Honoring Women of Achievement - YWCA Rhode Island Recognizes Women in Industry, Culture and Public Service

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt John McDonald
  • 143 AW/PA
Since 2005, YWCA has sponsored this statewide recognition of women whose accomplishments span the fields of industry, culture and public service. This year's recipients are a diverse group that includes a nurse, a nun, Rhode Island's First Lady, and 143d's own major in Rhode Island Air National Guard.

YMCA Rhode Island honored 11 "Women of Achievement" and one organization at its ninth annual awards luncheon on Thursday, September 26, at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln. Deborah L. Perry, president and CEO of YWCA Rhode Island, presented the awards. Deborah L. Ruggiero, host of the award-winning local radio program "Amazing Women," was the emcee of the event.

This year's honoree, Major Lynne B. Hannon of the 143d Logistics Squadron in the Rhode Island Air National Guard received the "Women of Achievement" award for her accomplishments. Maj Hannon is the leader of more than 70 Airmen and the director logistics operations including transportation, aerial delivery and fuels functions for C-130J aircraft and is also a staunch supporter of mentoring and diversity. She is the founding director of the Women's Mentoring Council, which is a group of Army and Air National Guard personnel that encourages career progression, integration, networking and relationship building amongst women in the RI National Guard. She also volunteers as the Wing's Alternate Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, assisting in the prevention of sexual assault in the 143d Airlift Wing.

Major Hannon embraces the Air Force Core Values, Integrity First, Service Before Self and Excellence in All We Do. "My strength, power and confidence has been built and reinforced by believing in these values and having faith that I can persevere through the most trying of circumstances. Establishing and maintaining good, strong values is especially important for all young women as they aspire to rise above and overcome any obstacle in life" said Hannon.

Other 2013 "Women of Achievement" award recipients included:

· Cheryl A. Burrell, administrator of the R.I. Human Resources Outreach and Diversity Office and a state employee for more than 33 years.

· Anna Cano-Morales, chair of the Central Falls School District board of trustees and director of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University.

· Letitia Carter, a founder of the Coggeshall Farm Museum, Bristol, and of the Fiber Co-op at Slater Mill Historic Site, Pawtucket; president of the board of Veterans Memorial Auditorium.

· Stephanie Chafee, Rhode Island's first lady, one of the first nurses in the state to work exclusively with HIV/AIDS patients, and a founder of the Rhode Island Free Clinic in South Providence.

· Jacqueline L. Dowdy, member advocate for Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, director of community outreach for St. James Baptist Church, and a member of DCYF's Advisory Committee.

· Sally Ann Hay, active with Options, Rhode Island's lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender news magazine; organizer of Equity Action, a LGBT philanthropic fund at The Rhode Island Foundation; founding member of the McAuley Village Women's Circle.

· Eileen Hayes, president and CEO of Amos House, a comprehensive social service agency that includes training programs, a literacy program, Mother-Child Reunification Center and businesses that employ clients.

· Sister Ann C. Keefe, minister at Saint Michael's Parish, Providence, and a founder or co-founder of organizations including the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence, Providence City Arts for Youth, AIDS Care Ocean State and Open Doors.

· Julie A. Rawlings, the minority outreach specialist for Lifespan, and a member of the Commission for Health Advocacy and Equity and of the Rhode Island Healthcare Reform Commission.

· Angela Romans, an associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, a national education policy research and reform support organization, chair of the award-winning Board of College Visions, and an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow.

Recipients of the annual award are recognized as leaders, role models and mentors who exemplify the YWCA's mission to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all people.

Congratulations to Major Hannon and to all of the recipients of the 2013 YWCA "Women of Achievement" Award.