Meet the 2023 MBAA Spring Award Recipients!

The Moses Brown Alumni Association is proud to announce the winners of the 2023 Spring Alumni Awards who will be honored at this year’s Reunion celebrations.


25th Reunion Achievement Award

The Achievement Award is presented to a member of the 25th Reunion Class in recognition of professional excellence and outstanding service to the community.

Irving T. Fain ’98

Irving is the CEO and Founder of Bowery, the largest vertical farming company in the U.S. that designs and builds smart indoor environments to reimagine the future of food. Through its network and proprietary technology, Bowery is transforming the fresh food supply chain to be simpler, safer, and more sustainable. Bowery’s farms are 100x+ more productive than traditional agriculture while using a fraction of the resources.. Bowery is sold in over 1,500 locations including Whole Foods, Ahold Delhaize, Amazon, Safeway/Albertsons, and Walmart and is backed by tech and agriculture leaders with $647M in equity and debt raised from investors.

The consulting firm EY named Irving its 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year in New York, and Goldman Sachs has chosen him for its Builders & Innovators Award three years in a row. The Wall Street Journal and Business Insider have also repeatedly placed Irving and Bowery on lists of top innovative startups and climate-tech industry leaders. Before founding Bowery, Fain was the co-founder and CEO of CrowdTwist, a loyalty marketing business that was acquired by Oracle. Prior to CrowdTwist he ran a division within Clear Channel Online focused on moving the largest radio group in the world into the digital age; in this role he launched and ran iHeartRadio.


MBAA Distinguished Alum Award

The Distinguished Alum Award recognizes an alum for significant, long-term success in personal and professional achievements, who has made outstanding contributions to their profession and has rendered distinguished service to the public welfare.

Brian A. Nichols ’83

Brian Nichols currently holds the position of Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs for the U.S. Department of State. Assistant Secretary Nichols previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Zimbabwe from 2018 to 2021, promoting democracy, rule of law and human rights in Zimbabwe while managing multi-dimensional humanitarian crises brought on by corruption, climate change, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Assistant Secretary Nichols also previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to Peru from 2014 to 2017, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) from 2011 to 2013, and from 2007 to 2010, he served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Colombia. Brian has earned 27 awards during his diplomatic career, including a Presidential Distinguished Service Award, two Presidential Meritorious Service Awards, and the Charles E. Cobb, Jr. Award for Initiative and Success in Trade Development.


MBAA Faculty/Staff Member of the Year

Each year, the Moses Brown Alumni Association honors a member of the faculty or staff for their impact on the school community. Chosen from teachers and members of the staff, the recipient is recognized as an outstanding professional, educator, mentor, and friend.

Hugh A. Madden ’84

Presently Director of Admission grades 9-12 and Director of Financial Aid, Hugh has been a member of the staff since 1991. Hugh was previously Director of Admission and Financial Aid, and Assistant/Associate and Interim Director of Admission. For many years, he was the ninth grade class dean and served for over 12 years on the Upper School Discipline Committee. Hugh was also a much-sought-after advisor, and frequently chaperones field trips. In addition, Hugh has been a member of the MBAA Board and is presently a member of the Hall of Fame Committee, having also been inducted into the Hall of Fame as a member of the 1984 Baseball Team.