3 local women to be honored as WCNY's 'Makers: Women Who Make America'

Photo from WCNY.org

Three local women are among 10 women being honored Thursday for WCNY’s “Makers: Women Who Make America.”

Posted: Mar. 7, 2018 5:11 PM

Three local women are among 10 women being honored Thursday for WCNY’s “Makers: Women Who Make America.”

The awards began in collaboration with the PBS documentary “Makers: Women Who Make America,” and this is the sixth year that WCNY is giving the Makers awards, The awards are meant to celebrate the achievements of central New York women and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.

The three local women being honored Thursday are Juanita Holmes Bass of Herkimer County, Shelly Cllahan of Oneida County and Carol Musacchio of Oneida County.

The honorees will be recognized at 11 a.m. at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park Wesleyan Chapel in Seneca Falls, followed by a luncheon at 12:30 p.m. at the Gould Hotel in Seneca Falls.

Here is the complete list of the 10 honorees and a bit of information about why they were chosen, provided by WCNY:

Juanita has introduced many to classic American Soul Food at her White House Berries Inn, a nationally-recognized B&B and restaurant she opened in 1989 after restoring the historic Victorian-era building that housed it. In 2001 she closed the Inn but launched Juanita’s Soul Classics, featuring her barbecue sauce, special seasoning mix, and sweet potato pie sold in Central New York stores, and in the case of her pie, included in military rations.

As the executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Shelly works to refute refugee stereotypes, and detail the ongoing contributions by refugees to the economy and cultural life of Utica. Recently, she was instrumental in leading the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council in securing nearly a quarter of a million dollars to build a One World Welcome and Opportunity Center.

Carol has been a behavior specialist at Madison-Oneida BOCES for more than 30 years, making a difference in the lives of 3,000 students with educational challenges. The students Carol supports are students others may choose not to have time for or may give up on. She often makes home visits to support students and their families, and she has formed long-lasting connections with former students and their own children who are now in her classes.

Kerry spends much of her free time making Quilts of Valor for veterans. She organizes sew days, contributes her own money for materials, and travels countless hours to present these very special tribute quilts to physically and psychologically wounded veterans in our region to honor their sacrifices and offer comfort.

Maureen works tirelessly to educate the community about addiction in her role as Associate Director of the BRIDGES Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Recently, Maureen founded Concert for a Cause, a series of events that raise money for worthwhile causes that could benefit from her drive to organize, promote, and run these concert events.

Sandra's passion for local history led her to help create the Town of Sodus Historical Society and have it recognized at county and state levels. She serves on the Sodus Village Board and on the Sodus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and was instrumental in supporting the creation and display of the Sodus Point Coal Trestle mural, which portrays the landmark coal dock, integral to the historic role of Sodus Point in the shipping of coal.

Ellen is a geographer, award-winning teacher, and study abroad director. A member of the Colgate University faculty, Ellen’s students engage with community members over issues like food deserts and sustainability, such as in the town of Waterville where they led focus groups regarding small-business development. In 2016, Australia’s Curtin University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her success in repatriating a trove of paintings by aboriginal Noongar children.

Tina has been an elementary school librarian for 24 years, and is always looking for new ways to inspire, and equip her students for success. She started one of the first maker programs in Onondaga County – her afterschool Book Cooks classes that pair excellent reading materials with innovative recipes for them to try. Visits from guest chefs and field trips to explore restaurant careers expand the learning.

Pamela saw a need, and worked to fill it. She started her business in 2014 to provide CNY children with early exposure to technology, help them develop coding skills, and spark an interest to pursue futures in science and technology. Her startup has grown from an afterschool program to a successful year-round business.

Tracy is an agricultural entrepreneur as well as the executive director of Cayuga Strategic Solutions, which includes both the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency. She was part of the team that helped Cayuga County earn top honors in the recent New York State Regional Economic Development Council awards.

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