Women of Distinction Updates

Evelyn Cardona

Evelyn Cardona has dedicated her life to empowering and educating victims of domestic violence. 

A survivor of domestic violence, Ms. Cardona is founder and executive director of the North Brooklyn Coalition Against Family Violence. Under her guidance and leadership, the organization provides services to nearly 800 Brooklyn families annually. 

A staunch advocate, Ms. Cardona is also the assistant program director of Urban Women’s Retreat, one of New York City’s largest domestic violence shelter providers under the Urban Resource Institute. In this capacity she provides emergency domestic violence shelter placement to victims of domestic violence. 

May 13, 2013
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Chandra S. Morgan

Chandra S. Morgan is a New York City Council Legislative Clerk and life-long community activist.

Born in Leonora, Guyana, Ms. Morgan immigrated to the United States in 1995 and began working at the Guyana Mission to the United Nations. Putting her travel and tourism experience to work, Ms. Morgan left the Mission in 1999 to become an International Institute of Travel Director where she remained until 2007.

Ms. Morgan’s career in the public sector began soon after in the accounting unit of the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. She soon branched out into community activism and campaigns throughout New York City.

May 15, 2012
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Leslie Zemsky

Leslie Zemsky, is the Director of Special Events and Projects for the Larkin Group in the City of Buffalo. Known as the company’s “Director of Fun,” Ms. Zemsky plays an integral role in the success of the Larkin Development Group, considered one of the most prestigious companies based in Buffalo’s central business district. 

Ms. Zemsky is also the owner of Rockspring Designs, LLC. Using her artistic skills, she produces artwork in the mediums of watercolor, gouache and oil and provides services for custom illustrating and design and layout features for cards, invitations and other special print products. 

May 13, 2013
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Nozomi Hirayama Williams

Nozomi Hirayama Williams has been a longtime advocate and supporter of individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as the arts, health care and education in the Finger Lakes Region.

Born in Japan, Ms. Williams is one of eight children. She met her husband, Samuel Burbank Williams, in Tokyo in 1964, the year of the Tokyo Olympics. They were married in 1965 in Mito, Japan. After they married, the couple settled in Geneva, New York, where Mr. WIlliams was the publisher and owner of the Finger Lakes Times

May 13, 2013
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Dr. Elaine M. Walsh Named to 2013 New York State Senate Women of Distinction

Elaine M. Walsh, Ph.D., LCSW, a lifelong New Yorker, has been a passionate and dedicated advocate in her community her entire adult life. A graduate of College of White Plains, now Pace University, and having received her MSW and Ph.D from Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, Dr. Walsh is not only accomplished professionally but also has an impressive history of selfless volunteerism. 

May 13, 2013
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Isabel E. Villar

Isabel E. Villar, a native of Cuba, immigrated to the United States with her family in 1966. She enrolled in White Plains High School and was immediately sensitized to the problems presented by the language barrier and the cultural differences experienced by newcomers to this country. Upon graduation from high school she was awarded a scholarship to Manhattanville College, where she received a B.A. in Political Science/Latin America Studies. She became a bilingual middle school teacher and then obtained her first master’s degree through a New York University program in Spain. 

May 13, 2013
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Estela Vazquez

Estela Vazquez is Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU, the largest healthcare union in the country and the largest union local in the country. Ms. Vazquez diligently represents the 15,000 hospital workers at Montefiore, Beth Israel and St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Medical Centers, among other institutions. 

A native of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Ms. Vazquez became politically active in 1961 as a junior high school student, joining demonstrations to demand the removal from government of the family and supporters of the brutal dictator Rafael Trujillo, who had been in power for 31 years. 

May 13, 2013
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Marie Valachovic

Marie Valachovic is a tireless educator who has spent her adult life making a difference in the lives of all those she meets. A lifelong resident of Fulton County, Ms. Valachovic graduated from Johnstown High School, where she was renowned for her exceptional all-around athletic abilities. She went on to study at SUNY Oswego, eventually earning a bachelor of science degree in education from SUNY New Paltz. She later earned a masters in reading and a Certificate of Advance Studies in School Administration from SUNY Fredonia. 

May 13, 2013
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Marcia B. Tuohey

Marcia B. Tuohey, a lifelong Medina resident, has blazed a trail in business and politics for the women of Orleans County. She exemplifies someone who has created a lasting legacy of dedicated service to the public and the community in which she lives.

Ms. Tuohey enjoyed an active business career in Medina for 30 years as the co-owner and operator of a nursing home, motel and restaurant, mobile home park, and rental properties. Her success can be attributed to a great aptitude for recognizing and meeting the needs of the community, and possessing a strong work ethic. 

May 13, 2013
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Tiphaine Tsang

Tiphaine Tsang is an inspirational example of how the American dream can be attained for those who immigrate to this country. Born in Hong Kong, she received her education, graduated, married and immigrated to New York City.

Like many immigrant women with limited English language skills and a limited support system, Ms. Tsang dedicated her early years in the United States to raising two children while working to strengthen her communication skills. As she began to achieve proficiency, she started to work with her husband’s business, ultimately serving as the office manager and head accountant of an import and export trading company. 

May 13, 2013
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NEW YORK STATE SENATE VETERAN'S HALL OF FAME AWARD RECIPIENTS

2013

2012

2011