What's New

Zack Hutchins
Director of Communications

September 3, 1999 

Kailbourne, top banker and civil leader, will receive prestigious Corning Award

'Real-life George Bailey' to be honored at Business Council Annual Meeting Sept. 22

Erland E. "Erkie" Kailbourne, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Fleet National Bank and a business leader known as a model of corporate citizenship, has been chosen to receive the prestigious Corning Award for Excellence.

The Business Council presents the award each year to a New Yorker who has demonstrated an outstanding level of accomplishment and a deep and sustaining commitment to the people of New York State.

The award, which is sponsored by Corning Incorporated, will be presented Wednesday, Sept. 22, at The Business Council's Annual Meeting at The Sagamore in Bolton Landing. The meeting will run Sept. 22-24.

"Erkie Kailbourne is a real-life George Bailey, a banker who has succeeded in business through unwavering commitment to community," said Daniel B. Walsh, president/CEO of The Business Council.

"Whether he has been leading small-town community organizations or serving on the board of The Business Council and the SUNY Board of Trustees, Erkie has always shown business leaders how success in business can and should go hand in hand with community involvement," Walsh added.

Kailbourne served with the Fleet organization or its predecessors for 37 years before he retired on December 31, 1998.

A native of Wellsville, New York, he earned a degree in business administration from State University College at Alfred in 1961 before joining the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 1962. He served in various capacities with the Comptroller's Office in this country and abroad through 1966.

He joined First Trust Union Bank in Wellsville in 1966 and served in various positions there until he was elected president in 1977. After First Trust Union Bank joined Security New York State Corp. in 1973, he was named a director of Security New York State and later president of Security Trust Company of Rochester in 1981.

Norstar Bancorp acquired Security New York State in 1984, and Kailbourne was named chairman and CEO of Security Norstar and, in 1987, chairman and CEO of Norstar Bank, N.A. when it merged its Buffalo and Rochester banks in 1987. In 1993 he became chairman and CEO of Fleet Bank, a $11.1 billion banking subsidiary of Fleet Financial Group, based in Albany.

Kailbourne has worked for a range of professional and civic organizations. He chaired "Business Backs the Bills," a successful campaign to keep the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League in Buffalo. He has also been a volunteer director for public television stations in Buffalo, Albany, and Rochester. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees of State University of New York, chairman of The John R. Oishei Foundation in Buffalo, and a director of the New York ISO, Albany International, Jaran Aerospace Corporation, and Rand Capital.

Kailbourne has served as a National Director of Robert Morris Associates (an organization of commercial loan officers) and as chairman of its Empire Chapter. He is a past director of the New York Business Development Corporation and of The Business Council, and of the chambers of commerce of Buffalo and Rochester. He is also past chairman of the New York Bankers Association.

The award will be presented by Roger Ackerman, chairman/CEO of Corning Incorporated and past chairman of The Business Council. The award is a piece of original Steuben Glass, hand-crafted by masters in Corning, New York.

Previous Corning Award recipients are: Robert B. Wegman (1998); Judith S. Kaye (1997); John J. Phelan, Jr. (1996); Barber B. Conable, Jr., (1995); James W. Kinnear (1994); Muriel Siebert (1993); Hugh L. Carey (1992); David Harden (1991); Raymond T. Schuler (1990); Warren M. Anderson and Stanley Fink (1989); Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. (1988); James D. Robinson III (1987); Franklin A. Thomas (1986); Kitty Carlisle Hart (1985); Frank T. Cary (1984); Clifton Garvin (1983); David Rockefeller (1982); Richard R. Shinn (1981); Melvin C. Holm (1980); and Walter A. Fallon (1979).