Brooklyn women are a cut above the rest and our Brooklyn Women of Distinction gala is their mother ship event.
Our fourth annual spring tribute on May 21 will honor 25 awardees of diverse professions and backgrounds for their work and service, and believe it when we tell you they are a rainbow coalition of accomplishment and good deeds.
We at Courier Life Publications and Community Newspaper Group believe working toward a better, compassionate, and neighborly Brooklyn is the greatest achievement of all, and we are proud to claim that all our honorees have done that and more.
They join an illustrious alumni roster of past Brooklyn Women of Distinction, including business owners, volunteers, corporate executives, youth workers, philanthropists, judicial experts, animal activists, and others, all of whom have been feted in style at our one-of-a-kind galas.
Those sensory feasts are as distinctive as the woman they laud, we are told. Past ceremonies have been packed to standing-room-only crowds, as families, friends, neighbors, even strangers, come to salute the women who help to make Brooklyn tick.
Our past keynote speakers also make quite a distinctive group. They include former borough First Lady Jamie Markowitz, who spoke at our inaugural event in 2011 at the New York Aquarium, hailing our honorees in the same breath as Lady Deborah Moody, who founded the town of Gravesend in 1645, and Margaret Sanger, who opened the nation’s first birth control clinic in Brownsville in 1916.
Last year’s chief speaker, Sunset Park-reared NY 1 reporter Jeanine Ramirez Ramirez, chose our event at the El Caribe Country Club to herald the the honorees as the “building blocks” of a borough on the rise.
Former Borough President Markowitz also stopped by to tell us that he proclaimed June 12 “Brooklyn Women of Distinction Day.”
But don’t forget these galas formally congratulate the women profiled in our awesome annual Brooklyn Women of Distinction magazine, which alerts the community to their star power and gives us an opportunity to sing their praises. We call it a match made in — well — Brooklyn, so make a point of checking out the publication that makes it all happen when it appears in our April 18 issue.
This year’s awardees are: Josephine Brown, program director at the New York Memory Center; Ruth Arberman, founding principal of the Sterling School; Christine Buckley Strehle, co-owner of Buckley’s Restaurant and Catering; Kimberly R. Cline, president of Long Island University; Donna Mae DePola, founding president and C.E.O. of the Resource Training and Counseling Center; Verna DuBerry Ademu-John, program coordinator at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation; Valerie Oliver-Durrah, president and C.E.O. of Neighborhood Technical Assistance Clinic; Susan Eaton, co-founder of the M.H.E. Research Foundation; Arlene Figaro, principal of Visitation Academy; Annette Fisher, loan originator and founder of Golden Maturity; Lilya Gelfand, founder of New Tours travel agency; Wendy Goldstein, president and C.E.O. Lutheran HealthCare System; Monique Greenwood, activist and owner of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns; Lisa Jones, director of Hurricane Sandy Relief and Recovery Effort at the Brooklyn Community Services; The Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan Simpson, executive director of the Children’s Defense Fund New York; Martha Kamber, C.E.O. of the Y.W.C.A. of Brooklyn; Katherine Khatari, community associate with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office;
Joan Krystal-Levy, social worker; Kathleen Longo, director of corporate programs at the Estee Lauder Companies; Victoria Mitchell, development administration manager at ORT America; Olga Novikova, philanthropist; Tiffany Raspberry, founder of YorkGroup Associates; Irina Roizin, founder and executive director of the Brooklyn Ballet Theater; Dorothy Ryan, managing director of the Theatre For A New Audience; and Jamee Schleifer, a hip hop dancer with Moms N Da Hood.
2014 Brooklyn Women of Distinction Awards Ceremony at El Caribe Country Club [5945 Strickland Ave. in Mill Basin] on May 21 at 5:30 pm.