Assemblymember Karen McMahon Honors Nine Women of Distinction

Hundreds of nominations received for McMahon’s annual ceremony

Assemblymember Karen McMahon (D-Amherst/Pendleton) recognized nine women as 2021 recipients of the Women of Distinction award during a ceremony at Island Park in Williamsville on Tuesday evening.

This year marked Assemblymember McMahon’s third annual Women of Distinction recognition. Her office began seeking nominations in March to coincide with Women’s History Month and received hundreds of responses. Women of Distinction celebrates women in Amherst, Williamsville, and Pendleton who have made a positive impact in their community in the fields of education, community/civic affairs, military service, health care, volunteerism, or any other endeavor. Assemblymember McMahon congratulated and thanked each recipient for their contribution.

“I am thrilled to be hosting my annual Women of Distinction ceremony,” said Assemblymember

McMahon. “I always look forward to this event because it is a truly great honor to meet and celebrate these remarkable women who have dedicated their time and talents to making our community a better place. We received hundreds of nominations, so this class is particularly impressive. I was honored to celebrate them and offer my appreciation for their contributions on behalf of the people of the 146th Assembly District.”

“I am pleased to participate in Assemblymember McMahon’s Women of Distinction ceremony,” said Erie County Commissioner of Health Dr. Gale Burstein. “In a time when so much of the news we see is negative and heart-wrenching, she is highlighting examples of leadership, strength and empathy in our community.”

Dr. Gale Burstein, a 2019 Women of Distinction honoree, provided keynote remarks.

2021 Women of Distinction

Jennie Pohl - a 101-year-old “Super Volunteer” who continues to volunteer her time at Congregation Shir Shalom.

Nina Herman-Blumlein - retired speech therapist and Director of Revenue and Related Services for Special Education for the Buffalo Public Schools.

Kathleen Maxian - founder of the Ovarian Cancer Project.

Rhonda Frederick - Chief Executive Officer of People, Inc.

Kathryn Diebold-Dudzic - Associate Vice President of Care Coordination at Evergreen Health.

Mary Lowther - former Mayor of the Village of Williamsville.

Sheri Scavone - Executive Director of the WNY Women’s Foundation.

Mamta Bhargava - founder of the Alankar School of Indian Classical Music.

Arlene Frank - Cantor at Congregation Shir Shalom.

Assemblymember McMahon presented each Woman of Distinction with a New York State Assembly Proclamation celebrating her achievements.