Koch CEO honored at Excellence in Mentoring awards

FROM LEFT: Peter Koch holds his Individual Leadership Award, accompanied by National Mentoring Partnership CEO David Shapiro and Jo-Ann Schofield, the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership President and COO.
Posted 1/25/13

WASHINGTON – Peter A. Koch, CEO of Rhode Island’s largest eye care practice, Koch Eye Associates, was honored by the National Mentoring Partnership’s board of directors with the 2013 Excellence in Mentoring in America: Individual Leadership award.

The awards ceremony, which took place on Wednesday night at a reception and dinner at the Library of Congress, was the kickoff event for the third annual National Mentoring Summit.

Koch was honored by the board for a lifetime of mentoring. According to a release, Koch has mentored two students himself and offers employees time to volunteer as mentors.

Koch sponsors recreational and educational field trips for his company’s mentors and mentees and, according to a release, has arranged for mentored youth to have free eye exams at Koch Eye Associates.

“He is a donor, a corporate sponsor, chair of the partnership’s golf tournament and catalyst for funding to the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership,” said the release. “In honor of his father, he closes his office one day every year so all of his 300 employees can volunteer.”

Koch has been a board member of the Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership for 15 years and currently serves as the organizations treasurer.

“It was my responsibility to assist the less fortunate. … There are heartbreaking stories of children in need. You all know them. You all see them. Mentoring ignited a passion in me that will never be extinguished, and I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” said Koch in prepared remarks.

Koch was one of five to receive an Excellence in Mentoring award, including: U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, (Civic Leadership award), The 3M Co. (Corporate Leadership award), and Dr. Raymund Parees, who was recognized for his volunteer leadership of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s Nationwide Hispanic Advisory Council (Individual Leadership award).

Recipients were described as those who “have gone above and beyond in mentoring and leading policy efforts; corporate or philanthropic support; and demonstrating extraordinary commitment to enhance and expand mentoring opportunities for our young people.”

“Sen. Schumer and Sen. Hatch, 3M, Peter Koch and Dr. Paredes are role models for us all and demonstrate the effect individuals in all sectors and through diverse actions can have in ensuring we can reach a day when every child who wants and needs a mentor will have one,” the association’s president and CEO David Shapiro said in prepared remarks.

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