Sunday, May 11, 2014

2014 Women of Achievement held at State Convention

At the 120th NJSFWC Convention, held at the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City, the 2014 Women of Achievement were celebrated. Their incredible bio's are printed below. Congratulations to the winners.

Linda Blick, a lifelong lover of animals, is a resident of Park Ridge, NJ. She is a founding member of the board of trustees for Tails of Hope Foundation and Finding One Another: Courage beyond Measure. These programs support companion animals and national security working dogs, respectively.
Linda served as national co-chair for the 10th Anniversary K9 Recognition Ceremony honoring all working dogs and veterinarians who served in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. She chaired the inaugural contingent in the New York Veterans Day Parade, honoring military working dogs’ service to America from the War of 1812 to Afghanistan. In NJ she co-sponsored the State’s inaugural ceremony for K9 Veterans Day of Observance.

Linda founded the Pediatrics and Pets: Coping with Cancer Together. She designed the K9 National Security Gift Registry Projects which allows people to purchase “wish list” items for military and civilian national security K9 teams using the wedding registry concept.

Linda is co-designer for YAP (Youth Ambassador K9 Career Program), a program to educate young people about working dogs through mentoring, career, and volunteer opportunities.

Linda received her Master’s degree in social work with specialties in trauma and child development. She served as an international consultant and trainer on domestic violence projects, as an expert witness on child abuse cases, led Maryland’s Child Abuse Legislative Committee and chaired the first White House Conference on Child Sexual Abuse. Her testimony before Congress led to the creation of the Victim’s Rights Law.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Tammy Levinson.

Michele S. Byers is a resident of Far Hills, NJ. Michele was trained by the Association of New Jersey Environmental Commission as an environmental leader and became Executive Director of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation in 1999. She led the Foundation in an effort to permanently protect a 10,000 acre tract of land in the internationally recognized Pinelands National Reserve. This huge endeavor required raising millions of dollars in private funds to acquire property that would connect 100, 000 acres of forest. This is the largest private land trust acquisition in state history. Michele has led the NJCF to preserve tens of thousands of acres from the Highlands to the Delaware Bay Shore.

Michele helped found Whitesbog Preservation Trust, the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, Hunterdon Land Trust and the NJ Highlands Commission. She has served on numerous state and regional boards and committees. In 1995 she was appointed to the State Planning Commission and became vice-chair. In 2003 she was appointed to the Highlands Task Force.

Her work, with the conservation community, led to her recruitment to participate in a national project spearheaded by the Land Trust Alliance to help land trust around the nation defend conservation easements protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of land.

She is the recipient of the Edmund W. Stiles Award for Environmental Leadership.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Alison E. Mitchell, New Jersey Conservation Foundation.

Sharon Matlofsky Karmazin is a resident of Milltown, NJ. She is the founder of the Karma Foundation which supports organizations engaged in activities and programs in the development and enrichment of Jewish life, health and human Services, education and literacy, arts and culture and autism. She serves on numerous non-profit boards.

She founded Books to Keep as an outreach of the Libraries of Middlesex to introduce the pleasure of books to disadvantage youth.

Currently, Sharon is an award winning Broadway Producer. She uses the arts as another means of education and creating awareness around socially conscious issues. She is on the board of the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

Sharon gained national recognition during her distinguished 32-year career in public library administration. She received numerous awards recognizing her professional and community leadership including three American Library Association John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Awards.

She is an active supporter of Douglass College and has contributed several major gifts through the Karma Foundation including “Shaping a Life Scholar-in-Residence Program” and has served on the Associate Alumnae’s Board of Directors.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Valerie Anderson, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.

Kathleen Whitehead Ludwig is a resident of Demarest, NJ. A Douglass College alumna she is a founding member of the Woman United in Philanthropy, an organization that is interested in human rights issues. By mobilizing the strength and power of women, Kathy works to bring resources together to provide grants to benefit programs serving the needs of women in Bergen County.

Kathy is an advocate and supporter for the Global Village and Human Rights House on Douglass campus. Her financial contribution gave life to the dream of building a new living-learning residence hall to expand the Global Village and fostering the next wave of innovative global education.

Kathy is an active board member of John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health including the Northern New Jersey and Rockland Chapter board of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, chairing its Government Relations Committee. She provides support to the YWCA of Bergen County and is an active supporter of Art for Amnesty, which works with artists to campaign for human rights.

Through her philanthropic work she supports and volunteers at Bergen County’s United Way. Other organizations include: The Seeing Eye, Inc., Scholarship Fund for Inner City Children, Englewood Hospital, Eva’s Village, Bergen Catholic High School and Family Promise of Bergen County.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Valerie Anderson, Associate Alumnae of Douglass College.

Elaine Meyerson, Executive Director of Shelter Our Sisters is a resident of Hillsdale, NJ. Since 1986 she has been the administrator of a county-wide, non-profit agency, providing services to battered women and children from crisis services through essential community support resources.

In this capacity she is responsible for both the fiscal and administrative management of the organization. Her key duties include the oversight of a 24-hour hotline, a 36-bed emergency shelter and five transitional homes, case management, legal advocacy, a work readiness training program, bilingual services, and education, training and counseling programs. Children’s services include residential programs and a community-based creative arts program. She is presently overseeing a $2 million fundraising project to provide a new location to house Project Child and other services.

Under Elaine’s guidance, Shelter Our Sisters has been one of the leading agencies in domestic violence for a long time. It was the first agency to open transitional housing. She has overseen the expansion and upgrading of the facilities, as well as expanding the staff and programs. She has developed innovative and model programs, provided community education and training and is an advocate in both the NJ Legislature and United States Congress.

Elaine has served as President of the NJ State Coalition of Battered Women and remains active on the Board. She was also a former Chairperson and member of Bergen County’s Human Services Advisory Committee and has served on advisory boards of Project SARAH, Bergen Community College, Hackensack University Medical Center and Ramapo College.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Patricia Iuele and Terry Limaxes from the New Milford Woman’s Club.

Lynn Snyder
is a resident of Manasquan, NJ. Lynn received her Master in Art Therapy from Pratt Institute and is certified in Thanatology (death, dying and bereavement). Lynn is a practicing therapist working with children, adolescents and their families assisting them through various life challenges. She is founder/director of the Common Ground Grief Center, a non-profit organization that provides on-going peer support groups for children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or friend free of charge.

The Center serves over 100 children and teens per month, ages 6-18, and provides a concurrent support group for the surviving parent while their child or teen is in the group. It is volunteer run with over 30 volunteers.

Currently, there are seven support groups throughout the year and Lynn runs 5 of the groups and trains all new volunteers at a four-day intensive program. The Center offers rooms: an art room, puppet room, sandtray room, music area, full-scale hospital room, talking circle area, and a gross motor activity area, which offers ping pong, games and a padded room complete with a punching bag and large stuffed animals.

Recently, Lynn worked with the Girl Scouts to create a Memory Garden to allow families to have a place to honor their loved ones.

Lynn is responsible for overseeing the daily operations including funding, which comes from fundraisers, annual appeals, grants and donations.

This Woman of Achievement was nominated by Sue Stenson.