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YWCA names first slate for new awards

November 20, 2018

GREENWICH — YWCA Greenwich has announced its slate of honorees for its inaugural Women Who Inspire Awards.

Stephanie Cowie, a board member for the Red Cross’ chapter in Cos Cob; Janice Trebbi Richards, a board member for River House Adult Day Care; Stephanie Schnabel, the principal and head of corporate development for KPMG, LLP; and Katherine Vadasdi, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine at ONS Greenwich, will be honored by the Y on Jan. 25 at Greenwich Country Club.

The new award combines two of YWCA’s signature events, the BRAVA Awards, which honored female professional leaders, and the Spirit of Greenwich Awards, given to women who exemplified volunteerism and philanthropy in the Greenwich community.

YWCA Greenwich President and CEO Mary Lee Kiernan said the decision was made to combine the events as an acknowledgment of the “dramatic changes” in modern society, which have led to a more fluid combination of work and life pursuits for women.

The BRAVA Awards were started in 1977; the Spirit of Greenwich Awards in 1994. Between them the events have honored close to 500 women.

Kiernan said the first honorees with the new award reflect its goal of celebrating outstanding women who have excelled in their professional careers, have given back to others as philanthropists and have used their work and volunteerism to enrich the lives of others in the community.

“We are thrilled to honor these accomplished and inspiring women who are changing the lives of others, especially women and girls,” Kiernan said.

The event is being chaired by Lucy Ball, Sue Moretti Bodson, Laura Weintraub Beck and Susan Bevan.

“We are so pleased that these amazing and accomplished women have agreed to chair this year’s event,” said Kathy Seiden, YWCA Greenwich’s chief advancement officer. “Their collective experience and contributions to the community will go a long way in making this inaugural event a success.”

Moretti Bodson praised all of the honorees.

“As an experienced community volunteer, I know firsthand that inspiration comes in many forms, whether it be leadership to support in the trenches,” she said. “I am very impressed by the depth of the honorees selected for this inaugural event as they have collectively had immense impact spanning a wide range of organizations.”

During the awards ceremony, students Isabel Allard from Greenwich Academy and Sydney Noble from Greenwich High School will be given the Women Who Inspire Next Generation Awards. Allard is being honored for her work establishing Generation Impact, a philanthropic giving circle for female high school students, at her school. Noble founded Picking Up the Pieces, which educates students about living with autism.

Additionally a Women Who Inspire Corporate Award is being presented to Stamford Health. Kathy Silard has recently been named the new CEO and president of the company which, according to YWCA Greenwich, has shown leadership in developing, “… a strong culture and practices that support gender equality and women’s empowerment.”

Alejandra Castillo, CEO of YWCA USA, will be a guest at the luncheon. She represents 210 YWCAs across the country, including in Greenwich. The organization has a presence in 46 states and the District of Columbia. Before becoming CEO, Castillo served in two presidential administrations including in 2014 when she was named by President Barack Obama as national director of the Minority Business Development Agency, making her the first Hispanic-American woman to have that title.

kborsuk@greenwichtime.com

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