Sen. Fred Akshar Honors Carole Coppens as his 2018 Woman of Distinction in Local Ceremony

Fred Akshar

June 01, 2018

(BINGHAMTON, NY) This week, Senator Fred Akshar held a local ceremony to recognize YWCA Binghamton Executive Director Carole Coppens as his NYS Senate 2018 Woman of Distinction for the 52nd Senate District.

Each year, the New York State Senate honors women who have enriched the quality of life in their communities across New York. The ceremony took place at the YWCA Binghamton surrounded by Coppens' friends and colleagues.

Coppens said, “In all my years working at the YWCA, I never anticipated receiving such an incredible honor and recognition. To have my name listed alongside the most amazing women in the New York State Senate Women of Distinction program for 2018 is simply extraordinary. Senator Akshar’ s passion and commitment to this community is directly tied to the services for women that the YWCA provides and makes for a unique collaboration. And for that I will always be grateful”.

Carole Coppens has served as Executive Director of the YWCA Binghamton and Broome County since June 2000. She holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Colorado.

Ms. Coppens was elected to the Board of Directors for the YWCA USA in 2008 and served two terms ending in 2013. She was also nominated to the YWCA World Service Council in October 2008, and currently serves on the Steering, Nominating and Advocacy committees for the Supportive Housing Network of New York. Ms. Coppens also serves as Chair of the Governance Committee for the Homeless of the Southern Tier.

Ms. Coppens has received numerous awards during her career. In 2002, the Broome County Status of Women Council recognized her as a Woman of Achievement. In November 2011, the City of Binghamton established The Human Rights Commission; Ms. Coppens was appointed by the Mayor as a founding member. She also served on numerous local not-for-profit boards, including the SOS Shelter, Southern Tier AIDS Program, League of Women Voters and the American Heart Association.

Recently, Ms. Coppens received several citations for her outstanding commitment to developing innovative supportive housing for the homeless in Broome County from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Homeless Housing and Assistance Corporation. She was also recognized by the New York State Assembly and Senate for outstanding leadership and dedication in restoring the historic YWCA building.

In 2017, the New York State Senate and Assembly presented Ms. Coppens with a Legislative Resolution commemorating the 125th Anniversary of the YWCA of Binghamton and Broome County. Broome County and the City of Binghamton have cited her work with the YWCA as well, and she was nominated to serve on the Broome County Family Violence Prevention Council and also inducted into the Binghamton Rotary Club # 64. Ms. Coppens maintains a professional membership and certification with the American College of Sports Medicine.

Senator Fred Akshar said, "Throughout her career, Carole Coppens has dedicated herself to improving the lives of families across our community. Because of her work, struggling families have received critical support and services in their times of need and more opportunities to help them get back on their feet. I'm truly inspired by the great work she has done for our community and I’m proud to select her as the 52nd District's 2018 Woman of Distinction."

YWCA Binghamton Board President Dr. Susan Seibold-Simpson said, “As Executive Director of the YWCA of Binghamton & Broome County, Carole Coppens serves as a leader working toward ensuring justice for the women of our community. The programs that the YWCA provides, including supportive housing; childcare; access to breast and cervical cancer education and outreach; and free appropriate attire for working women are necessary services that empower women and foster dignity. In collaboration with the leadership team and the Board of Directors, Carole is leading the drive for new programs that women in our community need, including additional housing options, assuring racial justice, and addressing medical transportation needs. I am proud to work with Carole and support the mission of the YWCA. We are fortunate that she serves in this role.”

YWCA Binghamton Director of Administration Becky Krise said, “Carole is one of those remarkable women that lifts us up every day and fights endlessly for others. She is why the YWCA is still here today, able to effectively serve women and children.”

Ms. Coppens currently lives in Apalachin, New York with her husband and cat.

You can read about each of 2018's Women of Distinction here