More than 50 Central Connecticut women were honored Thursday afternoon at the YWCA Women in Leadership luncheon at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington.
“Thank you for all that you’ve done to make our world better,” said Robin Sharp, executive director of the New Britain YWCA, in her opening remarks. “You truly are an amazing and inspiring group.”
Women were presented awards and inducted into the Carol R. Virostek Academy of Women Leaders for their accomplishments and contributions to businesses, nonprofits, education, government organizations and the community. Since the event was established in 1985, more than 650 women have been honored.
New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, a featured speaker, praised women in New Britain including Superintendent of Schools Nancy Sarra, Director of Finance Lori Granato, and acting Deputy Police Chief Jeanette Portalatin.
“Women are playing a very vital role in leading and shaping our community and for that we are extremely proud,” said Stewart, a past recipient of the YWCA Women in Leadership Award for her work with the Connecticut Breast Health Initiative’s Race in The Park.
Attendees had a dinner of lemon chicken, potatoes and green beans while they watched a slide show of strong women in action.
Women in Leadership Chairwoman Jessica Hernandez thanked the committee and many sponsors of the event.
The following women were honored and inducted into the Carol R. Virostek Academy of Women Leaders:
Lillian Agostini, volunteer, CCARC Inc., and owner, New Britain Transportation Co.
Ann Anderson, coordinator for Feed the Need Ministry, South Congregational First Baptist Church.
Francine Austin, past president, New Britain Lions Club.
Marie Bachand, vice president North-Oak Neighborhood Revitalization Zone.
Giselle Benitez, production lead, Okay Industries Inc.
Rose Booker, food service manager, CW Resources Inc.
Donna Clark, senior warden, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church.
Ivonne Daigle, director of day services, Bristol Adult Resource Center.
Athena Dellas, chief financial officer, Wheeler Clinic.
Myrna Garcia-Bowen, director, transfer and articulation, Central Connecticut State University.
Paula Gilberto, president and CEO, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut.
Alexandrea Isaac, general counsel, Starion Energy Inc.
Nancy Kroeber, board member, Connecticut Breast Health Initiative.
Jill Larmett, disability resource coordinator, Capital Workforce Partners.
Nella Lastrina, executive administrator, Greater New Britain Chamber of Commerce.
Elaine Lechowicz, secretary, Arch Area Neighborhood Revitalization Zone.
Michelle Lewis, organizational assistant, Connecticut Breast Health Initiative.
Nelba Marquez-Greene, founder and executive director, Ana Grace Project.
Barbara Marzi, executive assistant and development coordinator, CCARC Inc.
Jessica Parlapiano, accounting payroll administrator, CW Resources Inc.
Janice Pina, assistant principal, Slade Middle School, New Britain.
Lynn Ricci, chair, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, and president and CEO, Hospital for Special Care.
Kimberly Selvaggi, executive director, LISA Inc.
Kim Sirois Pita, founder and owner, Pita Peaces.
Dayna Snell, executive director, Queen Ann Nzinga Center.
Ashley Stone, founder and owner, Beauty Entourage and BE Salon and Studio.
Julie Swan, community service officer, New Britain Police Department.
Zulma Toro, president, Central Connecticut State University.
Tamara Vrabely, accounting manager and acting corporate secretary, Okay Industries Inc.
Galina Wolinetz, head of integration management, Stanley Black & Decker.
Jenifer Yarsawich, detective, New Britain Police Department.
Student honorees include:
Amal Al-Hidalmi, Southington High School
Flore Barrillon, Conard High School
Alisha Chhabra, Rocky Hill High School
Claudia Cupe, Asnuntuck Community College
Taylor Domingue, Bristol Eastern High School
Annette Figueroa, Lincoln Technical Institute
Gillian Gereg, Farmington High School
Sonya Hadley, Middletown High School
Jenna Liseo, Cromwell High School
Sage Maier, Tunxis Community College
Sarah McAuliffe, St. Paul Catholic High School
Ebaa Mohmed, New Britain High School
Emma Moore, Wethersfield High School
Demesis Negron Figueroa, Central Connecticut State University
Keagan Ostop, Northwest Catholic High School
Victoria Pham, Conard High School
Daneirys Rivera, E.C. Goodwin Technical High School
Emma Roski, Berlin High School
Isabella Russo, University of St. Joseph
Jenna Scanlon, Newington High School