Women of Achievement Awards

2008 Award Winners

theme – the gateway to women’s empowerment

Women of Achievement Awards are recognized nationally. They increase awareness and appreciation of the diverse contributions of women. YWCA Northern Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Women of Achievement Award Winners for 2008, fifteen local women that work for the economic empowerment of women.

View the photo gallery.

ADVOCATE:Image As a public official/activist, she shapes policies. Maureen Maigret is a consultant specializing in health care and aging services. For ten years she represented Warwick as a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives and championed significant legislation to bring legal equity to women.


CARING:Image She addresses healthcare concerns. Annie De Groot is CEO and founder of Epivax, Inc.; co-chief editor and founder of Infectious Diseases in Corrections Report; scientific director and
founder of GAIA Vaccine Foundation, and interim medical director and founding member of Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic. She designs new vaccines for diseases, offers healthcare in Providence and HIV care in Africa, and advocates for HIV care on a national/international level.


DYNAMIC: ImageShe cultivates the self-development of others. Michelle Novello is executive director and founder of RiverzEdge Arts Project. This program provides art, leadership, business-skill development, and allows students the opportunity to make a difference in their community
through community service projects. RiverzEdge was named as one of the top 50 arts- and humanities-based programs in the country serving youth in after-school hours.


ESSENTIAL: ImageShe assists families with their primary needs of food, shelter, and/or safety. Susan D. Wallace
is executive director and founder of Caritas, Inc. Caritas is the oldest gender-specific residential drug treatment facility in the United States. In business for 37 years, it assists women/teens with substance abuse treatment and recovery.


MINDFUL: Image She provides education and/or training. Hannah Claire Resseger is a program director at Mt. Hope Learning Center. She is a spoken word/rap artist and a youth worker. Resseger teaches girl power. Through the Rhode Island Commission on Prejudice and Bias, she has
created civil rights teams in the Providence middle schools addressing issues of prejudice and bias, bullying and harassment, and hate speech/hate crimes. She also manages an AmeriCorps team.


PRUDENT: ImageShe helps plan for secure retirements. Joanne Daly is a financial advisor for UBS Financial Services, Inc. With 14 years of public accounting and financial planning experience, her practice focuses on retirement planning, estate planning, and educational funding. Daly works closely with women who are managing the challenges of widowhood and divorce and is a frequent guest speaker on women and
investing. She is also the president of the Rhode Island Chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants.


HELPING HANDS: ImageA special presentation was made to Donna M. Policastro, executive director of the Rhode Island State Nurses Association. Policastro has lobbied the State House for legislation that has impacted the role of nurses, nursing, and public health. She works with YWCA Northern Rhode Island on the workforce development component for YWCA’s Parenting in Progress program – an alternative education program for parenting and pregnant young women.

 BELLWETHER: ImageShe is a business leader promoting opportunities for women in the workplace. Candy Castaldiis senior vice president of the Circulator Division at Taco, Inc. With
Taco for 19 years, she heads the largest of four manufacturing divisions. Castaldi is a mentor to employees and to local school programs.


COOPERATIVE: Image They create vibrant networking environments that build relationships and foster career success. Judith Clare, Elizabeth Powers, and Mary Moroney co-chair The Women’s Summit at Bryant University. For 11 years thousands of women have attended and were offered prominent speakers, educational workshops, and a variety of networking opportunities. At Bryant University, Clare is the director of the Amica Center for Career Education; Powers is the assistant to the vice president for Academic Affairs; and Moroney is the director of Library Services.


ENTERPRISING: ImageShe practices an entrepreneurial spirit. Ann-Marie Harrington is president and founder of Embolden. This web-development and consulting firm has been in business for ten years serving the philanthropic, higher education, health, and professional services sectors. Three times consecutively it was recognized for business excellence in workplace flexibility ranked as one of the top 20% of employers nationally in terms of flexible work programs, policies, and


LUMINARY:Image She has achieved career success and now mentors others. Acelia Terrero is the president and founder of Ada’s Creations, Inc. She is an inspiration to minority women, immigrants, and young people. Terrero immigrated to this country in 1983 and started her business baking from her home. Today she has a successful bakery/restaurant on Broad Street in Providence.


NURTURING:Image She assists families with affordable quality child care. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith is CEO/president and founder of the Dr. Day Care Family. Her business began as a home day care and has grown to seventeen early learning centers and five school-age-after school programs. Mary Ann Shallcross Smith is an advocate and communicator on behalf of child care in Rhode Island.


VITAL: ImageShe supports lending/finance opportunities for women-owned businesses. Carol Malysz
is the director of the Center for Women & Enterprise – Providence. She led the start up of this organization in Rhode Island. The Center provides education, training, technical assistance, and access to capital to ensure that all women, regardless of their economic status,
have the opportunity to start and run their own business. Malysz is also a co-chair for the conference, Emerging Women in Business.