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Hudson Valley Press


May 15th, 2013

2013 Tribute to Women of Achievement



Christine Sadowski, Dawn Wilkin, Erin Rose Collins, Beverly Braxton, Susan Crocker, Nancy Proyect, Dr. Jean Hudson, Anita Manley, Dawn Ansbro, and Eileen Hickey at the 21st Tribute to Women of Achievement of Orange County was held on Wednesday, May 8, 2013. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.

NEW WINDSOR – YWCA Orange County and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson hosted the 21st Tribute to Women of Achievement of Orange County on Wednesday, May 8th, at Anthony’s Pier 9.

The YWCA Orange County and Girl Scouts Heart of the Hudson welcomed their eight nominated honorees, along with 200 friends and family.

The 2013 Orange County Women of Achievement are: Dawn Ansbro (Arts); Susan Crocker (Business); Beverly Braxton (Education); Dr. Jean Hudson (Health Care); Dawn Wilkin (Human Services); Nancy Proyect (Public Service) ; Erin Rose Collins (Woman of the Future); and Anita Manley (Bobbie A. Lahey Memorial award for Volunteer Services).

Dawn Ansbro is the executive director of the Orange County Arts Council. She is responsible for helping to support, promote and unite the arts.

Susan Crocker is co-owner of Holberts Catering & Back Yard Bistro in Montgomery.

Beverly Braxton is a teacher and educational leader who has worked at all levels of the educational system. She helped pioneer the Partners in Education (PIE) program, which promotes teacher partnerships and multi-age instruction.

Dr. Jean Hudson is the Commissioner of the Orange County Department of Health.

Dawn Wilkin is the Coordinator of Prevention Services and TEAM Newburgh. She helped establish the Girls Circle program as well as other programs to better the lives of youth.

Nancy Proyect has been involved in Leadership Orange, Orange County Arts Council, Cornwall Community Cooperative, Junior League of Orange County, to name a few.

Erin Rose Collins volunteers as president of the Goshen High School Leo Club and as a Girl Scout Ambassador.

Anita Manley is a breast cancer survivor who volunteers as a Patient Navigator with the American Cancer Society. She also volunteers with the Senior Friendly Visitor Program through Jewish Family Services and began PFLAG - a support group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning persons.

This year’s honorees join more than 200 women from throughout Orange County who have been recognized since the award’s inception in 1992.

Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega and Natasha Vega, this year’s Co-Chairwomen, were the first mother-daughter team to co-chair the event. The duo are also past Tribute honorees. Natasha Vega received the Woman of the Future Award in 2012 and Dr. Michele Winchester-Vega received the Bobbie A. Lahey Memorial award for Volunteer Services in 2011.

The Tribute included an inspiring story from keynote speaker, Belle Chen, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Criminal Division New York Field Office, who spoke about what it’s like to succeed and thrive in a traditionally male dominated field.

Chen, who began her career in law enforcement as an officer with the NYPD, joined the FBI in 1996. She rose quickly through the ranks, and was promoted to Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division’s Gangs, Criminal Enterprises, and Violent Crimes program in 2009.



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