• Women of Excellence

    Each June since 2001, the YWCA has hosted the Women of Excellence Awards. This major fundraiser recognizes women and employers throughout the community. The eleventh annual YWCA Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon will be held on Thursday, June 20, 2013 at the Civic Arena.  Mark your calendar and join us in saluting women and employers at this event.

    At the event we will recognize local women in the categories of Workplace, Volunteerism, Support Services, Emerging Leader, and Future Leader. An employer will also be recognized as our Employer of Excellence. This year we will  also recognize two Lifetime Achievement Award winners: Carlene Makawski and Karen Graves.

    This year will feature guest speaker Dr. Dara RIchardson-Heron. Dr. Richardson-Heron is the CEO of the YWCA USA, leading the organization nationwide since December 2012. Richardson-Heron is based in the national office in Washington, D.C., where she leads the national advocacy, communications and development teams as well as field directors from around the country. Richardson-Heron travels extensively to YWCAs across the United States and represents the organization on Capitol Hill, with the White House and Administration and with coalition partners, corporations, major donors and the national media.

    As the CEO of the YWCA USA, Dr. Richardson-Heron oversees the organization which promotes solutions to improve the lives of over 2 million women, girls, people of color and their families in the United States. Founded in 1858, the mission of the YWCA is to eliminate racism and empower women. The YWCA USA has almost 250 associations throughout the country and services are provided in over 1,300 locations across the nation. YWCA programs focus on women’s health and safety, racial justice and women’s economic empowerment.  YWCAs may also be found in more than 100 countries reaching more than 25 million members worldwide.

    Prior to joining the YWCA USA, Dr. Richardson-Heron served for four years as CEO of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure.® During her tenure, the Affiliate ranked as the #1 Komen Affiliate in fundraising and grants awarded — outpacing over 120 other Affiliates in the US and abroad. The Susan G. Komen for the Cure® organization is the largest source of nonprofit funds in the world dedicated to the fight against breast cancer.

    Dr. Richardson-Heron is a 15-year and counting breast cancer survivor and a powerful advocate and public spokesperson for preventive health and breast cancer awareness. Her mother is also a breast cancer survivor of over 25 years.

    Dr. Dara’s media appearances include CBS News, WCBS News, ABC News, NBC News, The Doctor Oz Show, The Martha Stewart Show, The CBS Morning Show, Fox News, The Today Show, CNBC and Bloomberg Business Week. She has also been featured in O Magazine, New York Daily News and New York Newsday.

    Dr. Richardson-Heron has more than 20 years of health care leadership, management and operations experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. Her experience and expertise spans health care delivery, management, strategic planning, change management, grants administration, human resources, advocacy, public policy and consensus-building.

    Previously, Dr. Richardson-Heron served as the Chief Medical Officer of United Cerebral Palsy of NYC and National Chief Medical Officer for United Cerebral Palsy Association providing advocacy, support, educational services, advice and counsel to over 100 UCP affiliates and thousands of individuals with disabilities in the U.S., Canada and Australia.

    She was Special Assistant to the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Consolidated Edison, serving as liaison with Board members, the business community and other constituents and working with senior leaders to execute projects and assess company management. During her 11 years at Con Edison, Dr. Richardson-Heron also served as the Executive Medical Director and Administrative Physician where she was in charge of corporate medical clinic’s daily operations, providing comprehensive medical, preventive health and wellness services and regulatory examinations for over 16,000 employees.

    In 2004, she was appointed by the Manhattan Borough President to a commission investigating the growing health care disparities among minorities in New York City. She also served as Chair and Medical Advisor of the YWCA/New York State Department of Health project, “Breaking Down Barriers — Eliminating Obstacles to Health Care for Women with Disabilities.”

    Dr. Richardson-Heron is on the boards of the Women’s Forum of New York and the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens. She is also a member of the Greater New York Chapter of the Links, Inc. and an alumna of CORO Foundation-Leadership New York.

    The recipient of many awards, she has been honored with the YWCA Academy of Women Achievers Award, YMCA Black Achiever in Industry Award and was named one of the “25 Influential Black Women in Business” by The Network Journal. In 2010, she was named a “Woman of Excellence in Philanthropy” by the United Way of New York City.

    Dr. Richardson-Heron received a Doctorate in Medicine from New York University School of Medicine and Bachelor of Arts Degree in Biology at Barnard College of Columbia University. She also completed the Human Resources Executive Program at the University of Michigan.

    We are offering a limited number of tables to groups who would like to be recognized at the event. Tables are $350 and include ten place settings. Individual tickets are also available at a cost of $35.

    For reservations to Women of Excellence and/or the patron party, contact the YWCA at 232-4481 or email efattig@ywcasj.org. We hope you will join us as we recognize outstanding women and employers at our 11th Annual Women of Excellence Awards.