Niskayuna High School inducts three new members to alumni Hall of Fame

Niskayuna High School has selected three alumni to induct into the Hall of Fame in 2023. They will be recognized at a senior assembly in the high school auditorium on June 8 and inducted on June 21 at the commencement ceremony.

The Hall of Fame inductees are:

  • Martha Heller from the Class of 1988
  • David Holl from the Class of 1978
  • John Leonard from the Class of 1978

Martha Heller is a Vice President, Government Relations and Regulatory Counsel at Paramount Global, where she has been part of the company’s worldwide government relations team since 2020. In this role, Martha advises Paramount’s executives on U.S. and international regulatory matters pertaining to streaming services, broadcast and cable television, and programming. Martha also oversees Paramount’s advocacy and representation before U.S. federal agencies, including the Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission.

Prior to joining Paramount, Martha served in a variety of senior roles at the FCC, including as a Division Chief in the Media Bureau, where she supervised a team of 30 attorneys and other professionals; a Front Office manager in the Enforcement Bureau; and an Acting Legal Adviser on Media Issues to former Commissioner Mignon Clyburn. Before her tenure at the FCC, Martha was a Partner at the law firm Wiley LLP in Washington, D.C., where she represented media and telecommunications companies, financial institutions, and trade associations on a wide range of regulatory matters. Martha is a member of the District of Columbia Bar and is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Cornell University.

David Holl joined Mary Kay Inc. in 1993 and in 1996, served as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer. In 2001, he took the helm of the company as Chief Operating Officer and then Chief Executive Officer. Under David’s leadership, the powerhouse cosmetics company expanded into numerous new markets. During David’s tenure as CEO, Mary Kay’s global revenue more than tripled and its sales force reached over three million strong.

To support the company’s growth and future needs in producing best-in-the-
industry skin care, color cosmetics and fragrances, David guided the company to revamp its supply chain and virtually every operating system.

Prior to joining Mary Kay, Inc., David served as Vice President at Citibank in New York. He also served as Financial Analyst for Union Texas Petroleum in Houston. Presently, he is Chairman of the Board of Directors at Mary Kay, a Board Member for the Personal Care Products Council, and Member of the Board at the Dallas Citizens Council.

David earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from Clemson University. He continued his education at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business where he was named the outstanding MBA candidate and was named “Distinguished Alumnus” in 2008. We proudly induct David Holl into the Niskayuna High School Hall of Fame.

John Leonard was a standout multi-sport athlete at Niskayuna High School. He was the captain of the 1978 state championship basketball team. He accepted a scholarship to Manhattan College where he went on to become a four-year letterman, two-time team MVP and captain in his senior year.

John was drafted by the New York Knicks in 1982 with their tenth-round selection and played professionally for the Albany Patroons. He returned to Manhattan College to coach and served as their head basketball coach from 1996 to 1999. He was inducted into the Manhattan College Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

In 2005, John became a mathematics teacher for Chicopee Academy in Massachusetts and in 2009, he was appointed to the role of principal, a position he proudly holds today. His accomplishments as an athlete, educator, and role model define him as a distinguished Niskayuna High School alumnus.

“This year’s inductees into our Hall of Fame have proven themselves to be exceptional in a wide range of fields including global brand management, public service, sports, education and entertainment,” said high school principal John Rickert. “Their accomplishments showcase the outstanding abilities and potential of our alumni, and we are honored to recognize and celebrate their achievements.”

Since 1983, Niskayuna High School has inducted 76 distinguished graduates who have made exceptional contributions in their respective fields.