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Westchester County Executive George Latimer is joining the celebration of Women’s History Month at the County’s First WOW Awards. Seven local women, nominated by their peers in their community, were honored for their extraordinary work during the pandemic and beyond.

You may also go to YouTube to watch the full ceremony.

County Executive George Latimer said: “Women are the keystone of our community and society as a whole. Without their leadership, the next generation would not have the drive and ambition we see today. These exceptional honorees have shown compassion, faith and perseverance during one of the most trying times in our lives.”

Awards were handed out in the following categories:

Healing Hands: Highlighting Health and Wellness. Hear from the winner, Nubia Earth Martin of Yonkers

The Next Generation: Spotlighting a woman working with children in education or childcare. Hear from the winner, Frances-Ann Lightsy of Mount Vernon

Women Supporting Women: Showcasing a local woman who continues to lift others. Hear from the winner, Mariana Alonso-Jusafaj of New Rochelle

Charity Begins at Home: Identifying women helping the community with basic needs like housing or food. Hear from the winner, Donna Brown of Tuckahoe

Keeping the Faith: For women who have provided spiritual guidance. Hear from the winner, Ida Silver Wiggins of Peekskill

Not Business as Usual: Featuring an outstanding businesswoman or entrepreneur Hear from the winner, Melissa Manice of Larchmont

Young Woman of Westchester, a special award honoring a teenager in Westchester County for go above and beyond in their community. Hear from the winner, Joyce Lu of Hastings

The nomination process took place last month and more than 150 nominations were submitted from all over the county and judged by a committee made up of members of the County Executive’s Administrative Team.

Crystal Collins, the County’s Director of Faith Based Initiatives and Urban Affairs said: “Westchester County is delighted to recognize these outstanding women, not just as women but as leaders and role models. For too long, women have been denied equal treatment and have not been given their due. It’s so rewarding to be part of an administration that appreciates and promotes the value of women and all people regardless of gender, race, religion, age or background.”

Robi Schlaff, Director of the Westchester County Office for Women said: “The 2021 WOW celebration of women brought to our attention, the many stars that shine in Westchester County. The number of women nominated for extending themselves to those in need during the pandemic is evidence of the community of care we are so fortunate to have in this County. We thank them for all they did and do every day.”

Martha Lopez, the County’s Director of Minority Women’s Business Program and Immigrant Affairs said: “Celebrating those women who have lifted us up during the pandemic has inspired me and filled me with hope. Ladies you rock!”

Shari Rosen Ascher, the County’s Director of Policy and Programs for Small Business and Chambers of Commerce said: “This past year has taken a toll on women; economically, psychologically, spiritually and physically. It has tested our strength and has strengthened our resolve. And it the midst of it all, women in Westchester have stepped up to do what is needed to be done, working tirelessly to help their community; their clients, their children, their co-workers, neighbors and strangers, friends and family.”

During the event, the virtual audience of more than 300 heard from guest speakers who have made their own impact in Westchester County and New York State in leadership, management and business roles leaving many inspired and motivated to take action in their own lives and careers. Below are videos of the speakers from the 2021 WOW Awards:

United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand

New York Attorney General Letitia James

State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Keynote Speaker, Chief Executive Officer of Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, Judith Watson

Keynote Speaker, El Centro Hispano Executive Director Isabel Villar

Assemblywoman Amy Paulin

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef

Westchester County Legislator Kitley Covill

Heather Rhyu, Owner of Club Pilates in Ardsley, New Rochelle and Scarsdale

Christina Cohen, Katherine Bagby and Christy Knell of Hudco

New York Emmy Award winning WABC-TV reporter Naveen Dhaliwal served as the Mistress of Ceremonies.