Women of Achievement Awards

2013 Award Winners

theme ~ peace, justice, freedom and dignity

Three hundred sixty (360) people gathered to celebrate 11 Women of Achievement along with an Organization of the Year at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln on September 26 as part of the YWCA Rhode Island 9th Annual Awards Luncheon. YWCA Rhode Island appreciates the underwriters and attendees celebrating the following honorees: Cheryl A. Burrell, Anna Cano-Morales, Letitia Carter, First Lady Stephanie Chafee, Jacqueline L. Dowdy, Major Lynne B. Hannon, Sally Ann Hay, Eileen Hayes, Sister Ann C. Keefe, Julie A. Rawlings, Angela Romans and Quota International of Pawtucket and Woonsocket. Read more from YW She Shines | View the photo gallery.

website-image-WOA-2013Photo from left, back row: Sally Ann Hay; Quota International of Woonsocket President Alexis Dupre-Harnois; Sister Ann C. Keefe; Angela Romans; Jacqueline L. Dowdy; Eileen Hayes; Julie A. Rawlings; First Lady Stephanie Chafee; Major Lynne B. Hannon; and Meghan Grady, YWCA Rhode Island COO. From left, front row: Deborah L. Perry, YWCA Rhode Island President/CEO; Anna Cano-Morales; Cheryl A. Burrell; Quota International of Pawtucket President Peggy Bucci; and Letitia Carter

lhMajor Lynne B. Hannon is a full-time logistics officer with the 143rd Airlift Wing, R.I. Air National Guard, leading more than 70 airmen and directing logistics operations including transportation, aerial delivery and fuels functions for C-130J aircraft. A staunch supporter of mentoring and diversity, she is the founding director of the Women’s Mentoring Council, a group of Army and Air National Guard personnel that encourages career progression, integration, networking and relationship building as well as discussion of women-centric issues. She also volunteers as the Wing’s Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, assisting in the prevention of sexual assault in the military. She has been selected for promotion to the rank of lieutenant colonel in June of 2014. Read More.

scFirst Lady Stephanie Chafee, a Rhode Island native and the state’s First Lady, earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Boston University, a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Rhode Island. She is a registered nurse and was one of the first nurses in Rhode Island to work exclusively with HIV/AIDS patients. She helped found the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence, which provides healthcare to the uninsured, and was featured as one of the “25 Models of Promise” in Shirley Sagawa’s The American Way to Change. She is a co-founder of Women Ending Hunger and a community health care advocate for all Rhode Islanders, particularly the less fortunate. Read More.

scSister Ann C. Keefe, of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Springfield, Mass., MSW Fordham University, 1982, has been a teacher and school social worker since 1970 and, for the past 30 years, parish minister at Saint Michael’s Parish, Providence. She is a founder or co-founder of numerous organizations including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, Providence CITYARTS for Youth, The Good Friday Walk for Hunger and Homelessness, AIDS Care Ocean State and Open Doors, reflecting her belief that the faith community can lead people to justice and peace without institutional church control. She serves on many City of Providence committees and is the chair of the Providence Human Relations Commission. Read More.

scEileen Hayes, president and CEO of Amos House, received her master’s degree from NYU School of Social Work in 1984, and throughout her career has held a variety of positions including the director of Services for Adolescents and Young Families at the YWCA of New York. Under Hayes’ leadership, Amos House has grown into a comprehensive social service agency that includes 13 buildings, culinary arts and carpentry training programs, a literacy program, Mother-Child Reunification Center and businesses including the Friendship Café and More Than a Meal Catering. She lives in Providence with her four children. Read More.

scCheryl A. Burrell has been employed by the State of Rhode Island for more than 33 years and since 1999 has worked in the Department of Administration, currently as administrator of the Human Resources Outreach and Diversity Office. Previously she was employed in the attorney general’s office. An advocate for diversity and inclusion, she has been involved for many years with community organizations, personnel associations, special interest groups, boards and committees. Burrell has a bachelor’s degree in management from Bryant College and recently received a certificate from the Senior Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. A lifelong Rhode Islander, Burrell is married and has two daughters and two grandchildren. Read More.

scAnna Cano-Morales, a Central Falls native, is chair of the Central Falls School District board of trustees. She served on the Rhode Island Board of Regents for Elementary and Secondary Education from 2008-11 and on the executive board of the University of Rhode Island Foundation from 2009-12. During a decade as associate vice president for grant programs at the Rhode Island Foundation, she led the Hispanics in Philanthropy initiative. Currently the director of university relations and of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University, she also has served on boards for Gateway Healthcare, the RI Latino Political Action Committee and RI Civic Fund. She and her husband, William Morales, have two sons and live in North Providence. Read More.

scLetitia Carter of Providence is among the volunteers who opened the Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol, a working restoration of an 18th century farm, and served as its president. She is a founder of the Fiber Co-op at Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket. As president of the board of Veterans Memorial Auditorium, she secured financing for major remodeling in 1990 and for the return of the Rhode Island Philharmonic’s performances. She is a commissioner of the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority with special responsibility as chair of the Vets Foundation. She has been a board member of the Community Preparatory School for 10 years, three years as chair, and also has served as a director for WRNI Public Radio, Planned Parenthood, the Philharmonic and Rhode Island Mayoral Academies. Read More.

scJacqueline L. Dowdy has served as member advocate/ombudsman for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island since 2008, responsible for ensuring that members’ needs are being met and appropriate services are available to them. Previously, she was Neighborhood’s manager of substitute care and was the coordinator of school based health for Thundermist Health Center, Woonsocket. She is the adoptive mother of three girls ages 16, 10 and 9 years old; a member of St. James Baptist Church, where she is the director of community outreach; and a member of Rhode Island’s Global Waiver Task Force and DCYF’s Advisory Committee. She has a master’s degree from Yeshiva University’s Wurzweiler School of Social Work, New York, N.Y. Read More.

sahSally Ann Hay has put skills learned during a career as a clinical social worker to use in volunteer work she now pursues during retirement. She says she is most proud of being active with Options, Rhode Island’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender news magazine; helping to create and later co-chair Equity Action, a LGBT philanthropic field-of-interest fund at the Rhode Island Foundation; being a founding member of the McAuley Village Women’s Circle, and helping to lead SAGE/Rhode Island (Services and Advocacy for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Elders). Originally from California, she now lives in Lincoln with her partner, Deirdre Bird. Read More.

jrJulie A. Rawlings is the minority outreach specialist for Lifespan, serving as the liaison to community members and agencies with a focus on underserved populations. In five years, she has expanded outreach to communities and individuals, helping the hospital system improve the health of Rhode Islanders. As a result of her work, she was appointed by Dr. Michael Fine, director of the state Department of Health, to serve on the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity, and by Gov. Lincoln Chaffee to serve on the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission. She is committed to eliminating health disparities and increasing access to care for Rhode Islanders. Read More.

arAngela Romans is a lifelong educator whose career focus has been on increasing college readiness, access and success for underserved youth. She is currently principal associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, a national education policy research and reform support organization. Romans worked most recently as education advisor to Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and spent many years in the Brown University admissions office. After earning degrees in biomedical engineering and education at Harvard University, Romans taught math and science in alternative public high schools in Boston and New York City. She is chair of the award-winning Board of College Visions and is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow. Read More.

quotaOrganization of the Year: Quota International in Woonsocket and Pawtucket/Central Falls. Founded in 1919, Quota International is one of the oldest international service organizations for women. Today membership also includes men and youth in North America, South America, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and Europe. Its focus is on disadvantaged women and children and hearing impaired persons in communities around the world.

The Woonsocket organization held its first meeting on March 15, 1933, and continues to stay active in the community, raising money to support local and international projects and charities. Among its special local projects is to provide free hearing screenings, accomplished at an annual Health and Hearing Fair.

The Pawtucket/Central Falls club’s focus is on disadvantaged persons, specifically through service to the YWCA’s Sarah Frances Grant Homestead in Central Falls, a residence for homeless disabled women in transition. In the past year alone, the club has provided service to the Boys & Girls Club of Pawtucket, made donations to Books are Wings, Slater Park Winter Wonderland, Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center, Backpacks to Fight Hunger, Edesia – Global Nutrition Solutions , CASA and more. Members also perform community service hours to numerous organizations. Read More.