Brooklyn women recognized at Courier awards ceremony

We honor the borough’s distinguished women

for The Brooklyn Paper
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Photo gallery

Cheers!: Brooklyn Ale’s Roni Shoyfer and Greg DeFreitas-Lee of Investors Bank share a toast.
Word from the top: Clifford Luster, publisher of Courier Life Publications and Community Newspaper Group, welcomes the crowd and congratulates the honorees.
Keynote speaker: writer and activist Ellen Freundenheim salutes the women and hails their accomplishments.
Night of trophies: Awardee, right, Kathleen Longo, director of corporate programns at Estee Lauder Companies, is lauded by Courier senior account executive Stephanie Stellaccio.
Welcome to the podium: Founder and “chief enjoyment officer” of Akwaaba Bed & Breakfast Inns, right, Monique Greenwood is hailed a “Woman of Distinction” by Celia Weintrob, publisher of The Brooklyn Paper.
Honors galore: Verna DuBerry Ademu-John, program manager for the Partnership for a Healthier Brooklyn at the Bedford-Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, accepts her trophy from Courier administrative assistant Jennifer Stern.
True heroine: “Woman of Distinction” Katherine Khatari, a community relations specialist at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, is hailed for her grassroots successes by, left, Courier account executive Jeanne Eisenhardt.
All together: The honorees share the spotlight!
Presidential speech: Borough President Adams takes to the podium.
Topping triumvirate: Friends show support to honoree, center, Wendy Z. Goldstein, president and C.E.O. of Lutheran Healthcare.

“For most of history, Anonymous was a woman,” said Virginia Woolf, who should have been at our Brooklyn Women of Distinction awards night to see the hoo-ha surrounding our honorees.

Courier Life Publications and Community Newspaper Group honored 25 of the borough’s best and brightest females with a gala at the El Caribe Country Club in Mill Basin on May 21, attended by Borough President Adams.

The accolades capped our 2014 Brooklyn Women of Distinction magazine, which came out last month and reported the accomplishments of the diverse group, which hailed from all tiers of the workforce and included in its ranks educators, social workers, activists, healthcare advocates, executives, and entrepreneurs.

The honorees — nominated by their peers and selected by independent judges — were picked for turning simple workdays into exceptional opportunities to improve the lives of others and advance Brooklyn, stated the publisher of the weekly community newspapers.

“You may see these women walking along the street, seated next to you on the bus or train, or shopping in your local grocery store, but there is nothing ordinary about them,” said Clifford Luster.

Their stories were inspiring: A Marine Park restaurateur was displaced from her own home after Hurricane Sandy, but worked to locate shelter for neighbors and patrons whose homes were washed away. A Jewish healthcare CEO revived a flatlining Christian medical institution and restored its broken bond with the church. A retired dance teacher from Manhattan Beach took up a thriving twilight career as a performing hip-hop artist.

Their combined efforts contributed to raising public consciousness about important issues, remarked keynote speaker Ellen Freudenheim, a freelance author and activist, and Brooklyn editor for

“It’s people like the honorees that make the problems and solutions in our lives visible,” she said.

The event was coordinated by senior account executive Stephanie Stellaccio, with help from administrative assistant Jennifer Stern, and Celia Weintrob, publisher of The Brooklyn Paper.

Check out our 2014 Women of Distinction magazine at

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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