SNHU’s Paul LeBlanc Celebrated as Greater Manchester Chamber’s Citizen of the Year

Paul Leblanc, the GMC's 2022 Citizen of the Year, pictured with various Past Citizens of the Year over the decades.

Dr. Paul J. LeBlanc, president and CEO of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), was named the 69th Citizen of the Year at the Greater Manchester Chamber’s (GMC) 2022 Citizen of the Year Celebration, presented by The Elliot, a member of SolutionHealth, on Tuesday, April 11 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester NH Downtown. Over 500 members of the greater Manchester business community attended to show their support and join in the celebration.

"“Our list of Past Citizens of the Year is comprised of some of the most inspiring men and women in the greater Manchester area, and we couldn’t think of a more perfect addition than Paul. To live and work in the greater Manchester area over the last decade has been to watch it change and grow. Paul has been such a driving factor in the positive changes we’ve seen – he’s always been ahead of the curve when it comes to education, anticipating students’ needs – even during the pandemic - he’s involved in so many aspects of the community, and he’s always putting kids first, whether they’re SNHU students or not. Paul has left an indelible mark on our community and there’s no doubt in my mind that his influence will continue to be seen and felt for years to come."
- Heather McGrail, President & CEO, GMC
The Event!

A celebration and reception for Past Citizens of the Year and event sponsors, hosted by St. Mary’s Bank and M&T Bank, respectively, kicked off the evening while attendees entered under a grand balloon arch, sponsored by Eastern Bank, and enjoyed cocktails at a reception sponsored by SNHU. Dartmouth Health sponsored the pre-program fun with a photobooth and props for all to enjoy.

Following SNHU’s cocktail reception, all were asked to enter the beautifully lit Armory Room, thanks to Events United, and find their seats amidst the floral arrangements provided by Celeste’s Flower Barn, the centerpieces created by Spectrum Marketing Companies and sponsored by the Currier Museum of Art. Over 48 companies we represented throughout the massive space, ranging from education to accounting and banking, to real estate, healthcare, and more. There was also a table, sponsored by SNHU Arena – ASM Global, offered as an opportunity for Manchester’s young professionals to attend one of the largest networking events in the area. The wine for the evening was sponsored and provided by LaBelle Winery, Bank of America sponsored the bar, the coffee station was sponsored by Devine Millimet, and following the night’s programming, Eversource sponsored the dessert reception.

A sold-out crowd listening to Dr. Paul LeBlanc's acceptance speech.
Global Impact

The Greater Manchester Chamber’s 2022 Citizen of the Year Celebration honored SNHU’s Paul LeBlanc as the 69th Citizen of the Year, recognizing him as a leader and role model who has committed himself to the improvement of the greater Manchester community through dedication, vision, and civic pride. The event’s travel theme suited Paul as this year’s honoree as his commitment to his community extends not only to the greater Manchester area, but to the global community as well. This year’s honoree celebration video, created by Kendal J. Bush Photography and sponsored by Bank Prov and Berry Dunn, referred to LeBlanc as a visionary with an innovative mindset and a candid leadership style. He was described as humble, gracious, pragmatic, ahead of the curve, generous, well-deserving, and “…a downtown Manchester guy” (Jada Hebra, Senior Vice President & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, SNHU).

"He is driven by making sure that what he leaves in this world has an impact on as many people as possible. Paul’s success is defined by the success of every student that achieved what they wanted to achieve."
- Alex Manus, Interim Library Dean - VP Innovative Knowledge Management, SNHU
The Palace Theatre's cast of RENT performing "Seasons of Love."
A Special Surprise!

Following the honoree celebration video, the crowd enjoyed a performance of “Seasons of Love” from the musical Rent, courtesy of its cast who will begin performing at The Palace Theatere in the coming weeks, before the GMC’s Board Chair, Matt Cookson, awarded LeBlanc with his official title of Greater Manchester Chamber 2022 Citizen of the Year. A champagne toast, given by Caitlin McCormick of UnitedHealthcare rounded out the evening.

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