Syphax Receives Award for Civic Leadership

Mort Friedman Civic Leadership Award honors his exemplary public service

September 9, 2020

Social entrepreneur and businessman Scott Syphax was recently awarded the prestigious Mort Friedman Civic Leadership Award in recognition of his exemplary public service in the capital region.

In its seventh year, the award honors outstanding individuals who demonstrate a strong commitment to public service through their work and community leadership. It is named for the late Mort Friedman, a Sacramento businessman who championed the power of charitable giving and civic engagement, according to his family.

“The Friedman family is proud to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Scott Syphax has made to the Sacramento community, in both his personal and professional life. His work at Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program (NELP) encourages reflection and dialogue about our responsibilities to each other and to ourselves,” said Mark Friedman, President, Fulcrum Property Group. “It has fostered relationships of trust and respect that have made our community stronger and more cohesive. Personally, Scott and his wife Celes are models of humility, generosity, and civic engagement. We are pleased to count them among our friends and to honor their contributions with this award.”

Currently President of Syphax Strategic Solutions, and producer and host of PBS KVIE’s Studio Sacramento, Syphax has been a prominent local leader for decades. Prior to founding his national management consulting firm, Syphax was the Chairman & CEO of The Nehemiah Companies, a social enterprise and real estate development firm that—among other major initiatives—strengthened Sacramento’s downtown through smart-growth projects.

Syphax’s professional successes are matched by his commitment to community service. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Sacramento Region Community Foundation. In the past, he has served in leadership roles for Valley Vision, American Leadership Forum, Sutter Health Sacramento Sierra Region, the Coro Foundation, and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“I am honored and humbled to receive the Friedman award. Mort Friedman’s legacy and contribution to Sacramento’s civic life continue to inspire those seeking the betterment of our region. I want to thank the Friedman family for their generous support of the Nehemiah Emerging Leaders Program and for highlighting our work in empowering and elevating our region’s next generation of leaders,” said Syphax.

As a recipient of the award, Syphax was able to direct a grant from the Mort Friedman Civic Leadership Endowment at the Sacramento Region Community Foundation to a nonprofit of his choice. He selected NELP, which he founded in 2009 to develop a diverse leadership pipeline in the capital region. For more information about NELP, visit



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