They're some of the area's best and brightest and on Saturday, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, R-Massapequa, bestowed a special honor upon six outstanding women, each of whom has made their community brighter in their own individual way.
Holding their third annual awards ceremony in Massapequa Park’s , the 12th Assembly District’s Women of Distinction program was started by Saladino three years to celebrate the women who form the pillars of their communities.
“It’s so important for young ladies to have role models of successful women in so many aspects of our community,” he said. “The women we honor are exceptional people; mothers, business leaders, community leaders, leaders in government, and they work very hard.”
After a flag salute led by Vietnam Veterans of America Nassau Post 82, and the singing of the National Anthem by local teen Rebecca Ditzel, Saladino sang the praises of the six reward recipients, presenting them each with large framed certificates of merit.
Sister Loyola Curtin started out in the educational field before joining the parish at in Massapequa, volunteering in many charitable efforts to help the less fortunate.
“It always feels good in Massapequa,” she said. “The people in Massapequa are very active, and helping people isn’t even a job; it’s just something that you enjoy doing. This is a town that responds very easily to being asked to make it better, because we’re all one big family.”
Phyllis Doria, has been an active member of the for 18 years and spearheaded many community projects. She just recently stepped down as chamber president, turning the reins over to Patricia Orzano. Doria will now take up a position in the chamber as treasurer.
Barbara Maertz studied science at St. John’s College, and went on to work at Grumman Aircraft in 1963. She later became chemistry laboratory manager at Farmingdale State College, where she conducted many important experiments. She is also very active in Our Lady of Grace Church in West Babylon.
“Assemblyman Saladino is always there to help and to listen,” she said. “We need to keep Farmingdale State College and this community a real strong place for higher education and everyone’s kids.”
Margaret Minnick, RN, has worked in the medical field for many years. She currently the vice president of patient care services at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bethpage, and has written a noted publication on administrative decision making regarding child care programs.
“I’m very honored by this award,” she said. “St. Joseph’s is a wonderful little hospital. Things are hard nowadays, but we pride ourselves on our quality...we’re among the best hospitals on Long Island.”
Jane Ryan is an accountant and president of J.E. Ryan and Associates of Wantagh. Her firm works primarily with special education services. Ryan is also an active member of the Massaprqua School District, having been a trustee on the Board of Education since 2009, and is currently serving as its Vice President.
“It feels wonderful, receiving this honor,” she said. “Assemblyman Saladino is a great person who contributes a lot to the community. I’ve lived in Massapequa my entire life, and I strive to make it a better place.”
Roseann Vainder is a 35 year resident of Masspequa who has years of volunteer service under her belt. She is currently the Director of the and also runs a very successful Mommy and Me program.
“It feels very humbling...I’m very honored and it’s very joyous,” she said. “Between working with the seniors and Mommy and Me, I’m one of those people that loves going to work every day.”
Saladino said this it’s important to celebrate the hard-working women who improve our community; women who often have to do so while juggling even more duties than their male counterparts.
“It’s especially important that young women see these women and understand what incredible role models they have been,” he said. “Then, these young people can go out and follow their lead and build out community to better and higher heights and to keep making Massapequa and our greater Long Island community very special.”