After eight years as chairman of the Holocaust Memorial & Tolerance Center, Howard S. Maier will leave the position, it was announced Tuesday.
The announcement came at the Center's annual Tribute Dinner at Temple Israel in Great Neck.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose eldest sister is married to Maier, attended the event and praised Maier's leadership, citing the more than 130,000 students the Center has helped educate through its programs since 2007.
Maier became involved with the Center 14 years ago and was elected chairman in 2004. During his tenure, he oversaw several major upgrades of the Center that transformed it as an institution, and ensured that its message of tolerance would reach thousands more for years to come.
Educational programs for students, teachers, employers and law enforcement personnel were implemented. A $3 million renovation was completed in 2010, turning a place for Holocaust survivors to tell their stories into a state-of-the-art museum that can teach after the first-hand witnesses are gone.
The Center is currently constructing the Claire Friedlander Education Institute through an $800,000 grant received earlier this year.
The renovation of the Center and expansion of its mission were accomplished due to the efforts of Maier and fellow board members, who decided to make the now 20-year-old institution a force for understanding the future as well as the past.
Maier will serve until the end of the year. Steven Markowitz, the Center's vice chairman, will take over as chairman Jan. 1, 2013.