By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
More than a dozen women were presented with New York State Assembly citations for their work on behalf of their southwest Brooklyn communities in a ceremony hosted by Assemblyman Bill Colton on April 23.
The women were honored for their efforts in business, education, humanitarian work, military service, civic affairs, health care, government and volunteer work at the ceremony, which took place in the Community Room, 29 Bay 25th St. in Bensonhurst.
Colton (D-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) called it the “Women of Distinction Awards” and presented each recipient with a citation and a rose.
The honorees included: Laurie Windsor, vice chairman of Community Board 11; Jeannette Givant, Democratic District Leader of the 47th Assembly District; Stephanie Wong, founding member of the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn; Heather Fiorica, president of Community Education Council District 21; Priscilla Consolo, active parishioner of Our Lady of Grace Church and special assistant to Colton; Maria Francavilla, auxiliary police officer of the 61st Precinct; Marnee Elias-Pavia, district manager of Community Board 11; Gloria D. Braun, election poll coordinator for the New York City Board of Elections; Christine Imbemba-Treyger, New Utrecht High School teacher; Pastor Connie Hulla of Resurrection Church of New York; Randi Garay, member of the Bensonhurst West End Community Council; Ann Pollack, wife of Rabbi Gary Pollack, of the Jewish Community House of Bensonhurst; Ida Sanoff, member of Friends of the Boardwalk and executive director of the Natural Resources Protective Association and Victoria Stancil, president of the Marlboro Houses Tenants Association.
In March, Colton’s office solicited nominations for the awards. Nominating forms were sent to local residents and civic organizations. Nomination forms had to include a description of the nominee’s character and work. Completed forms were returned to Colton’s district office.
“March was Women’s History Month. Every year, this should serve as a reminder to acknowledge the women in our local community who make a difference,” Colton said. “Countless women work in many different areas of our neighborhood: education, business, civic affairs, volunteerism, military service, health care, public service, and humanitarian matters. These women have made a positive impact in our neighborhoods of southwest Brooklyn, and it is an honor for me to recognize these extraordinary women for their selflessness, dedication, and generosity in contributing to our community to make it a better place to work and live."
Elias-Pavia said she was grateful for the award. “It’s very humbling because I was nominating by someone in the community. And I don’t know who it is!” she told the Brooklyn Eagle. “It’s really an honor to be recognized for the work I do. I love my community and my job. I don’t do it for the recognition.”
Consolo, who is a college student, said she was humbled by the award. "It's great to see the diverse roles women play in our local neighborhoods. Being recognized among such a group of hardworking and dedicated women is humbling. Many of the other honorees have spent decades bettering our community. But I think we all have something in common: we just want to make a positive difference in the lives of other people," she told the Eagle.