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Going Above and Beyond at YWCA Mohawk Valley: Annual Meeting 2019 Recap

Categories: YWCA MV News

YWCA Mohawk Valley (YWCA MV) recognized longtime employee Gail Timmerman for her 16 years of dedication at the agency’s annual meeting yesterday.

Laura, Gail, Melanie

YWCA MV presents the Oreatha Bowens Award to a deserving employee who always goes above and beyond for the agency. Oreatha Bowens was a well-loved employee of YWCA MV who passed away in 2004. Named in honor of Oreatha, the award recognizes someone who exemplifies the mission of YWCA MV and demonstrates outstanding leadership, dedication, and achievement in the workplace.

Gail is an Advocate at the Herkimer County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) and has been a dedicated employee since 2003. She also spent eight years before that volunteering with the center by answering the crisis hotline.

“In doing work like this for many years, it’s easy to lose sight of what we are here for when we feel as if we aren’t able to do enough to protect our clients from future harm,” says Laura Popiel, Crisis Services Director at the CAC. “Gail has never given up on the notion of keeping our clients safe through information, education, and supportive and caring services that help people navigate the entire process and heal from their trauma. Gail, most importantly, is a warm and compassionate human being that truly listens and believes in the clients she works with every single day. She is dedicated, stubborn (in the best sort of way!), and a loving and giving person that is so deserving of this award.”

“Gail gives great attention to detail in all that she does,” said Melanie Lamana, a fellow CAC advocate, “and always lends a hand no matter how difficult the task may be.”

Gail was instrumental in helping to form the county’s multidisciplinary team to ensure the uniform handling of all child abuse and neglect cases, and assisted in all the necessary legwork to earn the CAC’s accreditation from the National Children’s Alliance.

YWCA MV CEO Dianne Stancato opened the meeting discussing the impact of the agency’s child advocacy services, noting the statistics from 2018 and calling them alarming.

“It’s our moral responsibility to do this work,” she said.

The meeting also recognized YWCA MV’s outgoing board members Marabella Colon, Dawn Laguerre, Katherine Shea, and Vice President Dietra Harvey.

In addition, the Board of Directors elected a new slate of officers for the 2019-20 term:

  • Board President:
    Jennifer DeWeerth, Dean of Student Enrollment, Mohawk Valley Community College
  • Vice President:
    Carol Steele, Retired
  • Treasurer:
    U’nice Elliott-Jefferson, Issuer and Loans Service Operations Supervisor, BNY Mellon
  • Assistant Treasurer:
    Pamela Matt, Esq., Executive Director, Utica College Young Scholars Program
  • Secretary:
    Sonia Martinez, President/Executive Director, Mohawk Valley Latino Association, Inc.