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Carolyn Richmond, 2019 Groat Award Winner

Richmond ’91 Receiving Groat Award on April 11

Groat Winner: “More Grateful than Ever”

The Richmond family has deep roots at Cornell. Stephen Richmond A&S ’59 fell in love with the university and shared his admiration for dear old Cornell with his family. This tradition of loyalty and dedication continues with his daughter, Carolyn D. Richmond ’91, the 2019 Judge William B. Groat Award winner, along with Carolyn’s sister, Nancy Richmond Goldstein ’94, MBA ’96, Law ’97; brother, Jeffrey Richmond A&S ’92, MD ’96, and cousin Janet Goldberg Horn ’95.

The Groat Award, ILR’s highest alumni honor, in addition to the Alpern Award, recognizes achievement in the labor relations field. Carolyn Richmond, a partner with the Fox Rothschild law firm and chair of its Hospitality Practice Group, has been honored by many organizations. She was selected by Crain’s New York Business for its 2009 40 Under 40, by Human Resource Executive magazine for its 2018 list of “Most Powerful Employment Attorneys and by Total Food Service for its 2018 Top Women in Metro New York Food Service & Hospitality.

“Being in the company of the previous Groat Award winners is an incredible honor,” Carolyn said about being selected as the 18th recipient of the venerated ILR award.

Alex Colvin, interim dean of ILR, said, “Carolyn is a force of nature in the legal field. She has created a whole new category with her focus on the restaurant industry. Her initiative and expertise has helped countless small business owners prepare for and prevent legal issues. We are fortunate to have her as an ILRie who sets an example for others to follow.”

“Winning cases isn’t the point of what I do,” Carolyn said. “I get the most satisfaction out of the preventative side of my work. I spend most of my time educating small business owners and steering them away from legal issues that plague many others in the industry.”

This approach speaks well to the Groat winner’s down-to-earth and friendly demeanor; Richmond is always willing to participate in a discussion, stand up for her beliefs and enjoy life. She shared, with a quip, that during a stint with the 1996 Clinton-Gore campaign, she had “defensive” driving lessons from the Secret Service in order to drive staffers and press in Clinton presidential motorcades, sang in the choir at the Kennedy Center Honors event for Billy Joel’s recognition ceremony and was featured on an episode of HGTV’s “Selling New York” as producers followed her through a real estate-buying process.

Carolyn serves the school and university in many ways. She is a member of the Cornell University Council, the President’s Council of Cornell Women and the ILR Dean’s Advisory Council. Carolyn has been active, since its founding, with the Cornell Center for Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations. She is a member of its advisory board and speaks every year at its national event, the HR in Hospitality Conference.

The Groat Award takes Carolyn full circle as an ILRie. “I remember sitting in my classes and being surrounded by brilliant students and educators and the thought never crossed my mind that I’d be among these prestigious names making my own contribution. This honor makes me more grateful than ever to be part of the ILR community.”

The annual event feting the winners of the school’s top awards will be held April 11 at The Pierre in New York City. In addition to Richmond, Alpern Award winner Diane Rosen’78 will be honored. School. To attend the celebration, register here.

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