Celebrating the power, strength and independence of Westchester County women, members of County Executive George Latimer’s team formed a committee to pay tribute to local women and honor them for their contributions during the pandemic.

This year’s #WOWConversations makes a triumphant return, after being cancelled last year due to COVID-19. The discussion will now be held virtually, and the committee putting together the empowerment event is also seeking nominations for its first WOW Awards.

You may also go to YouTube to watch the short video for information on how to nominate someone.

County Executive George Latimer said: “Women have had to overcome obstacles in order to really seize the opportunity that’s not always available to them. WOW conversations allows for women to   exchange ideas and stories, and talk about shared experiences.”

Committee member Robi Schlaff, Director of the Westchester County Office for Women said: “When I think of the unbelievable contributions women in Westchester have made to the County in so many different fields from academics to education and philanthropy, I think this year, what we really wanted to do is celebrate that.”

The committee is seeking nominations in the following categories:

  • Healing Hands: Highlighting health and wellness
  • The Next Generation: Spotlighting women working with children in education or childcare
  • Women Supporting Women: Showcasing a local woman who continues to lift others
  • Community Response: Identifying women helping the community with basic needs like housing or food.
  • Keeping the Faith: For women who have provided spiritual guidance
  • Business: Featuring an outstanding businesswoman or entrepreneur

Shari Rosen Ascher, the County’s Director of Policy and Programs for Small Business and Chambers of Commerce said: “We want women to feel comfortable to speak up and speak out. Our committee was dedicated to coming up with creative ways to bring women together in a way to make them feel comfortable and included so we can continue to rise.”

Crystal Collins, the County’s Director of Faith Based Initiatives and Urban Affairs says winners will be recognized during the #WOWConversations virtual event which will bring together women of all backgrounds to discuss topics like leadership and business.

“With women taking on so many different positions and roles in the community, workplace and home,” Collins said, “…and when this crisis happened, we want to highlight what showed your strength?”

The nomination process is open now until Feb. 28, 2021. View the nomination form.

Those nominating an ordinary woman doing extraordinary things are asked to submit a photo and short essay. The committee will later decide who the winners are and reveal them at the online event March 25.

“Celebrating women who have done so much in the County is such a positive thing in a year where we have evolved so much,” said Martha Lopez, the County’s Director of Minority Women’s Business Program and Immigrant Affairs, “I think it’s important that we celebrate these women who have stepped up to the plate.”