David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy and Community Engagement

Born in 1891 in Minsk, Russia, David Sarnoff emigrated first to New York, spending his early years as an office boy at Marconi Wireless telegraph Company and moving up the ladder as he successfully advocated for the expanded use of what we call radio: wireless telegraphy and telephony on ships, trains, and over land. During his early years at Marconi, Sarnoff also demonstrated the first use of radio on a railroad line, the Lackawanna Railroad Company’s link between Binghamton, New York, and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and promoted the demonstration of the Marconi regenerative receiver at the Marconi station at Belmar, New Jersey. ¬†Throughout the war years, Sarnoff remained Marconi’s Commercial Manager and oversaw the company’s factory in Roselle Park, New Jersey.

From 1919 until 1970 he led the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in various capacities. In 1929, Sarnoff engineered the purchase of the Victor Talking Machine Company, the nation’s largest manufacturer of records and phonographs, merging radio-phonograph production at Victor’s large manufacturing facility in Camden, New Jersey. In thirties he began to advocate for the development of broadcast technologies in the home market he had helped create, particularly in the form of electronic television.


This award is presented to an immigrant owned and operated business that:

  • Has a demonstrated commitment to small-business advocacy above and beyond policies that specifically impact their own business or industry.
  • Has a proven history of volunteer efforts to advance and improve the overall small business community and the local community.
  • Has success in advocating for pro-small business policies.
  • Has demonstrated civic engagement and social responsibility.

Nominate an immigrant entrepreneur for the David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy

Previous winners of the David Sarnoff Award for Advocacy