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WCNY announces Makers: Women Who Make America honorees

WCNY is proud to announce its Sixth Annual Makers: Women Who Make America honorees. These 10 women will be honored at the March 8, 2017 award ceremony to be held at 11 a.m. in the Wesleyan Chapel of the Women’s Rights Historical Park in Seneca Falls. The ceremony is free and open to the public; a post-ceremony luncheon will follow. Registration for either or both of the events can be made at:

The awards first started in collaboration with the PBS documentary “Makers: Women Who Make America.” Since then, WCNY has continued the Makers Awards as a way to celebrate the achievements of Central New York women and inspire others to follow their examples. This year’s ceremony is being held on International Women’s Day. The awards are sponsored by the Lockheed Martin Employees’ Federated Fund with support from the National Park Service.

The post-ceremony lunch, open to the public by reservation, will begin at 12:30 p.m. in the ballroom at the historic Gould Hotel at 108 Fall St in Seneca Falls. There will be a champagne toast to award winners, a lunch complete with dessert and giveaways, and guest speaker, Katie Macintyre, all for just $20 per person! The lunch will conclude by 2 p.m.   Katie MacIntyre, assistant vice president marketing fficer at Generations Bank, is passionate about women’s rights. She serves on the Education Committee of the New York Cultural Heritage Tourism Network, has served as the race director for the Women’s Right to Run 19k/5k in Seneca Falls that benefits the National Women’s Hall of Fame, is on the sculpture committee for Harriet Tubman in Auburn, and is a committee member of Women March in Seneca Falls. Katie’s latest venture is hosting a weekly podcast about gratitude.

“WCNY is proud to showcase the contributions of women who are making Central New York a better place to live and work,” said Debbie Stack, WCNY senior director, education & community engagement. “And it is especially moving to honor these outstanding women in the very location where the nation’s first Women’s Rights Convention was held in 1848.”

The 2018 Makers are:

Kerry Barnes (OSWEGO)
Kerry spends much of her free time making Quilts of Valor for veterans. She organizes sew days, contributes her own money for materials, and travels countless hours to present these very special tribute quilts to physically and psychologically wounded veterans in our region to honor their sacrifices and offer comfort.

Juanita Holmes Bass (HERKIMER)
Juanita has introduced many to classic American Soul Food at her White House Berries Inn, a nationally-recognized B&B and restaurant she opened in 1989 after restoring the historic Victorian-era building that housed it. In 2001 she closed the Inn but launched Juanita’s Soul Classics, featuring her barbecue sauce, special seasoning mix, and sweet potato pie sold in Central New York stores, and in the case of her pie, included in military rations.

Shelly Callahan (ONEIDA)
As the executive director of the Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees, Shelly works to refute refugee stereotypes, and detail the ongoing contributions by refugees to the economy and cultural life of Utica. Recently, she was instrumental in leading the Mohawk Valley Regional Economic Development Council in securing nearly a quarter of a million dollars to build a One World Welcome and Opportunity Center.

Maureen Campanie (MADISON)
Maureen works tirelessly to educate the community about addiction in her role as Associate Director of the BRIDGES Madison County Council on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Recently, Maureen founded Concert for a Cause, a series of events that raise money for worthwhile causes that could benefit from her drive to organize, promote, and run these concert events.

Sandra Hamilton (WAYNE)
Sandra’s passion for local history led her to help create the Town of Sodus Historical Society and have it recognized at county and state levels. She serves on the Sodus Village Board and on the Sodus Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, and was instrumental in supporting the creation and display of the Sodus Point Coal Trestle mural, which portrays the landmark coal dock, integral to the historic role of Sodus Point in the shipping of coal.

Ellen Percy Kraly (MADISON)
Ellen is a geographer, award-winning teacher, and study abroad director. A member of the Colgate University faculty, Ellen’s students engage with community members over issues like food deserts and sustainability, such as in the town of Waterville where they led focus groups regarding small-business development. In 2016, Australia’s Curtin University awarded her an honorary doctorate for her success in repatriating a trove of paintings by aboriginal Noongar children.

Carol Musacchio (ONEIDA)
Carol has been a behavior specialist at Madison-Oneida BOCES for more than 30 years, making a difference in the lives of 3,000 students with educational challenges. The students Carol supports are students others may choose not to have time for or may give up on. She often makes home visits to support students and their families, and she has formed long-lasting connections with former students and their own children who are now in her classes.

Tina Nabinger (ONONDAGA)
Tina has been an elementary school librarian for 24 years, and is always looking for new ways to inspire, and equip her students for success. She started one of the first maker programs in Onondaga County – her afterschool Book Cooks classes that pair excellent reading materials with innovative recipes for them to try. Visits from guest chefs and field trips to explore restaurant careers expand the learning.

Pamela Puri (ONONDAGA)
Pamela saw a need, and worked to fill it. She started her business in 2014 to provide CNY children with early exposure to technology, help them develop coding skills, and spark an interest to pursue futures in science and technology. Her startup has grown from an afterschool program to a successful year-round business.

Tracy Verrier (CAYUGA)
Tracy is an agricultural entrepreneur as well as the executive director of Cayuga Strategic Solutions, which includes both the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce and the Cayuga Economic Development Agency. She was part of the team that helped Cayuga County earn top honors in the recent New York State Regional Economic Development Council awards.

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