 1974, is presented to an individual for outstanding service to the cause of local history.
John A. Edens has dedicated more than 50 years to the promotion of historic learning by growing accessibility to collections, archives and scholarly resources. Throughout his career, he has worked at Emory University, the University of Georgia, and the University at Buffalo, becoming university archivist at UB. Retiring in 2012, Edens worked to improve accessibility to UB’s collections and resources with increased availability of catalog records, additional exhibitions, acquisitions of various organizational collections, and the growth of online resources with the “New York Heritage” digital collections site. Some of Edens’ work includes aiding in the acquisition of collections through the Jewish Buffalo Archive Project, playing a key role in the design of the Margaret L. Wendt Archive & Resource Center and the subsequent organization of its records, and volunteering with The Buffalo History Museum to create access for the “Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society” series. Additionally, through the Wendt Center, he has provided ample research, rehousing, documentation, transcription, and acquisition of artifacts related to Forest Lawn represented histories. His work has also helped to improve the usefulness of the “Locate a Loved One” feature of the Forest Lawn website.
Among Edens’ honors include the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and he Debra E. Bernhardt Award for Excellence in Documenting New York’s History. He is a member of the Jewish Archives Project advisory group and serves on the board of directors of the Forest Lawn Heritage Foundation.
Daniel B. Niederlander Award – Explore Buffalo
The Daniel B. Niederlander Award is presented to a local education, cultural or heritage organization for outstanding, high-caliber programming.
Founded in 2014, Explore Buffalo defines its mission as to promote Buffalo and Western New York history, architecture and neighborhoods through quality education to learners of all ages. Explore Buffalo accomplishes its mission with a dedicated board, staff, and over 250 volunteers that contribute to educational tours and programming centered around the Buffalo Region’s history and architecture. With a portfolio of over 80 tours ranging from walking and bus tours to kayaking and bike tours that cover locations throughout Buffalo and broader Erie County, Explore Buffalo welcomed an annual attendance of over 29,000 in 2019. Highlights of their programming also include their school tours with students aged K-12, which take place in locations such as City Hall and Silo City. In 2019, the organization launched the first “Doors Open Buffalo,” a day that allowed for free public access to architecturally and historically significant buildings that welcomed more than 4,000 attendees at 40 locations.
A press release said, “Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Explore Buffalo continues to educate and share our region’s history through a number of digital platforms and online programming.”
The Buffalo History Museum’s collections, exhibits, and programs “tell the stories of the people, events and movements that demonstrate Western New York's essential place in shaping American history.” It is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.