Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of New York Road Runners, will receive the Sports Leadership Award from the March of Dimes New York Division at its 29th annual Sports Luncheon on November 28 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
Also set to be honored, with the organization’s Corporate Leadership Award, is Tony Petitti, president and CEO of MLB Network.
Past recipients of the awards include New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi, NBA Commissioner David Stern, former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, baseball greats Mickey Mantle and Cal Ripken, Jr., tennis legends Andre Agassi and Venus Williams, basketball Hall of Famers Patrick Ewing and Lisa Leslie, and the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team.
As president and CEO of NYRR and race director of the ING New York City Marathon, Wittenberg is responsible for setting strategy and overseeing the business and operations of NYRR. The first woman to lead NYRR, Wittenberg along with her team has expanded the organization’s commitment to the five boroughs of New York City through youth running events and community health programs. In 2011, the ING New York City Marathon had more than 47,000 finishers, brought $340 million in revenue to the city, and raised more than $34 million for charities.
Wittenberg joined NYRR in late 1998 and became its first Chief Operating Officer in 2000; in 2005, she became president and CEO as well as race director of the Marathon. In 1987, Wittenberg won the Marine Corps Marathon and in 1988 competed in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth, and infant mortality.
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg