The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Board of Trustees recently awarded Owen E. Herne of Buffalo, a member of the Class of 1999, the 2009 Rising Star Award during the College’s Annual Reunion Weekend.
The award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement and/or exceptional contribution to the Alumni Association and/or the College in the first 10 years of alumni status. The Alumni Association selected Herne in recognition of his outstanding achievements as a lawyer, already distinguished career and commitment to the College.
As one of only three in-house attorneys for the Seneca Nation, Herne has been an integral part of the legal team charged with advising the president, treasurer, clerk, Tribal Council and more than 70 departments and programs on issues related to tribal governance, taxation and business matters.
Herne also advises nation committees and boards, including those overseeing health, education, capital improvements and investment management.
He has assisted the council in many legal matters that include the creation of the SNI Capital Improvements Authority, the land acquisition initiative and the regulation of tobacco and petroleum.
“He regularly rises above and beyond the call of duty and consistently exceeds expectations,” read the citation he was presented. “Owen’s continuous contributions will have positive effects on the nation and its members for decades to come.”