It was a blustery, sunny afternoon in front of the steps of City Hall, but Bill Lynch, in his motorized wheel chair, was undeterred and as attentive as ever as Comptroller John Liu announced his candidacy for mayor.

Being present at such occasions is nothing new for a political consultant of his stature and prominence, and that reputation was given an additional brush recently when he was honored by the Northeast Region NAACP with an award created in his name.

Lynch, the founder and chairman of his highly acclaimed consulting firm, was tapped by the civil rights organization for his exemplary career as one of the top political strategists in the nation. And at the top of his fabulous career are the tactics and thinking he applied while helping Nelson Mandela become president of South Africa and David Dinkins to become the first African-American mayor of New York City.

“I’m thrilled to have an award named in my honor,” said Lynch, who is often affectionately referred to as the “rumpled genius.” “To be recognized for what I love to do is humbling. My commitment to my work and to mentoring young people has come easy for me because I believe in putting people and community first, and when you do that, you always win.”

Winning is something Lynch has been doing since his early years as a political activist and advisor. His first successful campaign was in 1975 when Diane Lacey Winley won a district leader seat in Central Harlem. Five years later, Lynch was a key coordinator and organizer for Sen. Edward Kennedy with subsequent management of campaigns for the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Walter Mondale in 1984. A year later, he guided David Paterson to a successful notch in New York’s state Assembly.

From 1985 to 1989, he served as chief of staff to Mayor Dinkins while continuing to consult on a number of political affairs locally, nationally and internationally.

“Bill Lynch is not only a great political strategist, but also an honorable man of great character,” said Marvin Bing, the Northeast regional director, who was once an intern at Lynch’s firm. “He is a champion of doing what’s right for the community, and his contributions are countless. This award is just one small way we can ensure that his name will forever be remembered for all the hard work he has done in Harlem and throughout the country.”

The award was sponsored by the Northeast region of the NAACP, which stretches from Maine to Delaware, according to a press release. U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz and Pittsburgh City Councilman R. Daniel Lavelle were the first recipients of the award, which was presented during the NAACP’s annual Regional Civil Rights Advocacy Training Institute Conference in Pittsburgh during the Medgar Wiley Evers Awards Gala.

Founded in 1999, Bill Lynch Associates LLC uses the experience and knowledge of its diverse staff to consult with individuals and organizations in the corporate, political, labor and nonprofit communities.