Monday, May 23, 2011

2011 Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Announced



Laura Harwin
YWCA Greater Pittsburgh

YWCA Greater Pittsburgh Announces the 2011 Tribute to Women Leadership Awards

Awards Luncheon scheduled for Wednesday, May 25

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 20, 2011): The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh will recognize seven extraordinary women for their demonstrated excellence and leadership in the workplace and in the community as part of the 29th annual Tribute to Women Leadership Awards Luncheon to be held on Wednesday, May 25, 2011, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m., at the Westin Hotel, 1000 Penn Avenue.

Awardees for 2011 include:

Allerton Award for Lifetime Achievement: Eva Tansky Blum, Senior Vice President & Director, Community Affairs, PNC Bank; Chair & President, The PNC Foundation

Arts & Culture: Janet Sarbaugh, Senior Program Director, Arts and Culture, The Heinz Endowments

Business & Industry: Yvonne Cook, Vice President, Highmark, Inc.; President, Highmark Foundation

Civic & Community Service: Bonnie W. VanKirk, Community Volunteer

Health & Human Services: Claudette R. Lewis, Special Assistant to the Director, Allegheny County Department of Human Services

Professional Services: Rona L. Nesbit, Executive Vice President, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust

Science & Technology: Valerie Patrick, Ph.D., Sustainability Coordinator, Bayer Corporation

“I am truly impressed and inspired by the work and achievements of these seven outstanding women, and the strides they’ve made to improve the lives of women and children in the Pittsburgh region,” said Magdeline E. Jensen, Chief Executive Officer, YWCA Greater Pittsburgh. “Each of this year’s awardees uniquely embodies the YWCA’s legacy as a social force for good in the community.”

The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh launched the Tribute to Women Leadership Awards in 1983 to affirm its mission to empower women and girls to reach their personal and professional goals. Since then, the YWCA has honored the accomplishments of more than 200 exceptional women, saluting them for helping to shape the direction of our region and improve the lives of others.

The Allerton Award, named after the first president of the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh, Mrs. O.H. Allerton, was created to honor a woman for lifetime achievement. Mrs. Allerton served as president of the YWCA’s board on three separate terms; from 1878 to 1881, 1895 to 1896, and 1915 to 1916. This special award is given, at the discretion of the Selection Committee and with approval of the YWCA Board of Directors, to a woman who epitomizes the philosophies and concepts of the YWCA. This year’s Allerton Award recipient, Eva Tansky Blum, is only the 11th such recipient of this honor since the inception of Tribute to Women 29 years ago.

Peggy Finnegan, co-anchor for WPXI Channel 11 News at 5 and 6 p.m., is serving as Mistress of Ceremonies during the luncheon. Ms. Finnegan was honored with a Tribute to Women Leadership Award in 1997 in the Communications category.

Proceeds from the event benefit the YWCA Greater Pittsburgh’s programs and services. For more information about Tribute to Women, call 412-255-1279 or e-mail

The YWCA Greater Pittsburgh is a women’s membership movement committed to the elimination of racism and the economic empowerment of women and girls. To learn more about the YWCA’s programs and services, visit or call 412-391-5100.

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