April event to honor 8 women
Bethlehem’s YWCA will celebrate the volunteer achievements of local women and teens at the 41st Annual Women and Teens of the Year Award Ceremony April 7, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Event Center at blue.
The YWCA will present four special awards; the Golden Laurel, the Women of the Year Award, Outstanding Public Servant and the Teens of the Year Award.
Golden Laurel Award
Ashley Russo is a two-time Emmy® award-winning executive producer and president of ASR Media Productions. Russo’s commitment to the community is evidenced by her active involvement as a board member of United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit and Business Partners Council, Wildlands Conservancy, The Auxiliary of St. Luke’s Hospital, and the One Saturday Program. She participates on committees for the Lehigh Valley Food and Wine Festival (a benefit for Northampton Community College), Northampton County Medical Society Alliance, and Equi-librium’s Derby Day. Her leadership and philanthropy have demonstrated a commitment to improve the quality of life in our community.
Women of the Year
Laura G. Azzalina is senior vice president, sales manager at Firstrust Bank. Azzalina is the chair of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council and the Women 2 Women Mentoring Program. She also serves on the Girls Scouts of America’s “Take the Lead” Committee. Previously, she has served on the boards of Valley Youth House, The Children’s Home of Easton and Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley. She was an Athena Award winner in 2009 and received the Lehigh Valley Business Journal Women of Distinction Award in 2015.
Carrie Ward is supervisor of information systems at PPL Services Inc and is also an international and commercial real estate agent with The Frederick Group. Ward actively promotes diversity at PPL where she is a member of all of the company’s Business Resource Groups including PPL Women’s Network, African American Business Resource Group and Latino Employee Alliance for Diversity. In the community, she serves on the board of Lehigh Valley Children’s Centers and is co-chair of membership with Women’s Leadership Council of the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley. She is a member of the American Red Cross Clara Barton Society. Since 2010, Ward has donated 5% of her real estate commissions to charities selected by her clients.
Gladys Wiles is president of Snyder & Wiles PC. Wiles is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Lehigh County Bar Association. Her commitment to the community is demonstrated by service on several boards. Currently, she is Immediate past president of the Board of Directors at the YWCA of Bethlehem, vice president of the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council, and a board member of the Satori Music Chamber and Muhlenberg College Board of Associates.
Outstanding Public Servant
Marta Boulas Gabriel is Sen. Patrick Toomey’s regional manager for the Lehigh Valley, which encompasses a seven-county region. She previously worked for the Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce, Air Products & Chemicals, and Binney & Smith. In addition to her professional work, Gabriel currently serves on the board of Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Minsi Trails Council - Boy Scouts of America. Previously she has served on the boards of Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of the Lehigh Valley and the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra. She is a member of the League of Women Voters of Northampton County and volunteers at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church in Easton and the Easton Area High School PTSA.
Teens of the Year
Meghan Eller is a senior at Freedom HS where she maintains an excellent GPA ranking her in the top 10 of her class. She is the vice president of the National Honor Society and is the Family Relations captain of BASD Mini-THON, a student led organization that raises money for the fight against pediatric cancer. She has represented Freedom at the Hugh O’Brian Leadership Conference and is the captain of the school’s nationally recognized cheerleading squad. Meghan plans to major in biology and pursue a career in neurological or genetic disorders.
Sabrina Lin is a senior at Liberty HS. She is a member of the LHS choir, Welcome Team and the school newspaper. In addition to working for her family’s business, she regularly volunteers at Trinity Soup Kitchen and serves as a canteen attendant during Miller Keystone Blood Center blood drives. She will be the first in her family to attend college and plans to major in nursing.
Leticia Patino-Flores is a senior at Liberty HS. She is an honor roll student and member of the Grenadier Band and Liberty Orchestra. In previous years, she participated in stage crew, student government and Bethlehem youth council. She is the president of Cancer Crushers and the Latino Youth Leadership Club, and serves as a committee co-chair for the National Honor Society. She volunteers at Broughal MS and Holy Infancy Church. Leticia plans to major in political science and may pursue a career in law.
The Annual Women and Teens of the Year Awards ceremony is made possible by generous support from community sponsors: Snyder & Wiles, PC, Highmark, St. Luke’s University Health Network, Moravian Academy, National Penn Insurance, PPL, Northampton County Medical Society Alliance, ASR Media LLC, B. Braun Medical Inc., KingSpry Herman Freund & Faul, LLC, Moravian Village of Bethlehem Inc., Pendurthi Surgical Association, and the Northampton County Medical Society Alliance.