Assemblymember Steck to Hold Women of Distinction Awards

Celebrating extraordinary women of the 110th Assembly District

Assemblymember Phil Steck (D- Colonie) will be holding his first Women of Distinction Awards ceremony on Monday, May 8th, at 6:00 p.m. at the William K. Sanford Library in Colonie. Over the past month, constituents in the 110th Assembly District have nominated more than 60 women who have impacted the lives of others. Steck will be presenting awards to eight honorees.

“It is my honor to recognize these women who devote their valuable time and effort to helping our community thrive,” Steck said. “Whether it’s a local entrepreneur, an educator, a life-long volunteer, or a leader of a charitable organization that betters our region, their dedication to our community cannot be overstated, yet often goes without being acknowledged. The Women of Distinction Awards is one way to applaud the many achievements of the women who inspire us all every day.”

Steck extends his congratulations to this year’s Women of Distinction honorees, which include:

Christina Farinacci-Roberts

Christina served as the assistant principal for the Troy City School District and the principal/CEO of Albany Leadership Charter High School for Girls. In 2017, she started Head to Heart Hands Consulting, and later created a joint venture, W.I.D.E Dynamic Dialogues, which integrates wellness, inclusion, diversity, and equity to promote personal and organizational success.

Deborah Flaherty-Kizer

Following a life-changing congenital heart disease diagnosis, Deborah turned adversity into positivity by documenting her entire heart journey in her published book A Journey of the Heart—Learning to Thrive, Not Just Survive, With Congenital Heart Disease to help support and encourage those with congenital heart disease. She volunteers with the local American Heart Association’s Cardiac Kids group and is a team captain for the Albany Heart Walk’s BetterU Alumnae team.

Sister Doreen Glynn, CSJ

Sister Doreen is a constant presence around the Capital Region in organizations focused on social justice issues, particularly immigration, poverty, food insecurity, racial justice, and criminal justice reform. She has volunteered at the Albany County Jail and Joseph House in Troy and is currently working with the Capital Region Latinos and Literacy Volunteers of America. Doreen has been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for over 60 years and lives out the congregation's mission to "serve the dear neighbor without distinction."

Eileen Satterlee

Eileen will retire at the end of this school year after 34 years in education, the last thirty of which she has spent as the school counselor at Blue Creek Elementary School in the North Colonie Central School District. During that time, she made a meaningful difference in the lives of thousands of individual students and their families, leaving an entire generation of the Blue Creek community with an enduring legacy of positivity and kindness.

Isabella Sementilli

After surviving a bullying incident that left her with a brain injury at ten years old, Isabella published her book, The Short Story of One Tough Cookie: A True Story. She became an advocate for anti-bullying and brain injury awareness organizations and even created her own cookie, Iznettes®️, which she sells and donates the proceeds to the aforementioned organizations.

Margaret Slotnick

Following several years of volunteering with USCRI (US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants) to relocate refugees around Albany, Margaret joined their staff, serving in many different capacities. She has gone above and beyond circumnavigating the logistics of relocating refugees from obtaining housing, medical assistance, food, furniture, benefits, and schooling. She is a true hero for refugees and immigrants in our community.

Melissa Fiorini

Dr. Fiorini practiced medicine in New York City from 2000 to 2012 then returned home to the Capital Region where she has been working at St. Peter’s Health Partners ever since. Dr. Fiorini created the first and busiest clinic for the use of monoclonal antibodies for COVID patients in the Capital District. She worked tirelessly personally scheduling and seeing patients and prevented numerous hospitalizations and deaths.

Wanda Yabor

Master Sergeant Wanda D. Yabor served for over 30 years in the New York Air National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan and Kuwait, as well as Greenland and Antarctica. She has been a member of the Metropolitan Baptist Church for nearly 20 years where she a choir member, Host and Hostess Ministry President, food pantry volunteer, and a host of other activities. Wanda is also the former president and current member of United Sisters of New York, Inc. serving as scholarship committee chairperson, and Jr United Sisters mentor.