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Photo: Joseph Holland
2017 Honoree
Joseph Holland 1978

Joseph H. Holland is a Harlem-based writer, attorney, entrepreneur, civic leader and ordained minister with three decades of experience building institutions that serve the community. At Cornell, he was an All-Ivy Tailback, playing for Coach Bob Blackman while earning All-American honors.

Holland's inspirational self-help book, "The Touchstones Tools: Building Your Way To An Inspired Life" (touchstonetools.com), was published in October 2015. His spiritual memoir, "From Harlem With Love: An Ivy Leaguer's Inner-City Odyssey" was published in 2012. His first play, "Cast Me Down", garnered six AUDELCO nominations and enjoyed a nation-wide tour before running Off-Broadway. His second play, "Homegrown," experienced two extended runs at Harlem's landmark National Black Theatre.

Holland conceived and produced a motivational, self-help video series stemming from his work at a Harlem-based homeless shelter that he founded and operated for a dozen years. The video series is currently being used as the Touchstone Tools YouTube channel and as the Holistic Hardware DVD in programs nationally and internationally.

Holland has used his entrepreneurial skills to build commercial enterprises and expand employment opportunities in Harlem. He was instrumental in establishing an American Express Travel Office, a Ben & Jerry's ice cream parlor, a Body Shop retail store, and Harkhomes, a homeless shelter whose residents found work in these businesses. He served for many years as Vice-President of the Harlem Business Alliance and co-founded the Beth Hark Crisis Center. Holland also served as New York State Housing Commissioner where he orchestrated the planning and funding of hundreds of units of affordable housing in various locations across New York State.

Holland founded and serves as CEO of Kingdom Partners Group ("KPG"), a real estate company whose mission is to financially empower churches through the strategic development of their real estate assets.

Holland has received awards and honors for both his business and social service accomplishments. In 1993 President Bill Clinton recognized Mr. Holland in a White House ceremony for his community-building initiatives. In 1991 Holland was honored with President George H.W. Bush's Volunteer Action Award and with New York City's Entrepreneur of the Year Award. He has also received an honorary degree from the City University of New York Law School.

At Cornell, he earned a B.A. (1978) and M.A. (1979) and was an All-American and an Academic All-America football player, Holland has served as a member of the University's Board of Trustees since 1988. He holds his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School (1982). Holland is a member of the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame and the College Sports & Information Directors Academic All-American Hall of Fame.

2015 Honoree
Gen. John M. Paxton, Jr. , 1973
2013 Honoree
Tim Ring, 1979
2011 Honoree
Peter Kornel Gogolak, 1964
2009 Honoree
Ed Marinaro, 1972
2007 Honoree
Louis J. Conti, 1941
2005 Honoree
Thomas D. MacLeod, 1970
2003 Honoree
Charles F. Knight, 1957
2001 Honoree
Richard B. Loynd, 1950