Women of Achievement Awards

2005 Award Winners

2005 theme – nontraditional professions

Congratulations to the 2005 women of achievement recognized at the 1st Tools of the Trade Luncheon. This event was attended by over 170 people. YWCA Northern Rhode Island appreciates the attendees and the underwriters.

Categories: Guiding Light | Golden Bellwether | Reflection | Luminary | Skyward

Engaging greatness, she demonstrates excellence in her non-traditional profession and promotes the efforts of others. Two were selected from this GUIDING LIGHT category.

Maureen McDonough-Roddy of Red Dress Racing sailed from Newport to Bermuda bringing attention to women’s heart health. She says, “Its okay to have dreams, it’s how we get to the moon.”

Mary Kuhn of Kuhns’ Klassics reconditions and shows classic cars. She tells other women, “What’s stopping you? I didn’t ask. Reach in.”

The GOLDEN BELLWETHER is a gem within Rhode Island, successfully leading the workplace. Come meet Christine DeBlois, Director of Operations at Tiffany & Co. A colleague describes Christine’s leadership style, “She communicates very high expectations for performance, assists employees in attaining the expectations, and makes the journey enjoyable.”

Ahead of her time, forging a path for herself and others is the REFLECTION category. Ethel Dowdy has been a Foster Parent to nearly 80 children of different races, religions, and socio-economic backgrounds. Sharing her wisdom, “When someone is down, lift them up. You get their needs met.”

LUMINARY for a better tomorrow. She strengthens community with her political leadership. Susan Menard, 10 years as the Mayor of Woonsocket – Rhode Island ‘s “City on the Move.”

And the SKYWARD category, the female pilots of New England Airlines are a dynamic group flying for 20 years plus (67 years total).

Lynn Thoma (L) tells us, “I flew a plane by myself before I drove a car by myself. I knew what I wanted to do for a living, fly!”

Sandy Niles (C) says “I do believe there is something innate that calls some of us to the sky.”

Words from Sue Cowley (R), “Flight instructor tells me to get in the airplane . . . Yes, just me. After the initial shock, I get into the airplane for my very first flight and have enjoyed it every since.”


The helping hands award is presented to a special friend of YWCA Northern Rhode Island. Sheila “Skip” Nowell served as the executive director of YWCA Northern Rhode Island for 20 years (1973-1993).