Young Honors Two as "Women of Distinction"

Catharine Young

July 27, 2008

State Senator Cathy Young honored two local women at the State Capitol in Albany today at the annual prestigious "Women of Distinction" ceremony. Mrs. Delores Cross, Cuba and Dr. Lillian Ney, Jamestown were recognized for dedicating themselves to improving the quality of life in their respective communities.

Mrs. Cross, a former member of the Allegany County Board of Legislators, became the first woman to be elected Board Chair. To this day, she remains the only woman to have held this prestigious position. During her tenure, Mrs. Cross made it her priority to improve every facet of life in Allegany County, focusing on tourism and economic development. She produced the first Allegany County Travel Guide, devised a plan for reconstructing the Allegany County Museum and Historian’s Office, and spearheaded the establishment of the Office of Development and creation of the County Planner position. Her efforts were recognized by Governor Mario Cuomo, who appointed Mrs. Cross to the Western NY Regional Economic Development Council.

Upon leaving the Board of Legislators, Mrs. Cross sat on the Allegany Co-op Insurance Company Board of Directors. She held her position within the company until 2003, retiring as Director Emeritus.

"Delores Cross truly defines what it means to be a Woman of Distinction," said Senator Young. "She has spent her life devoted not only to her wonderful family, but to public service and achieving positive results for Allegany County. She deserves to be recognized her for all the work she has done to improve the lives of her friends and neighbors. Allegany County is a much better place because of Delores Cross."

Dr. Lillian Ney, a lifelong resident of Jamestown, has had a long and fulfilling career in the medical field. A cardiology specialist, Dr. Ney dedicated herself to several health care facilities. After retiring as Vice President of Medical Affairs at WCA Hospital, Dr. Ney became the founding coordinator and Medical Director at Jamestown Area Medical Associates, a new multi-specialty medical group. During this time, she also served as Medical Director at Heritage Park Nursing Home.

In addition, Dr. Ney has a long-standing dedication to community service and is active in numerous boards and committees. She is currently the Jamestown Downtown Development Corporation President, an active member of the Gebbie Foundation, Roger Tory Peterson Institute, and the Jamestown City Center Development Board. She also serves on the Shared Services Committee of Chautauqua County, the Chautauqua Educational Opportunity Committee and the Wells College Board. She is a member of the Rotary Club of Jamestown, The Fortnightly and The Creche.


Dr. Ney also held elective office, as member-at-large of the Jamestown City Council. She held this post for eight years, serving as Council President for one term. In addition, Dr. Ney was Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning and Partnerships Commission for the City of Jamestown, Chair of the Charter Advisory Committee, and a member of the Board of Public Utilities.

"Dr. Ney’s entire life has been defined by caring and community service," said Senator Young. "She has used her knowledge and talents as a physician to care for many patients in Chautauqua County while raising a family of her own. Additionally, Dr. Ney dedicated herself to common sense approaches that have moved Jamestown and all of Chautauqua County forward. Her drive and commitment to a variety of issues has greatly impacted the lives of those in her community."

Mrs. Cross and Dr. Ney remain active in their communities as well as making time for their grown children and grandchildren.

The Women of Distinction program was created in 1998 as part of the state’s celebration of Women's History Month to honor exemplary women from across New York State whose singular professional or personal achievements, commitment to excellence and accomplishments merit special recognition. Honorees are selected from nominations submitted from across the state.