The Victor Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its 2019 Women of Excellence Awards during a dinner at Ravenwood Golf Club.
The awards formally honor the passion, vision and commitment of exemplary women in Victor, and were open to women who live, work, volunteer or attend school in Victor.
“We were so excited to have 140 people in attendance so that, together, we could truly honor and celebrate the accomplished women in the Victor community who make Victor a great place to live, work and enjoy life,” said Jodell Raymond, executive director of the Victor Chamber.
The Jikohnsaseh Award for overall achievement went to Emily Smith from Fisher Associates. Dot Norsen from the American Red Cross received the Lantern Award for volunteer achievement. The Chamber presented the Youth of Promise Award to Victor High School senior Barbara Hansen.
The nominees were individuals who demonstrated the qualities of Jikohnsaseh. Known as the Mother of Nations, Jikohnsaseh helping unite the Five Nations into the Iroquois — or Haudenosaunee — Confederacy which was founded on the message of peace and justice, one that predated the U.S. Constitution by more than 700 years.
The Jikohnsaseh Award honors a woman who lives and/or works in Victor, and has reached an impressive level of professional achievement while serving as a professional role model, leader and mentor. This year’s nominees, in addition to Smith, were Elizabeth Biehler, Allstate Insurance; Michele Caruana, Climbing Vines Cafe and The Caruana Group; Jennifer Gossage, Ravenwood Golf Club; Lisa Olek, LINQservInc; and Alicia Sturn, Farmington Dental.
The Lantern Award celebrates a woman who contributed significantly to the Victor community by volunteering or participating in community programs and initiatives. They serve as role models and demonstrate achievement in the areas of volunteerism, community activism, leadership and mentoring over an extended period of time. This year’s nominees, in addition to Norsen, were Jane Gerace, Friends of the Victor Farmington Library, and Carol MacInnes, Victor Hiking Trails.
The Student of Promise Award recognizes young women ages 15-25 attending school or living in Victor, and dedicated to education while significantly contributing to the betterment of Victor and surrounding communities. They serve as a role model and demonstrate achievement in the areas of leadership, mentoring, activism, volunteerism or participation in community initiatives. This year’s nominees, in addition to Hansen, were VHS students Aubrey Ahern, Jordan Gravino and Katie Kopp, as well as Elizabeth Ann Ives from Finger Lakes Community College.
“Events like this allow Victor businesses to band together to recognize the best in our community,” said Brad Pearson, president of the Victor Chamber. “We are pleased that, through our outreach efforts, the Victor Chamber of Commerce will present more than $350 in donations to Superintendent Dawn Santiago-Marullo and the Victor Central School District Education Foundation in honor of our Student of Promise Award nominees.”
Nomination forms for the 2020 Women of Excellence Award will be available on the Victor Chamber website starting April 1. Visit victorchamber.com for information.