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Currents - Jan/Feb 2013 6th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner
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Social Work Community Turns Out for Leadership Awards Dinner

Social Work’s Response Recognized One Month After Superstorm Sandy

Peter Beitchman, DSW, LMSW; Chair, NASW Fundraising Committee; CEO, The Bridge


This year's Emerging Leader honorees. Back row, left to right: Chapter President, Martha Adams Sullivan; Craig Sloane; Elizabeth Blackler; Amy Edelstein; Amy Gottheimer; Antonia Barba; Peter Maugeri; NASW-NYC Executive Director, Robert Schachter. Front row, left to right: Jennifer Giuffrida; Jessica Silver; Julia Baldassano; Cynthia Tao; Francis Eichholz Heller; Brian Mundy

This year's Mid-Career Leader honorees. Back row, left to right: Chapter President, Martha Adams Sullivan; Michael Arsham; Joseph H. Girven; Benjamin R. Sher; Michael A. Lewis; NASW-NYC Executive Director, Robert Schachter. Front row, left to right: Maureen Curtis; Fran Gau; Sheilah Mabry; John Tsoi; Anderson Torres; Laura Katz













Each of this year's Top Leader honorees with Chapter President Martha Adams Sullivan (far left in each picture) and NASW-NYC Executive Director, Robert Schachter (far right in each picture). Clockwise from top: Maria Elena Girone; Carmen Ortiz Hendricks and Elaine Congress who presented the award; Paul Levine and Mary Pender Greene (award presenter); Mary Redd and Alma Carten (award presenter).



By any measure, the 6th Annual Leadership Awards Dinner was a huge success. First, we had quantity: almost 500 guests attended, making it the largest celebration of social work in 2012 and a highly successful fundraising event. Then there was quality: the leaders we honored in all three categories, (Top, Mid-Career and Emerging), were truly deserving and a source of pride to all social workers in the City. Add to that the bonus of heartfelt remarks from City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who thanked the Chapter for orchestrating the magnificent social work response to Super Storm Sandy. Speaker Quinn marveled at the speed with which Bob Schachter and the team responded to her call for help and at the number of social workers who volunteered in the critical days following the storm.

To elaborate on the thrill of the awards: I think our dinner is the only professional association event in which the full scope of a career is acknowledged and celebrated. When you have legendary leaders of the field (Maria Elena Girone, Carmen Ortiz Hendricks, Paul Levine and Mary Redd) who have contributed so much and nurtured so many, sharing honors with 10 mid-career standouts and 12 emerging leaders who in the early years of their career have already made noteworthy contributions, you get to experience the full breadth and depth of what a career in social work can be. It’s always truly inspiring for me just to witness.

Then there was the sheer joy of being together. Gary (it’s-hard-to-believe-he’s-a-social-worker) Parker was our high-spirited MC for the evening. And there was the usual competition among the partisans of the schools of social work represented by the honorees. As the name of each honoree’s school was mentioned, cheers filled the hall from those who were associated in one way or another with that school. (I felt a little sorry for the one emerging leader not from one of the City’s schools of social work, although her colleagues certainly cheered her on).

So much good feeling, plus a nice treasury to be able to keep a strong voice with City and State government officials at a crucial time when we are advocating for both the clients we serve and our profession (licensing, loan forgiveness, enhancing salaries and working conditions, promoting anti-oppressive and culturally competent practice).

Thanks to the Chapter staff, Fundraising and Awards Selection Committees for an outstanding event; looking forward to next year’s event! 


City Council Speaker Christine Quinn thanks NASW-NYC for our help in organizing social workers to respond to the devastation brought on by Superstorm Sandy.
Almost 500 people gathered on December 6, 2012 to honor 26 social work leaders and recognize the response of social workers in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. From left to right: Susan Wong, former Co-Chair, NASW-NYC Asian American Social Work Task Force; Roschelle Holland Stearns, Co-Chair, NASW-NYC PACE; New York State Comptroller Jon Liu; Emerging Leader honoree John Tsoi.


Click here to read more about this year's honorees

Click here to view photos from the Awards Dinner


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