2019 Wall of Distinction Inductees

2019 Wall of Distinction Inductees
Posted on 10/07/2019
Congratulations to the 2019 inductees to the Canastota Wall of Distinction!

The Wall of Distinction recognizes Canastota school district alumni who have made outstanding contributions to their community through their professional work, community service and achievements in athletics, business, religion, art and other fields. Their work and character serves as a model for others, especially young people, and a point of pride for the entire community.

The Wall of Distinction, begun in 2009, is an initiative of the Canastota Alumni Association. Each class is announced during the annual Alumni Banquet in June and a formal induction ceremony is held each October.

The 2019 induction banquet will be on October 19 at Theodore’s. Stephen Tornatore, the Wall of Distinction Chairperson, will emcee the event; Peter Finocchiaro will deliver the welcome address; Canastota Superintendent Shawn Bissetta will introduce the Board of Education; and Rev. William Wilcox will give an invocation and benediction. Mr. Bissetta and Mr. Tornatore will present the induction awards.

About this year’s honorees:

Lorraine Bruno Arsenault, Class of 1966
Lorraine is the CEO and Investment and Asset Manager of Bruno Properties and Bruno Associates. She is a NYS licensed Real Estate salesperson and certified E-RYT200 yoga instructor. In 2000, she founded The Place at Center in downtown Canastota, where she teaches yoga and practices Quantum Energy Healing. She has served on the Canastota Public Library’s Board of Trustees, including six years as president, and on the Canastota Revitalization Committee. She is a founding member of the Canastota Beautification Committee, the Canastota Writers Group and the Canastota Bereavement Group.

She is a past recipient of the Canastota Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award for her work at Bruno Properties, and she was the first recipient of the Vincent V. Albanese Alumni Achievement Award. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Marymount College. Lorraine and her husband Joel Arsenault live in Canastota and have two daughters, Elise and Ariana.

Tracey Carpenter Burkey, Class of 1981
Tracey is currently building her own business in Central New York as a representative of HelmsBriscoe, a hotel sourcing company based in Scottsdale, Arizona, after spending more than 30 years in the local tourism industry. Tracey joined the Syracuse Convention & Visitors Bureau in 1987 and become Director of Sales & Services. When the organization rebranded as Visit Syracuse, she served as Vice President of Sales & Services and then as Vice President of Visitor and Partner Engagement. She served on the VVS school board for six years.

She is a past recipient of the NYS Tourism Executive of the Year and the Convention Sales Professionals International Shawn Corwin-Mylan Service Award. She serves as Vice Chair of the Syracuse-Utica American Cancer Society Board of Advisors and hosts a team, Tracey’s Angels, in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences with a minor in Travel and Tourism from Niagara University. Tracey and her husband Fred live in Liverpool with their son Justin. Her son Michael and his partner Riley live in Salt Lake City; her daughter Andrea and her boyfriend Chris live in Chicago; and her stepson Dan and his wife Sarah live in Liverpool with their children Hannah and Conner.

Dr. Michael J. Clarke, Class of 1981
Michael is current Assistant Dean/Assistant Professor for the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Pharmacy, Inova Campus, a position he has held since 2007. During much of this time, he also served as Vice Chair of the Institutional Review Board for the Inova Health System. Prior to joining VCU, he held prominent positions at a number of hospitals in Northern Virginia, including Clinical Coordinator, Clinical Specialist and Director of Pharmacy. He also spent several years as a staff pharmacist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Maryland. He is a long-standing member of Virginia Society of Health and served as a regional president and a member of the Education Committee. He is a member of several professional organizations and the Kappa Psi Pharmaceutical Fraternity. He is also on the board of directors for NOVA Scripts Central, a not-for-profit pharmacy serving patients of Free Clinics in Northern Virginia and received the Board of Directors Service Award.

He has spent many years as a volunteer coach and umpire with the Fairfax Little League and is on the Board of Directors. He chaired the Corporate Sponsors for his local high school athletic boosters and is a founding member of the Braddock District Land Use Committee for Fairfax County. He has volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Northern Virginia Hypothermia Program and FACETS Meal Preparation and Delivery to Fairfax County homeless. He is a graduate of Albany College of Pharmacy, completed a residency in Hospital Pharmacy in Danbury, CT, and University of Buffalo’s Doctor of Pharmacy program. Michael and his wife Sandy live in Fairfax, VA, and have two children, Mitchell and Carolyn.

Douglas M. Gustin, Class of 1975
Doug has been employed with the U.S. Postal Service for 34 years, having served as a union steward since 2007, and has received the USPS Million Mile Award. He is a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus and the Canastota Civic Club and served for 20 years on the Canastota school board, including terms as president and vice president. He is a member of the Canastota Planning Board and the Canastota Alumni Association, and he represents Canastota on the Madison-Oneida BOCES Board of Education. He previously spent 15 years serving the Hook and Ladder Company of the Canastota Fire Department. He volunteers on International Boxing Hall of Fame weekend and has co-chaired the Postal Induction ceremony for 30 years.

He is an avid bowler and in addition to competing, he has served on the Syracuse Bowling Association Board of Directors. He earned an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science from SUNY Morrisville. He and his wife Christine live in Canastota. His family includes his mother Joyce and his late father Lee; his sister Debbie and her husband Art Ford; daughters Kassandra, Stephanie, Rebecca, Jessica and Jenna; and granddaughters Aaliyah and Athena.

Douglas R. Holdridge, Class of 1970
Doug spent his 28-year professional career at ADP, the largest payroll and human resource company in the world, where he received many awards, including Employee of the Quarter five times. He was part of a volunteer team of employees who worked at the Syracuse Rescue Mission. He retired in 2010. He was a member of the Lincoln Volunteer Fire Department for more than 50 years and held membership in the Madison County Fireman’s Association and the Madison County Fire Police Association. As president of the latter, he orchestrated the formation of the Madison County Fire Police Task Force. He remains active in 4-H, serving as an instructor for tree identification, a volunteer evaluator for Madison County 4-H Demonstration Day, and a judge at the Madison County Fair. He is an active Board Member of the Clockville Cemetery Association, and he is Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Madison County Soil and Water District as well as the Peterboro Conservation Club. Doug previously served as a Lincoln Town Justice and Lincoln Town Supervisor.

In 1996, Doug lost his son, Nate, a Canastota High School senior. Since then, Doug has worked to give back to the school and community in Nate’s memory. He founded the Canastota Running Club and The Nate Race, now in its 24th year and held annually on Boxing weekend. He spearheaded efforts to raise funds for student scholarships, to support camp registration fees at St. Lawrence College, an all-weather nine-lane school track, and a memorial garden to honor deceased students and alumni who were active in sports. Doug earned an Associate’s Degree in Natural Resource Conservation from SUNY Morrisville and completed additional computer training at Bryant and Stratton. He and his wife Cindy live in Clockville and have three children: Nate; Melissa, an occupational therapist in the Syracuse school district; and Douglas, a heavy equipment operator for Madison County.


Gregory Joseph Wright, Class of 1978
Gregory is currently a physician assistant (PA) in the emergency department of the Syracuse Veteran’s Administration Hospital and serves as an instructor in the LeMoyne College PA program. He recently earned a special license to prescribe medication for opioid addiction. Before joining the VA, he worked at St. Joseph’s Hospital’s emergency department, New Venture Gear, Crouse Hospital and Oneida Healthcare. At both St. Joseph’s and Oneida, he opened brand new urgent care centers. He continues to volunteer with the Greater Lenox Ambulance Service, holding many administrative and leadership roles within the organization. He is currently Madison County’s ALS representative to the Mid-State Regional Medical Advisory Council, is a certified Ambulance Privacy Officer and Ambulance Documentation Specialist, a NYS certified paramedic, a regional CME evaluator and has taught basic and advanced EMA classes. He has also served the Canastota Volunteer Fire Department.

He was recognized by the Canastota Area Association of Churches for leading a medical mission to Nicaragua and continues to lead a team of 20 each year to continue this work. He received the Canastota Rotary Club’s Roses to the Living Award and Paul Harris Award. As a member of the Cazenovia Lodge of Free and accepted Masons, Greg received the Grand Cross of Color. He has been recognized by the Physician Assistants of CNY and New York State Society of Physician Assistants as the “Physician Assistant of the Year.” He studied Radiologic Technology at SUNY Upstate Medical Center, and after four years as a medical radiographer, attended the Albany-Hudson Valley Physician Assistant Program. Gregory is the oldest son of the late Leland and Mary (Sue) Wright. He and his wife Diane live in Chittenango with their daughter Karen. Daughter Margaret lives in Rome and daughter Tess and her husband Anthony live in Canastota.