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Howard Brodsky to be honored as 2024 Citizen of the Year

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2024 Citizen of the Year Howard Brodsky – who leads with heart, ingenuity, and dedication to addressing complex societal challenges – will be honored April 4 at the DoubleTree Hilton. File photo.

MANCHESTER, NH – Howard Brodsky, co-founder and Chairman of CCA Global Partners, has been selected as the 2024 Greater Manchester Chamber’s Citizen of the Year.

Brodsky will be honored on Thursday, April 4, at the Chamber’s Citizen of the Year  Celebration, taking place at 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown. This annual event, presented by Elliot Health System, is an opportunity for Chamber members, community members, friends, family, and colleagues of Brodsky to celebrate his accomplishments and dedication to the city of Manchester.  

Brodsky’s journey embodies a unique blend of heart, ingenuity, and dedication to addressing complex societal challenges. His unwavering commitment to improving lives and building a better world is evident in every facet of his career, both as a successful businessman and a compassionate community leader.  

Brodsky’s roots in Manchester are profound, having attended Ash Street Grammar School and Central  High School. His father’s dream of owning a local business materialized in the form of “Dean’s Carpet,” a  small, family carpet store on Elm Street. Tragedy struck at a young age when Brodsky lost his father to cancer, a pivotal moment that fueled his lifelong dedication to small businesses and community betterment. Taking over the family flooring store after college, Brodsky co-founded the Carpet  Cooperative of America, now known as CCA Global Partners, in 1984.  

As the force behind CCA Global, now a $14 billion company, Brodsky has not only shaped one of the largest companies in New Hampshire but has also elevated the city’s profile on a global scale. The impact of CCA Global, the second largest privately held company in New Hampshire and the 14th largest cooperative globally, extends beyond retail, reaching into diverse sectors such as childcare, sporting goods, lighting and more. Notably, the childcare business under CCA Global serves over 35,000 children in New Hampshire and close to 2 million nationwide.  

“Howard’s leadership style is characterized by inclusivity, transparency, and a genuine concern for the well-being of others,” said Keith Spano, President at CCA Global Partners. “He preaches ‘people before  profits’ and has shown an exceptional ability to bring people together, fostering a sense of unity and  shared purpose within our community.” 

Beyond his corporate success, Brodsky’s leadership extends into the heart of the community. He founded the New Hampshire Better Business Bureau (BBB) in 1998, championing ethical business practices. He also helped create the BBB NH Scholarship fund, which has been giving out five scholarships to New Hampshire students each year for over 20 years. Howard and his son, Jeff, worked with the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications to create the Brodsky Prize at Central High School, a  $5,000 scholarship annually awarded to a star New Hampshire high school student pursuing a career in journalism.  

His warm but powerful presence is felt in various capacities – from serving on local boards and facilitating the merger of the Elliot Hospital and Southern New Hampshire Medical Center, to his active involvement in Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Hampshire (BBBSNH) and his impactful contributions to the local arts scene. What sets Brodsky apart is not just his financial contributions but his hands-on involvement in community work. From being a Big Brother to two “littles” in the BBBSNH program to actively participating in fundraising efforts, Brodsky embodies the spirit of compassionate leadership. 

“CCA Global was our very first Site-Based Workplace Mentoring Partner. Mr. Brodsky has also been a  long-time Big Brother to a child who has since aged out of the program. To this day, they have kept in touch and have a bond that will last a lifetime,” said Stacy Kramer, CEO of BBBSNH. “In addition to the ongoing support of our workplace mentoring, Mr. Brodsky has continued to be available to support our  events as master of ceremonies, personally donate to the mission, and offer his ingenious mind to push  the needle forward for BBBSNH.” 

Brodsky’s recent venture, the nonprofit Open Arts United, exemplifies his commitment to equity and inclusion. The organization aims to bring the arts to underrepresented communities and youth in particular, fostering shared experiences and a sense of belonging. Collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester and the YMCA, Open Arts United hosted its inaugural events at the end of November and the beginning of December. 

Howard Brodsky’s philanthropic endeavors extend to Pine Haven, a residential facility for boys with behavioral, educational, or emotional difficulties. He had established a Social Entrepreneurship Student  Leadership program, contributing to the development of young leaders dedicated to community improvement. 

“What distinguishes Howard from so many is how he moves through this community. For Howard, it always starts with relationships, with human connection, and care,” said Paul LeBlanc, President of  Southern New Hampshire University and Past Citizen of the Year. “Howard is the first person many turn to for wise counsel. He is the first one to call when many of us are struggling. He is a cheerleader for  everyone else’s success, while modest about his own considerable accomplishments.”  

As an author, speaker, and justice of the peace, Brodsky is a multifaceted force for good. His enduring connection to Manchester is evident in his residence in his hometown and his continuous support for local causes. Howard Brodsky’s impact goes beyond business success; it is deeply rooted in the relationships he has cultivated, the lives he has touched, and the genuine love he holds for the city and its people. 

“Across the globe, Howard’s leadership and vision have significantly contributed to the growth of the cooperative business model. And yet right here, in the city where he was raised, Howard has also positively impacted and supported many community organizations and individuals. The exceptional duality of giving so much to the greater Manchester community, while sparking meaningful international progress, makes Howard a very deserving Citizen of the Year. The Greater Manchester Chamber is proud to gather the business community on April 4th in recognition of Howard’s efforts,” said Heather  McGrail, President & CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber.  


Howard Brodsky will be recognized as the Citizen of the Year at the Greater Manchester Chamber’s  Citizen of the Year Celebration, presented by Elliot Health System, on Thursday, April 4, 2023, at 5 p.m.  For more information, please visit www.manchester-chamber.org/citizen-of-the-year-celebration.  Sponsorship of this event makes it possible for the Manchester community to celebrate Brodsky, spread his message of integrity and service, and will support the Chamber’s mission to strengthen our business community. For more information about sponsorships and table sales, email sponsorship@manchester chamber.org


ABOUT THE GREATER MANCHESTER CHAMBER 

Incorporated in 1911, the Greater Manchester Chamber (GMC) is the largest business organization in  New Hampshire, focusing its efforts primarily on Manchester and the surrounding communities of  Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Derry, Goffstown, Hooksett, Litchfield, Londonderry, and Merrimack. It is the  Chamber’s mission to be the voice of business, shaping economic success to enhance the quality of life in Greater Manchester. For more information visit www.manchester-chamber.org. 


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