UTICA, N.Y. -- The community salutes nine women Thursday. Women who didn't ask to be honored, and certainly didn't expect to be – but all very deserving.
The YWCA of the Mohawk Valley held it's annual "Salute to Outstanding Women" luncheon Thursday – welcoming the class of 2019.
A panel of judges reviewed nominations for nine categories including education, healthcare, and social justice. The Y shined a spotlight on this year's recipients and their contributions to the community.
And a special congratulations to Joleen Ferris’ daughter, Brooke. The 17-year-old Whitesboro student is this year's recipient in the outstanding youth category – and we couldn't agree more!
“If I could give the young women of the mohawk valley one piece of advice. It would be stay true to you. don't get caught up in the opinions of those around you. you can take away the power of bullies and naysayers in an instant by simply refusing to listen to them,” Brooke said.
Those honored were:
Education, the honoree is Maria Lindsay, Principal at Little Falls Middle School.
Entrepreneur, the honoree is Christina Buschmann, Owner of Yoga Hot Spot.
Healthcare, the honoree is Dianne DiMeo, Training and Staff Development Coordinator at Regional Primary Care Network.
Human and Public Service, the honoree is Gail Miskowiec, Chief Operations Officer at The Arc, Oneida-Lewis Chapter.
Outstanding Youth, the honoree is Brooke Riscica, Senior at Whitesboro High School.
Professions/Business and Industry, the honoree is Kristen Szarek, Director of Customer Care Center at Defense Finance Accounting Service Rome.
Social Justice, the honoree is Olivia Paul, Financial Compliance Officer at The Hartford.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math), the honoree is Lisa Davis, Coordinator of Westmoreland Central Schools' Maker Space.
Unsung Heroine, the honoree is Sister Lois Paciello, Community Outreach and Bereavement Director at Church of Our Lady of Lourdes