It was a night to honor and be inspired by some amazing women as the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame celebrated women advancing wellness Wednesday night during its 23rd annual Induction Ceremony and Celebration at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
"Our mission is to honor the achievements of Connecticut women, to preserve their stories as part of the larger historical narrative, to educate the public using those stories and, I think most importantly, to inspire the continued achievements of women and girls," said Kathryn Gloor, executive director of the Connecticut Women's Hall of Fame.
"Every year the induction ceremony has a particular theme. For example this year with women's wellness, about 18 to 24 months ago we started looking at who within that particular space is someone that we should be honoring right now."
Inductees this year were Rebecca Lobo, award-winning athlete, Olympic gold medalist, television analyst, author and motivational speaker; journalist Jane Pauley, host of CBS "Sunday Morning" and longtime advocate for children's health, education and mental health; and the late Dr. Joyce Yerwood (1909-1987), the first African American woman physician in Fairfield County, founder of the Yerwood Center and pioneer in drug-treatment programs.
"The woman who has always been my inspiration was my mom. And even though she is no longer alive, she passed away in 2011, in so many ways she is still my inspiration," said Lobo when asked who inspires her. "When I think of when I am trying to parent the right way or do the right thing, I often draw on the example she had for us. Without question, she's the one."
Representing her grandmother, Dr. Joyce Yerwood, was Joyce Carwin, 39, from Stamford.
"To be the first African American physician in my county is something that is just amazing," said Carwin. "In my spare time I continue to make sure that the legacy is never forgotten. ... My grandmother was an amazing person."
In addition to the inductees, 11 women were also honored for their work across all fields promoting wellness: Nancy M. Cappello, director and founder, Are You Dense, Inc. & Are You Dense Advocacy, Inc.; Lisa Chedekel and Lynne DeLucia, co-founders and senior editors, Connecticut Health I-Team; Manon M.J. Cox, president and CEO, Protein Sciences Corp.; Maria Ellis, physician and OB/GYN, Woodland Women's Health Associates, Women's Health Connecticut; Sally G. Haskell, deputy chief consultant for clinical operations and director of Comprehensive Women's Health in Women's Health Services; Karen M. Jarmoc, CEO, Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence; Margo Maine, founder, Maine and Weinstein Specialty Group, LLC; Linda Richetelli-Pepe, senior director, health care economics: payer/employer solutions, Medtronic; Marlene Schwartz, director, University of Connecticut Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity; and Virginia Stuermer, retired OB/GYN and clinical associate, Yale School of Medicine.
The theme for the 2017 hall-of-fame induction is Heroic Women: Honoring Those Who Protect and Serve.