After 33 years, the YWCA Princeton’s Tribute to Women is still going strong! Established in 1984, Tribute honors women of excellence who live or work in the greater Princeton area, and who have made significant contributions to their professions and community. Over the decades, more than 300 women have been honored.
This year marks the first time the event will be presented by a major sponsor, Wells Fargo. Regional President Brenda Ross Dulan, a strong supporter of the YW’s mission, will emcee the awards ceremony on Thursday, March 3, at the Hyatt Regency Princeton.
“Tribute to Women is our signature event,” said Nancy Faherty, director of advocacy and development. “It is a time when YW leaders and supporters, past and present, come together to recognize the achievements of empowered women in our community.”
Returning co-chair Anna Lustenberg has been joined by Karen Jezierny of Princeton University to lead this year’s effort. YW CEO Judy Hutton says the event is important because “the YW is on a mission. With dedicated volunteers, generous supporters and a tireless staff, recognizing another class of awesome honorees helps us venture into our fearless future!”
What also makes this year’s Tribute special is that it is the first time two major awards will be bestowed on the same evening. The Fannie E. Floyd Racial Justice Award will be presented to Cecelia B. Hodges and the Waxwood Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Doodie Meyer. YWCA President Heather Kisilywicz noted the decision to present both awards is a celebration of the YW’s banner year, as well as a reminder that there is still much work to do.
In addition to Hodges and Meyer, this year’s honorees are Lisa Breza of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton; Stacey Geurds of the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office; Shannon Greco of Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory; Lenora Green of Educational Testing Service; Sharon Pfluger of The College of New Jersey; Jane Silverman of Jane Silverman and Associates; Elizabeth Protage Walsh of PNC Wealth Management and Marcia Wood of Trenton Community Music School.
Wells Fargo and Ross Dulan felt that this was an especially good time to step up as Presenting Sponsor because doing so affirms several significant achievements. The YWCA Princeton recently expanded its Breast Cancer Resource Center onto the campus of the D&R Greenway, helping preservationists study how open space can benefit those recovering from cancer. Also, YWCA Princeton became the first nonprofit in New Jersey to administer the high school equivalency test. With almost one million adults in the state without a high school diploma, this is an important milestone.
In addition, the YW is now part of the FIRST Lego League Robotics, thanks to the efforts of Dr. Cheryl Rowe-Rendleman, a 2013 Tribute to Women honoree. Rowe-Rendleman, a tireless advocate for introducing girls to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), was elected to the YWCA Board in 2014 and has done a remarkable job pioneering this initiative.