Women of Influence to be honored

July 31, 2013 Updated Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 AM EDT

By Donna Collins, Buffalo Business First Managing Editor

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Women of Influence to be honored

July 31, 2013 Updated Jul 31, 2013 at 9:13 AM EDT

Business First will present awards to more than two dozen area women for their contributions to the community.

The Women of Influence Awards, which are sponsored by Lake Shore Savings Bank, will be presented to 25 women Sept. 17 at Salvatore's Italian Gardens. Aesthetic Associates Centre is the gold sponsor of the event.

The awards recognize the business acumen and community spirit of these women, Business First Publisher Jack Connors said.

"The panel chose these women based on their ability to rise above a very talented pool of competitors," Connors said. "We're honored to recognize their accomplishments."

Colleen DiPirro, the longtime president of the Amherst Chamber of Commerce, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The 2013 winners are listed below in the following categories.

Behind the Scenes recognizes women who, though they may not have the big title or corner office, are a driving force behind the success of their employer.

• Gayle Houck, comptroller and grants manager, The John R. Oishei Foundation

Community Supporter recognizes women who go beyond the call to devote time, energy and resources to support their community

• Nancy Langer, president, Nativity/Miguel Middle School of Buffalo

• Therese Vita, partner, the Siwiec Ryan Vita & Associates Group of Merrill Lynch

Corporate Executive recognizes female executives who have made their mark in a large corporate environment.

• Julia Culkin, vice president of administration, Synacor

• Beverly Foit-Albert, president, Foit-Albert Associates Architecture Engineering Surveying

• Peggy Penders Tronolone, communications and public relations director, Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York

• Melissa Tucker, vice president talent management, HealthNow New York Inc.

Creativity recognizes women who solve problems in the office and enrich the lives and careers of others by sharing the benefits of experience and knowledge.

• Erin Kosich, owner, Embraceable Ewe

• Kristin Lawrence, CEO, Hamburg Finance Academy

Entrepreneur honors women who are the chief executive, president or founder of a company or business venture that they helped start, build or significantly grow.

• Wendy Wilson, president, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery

Family Business recognizes women who are helping to create a legacy at their family-owned business or company.

• Sharon Brown, president, Brown Inc.

• Sandra Fisher, vice president, Appliance Associates/Artisan Kitchens

• Grace Munschauer, president and owner, Deronde

Innovation recognizes women who have improved the lives of others by helping start a business, product or service in the fields of engineering, science, technology, biotechnology or medicine.

• Christine Czech-Mann, CEO and practice administrator, Buffalo Rheumatology

• Laura Edsberg, director, Center for Wound Healing Research, and associate professor, Natural Sciences Department, Daemen College

Inspiration honors women leaders who, through their words, actions and attitude, inspire those who work with and around them.

• Mary Brennan-Taylor, vice president of programs, YWCA of Niagara

• Jeanne Marie Basior, M.D. emergency physician, Buffalo General Hospital/Kaleida Health

• Sue Gardner, attorney, Kavinoky Cook LLP

Nonprofit Leadership honors women who display high energy and skill in a leadership role at a nonprofit institution or organization.

• Marcia Giambrone, conductor and music director, Buffalo Choral Arts Society

• Toby Laping, president, Canopy of Neighbors

• Brenda McDuffie, president and CEO, Buffalo Urban League

• Patricia Weeks O'Connor, executive director, Our Lady of Victory Senior Neighborhood

• Anne Orsene, executive director, Hearing Evaluation Services of Buffalo Inc.

Public Policy recognizes female leaders who have made or are making a difference in government policies or laws that impact business and industry.

• Kathleen Sweet, attorney, Gibson McAskill and Crosby LLC; and outgoing president, Erie County Bar Association

The judges were:

• Peggy Grenauer, Excuria Salon, 2012 Women of Influence winner

• Jennifer Kuhn, Hamburg Overhead Door, 2012 Women of Influence winner

• Nancy LaTulip, vice president, Lake Shore Savings Bank

• Joyce Markiewicz, Catholic Health Home Care, 2012 Women of Influence winner

• Judy O'Mara, Baker Victory Services, 2012 Women of Influence winner

For ticket info, contact Karen Schiffmacher at 716-541-1631 or kschiffmacher@bizjournals.com.

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