They’re the queens of Kings County!
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 our Brooklyn Women of Distinction, class of 2018.
The plaudits capped our 2018 Brooklyn’s Women of Distinction magazine, which profiled honorees whose ranks included activists, administrators, entrepreneurs, executives, and volunteers.
The awardees, nominated by their peers and selected by an independent panel of judges, included such trailblazers as L. Joy Williams, an advisor to elected officials across the country and the president of the Brooklyn branch of the NAACP — the organization’s youngest such leader in the country; Katarina Martinez, who runs Lineup Brewing and is the borough’s only female brewery owner and head brewer; and Dr. Evelyn Castro, vice president for student affairs at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College.
The hosts honored women, such as educators Cassandra J. Brennan and Mitzie Holstein, for their devoted work developing the talents and young minds of Brooklyn’s next generation. And they toasted others, including Eladia Causil-Rodriguez and Arlene King, for their devotion to providing day care for the borough’s youngest.
Some of our 2018 guests of honor — Jewel Brown, Claudette Macey, and Anna Malkina-Shumaeva among them — made careers of tending to the needs of Kings County’s oldest. Still others — including Brookdale Hospital executive assistant Nicole Favours; Michelle Gall, founder of Digital Girl, Inc.; and Leslie Green, founder and owner of the performing-arts company Potpourri of Color — received recognition for the outreach they’ve conducted to local youth.
And two of our Women of Distinction took home nods for selfless service in their Park Slope neighborhood: Park Slope Civic Council member S. J. Avery, an ardent advocate for the rehabilitation of the Fourth Avenue corridor; and Kim Maier, who as executive director of the Old Stone House museum, has transformed that centuries-old structure into a must-visit institution commemorating the historic Revolutionary War-era Battle of Brooklyn.
This year’s women may have taken different paths to “Distinction,” but all are unanimous in one regard: their fondness for their home borough, and in particular its natural beauty. Avery named Prospect Park as her favorite place in Brooklyn because “it is an unfailing source of physical and spiritual inspiration.” King said Brooklyn Bridge Park “allows me to see the work of God and man.” And Linda Halsey — founder of the Caleb’s Feet Foundation, which works to raise awareness about cervical cancer — said she finds “solitude and peace” on the Canarsie Piers.
Community News Group President and Publisher Jennifer Goodstein said the honorees “represent women we see every day walking on our streets, shopping in our stores, and seated next to us on the bus or train. All of them have demonstrated a commitment to work, attention to duty, and love of community that has inspired, educated, healed, and uplifted Brooklyn.”