Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Women of Distinction

June 15, 2017 - 3:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in news, kathy hochul, YWCA, batavia, Women of Distinction.

Press release:

Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul will make a stop at YWCA’s Women of Distinction Awards Gala tonight to address the audience and say a few words about the event and YWCA’s mission. The awards ceremony is at 5:30 p.m. in Stuart Steiner Theatre, 1 College Road.

“We are very honored to host Lt. Hochul for a visit at this year’s Women of Distinction Awards Gala,” YWCA Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

“She will add yet another layer to our prestigious lineup of representatives from the offices of Assemblyman Stephen Hawley, Senator Michael Ranzenhofer, Congressman Chris Collins and Genesee County Legislature.”

The event includes award presentations to Krysten Schmidt of Ladies First, Dee Quinn Miller, Western New York Tech Academy, Zonta Club, the Rev. Roula Alkhouri, Lewis Tree Service and Georgann Carrubba of TenCar Inc. An appetizer reception and basket and live auction will follow at 6:30 p.m. in The Forum.

Tickets are $40 each or $350 for a table of 10. For tickets or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

May 3, 2016 - 12:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, news, YWCA, Women of Distinction.

Press release:

The 2016 Women of Distinction Awards Committee is thrilled to announce this year’s slate of recipients. These community members not only embody YWCA’s mission and vision but they also represent a wide cross section of people working toward the good of others.

They are:

  • Jennifer Nunnery for the military/veteran category;
  • Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Culinary Arts Program for economic empowerment;
  • Courtney Turcer for racial justice;
  • Tompkins Bank of Castile for corporate social responsibility;
  • Genesee County Mental Health Services for peace;
  • and City of Batavia Police Officer James DeFreze for advocacy/civic engagement.

Although some people may think of these awards as only about honoring women, they are acknowledgments to all of those deserving people, organizations and businesses that contribute to the mission and vision of YWCA.

They embody our ultimate goal to empower women, eliminate racism and encourage economic independence, healthy relationships and a community free from violence, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

“Through their work, these people and organizations have truly created paths of a more hopeful future for area youth, speakers of other languages, people with mental health needs, domestic violence victims and community members at large," Walton said. "These recipients are all excellent choices for our very diverse award categories. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments during the second annual Women of Distinction Awards Gala next month.”

The Gala is set for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia. An awards ceremony will be at Stuart Steiner Theatre, to be followed by dinner, social time and an art auction in the Forum at 6:30.

Tickets for the Gala are $40 each or $350 for a table of 10. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For tickets or more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Jennifer Nunnery, a Batavia native, was nominated for Military/Veteran for her dedication to fellow veterans and willingness to share her own Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a way to make her peers more comfortable. After graduating from Batavia High School she joined the Army Military Police Corps where she deployed to Iraq twice in 2003 and 2006 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning home, she attended GCC, obtained a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Brockport State College and pursued law at University at Buffalo Law School. While there, she interned at the Genesee County Public Defender's Office and the Monroe County Public Defender's Office gaining valuable experience and mentorship from some of the most experienced public defenders in Western New York.

Nunnery, who recently opened her own law office Downtown, believes in giving back to her community. For three years she volunteered as a Veteran Mentor with the Batavia Veterans Treatment Court in Batavia City Court and she also serves as an advisor on the GCC Paralegal Advisory Committee and the Alexander High School’s Mock Trial Team.

Genesee Valley Educational Partnership’s Culinary Arts Program not only gives students the experience and hands-on training needed to operate an efficient kitchen, but the program, led by Chef Nathan Koscielski, allows students to compete in culinary events, operate an on-site café and develop all of the necessary skills to enable them to pursue this or a related career field after graduation.

The Batavia-based group was nominated for Economic Empowerment because students learn every facet of the business, from meeting expenses and operating a profitable business to food presentation and farm-to-table concepts.

Courtney Turcer is a teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages at Batavia High School. She was nominated for Racial Justice as a passionate teacher who works tirelessly to provide equal opportunity to the Batavia community’s English language learner population. This year she decided to volunteer her time for a free adult ESOL class on Sunday nights for parents in the Batavia area.

Her commitment and drive have enabled parents and students alike to communicate and understand the English language and therefore be able to pursue their educational and career goals. Her efforts garnered Turcer recognition as a Member of the Month by the state’s TESOL organization.

Genesee County Mental Health Services was nominated for Peace as a result of the agency’s impact on the lives of Genesee County residents each and every day. Agency staff has demonstrated a willingness to become more accessible before, during and after hours, which has kept crisis situations from turning into tragedies. The compassion, patience and understanding shown by all staff members, along with their ability to come together with their skills and talents as a team, is what makes the quality of services provided “priceless.” The effects are far reaching and often touch the lives of family members and friends who have been a part of the clients’ healing journey, a nomination letter stated.

Batavia City Police Officer James DeFreze was nominated for Advocacy/Civic Engagement due to his role of being a lifesaver. Not that he hasn’t had other positive encounters with domestic violence victims, but one in particular says she owes him a debt of gratitude for how he so swiftly came to her side with compassion and patience as she began her journey away from horrific abuse.

“It was the most terrifying and demoralizing experience," she says. "I did not have the strength or courage to go forth with any criminal charges on my abuser because he stripped me of having that power. I cannot express my appreciation or gratitude enough to you.”

Tompkins Bank of Castile was nominated for Corporate Social Responsibility for its constant presence out in the community while also being a source of encouragement for company employees. They contribute thousands of hours to various organizations each year, from coaching little league and picking up litter to gardening, painting and helping to renovate a dilapidated house.

Tompkins has record turnouts during Genesee County United Way’s Day of Caring and countless employees have served in leadership roles at Rotary, YWCA and Business Improvement District boards plus many other nonprofits. Marketing Officer Krysia Mager believes that if it hadn’t been for Tompkins’ management supporting her efforts on the city’s Centennial Committee, she would not have been able to be part of that historic effort. That’s just one of many examples of how a business like Tompkins can have that personal connection with its staff and community members, Mager said.

March 11, 2016 - 1:44pm
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, batavia, news, Women of Distinction.
Press release:
 
YWCA of Genesee County is still accepting nominations for 2016 Women of Distinction awards.

Recipients will be honored during the nonprofit's annual Women of Distinction Awards Celebration June 18 at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road.

These awards are one way to publicly acknowledge the good works of others that have ultimately contributed to the well being of the Genesee County population, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

The selection committee is looking for nominations of women, companies and organizations that have gone above and beyond in the following categories:
  • Racial Justice: Supporting diversity through one's initiatives, philosophies and/or programs. This may include service in a leadership role, with commitment to racial justice and a high standard of courage, integrity and commitment to YWCA's mission to empower women and eliminate racism.
  • Economic Empowerment: Helping women to face the challenge of economic inequality or hardship. This is done with programs or initiatives that create opportunities for women to lift themselves from their current circumstances and gain more options to improve their lives.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Making a continuous effort to recruit, develop and promote a diverse work force and foster an inclusive  environment where women leaders thrive.
  • Military/Veteran: A veteran or related agency that has worked on behalf of veterans and continues to serve through civic, personal and/or professional improvements.
  • Advocacy/Civic Engagement: Working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. Promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.
  • Peace: Striving to make the world a better place by emphasizing the importance of kindness, compassion and peace.
Nominations may be e-mailed to: [email protected] or sent to YWCA of Genesee County, 301 North St., Batavia, NY, 14020. Please include your name and contact information, the award category, name of nominee, some background and your reasons for nominating this person, organization or business.
 
For more information, call (585) 343-5808.
February 27, 2016 - 11:09am
posted by Billie Owens in YWCA, batavia, news, Women of Distinction.

Press release:

YWCA of Genesee County's Women of Distinction Committee is seeking nominations for those outstanding people deserving of one of six Women of Distinction awards this year. The deadline for submitting nominees is March 14.

Recipients will be honored during the annual Women of Distinction Awards Celebration June 18 at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road, Batavia.

Local YWCA officials have been striving to incorporate a more direct relationship between award recipients and the nonprofit's endeavors, including the Domestic Violence Crisis & Prevention Services program, Care & Crisis Helpline, Children and Family Services and Healthy Relationships course in the schools. No matter how big or how small, or whether it's a man, woman, youth or business, all of those efforts have tremendous potential to assist with our goal to empower women and eliminate racism.

These awards are one way to publicly acknowledge the good works of others that have ultimately contributed to the well being of our Genesee County population, Executive Director Jeanne Walton said.

"Our agency has been mirroring YWCA USA in that it is constantly evolving to meet community needs and share its strengths," Walton said. "This year the national organization released a new brand to emphasize that we're on a mission. YWCA of Genesee County's mission is to reach out to women and families with our domestic violence and childcare services while recognizing that we can't do it alone. The Women of Distinction Awards Celebration is a wonderful way to give a nod of thanks for the dedicated generosity of our supporters."

The selection committee is looking for nominations of women, companies and organizations that have gone above and beyond in the following categories:

Racial Justice: Supporting diversity through one's initiatives, philosophies and/or programs. This may include service in a leadership role, with commitment to racial justice and a high standard of courage, integrity and commitment to YWCA's mission to empower women and eliminate racism.

Economic Empowerment: Helping women to face the challenge of economic inequality or hardship. This is done with programs or initiatives that create opportunities for women to lift themselves from their current circumstances and gain more options to improve their lives.

Corporate Social Responsibility: Making a continuous effort to recruit, develop and promote a diverse work force and foster an inclusive  environment where women leaders thrive.

Military/Veteran: A veteran or related agency that has worked on behalf of veterans and continues to serve through civic, personal and/or professional improvements.

Advocacy/Civic Engagement: Working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. Promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes.

Peace: Striving to make the world a better place by emphasizing the importance of kindness, compassion and peace.

Nominations are due by March 14 and may be e-mailed to: [email protected] or sent to YWCA of Genesee County, 301 North St., Batavia, NY, 14020. Please include your name and contact information, the award category, name of nominee, some background and your reasons for nominating this person, organization or business.

For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

February 8, 2016 - 4:05pm
posted by Billie Owens in Women of Distinction, girls scouts of western ny.

Press release:

Western New York is not lacking women who deserve recognition, and the community at large has an opportunity to appreciate distinguished women through the 2016 Women of Distinction Awards hosted by Girl Scouts of Western New York. Nominations are being accepted now through April 30.

Women of Distinction Award recipients have achieved success both professionally and philanthropically through giving back to the community, whether through time, money or another way. Through their life’s work, they have proven their character, have demonstrated a commitment to encouraging young girls and women and have served as positive role models for girls and women throughout Western New York.

Those selected to be 2016 Women of Distinction will develop a mentoring relationship with a Girl Scout, meeting with her to share insights and advice. The Girl Scout will then present the recipient with her award during a ceremony Sept. 15. Past recipients have worked in a variety of jobs – sports coaches, bank managers, news anchors and nuclear engineers – and nominees from any field can be honored with a Woman of Distinction Award.

To qualify, nominees must live or work in Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Orleans, or Wyoming counties. She does not need to have been a Girl Scout, and anyone in the community can nominate someone for a Woman of Distinction Award.

Sponsors help make the 2016 Women of Distinction Awards program possible, and sponsorship opportunities are available.

For more information about the Women of Distinction Awards, the award guidelines and nomination form, or sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.gswny.org/women-of-distinction.

June 14, 2015 - 12:41pm
posted by Traci Turner in batavia, YWCA, Women of Distinction.

p1020228.jpg

(From left: Heather Cummings, Kathy Panepento, Maryanne Arena, Theresa Asmus-Roth, Bill Fritts and Eve Hens.)

The YWCA held its first Women of Distinction Awards Gala to recognize honorees for their service in the community and empowerment of women last night.

The six honorees were Maryanne Arena, the Racial Justice Award, Theresa Asmus-Roth, the Advocacy and Civic Engagement Award, Heather Cummings, the Military and Veterans Award, Eve Hens, the Economic Empowerment Award, Lawley Genesee, the Corporate Social Responsibility Award, and Kathy Panepento, the Peace Award.

The Women of Distinction Committee reviewed the nominations sent in by the community and selected the award recipients for each of the six categories.

In the past, the local YWCA chapter has honored award recipients at its annual Fabulous Females event. This year they chose to hold a Women of Distinction event to fully align with the national YWCA goals and mission to empower women.

U.S. Attorney for Western District of New York William J. Hochul Jr. and Jeanne Walton, executive director of the YWCA, handed out the awards.

“All of the recipients do an incredible job supporting the mission of the YWCA in their own unique way,” Walton said.

The Batavia Daily News' Women in Business honorees were Sheila Hess, Nancy Ciavarri, Sarah Gahagan, Lisa Stratton and Judy Thompson.

p1020187.jpg

Arena is the director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee Community College. Her goal is to teach her students life lessons and serve as a mentor for those who love performing arts.

“I’m trying to build my students to make (the world) a better place,” Arena said.

p1020191.jpg

Asmus-Roth works for RESTORE Sexual Assault Services and is the area supervisor for the GLOW region. She has been an advocate for victims ever since she witnessed a boy being bullied in school. She believes we all can help each other develop and should always mentor those in need.

“It’s a very big honor to be recognized because previous women that won these awards have been an inspiration to me,” Asmus-Roth said.

p1020195.jpg

Cummings has served in the Air Force and is a member of the Air National Guard. She provides crisis intervention counseling for veterans. She also is a sixth-grade teacher at Alexander Central School.

p1020198.jpg

Hens is a coordinator for the Genesee County Business Education Alliance. Her goal is to expose girls to job opportunities they are not used to and help them find their own niche.

p1020202.jpg

Bill Fritts, managing partner at Lawley Genesee, accepted the award on behalf of the Batavia office. Fritts encourages his team to give back to the community and together they help out with many local charity functions.

p1020210.jpg

Panepento is the founder of Crossroads House which has been operating for 18 years. It had always been her dream to open a comfort care home where the terminally ill can bring their life to peaceful closure and receive the dignity they deserve. 

April 22, 2015 - 10:00am
posted by Howard B. Owens in YWCA, Women of Distinction.

Press release:

YWCA’s Women of Distinction Committee is excited to have chosen a slate of exceptional recipients for this year’s Women of Distinction Awards, Chairwoman Colleen Raponi says.

Each one of them represents true integrity in supporting this community with advocacy, equal rights, diversity, sustainability and peace.

They are Maryanne Arena for Racial Justice; Eve Hens for Economic Empowerment; Heather Cummings for Military/Veteran; Kathy Panepento for Peace; Theresa Asmus-Roth for Advocacy/Civic Engagement; and Lawley Genesee Insurance and Risk Management for Corporate Social Responsibility.

“We are thrilled to introduce these recipients, many of which the community may already know, and to shine a light on their talents, passions and efforts to better us all,” Raponi said. “They are all proof that truly outstanding citizens are amongst us every day often working behind the scenes to improve the world one piece at a time.”

Maryanne Arena is the director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee Community College. She may not always choose the more popular “glitzy and glamorous” productions for the college’s Forum Players, but her work always encourages students to dig deeper and explore the unpopular, such as empowerment and racism issues.

Maryanne supports diversity in her initiatives, philosophies and programs, nominator Cathy DeBellis said, and continually proves her commitment to racial justice and support of YWCA’s mission to empower women and eliminate racism.

“I applaud Maryanne for encouraging her students to develop their own work and for giving them the opportunity for their voices to be heard by others,” DeBellis said. “Maryanne believes that it is her social responsibility to encourage her students to grow, not just as students and performers but as responsible individuals in our society.”

Theresa Asmus-Roth began her work as a Genesee County rape crisis coordinator in 2001 before being promoted to supervisor of the entire GLOW region of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming counties. She has been a “tireless advocate” for victims of sexual assaults in her roles as direct service provider, community educator, victim advocate and coordinator/supervisor of services.

“Theresa has demonstrated her ability to positively impact our local community as well as to influence regional and statewide causes,” nominator Anne Bezon said.

Asmus-Roth has served as: coordinator on the Genesee County Crime Victims’ Rights Week planning committee; president of Western New York Coalition for Crime Victims; board member of the state Office of Victim Services; and president of Batavia Kiwanis Club. She was a recipient of the 2012 state Mental Health Association Volunteer of the Year Award and 2014 Kiwanis Club’s Criminal Justice Award and is president of Genesee County Inter-Agency Council.

Lawley Genesee Insurance and Risk Management has continually fostered empowerment and advancement to the women in its workforce. As a part of Lawley Service, Managing Branch Partner William Fritts has been a “tremendous source of encouragement and support, and has created an awesome environment for employees to develop and grow,” according to an agency staff member. Employees are given that extra nudge to continue their education and certifications, and are supported with tuition cost, expenses, and personal time to develop their credentials. Women are also given the opportunity to fill nontraditional roles and have a strong leadership voice. Lawley Genesee is a vibrant member of the community and truly promotes social consciousness and awareness with its multiple team efforts to support governing boards, not-for-profits and various charities.

If you look up the definition of peace in the dictionary, there would be a picture of Kathy Panepento next to it. For the past 17 years, Kathy, a founder of Crossroads House, has taken the mission of comfort care from a vision to an organization that has helped more than 400 area residents make the final journey from this world to the next.

With a knowledge of palliative care, a compassionate heart and a passion for giving people both comfort and control in their last days, Kathy has eased the transition for so many, Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen said.

“As a society we are blessed with an abundance of resources on how to birth and nurture our newborns yet there are precious few resources on how to nurture and usher out our dying,” Allen said. “Meeting all the needs of a dying person requires a person to be doctor, nurse, pastor, counselor, caretaker, aide, cook and custodian. In addition to fulfilling all those roles in some way or another, Kathy has trained hundreds of volunteers over the years to carry on the mission of comfort care.”

Eve Hens has earned the Economic Empowerment Award for her efforts to empower women and girls as a leader of Business Education Alliance. This year BEA offered a Girls’ Engineering Exploration Day so that young women could learn more about the field of engineering, specifically focusing on the skills, education and work habits of successful engineers.

“It was an amazing experience to see girls solving complex problems while working in teams and being proud of their abilities and aptitude,” said her nominator Alexander Middle/High School Principal Shannon Whitcombe. “Eve should be commended for her efforts to empower women and girls to reach for and achieve their goals.”

Whitcombe has also been impressed with Heather Cummings, who she thinks deserves the Military/Veteran Award for her work as an active member of the Air Force Reserves and superintendent of the Air Force Chaplain’s Office. Heather is on call 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week to provide support and assistance for veterans in need. She recently worked with the family of an Air Force veteran who passed away, leaving the family devastated from the loss. Heather and her colleagues provided family members with the support they needed to get through one of the most difficult times in their lives.

“This is just one example of many that represents her commitment to her military family,” Whitcombe said. “Heather gives 100 percent to everything that she does. She will do whatever it takes to ensure that our veterans have the support they need and the respect they deserve.”

The awards will be presented during the 2015 Women of Distinction Awards Gala June 13 at Genesee Community College, 1 College Road. Hosted by William Hochul, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of New York, awards are to begin at 5:30 p.m. in Stuart Steiner Theatre, to be followed by an elegant grazing station dinner at 6:30 in the Forum.

Tickets are $40 and include program, dinner, entertainment and entry to win a door prize. Tables of 10 for $350 and special sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information, call (585) 343-5808.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 
 

Copyright © 2008-2020 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button