WHITE PLAINS, NY -- The YWCA White Plains & Central Westchester held its 9th annual In the Company Women luncheon on Friday, May 12 at the Doubletree in Tarrytown. This year’s honorees were Millie Hernandez-Becker, president and CEO of Skyqueen Enterprises; YWCA Board member, Patricia Mulqueen; Dr. Jin Li, neurologist with Westchester Medical Center. Keynote speaker for the occasion was Lauren Leader- Chivèe, co-founder and CEO of All in Together, a nonprofit campaign dedicated to engaging American women in politics and civic action. YWCA board member and Global Head of Bloomberg Corporate Communications, Monica Bertran, served as Master of Ceremonies.
Women’s Research and Education Fund (WREF), a nonprofit organization that promotes equality and justice for women in Westchester County through training, advocacy and recognition of their achievements, inducted the Hon. Amy R. Paulin, NYS Assembly, into the Westchester Women’s Hall of Fame. Assemblywoman Amy R. Paulin has served the 88th New York State Assembly District since 2001. She is the 33rd inductee into the Women’s Hall of Fame. In her remarks accepting, Ms. Paulin said, “I am honored and humbled to be receiving this prestigious award. I am in the company of extraordinary women whose lives of purpose have given women everywhere the hope, tools and opportunities they need to succeed and lead productive lives. I have dedicated my life to public service and will continue to serve in any way possible to advance a progressive agenda for women. I would like to thank the Women’s Research and Education Fund as well as the YMCA White Plains & Central Westchester for bestowing upon me this very special honor.” Assemblywoman Paulin was chosen by a committee of former inductees and other women in the community because of her exemplary record of success, passing 192 laws she authored to empower women, children and families; to combat domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace, human trafficking, to support pay equity, and healthcare, among many others.
WREF and their partners, issue scholarships to assist young women to achieve their future goals, it is part of WREF’s commitment to the future of women and girls by helping them be all they can be. This year’s recipients were: Leyla Valerio, Saint Barnabas High School; Precious Simpson, Independence University, Salt Lake City, Utah; Tiffani Soto, and Abigail Bonilla, both from White Plains High School; Alexis Ingram, Monroe College, New Rochelle; Jamiles Jimenez and Jennifer Madrid, both from Lincoln High School in Yonkers; Anveeta Jagasia, Binghamton University, SUNY; Marcela Oyervide, Port Chester High School; Aujala Singh, Yonkers High School; and Johanna Torres, Maria Regina High School, Hartsdale
Honoree, Millie Hernandez-Becker was recognized as “Women Entrepreneur Champion,” for her strength and perseverance, pushing through boundaries and always championing the underdog. Through her work as the President of the Bedford Central School District’s Special Education Parent Teacher Association Millie has support of inclusive programming for youth – no matter their ability.
Dr. Jin Li was selected as an honoree for being one of the trailblazers in the field of neurology and as such is a magnificent role model for young women. In addition to her duties as a neurologist, she finds time to maintain involvement in the Chinese American Society and Huaxia (wachsia) the Chinese School. In her everyday life and in her vocation, Dr. Li shows her “smart” and sincerely deserves this award as “Health & Wellness Champion.”
Patricia Mulqueen was honored with the YWCA Spirit Award. As a board member and on the YWCA Leadership Council, Patricia lead the agency’s premier educational networking initiative, In the Company of Women, steering it to become one of Westchester’s foremost networking events, reaching over 500 women and men throughout the county. She has dedicated herself to promoting cultural, social and economic enhancements to the organization.
Keynote speaker, Lauren Leader-Chivèe, an author, activist, and an expert and advisor on diversity and women's issues will also soon be a Westchester resident. She was thrilled to be a part of the event saying, “The power of women using their privilege on behalf of those without is incredibly important.” Her latest book is titled, “Crossing the Thinnest Line: How Embracing Diversity—from the Office to the Oscars—Makes America Stronger.”