BLI Graduation Year: 1993
Peter G. Newman
Tell us briefly about yourself and please update your classmates on your personal/professional experiences since graduating from BLI:
First, I can’t believe my BLI class was 21 years ago. Although it seems cliché’, it really does seem like yesterday when we were team building on Oquaga Lake. Since that time, it has been a steady progression both professionally and personally. I remain at M&T Bank and continue to interact primarily with our commercial customers. In my role as regional president I also have an opportunity to engage with my retail banking colleagues to ensure we are properly delivering a community banking experience to all of our customers. Considering that Jacquelyn was just pregnant with our first of three sons at the time of our BLI graduation, a lot has changed. Today we have a 20 year old (Peter) who is a sophomore at The University of Scranton, an 18 year old (Andrew) who is a freshman at Lehigh University, and a 15 year old (Louis) who is a sophomore at UE High School.
Favorite books/movies: About 6 years ago I read Wild Fire by Nelson DeMille. It is my favorite because of the subject (political espionage / action thriller with a little romance), geography (Adirondacks), and time in my life (I just broke my leg and was out of work for about 1 month, which gave me great perspective). My favorite movie is from 1997 – Life Is Beautiful starring Roberto Benigni as a father who demonstrated his incredible love for his son by using his talents, including humor, to protect him from the devastation of a concentration camp.
Current and Past Notable Civic Activities: I’m currently involved serving on several boards of directors, including Food Bank of the Southern Tier, The Community Foundation for South Central New York, Mercy House of the Southern Tier, Ideal Senior Living Center, Broome Community College Foundation, and the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce. At the end of 2014, I’ll complete my service as Board Chair for United Health Services Foundation.
Interests/Hobbies: My interests are focused on family activities. We value spending time together on an annual summer vacation to Lake George and trying to find a few other times during the year to gain a travel experience together. I enjoy hiking in the Adirondacks. I’ve not climbed many of the high peaks – but I did climb the highest, Mt. Marcy with some friends a few years ago. I also enjoy playing golf – for fun, I’m content with a mediocre game.
How did your BLI experience change your perception of the community? BLI gave me an in depth exposure to the community and introduced me to people who I interact with professionally & on boards and with whom I maintain strong friendship – John Jones, John Carrigg, Maria Kirk and Mark Bandurchin to name a few. The first time I visited the Cider Mill Playhouse was through BLI. I came out of the program knowing that this was an area with a strong heritage and great opportunities – but you have to look for them.
How did your BLI experience motivate you to become more involved in the community? Being exposed to leaders within our community and realizing that we all had a responsibility to make this community a better place motivated me to get involved.
What was your most memorable BLI activity/moment? The most memorable activity from my BLI experience was our retreat at The Chestnut Inn on Oquaga Lake. It was a great time to enjoy the beauty our area has to offer while getting to know my classmates better.
What was the most valuable benefit to you from your BLI experience? The most valuable benefit was the broad exposure to issues and aspects of our community.
What “nugget of wisdom” do you have for your fellow BLI alum? My nugget of wisdom is something that a friend told me last spring. Do not let up on your community involvement as time goes by. Your connections and knowledge make your involvement with community organizations more important than ever. Remain involved in and committed to the community.