The YWCA of Northcentral PA will celebrate its fourth annual Tribute to Women of Excellence at 6 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Holiday Inn, 100 Pine St.
The 2012 class of women personifies the requirements of a Woman of Excellence - the determination required of a strong leader, the selflessness required of a community servant, and the grace and integrity of one committed to the mission of the YWCA - eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity to all.
"Women of Excellence is our opportunity to identify those women who may or may not have been recognized by the community at large for what they have given back," said Diane Glenwright, YWCA executive director. "These women embody goodness. They deserve our respect and praise."
Serving dozens of nonprofit organizations between them, caring for others in their personal and work lives is the common thread. While some are retired from the workforce, the careers and volunteer work of all of these women focus upon improving the quality of life of all those with whom they interact.
"If you are nominated, someone has recognized that you have gone above and beyond the norm," Glenwright said of the honorees. "You are an extraordinary person who cares about people and make the world a better place to live."
Glenwright believes there is no end in sight to this touching tribute.
"We continue to look for Women of Excellence because there are so many outstanding women yet to be recognized."
When nominations were made for Wise Woman of the Year, nominators looked for a woman whose achievement's epitomize and personify individual potential.
The award goes to one with compassion, commitment and perseverance to making a more peaceful, productive community and enhancing the quality of life in Northcentral PA.
Barbara Hudock was named Wise Woman of the Year. As CEO and founding partner of Hudock Moyer Wealth Resources, it is clear that Hudock's skills and success extend far beyond the four walls of her office. This Williamsport resident has made her presence known throughout Lycoming County by her impact on nonprofit organizations and countless lives that have been affected by her generosity.
Hudock's Wise Woman nomination stated that "Her energy and enthusiasm are contagious and once under her spell you become a believer in her cause - whatever it may be."
That enthusiasm is easy to see in her long-list of community involvement. She is a director of WVIA Public TV & Radio, Susquehanna Health, the Pershing Advisor Solutions Advisor Council and a former director of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce and co-chair of the YWCA's capital campaign.
As a former director of the Community Arts Center, and having co-chaired a successful endowment campaign for the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, Hudock's commitment to the arts has been awarded. In 2008 she earned the Governor's "Patron of the Arts" award given by Gov. Ed Rendell. In addition to many professional awards, designations and recognition, Hudock received citations from Congress, the senate and governor when she received the State of Israel Bonds Jerusalem Star Award in 2011.
A graduate of Bloomsburg University, she sat on Bloomsburg University's Foundation Board for 15 years.
After receiving her undergraduate degree, Hudock continued her education through the Securities Industry Institute, a financial industry education program, and completed her Certified Portfolio Manager certification in 2011 through Columbia University.
While she believes in continuing education for herself, Hudock also provides the same through education events and hosting interest groups.
"The qualities that define Barbara Hudock include hard-working, loving and amazingly generous," her nominator wrote. "She cares about the well-being of people and shows it, not by talking about it, but by going out to help."
Women of Excellence
Karen Armstrong - Armstrong's position as senior vice president of administration at Susquehanna Health is one requiring strong organizational skills, leadership and the ability to energize those around her. In her role, she is responsible for information technology, human resources, marketing, communication and the health system's patient experience.
Her career in healthcare began as a registered nurse and emergency room specialist in New Jersey and Michigan before working for the health system in 1981. She continued her education, earning a bachelor's degree from St. Joseph College and then a master's degree in health care administration from Wilkes University, where she also was honored with its Outstanding Achievement Award.
Over the past 30 years Armstrong's adaptability and skills transitioned her from one department within the hospital setting to another. Her career grew into the role of vice president of clinical services at Divine Providence Hospital and then with Susquehanna Health into her current position.
Her caring attitude extends beyond the scope of the hospital. She has served on the boards for the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, Leadership Lycoming and the Lycoming County United way.
She and her husband, Neil, have been married for 41 years and have two adult children, Kristin and Jeff.
Jessica Bower - Bower's expertise in the field of communicable diseases has had far-reaching positive impacts for Lycoming County and beyond. As a communicable disease nurse consultant for the state Department of Health, Bower prevents the spread of disease by educating the community, providing consultative services and recommendations for appropriate treatment of disease and assists in investigations and follow-up for outbreaks.
In her former position, she worked at Susquehanna Health in the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit. She shares her skills and education in her role as a nursing clinical instructor at Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Her education began with earning her bachelor's degree in nursing from Lycoming College and then her master's degree as a clinical nurse specialist and in public health administration from Bloomsburg University.
Her dedication to her education earned her the honor of being named to the International Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau.
When she isn't enjoying traveling with her husband, Carl, and their young sons, Clark and Lucas, she serves on the board of the Williamsport Women's Tennis League, YWCA of Northcentral PA's Board of Directors and volunteers at St. John Neumann Regional Academy.
Rebecca A. Burke - Burke's impressive resume of community involvement spans more than a decade. A former Lycoming County Commissioner and graduate of Kettering College; she is a consultant and certified grant writer and administrator. In this role, she is responsible for grant identification, research, development and implementation. She previously worked for Lycoming College in the Music and Arts Department and served as the executive director of the Williamsport Lycoming Arts Council.
Within the community, Burke has sat on boards for Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport Lycoming Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Properties Corporation, SEDA-Council of Governments, the Pennsylvania League of Cities and Municipalities, STEP, Inc. and the Lycoming-Clinton County Joinder Board.
Her concern for the local community includes involvement in the Williamsport Downtown Design Review Board, Greater Williamsport Alliance, Pine Creek Rails-to-Trails, Route 15 Improvement Coalition, Williamsport Area Transportation Committee and Children and Youth Standing Committee.
Multiple honors have been awarded to Rebecca including County Commissioner of the Year in 2010 awarded by the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania, and multiple awards for her involvement with economic development, volunteerism and the Marcellus Shale industry.
She and her husband, Dr. Tom Burke, reside in Williamsport and have seven children and six grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, traveling, community service and eldercare.
Dr. Jenifer L. DeWald - In 2001, DeWald successfully opened her own practice - DeWald Chiropractic - where she diagnoses and treats patients of all ages.
In addition to providing compassionate chiropractic care, DeWald also provides education to the community, including a "Backpack Safety" program for school-aged children.
DeWald additionally serves as a consultant for Integrity Management, helping others start, grow and manage their chiropractic practices. She earned Integrity Management's 5-star Service Award in 2007. Locally, she was awarded the Phillips-Plankenhorn Small Business of the Year Award in 2011.
A member of the Kiwanis Club and of First United Methodist Church, DeWald uses her practice as a vehicle to host regular fundraisers that benefit many of Lycoming County's nonprofit programs and elementary schools.
She is a graduate of Muncy High School and Lock Haven University and pursued higher education in New York. She became a doctor after completing her education at New York Chiropractic College in Seneca Falls, N.Y. She continues her commitment to her education by being a member of the PA Chiropractic Association and the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
DeWald enjoys running, traveling, hosting a monthly book club at her home and spending time with her husband, Oliver Leber, and their two young children, Ryan and Morgan.
Stephanie Hollick - Hollick, a cum laude graduate from Bloomsburg University with a bachelor's degree in accounting and finance, is an accomplished Audit and Tax Manager with ParenteBeard LLC, where she has worked for the past eight years. In her position, she is responsible for overseeing audit and tax engagements. Her clients include hospitals, health systems, foundations and not-for-profit organizations.
Her work life includes being president elect of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of Healthcare Financial Management Association and a member of the PA Institute of Certified Public Accountants (PICPA). PICPA has named Hollick a member to watch in its "40 under 40" category. She is also a 2012 graduate of the ParenteBeard Leadership, Entrepreneurism and Achievement program.
She has been honored for dedication to her career by being awarded the Reeves Silver Award in 2011 and Follmer Bronze Award in 2009 for dedication and service to the Healthcare Financial Management Association of which she has been named a Fellow.
Hollick is the mother of 19-month-old Elizabeth and wife of Nate, and a member of St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church. Her passion for the outdoors keeps her busy with canoeing, waterskiing, walking and running on the Pine Creek Rail Trail, and spending time camping with her family.
M. Chris Lechien - For more than 30 years, Lechien made the health and education of children her priority. As a health and physical education teacher in the East Lycoming School District, she positively impacted the lives of countless children, motivating them to be active. In addition to teaching, she coached many different sports including track and field, softball, basketball and synchronized swimming.
Lechien graduated from the former Lock Haven State College, East Stroudsburg University and Penn State University.
Her volunteer life has positively impacted the lives of many others throughout Lycoming County. She is a former president of the YWCA Northcentral PA, a Red Cross Volunteer, a board member of the West Branch Athletic Hall of Fame and the East Lycoming School District Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2002, she had the distinct honor of being an Olympic Torch Bearer for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics.
While she may be retired, Lechien is not letting that slow her down. She keeps busy with golf, tennis, fly fishing and cheering on her granddaughter in field hockey.
Diane Page - Page had a successful 30-year career with Prudential Financial Services, finishing her career as an operations and control consultant. Her commitment to her work showed in her professional designations received from Life Office Management Association Inc.
She held licenses in accident and health, life, fixed and variable annuities. These achievements allowed Page to apply a high level of skill in working with those around her.
Since her retirement, Page has continued to work two part-time jobs - as a jury commissioners aide at the Lycoming County Courthouse and a position with Water Works Transport LLC - and has devoted much of her time to local non-profit organizations. She has been an active member of the YWCA Northcentral PA board where she has been involved in the capital campaign, Chair.ity Auction and other events and committees.
Page has been married to Magisterial District Judge Allen Page, for nearly 30 years. Their daughter, Megan, works in training and development for an accounting firm in Richmond, Va., and their son, Allen IV, works as an abstractor in the gas industry locally.
Outside of her work and charity commitments, she keeps busy with gardening, reading, sewing and creating stained glass.
Andree P. Phillips - In 1983, Phillips became president and CEO of Radiant Steel Products Co., a strong female in a stereotypically male industry.
As a successful business owner, Phillips was awarded the Small Business of the Year Award from the Williamsport-Lycoming Chamber of Commerce in 1998. Other recognitions include being named as one of Pennsylvania's 50 Best Women, a WVIA-PA Entrepreneur in 2010, a national runner-up for the Blue Chip Enterprise Initiative Award in 1998, the State of Israel Bonds Award in 2003 and recognition from the Williamsport-Lycoming Arts Council in 2005.
As founder and president of the Community Theatre League, Phillips was honored by the Williamsport-Lycoming Arts Council in 2005. In 2002, she was named the Chamber of Commerce's Volunteer of the Year and earned Lycoming County Brotherhood County USA's Award in 1998. Additionally, she sits on committees with the River Valley Regional YMCA, Chamber of Commerce, Manufacturer & Business Association and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
She earned a philosophy degree from Manhattanville College and a degree in business management from Pennsylvania State University.
Phillips and her late husband, Ray, have seven children and 12 grandchildren.
Savonna Reagan - In her work and volunteer life, Reagan has made helping others her clear priority. She is a housing counsel specialist and Journey House case manager with STEP Inc. She leads clients in individual and group sessions in personal finance and achieving financial stability. She also provides support for those moving from renting to home ownership and to current home owners looking to move into a rental agreement. As a case manager, she provides counseling and coaching that allows indivduals to be in control of their own goals and objectives.
In addition to her years of on-the-job training, Reagan studied nursing in New York and became a certified paralegal in 1998. She received certification in homeownership counseling and forclosure prevention from the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency in Harrisburg.
She received further accreditations from the NeighborWorks program in foreclosure intervention and other financial programs.
Outside of work this mother of four continues helping others by giving her time to the YWCA Northcentral PA, Habitat for Humanity, Lycoming County Human Services Advisory Board and STEP's Community Connect AmeriCorps program. The YWCA Northcentral PA named her the Liberty House Unsung Hero of 2012 for her commitment to helping program participants.
Opal Schlappi - Community service and bringing joy to others has been close to Schlappi's heart for more than 40 years. As a retired inmate systems manager from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, she spends her time sharing her gift of country gospel music and serves on local club and committee boards.
She shares her music ministry to countless individuals in nursing homes, hospitals, churches and senior centers. As a member of Huntersville United Methodist Church, she has participated on many of the church's committees, including chairing the staff-pastor relations committee and the Williamsport Christian Women's Club. By volunteering to teach the children's church program, she helps youth experience church with excitement in terms they can understand.
Outside of her church, Schlappi is assistant secretary of the Kiwanis Club of Williamsport where she volunteers countless hours to projects that serve the Williamsport community. She is vice president of the Williamsport Chapter of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE).
She and her husband, Carl, have eight children, 14 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. When she isn't spending time with her family or playing music, Schlappi enjoys eating out and exercising with Silver Sneakers at the River Valley Regional YMCA.
Karen Woland-Payne - Education has been the focus of Woland-Payne's career. She began as an early education teacher in a private English-language preschool in Rome, Italy and is now the director of the Robert and Maureen Dunham Children's Learning Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology. She oversees the acclaimed program providing early care and education to children ages 1 to 5 in an environment where college students gain hands-on education.
It's clear through Woland-Payne's community involvement that early education is her passion. With a history of working on multiple boards and committees, she sits on the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children, the Leadership Council for the Central Regional Key and the Snyder Union Montour Children Development program board of directors.
Honors awarded to her for her work in early education include 2011 Director of the Year award from the National Coalition of Campus Children's Centers, 2008 Early Educator of the Year award for the Central Susquehanna Association for the Education of Young Children and the 1998 Outstanding Woman award from the Columbia-Montour Women's Conference.
Woland-Payne and her husband, Edwin, have two sons, Daniel and Ethan. When their sons were young, Woland-Payne was at various times a Cub Scout den leader, swim meet official, PSA officer and classroom volunteer.
Peggy Wood - Wood's determination and dedication to success is evident in her career at First National Bank of Pennsylvania. A 37-year employee, she has continuously advanced through various opportunities leading to her current position as branch manager, which she has filled for the past 10 years.
She became a member of Lycoming County Rotary in 2008. She quickly became very involved in events and activities. Shortly after joining, she earned the honor of Rotarian of the year for 2009-2010. The results of her commitment are visible by all members of the community. She serves on the Park Committee which strives to make a beautiful outdoor spots for everyone to enjoy. As chair of the Rotary Balloon Festival Committee, she helps bring beauty and excitement to the county's skies.
In addition to her Rotary activities, she also serves on the Park Committee and she was instrumental in having Christmas lights strung throughout Hughesville and establishing the annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
A 1964 Warrior Run High School graduate, Wood has two children, Timothy and Jennifer, and five grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending time.
She keeps herself busy with her own custom picture framing business, crafting, sewing and gardening.