Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Woman of the Year Announced

The United Way of Northwest Connecticut Women’s Leadership Initiative, co-chaired by Gail Olsen, owner of Ducci Kitchens Inc., and Cailin Cerruto, Ethan Allen Furnishings, is pleased to announce the recipients of the Woman of the Year Award, as well as the award for Best Supporting Organization in the Role of Empowering Women.
The 2014 Woman of the Year is Gladys Cerruto, Former CEO of Torrington Metal Products located in Torrington, CT. She’s a life-long Torrington resident, and has been actively involved in promoting the needs and causes of many not-for-profits. Her volunteerism extends to statewide organizations such as the Connecticut Public Expenditure Council, Advisory Board of Connecticut National Bank, and Northwest Connecticut Community Technical College Board. She’s a former Small Business Woman of the Year through the Connecticut Department of Economic Development.
Dedicated to volunteerism and service, she’s made great contributions in her appointments to the Charlotte Hungerford Hospital Board of Governors (member since 1993) and Board of the Warner Theatre, among others. She generously shares her knowledge, enthusiasm, and expertise to help make a positive impact.
“The Women’s Leadership Initiative committee was unanimous in its selection of Gladys. She exemplifies the leadership role that women play in the Northwest Connecticut community,” noted Ms. Olsen. “She’s been a role model to many young women and broke through the glass ceiling, serving as president of a manufacturing company since 1978.”
The Girl Scouts of Connecticut have been selected as the recipient of Best Supporting Organization in the Role of Empowering Women because of its outstanding work with women and girls in Northwest Connecticut. Founded over 100 years ago, their mission is to build courage, confidence, and character.
“Girl Scouts of Connecticut was chosen because of its very important mission of building girls who make the world a better place,” said Ms. Olsen. “We felt that honoring Gladys and the Girl Scouts was the right way for us to continue this very important United Way of Northwest Connecticut initiative.”
A glamorous celebration will be held on Friday, May 2nd at 6:00 pm at Fairview Farms Golf Club in recognition of the honorees. The $100 tickets include cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, dinner served with wine, an awards ceremony, and dancing with music provided by the band TimeRider.
The Women’s Leadership Initiative, whose mission it is to mobilize the power of women to advance the Common Good in our communities, was founded in August 2012. The focus is Women, Young Women (Ages 13 to 18), and Families to educate, empower, and equip women to create positive changes in our Northwest Connecticut communities and to inspire others.
The committee has created a “Girls Summit” for eight grade girls, which is designed to teach skills for successfully navigating the teenage years, build self-esteem, inspire them to set goals so as to achieve their dreams…in short, to help nurture the skills they’ll need to become successful future leaders. The day will begin with a presentation by keynote speaker Karen Hinds, an inspiring author, business leader, and all-around phenomenal woman. Her personal story will empower our girls and help them develop the courage to make healthy and strong decisions for an amazing future. This program will also include learning sessions such as: Building Strong and Healthy Relationships; Healthy Inside and Out—Good Nutrition and Fitness; Put Your Best Face Forward—Hair, Make-up, and a Fashion Show.
Committee members include: Teresa Allen, Kathy Briggs, Susan Burton, Ashley Cerruto, Emily Emily Marchand-Cole, Cathy Coyle, Deirdre Houlihan DiCara, Tara Lynch, Kara Paganini, Candy Perez, JoAnn Ryan, Colleen Sullivan and Courtney Szigetvari.
For information on the May 2nd gala or the Women’s Initiative call the United Way office at (860) 489-4131.

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