Robert S. Budd, CEO, FREE, Named Imagine Awards Finalist

February 25, 2020 | Press


Old Bethpage, NY- Robert S. Budd, CEO, Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) was named a Finalist in the Leadership Excellence category in the 8th Annual Long Island Imagine Awards.


The Long Island Imagine Awards was created to offer formal acknowledgement to some of Long Island’s most effective and innovative nonprofit organizations. Last year’s event attracted over 400 attendees from the nonprofit and business communities and an even larger crowd is expected this year.


Winners will be announced LIVE at the awards gala at the Crest Hollow Country Club on Tuesday, April 28 2020. Nominated organizations, their constituents and the Long Island business community are expected to attend.

More than 160 entries were submitted for consideration in 5 categories, including Innovation, Leadership Excellence, Rising Star, Social Impact and Arts & Culture.  Mr. Budd is one of four finalists in the Leadership Excellence category.


Mr. Budd was nominated for his key leadership role in providing innovative strategies that have expanded FREE’s organizational structure from an annual budget of $1 million in 1985, serving forty-five individuals to a network of organizations providing over $135 million of services in 2019 touching the lives of  over 35,000 individuals annually. Mr. Budd has spent over 35 years as a champion of inclusion for individuals with disabilities and supporting the belief that everyone deserves a chance to live, work and socialize in a community of their choice. He takes a leadership role on many advocacy boards and is working on initiatives that will help direct the future of services for individuals with disabilities.


“I am honored to be a finalist for a Leadership Excellence Imagine Award,” said Robert Budd. “Congratulations to the other finalists for making a difference in our community and thank you to Ken Cerini for supporting nonprofit organizations and the important work they do.”


Finalists were chosen by Long Island business professionals during preliminary judging. Members of the Awards’ Distinguished Judging Panel selected the Imagine Awards winners from among the Finalists during final judging.


“Being named a Finalist in The Long Island Imagine Awards is an important achievement,” said Ken Cerini, Founder of the Long Island Imagine Awards.  “It means that the Organization has been identified as a leader on Long Island, exhibiting impactful and innovative operations.  Congratulations to all of the Finalists on their achievement.”


Details about Long Island Imagine Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at

Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE)

Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE), founded in 1977, benefits and proudly supports more than 4,000 individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. It is the mission of FREE to help individuals of all abilities realize their full potential. FREE provides a diverse array of supports and services including housing; recovery services; transition to work; employment; day, community and family services; respite; crisis services; education and after school support; specialty health services; and advocacy.


The Family of FREE Network collaborates with a variety of diverse 501(c)(3) nonprofit partners on educational, vocational, rehabilitative and a myriad of other creative initiatives to enhance the local communities and the lives of more than 35,000 people that reside within them. Each of the valued partners of the FREE Network has a unique mission, vision and strategic goals that are aligned in purpose, and embody the spirit of the meaningful work we do every day. For more information, please call 516-870-1614 or visit