Women of Distinction

Rebecca Seawright honors “change-makers and influencers and the pioneers of the past”

| 24 Mar 2021 | 03:21

In celebrating Women’s History Month, Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright honored several “women of distinction” who serve communities on the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island this week, lauding their contributions to the city.

“We celebrate women today who are exemplary change-makers and influencers and the pioneers of the past upon whose shoulders we stand,” Seawright said in a statement. “They all inspire us to resist and keep up the fight. To the Women of Distinction, we say congratulations! You are an enduring inspiration to our entire community, our beloved city, and our great state of New York!”

The honorees – who include Jeanne Straus, President of Straus News and publisher of Our Town – work in public service, neighborhood businesses, volunteer and nonprofit institutions, civic organizations, labor unions, publishing and medical institutions. They will receive a New York State Assembly citation recognizing “outstanding work on behalf of the community ... worthy of esteem for her civic dedication and service, essential to the advancement of the residents of the 76th Assembly District and the State of New York.”

It’s the sixth year Seawright has recognized “women of distinction” in the community.

The 2021 honorees include:

· Cynthia McCollum, Senior Vice President of Hospital Administration at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

· Jeanne Straus, president of Straus News and publisher of Our Town

· Dorian Colucci Mecir, owner of Dorian’s Seafood Market

· Gayle Baron, former Vice-Chair of Community Board 8

· Saundrea I. Coleman, co-founder of Holmes-Isaacs Coalition and CB8 member

· Deputy Inspector Melissa Eger, commanding officer of the NYPD’s 19th Precinct

· Aiesha Eleusizov, Manhattan Association Chair for Girl Scouts of Greater New York

· Betsy Feist, executive director of the East River Democratic Club

· Dr. Katherine Teets Grimm, physician who specializes in pediatrics and child abuse

· Wendy Machaver, educational rights activist and public member of CB 8

· Josephine Napolitano, owner of Arturo’s Restaurant

· Margaret Price, journalist and CB8 member

· Gabrielle Ross, programmer, app developer and high school student

· Shirley Zussman, sex therapist and member of East 79 Street Neighborhood Association

· Serena Sabet, high school student working to help the homeless and underprivileged children

· Shari Weiner, former mayor of Livingston, NJ and current CB8 member working to get more women elected

· Julia Wischnevsky, civic-minded student dedicated to advocating for social justice