Diane and Mark Wladis are honored to be selected as 2020's Outstanding Philanthropists by
the Association of Fundraising Professionals NY Chapter. In 2019 and 2020 the Wladis’ chaired
The Gala Fundraising Event for The Manlius Pebble Hill School. The couple has been honored
together in the past for their philanthropic activities and efforts to effect positive change for an
inclusive and diverse community: In 2017 with The Community of Color Award presented by the
Kaleidoscope Dance Theater in Auburn, NY; and in 2009 by the United Way with the
“Celebrating People in Action” Award. They have been married for 30 years, live in Manlius, NY
and have four kids: Jacqueline, Harrison, Andrew and Tyler.
Diane Wladis is the co-founder of Strategic Development Specialists, a government relations
firm, where she brings her grant writing experience working with not-for-profits and
championing various arts organizations throughout the region. While working as a freelance
artist and writer, she has served for over 29 years as an active community volunteer with such
organizations as Make-A-Wish Foundation, The American Heart Association, The Samaritan
Center, Girl Scouts of America, The Jewish Community Center and Stone Quarry Hill Art Park.
She has spearheaded the fundraising efforts for A Good Life Youth Foundation, The Syracuse
Children’s Theatre, The Auxiliary of Menorah Park, and The Friends of Gifford Family Theatre. In
conjunction with Art Zimmer and The Syracuse New Times, she co-founded and co-produced
the first three seasons of The Syracuse Area Live Theatre Youth (SALTY) Awards to recognize the
talents of Central New York students. She is a 1990 graduate of Syracuse University’s Newhouse
School of Communications where she majored in Journalism and minored in Art History.
Mark Wladis is the founder and owner of The Wladis Law Firm in East Syracuse, NY. He is a 1989
graduate of Syracuse University Law School and in 1994 received his masters in Taxation. His
firm covers a range of specialties from Business to Environmental Law, Estate Planning,
Commercial Banking, Government Relations and Real Estate. He has been involved in numerous
community organizations including serving on the Board of Trustees of Onondaga Community
College, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Success By 6, and Campaign Chair for The
Jewish Federation of CNY. Together with his brother Steven, he carries on the 25-year old
family tradition of The Wladis Family Hats and Glove Drive. The program provides more than
11,000 hats and gloves to every Syracuse City School students from kindergarten to fifth grade.