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Brooklyn Women of Distinction

Photo gallery

1/27
Her time: Lucina Clarke, co-founder of My Time Inc., takes her moment in the spotlight.
2/27
Head of the class: Assistant Principal Cassandra J. Brennan is all smiles.
3/27
Cheers: Brewer Katarina Martinez enjoys the gala.
4/27
Social time: Social worker Harriet Bloomberg Blank and guests pose for a picture.
5/27
Reading up: Guests read the Women of Distinction magazine.
6/27
Mother’s Day: Day care owner and mother of four Eladia Causil-Rodriguez.
7/27
Clear as can be: The honorees were each awarded a plaque with their name on it.
8/27
A plus: Teacher Mitzie Holstein, right, steps out of classroom and on to the red carpet.
9/27
Congrats: Inna Lukyanenko celebrates with a guest.
10/27
Her time to shine: Leslie Green, who runs a prom dress giveaway for young girls, looks ravishing.
11/27
Packed house: Guests filled the Dyker Heights catering hall.
12/27
Terrific trio: Community News Group Advertising Director Amanda Tarley and, right, 2015 honoree Carmen Gloria Rosario-Olmedo present Elana Martins with her award.
13/27
Proud grandson: Linda Halsey, who works to raise awareness of cervical cancer, is congratulated by her grandson.
14/27
Starts with her: It Starts Here founder Nicole Favours waits to accept her award.
15/27
Next generation: Brooklyn branch National Association for the Advancement of Colored People president L. Joy Williams has some help at the mic.
16/27
Going forth: Park Slope community activist S.J. Avery steps up to receive her award.
17/27
Awards on top of awards: Nonprofit founder Arlene King received some additional commendations.
18/27
Stem advocate: Digital Girl, Inc. founder Michelle R. Gall takes the mic.
19/27
All smiles: Kim Maier, executive director of the Old Stone House, takes in the night.
20/27
In the papers: Violinist and volunteer Anna Malkina-Shumaeva’s talents have been lauded before.
21/27
Sharing the night: Senior advocate Claudette Macey is surrounded by loved ones.
22/27
Pretty in pink: Dr. Evelyn Castro of Medgar Evers College is all smiles.
23/27
Patriotic philanthropy: Hero’s Benefit founder Gabrielle Puglia and her cheering section.
24/27
Lovely ladies: CNG’s Amanda Tarley and, right, presenter Nicole Robinson-Etienne, congratulate Mask founder Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman.
25/27
Lisette Sosa-Dickson, executive director of Raices, poses for our shutterbug.
26/27
Women supporting women: Rolanda Telesford, of the YWCA Brooklyn branch, is all smiles.
27/27
Deserving award: Amanda Tarley and, right, Nicole Robinson-Etienne flank Monique Waterman, founder of East Flatbush Village.

June, 2018

Borough-wide

Lauding ladies! We toast boro’s best and brightest females at 2018 Women of Distinction gala

Courier Life Publications and Community News Group honored 26 of the borough’s most worthy women at a May 31 awards gala at Sirico’s Caterers in Dyker Heights, celebrating of our Brooklyn Women of Distinction, class of 2018. Comment
Opinion

S. J. Avery

When city and state agencies tell S.J. Avery “No,” she hears the words “Not yet.” Comment
Opinion

Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman

Talking about drug abuse and mental health issues in Brooklyn’s Jewish community was a taboo subject — until Ruchama Bistritzky-Clapman came along. Comment
Opinion

Rolanda Telesford

Rolanda Telesford is a survivor — she was a teenage mom, and was once homeless — but today she is director of Outreach and External Relations for the YWCA. Comment
Opinion

Nicole Favours

Brooklyn native Nicole Favours wants to change the way the borough’s kids think about guns. Comment
Opinion

Monique Waterman

Monique Waterman wasn’t familiar with the term “conflict resolution” when she was 11 years old, but that’s when she began practicing it. Comment
Opinion

Mitzie Holstein

Teacher, poet, and spiritual leader Mitzie Holstein is all about positivity. Comment
Opinion

Michelle R. Gall

When Michelle Gall was growing up in Clinton Hill, she was a straight-A student in math and science — but she says she was never taught how to apply those skills to earn a living. Comment
Opinion

Lucina Clarke

Lucina Clarke wants to make sure that parents of children with autism never feel like they don’t have anyone to turn to. Along with her husband, she is the co-founder of My Time Inc., a support center in Canarsie that specializes in uplifting parents who are raising kids with developmental disabilities. Comment
Opinion

Lisette Sosa-Dickson

Lisette Sosa-Dickson is the voice of the Spanish-speaking elderly community. Comment
Opinion

Linda Halsey

After her daughter died at age 34, Linda Halsey created the Caleb’s Feet Foundation in the hopes that others would be spared her pain. Comment
Opinion

Leslie Green

Leslie Green was born in Kings County Hospital and hasn’t stopped giving back to Kings County ever since. Comment
Opinion

L. Joy Williams

She may be just 39, but L. Joy Williams has already made a lasting impact on Brooklyn, the city, and the country. Comment
Opinion

Kim Maier

She can be found leading tours about the Revolutionary War, corralling costumed children during the Halloween Parade, or throwing together a last-minute event — but no matter where this Woman of Distinction may be, Kim Maier is a cherished fixture in Park Slope. Comment
Opinion

Katarina Martinez

Since quitting her day job and founding her own brewing company in 2015, Katarina Martinez has emerged as one of the most watched women on New York’s beer scene. Comment
Opinion

Jewel Brown

There are some careers that require continuing education. Being a compliance officer for a private home care organization is one such position. Comment
Opinion

Inna Lukyanenko

Inna Lukyanenko, born in the city of Mohyliv-Podilskyi Raion of the Vinnytsia Oblast, Ukraine, made her way to New York in 1994. For someone who professes public speaking to have been her biggest obstacle professionally, she is also quite the people person — a fact she does acknowledge. Comment
Opinion

Harriet Bloomberg Blank

For the past 42 years, Harriet Bloomberg Blank has served as director of the OHEL Geriatric Services, ensuring optimum welfare for seniors and providing them and their families with peace of mind. She does it by connecting the entire community, from kids to teens to adults to elders. Comment
Opinion

Gabrielle Puglia

When speaking to Gabrielle Puglia’s peers, friends, and relatives, the word “passion” comes up over and over again. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Puglia’s mission in life is to help those in her community that are in need. Comment
Opinion

Elana Martins

The love Elana Martins feels for her birthplace is evident by the way she talks about it. Comment
Opinion

Eladia Causil-Rodriguez

For the past 35 years, Eladia Causil-Rodriguez has served Brooklyn by providing infant care and early childhood education at her day care, Eladia’s Kids. The mother of four came to the city from Colombia in 1969, and was impressed even then to “find that Brooklyn was a diverse community of people of all different styles.” Comment
Opinion

Dr. Evelyn Casrto

Being raised in a family that values education highly, it’s no wonder that Dr. Evelyn Castro became an educator. After all, her mother attended Hampton University, where George Washington Carver was one of her teachers. Castro herself also attended a historically black university, Morgan State, receiving a master of science in early childhood elementary education, as well as a master of public administration from Bank Street College of Education, and a doctorate in education administration from Columbia University Teachers College. Comments (1)
Opinion

Deidre Olivera

As one of the first women in the heavy duty cement and concrete trades, Deidre Olivera is a pioneer. Today, she is a current member of union Local 731, editor-in-chief of a community newspaper, a community activist, a business consultant, and a fighter for equality. Comment
Opinion

Claudette Macey

During her more than four decades at Fort Greene Council Inc., Claudette Macey has redefined what it means to be a senior in Brooklyn. Comment
Opinion

Cassandra J. Brennan

Cassandra J. Brennan may have been born in Princeton, N.J., but since 2001 she has made New York — where she currently lives with husband Tom — her home. And it doesn’t look like she’ll be leaving the city anytime soon; she truly loves Brooklyn. Comment
Opinion

Arlene King

Arlene King says she was born to help people. Comment
Opinion

Anna Malkina-Shumaeva

She’s more than 80 years old, but Anna Malkina-Shumaeva doesn’t let that stop her from volunteering in the community she loves. She recently took time from making Passover packages for World War II veterans to share her thoughts about volunteering. Comment
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