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slides: YWCA Rhode Island Names 2013 Women of Achievement

Thursday, September 19, 2013


First Lady Stephanie Chafee is one of 11 women to be honored next week at the YWCA Rhode Island's Women of Achievement Luncheon.

YWCA Rhode Island will honor 11 “Women of Achievement” and one organization at its ninth annual awards luncheon on Thursday, September 26, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kirkbrae Country Club, in Lincoln.

Since 2005, YWCA has sponsored this statewide recognition of women whose accomplishments span the fields of industry, culture and public service. This year’s recipients are a diverse group that includes a nurse, a nun, a veteran state worker, a major in the Rhode Island Air National Guard and a service organization, originally for women, that has been around for 94 years.

GoLocalProv has a sneak peek at the 11 honorees, below. See which Rhode Island women will be featured this year, and share their inspiring stories. 

Also to be honored on September 26th will be the YWCA's Organization of the Year, Quota International in Woonsocket and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Founded in 1919, Quota International is one of the oldest international service organizations for women. Today membership also includes men and youth in North America, South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Europe. Its focus is on disadvantaged women and children and hearing impaired persons in communities around the world.

The Woonsocket organization held its first meeting on March 15, 1933, and continues to stay active in the community, raising money to support local and international projects and charities. Among its special local projects is to provide free hearing screenings, accomplished at an annual Health and Hearing Fair.

The public is invited to attend the Women of Achievement luncheon. Tickets are $50 per person or $500 for a “Table of Tribute” that includes 10 tickets and a listing in the program booklet. For tickets, contact Lisa Piscatelli, director of community outreach and special events, at (401) 769-7450 or [email protected].

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Major Lynne B. Hannon

Major Lynne B. Hannon is a full-time logistics officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing, R.I. Air National Guard, leading more than 70 airmen and directing logistics operations including transportation, aerial delivery and fuels functions for C-130J aircraft. A staunch supporter of mentoring and diversity, she is the founding director of the Women’s Mentoring Council, a group of Army and Air National Guard personnel that encourages career progression, integration, networking and relationship building as well as discussion of women-centric issues. She also volunteers as the Wing’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, assisting in the prevention of sexual assault in the military. She has been selected for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel in June of 2014.

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Stephanie Chafee

First Lady Stephanie Chafee, a Rhode Island native and the state’s First Lady, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boston University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Rhode Island. She is a registered nurse and was one of the first nurses in Rhode Island to work exclusively with HIV/AIDS patients. She helped found the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence, which provides healthcare to the uninsured, and was featured as one of the “25 Models of Promise” in Shirley Sagawa’s The American Way to Change. She is a co-founder of Women Ending Hunger and a community health care advocate for all Rhode Islanders, particularly the less fortunate.

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Sister Anne Keefe

Sister Ann C. Keefe, of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Springfield, Mass., MSW Fordham University, 1982, has been a teacher and school social worker since 1970 and, for the past 30 years, parish minister at Saint Michael’s Parish, Providence. She is a founder or co-founder of numerous organizations including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, Providence CITYARTS for Youth, The Good Friday Walk for Hunger and Homelessness, AIDS Care Ocean State and Open Doors, reflecting her belief that the faith community can lead people to justice and peace without institutional church control. She serves on many City of Providence committees and is the chair of the Providence Human Relations Commission.

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Eileen Hayes

Eileen Hayes, president and CEO of Amos House, received her master’s degree from NYU School of Social Work in 1984, and throughout her career has held a variety of positions including the director of Services for Adolescents and Young Families at the YWCA of New York. Under Hayes’ leadership, Amos House has grown into a comprehensive social service agency that includes 13 buildings, culinary arts and carpentry training programs, a literacy program, Mother-Child Reunification Center and businesses including the Friendship Café and More Than a Meal Catering. She lives in Providence with her four children.

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Cheryl Burrell

Cheryl A. Burrell has been employed by the State of Rhode Island for more than 33 years and since 1999 has worked in the Department of Administration, currently as administrator of the Human Resources Outreach and Diversity Office. Previously she was employed in the attorney general’s office. An advocate for diversity and inclusion, she has been involved for many years with community organizations, personnel associations, special interest groups, boards and committees. Burrell has a bachelor’s degree in management from Bryant College and recently received a certificate from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. A lifelong Rhode Islander, Burrell is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren.

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Anna Cano-Morales

Anna Cano-Morales, a Central Falls native, is chair of the Central Falls School District board of trustees. She served on the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education from 2008-11 and on the executive board of the University of Rhode Island Foundation from 2009-12. During a decade as associate vice president for grant programs at the Rhode Island Foundation, she led the Hispanics in Philanthropy initiative. Currently the director of university relations and of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, she also has served on boards for Gateway Healthcare, the RI Latino Political Action Committee and RI Civic Fund. She and her husband, William Morales, have two sons and live in North Providence.

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Letitia Carter

Letitia Carter of Providence is among the volunteers who opened the Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol, a working restoration of an 18th century farm, and served as its president. She is a founder of the Fiber Co-op at Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket. As president of the board of Veterans Memorial Auditorium, she secured financing for major remodeling in 1990 and for the return of the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s performances. She is a commissioner of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority with special responsibility as chair of the Vets Foundation. She has been a board member of the Community Preparatory School for 10 years, three years as chair, and also has served as a director for WRNI Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, the Philharmonic and Rhode Island Mayoral Academies.

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Jacqueline Dowdy

Jacqueline L. Dowdy has served as member advocate/ombudsman for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island since 2008, responsible for ensuring that members’ needs are being met and appropriate services are available to them. Previously, she was Neighborhood’s manager of substitute care and was the coordinator of school based health for Thundermist Health Center, Woonsocket. She is the adoptive mother of three girls ages 16, 10 and 9 years old; a member of St. James Baptist Church, where she is the director of community outreach; and a member of Rhode Island’s Global Waiver Task Force and DCYF’s Advisory Committee. She has a master’s degree from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, New York, N.Y.

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Sally Ann Hay

Sally Ann Hay has put skills learned during a career as a clinical social worker to use in volunteer work she now pursues during retirement. She says she is most proud of being active with Options, Rhode Island’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender news magazine; helping to create and later co-chair Equity Action, a LGBT philanthropic field-of-interest fund at the Rhode Island Foundation; being a founding member of the McAuley Village Women’s Circle, and helping to lead SAGE/Rhode Island (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders). Originally from California, she now lives in Lincoln with her partner, Deirdre Bird.

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Julie Rawlings

Julie A. Rawlings is the minority outreach specialist for Lifespan, serving as the liaison to community members and agencies with a focus on underserved populations. In five years, she has expanded outreach to communities and individuals, helping the hospital system improve the health of Rhode Islanders. As a result of her work, she was appointed by Dr. Michael Fine, director of the state Department of Health, to serve on the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity, and by Gov. Lincoln Chaffee to serve on the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission. She is committed to eliminating health disparities and increasing access to care for Rhode Islanders.

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Angela Romans

Angela Romans is a lifelong educator whose career focus has been on increasing college readiness, access and success for underserved youth. She is currently principal associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, a national education policy research and reform support organization. Romans worked most recently as education advisor to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and spent many years in the Brown University admissions office. After earning degrees in biomedical engineering and education at Harvard University, Romans taught math and science in alternative public high schools in Boston and New York City. She is chair of the award-winning Board of College Visions and is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow.


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