==== Remarks from the AAUW PT Dec. 12, 2020 Zoom ceremony =========
Good Morning. We are privileged to present the 2021 Woman of Excellence Award. This honor is given to a woman who resides or works in Jefferson County and who has contributed significantly to the community through paid or volunteer work. The nominees are evaluated based upon their demonstrated accomplishments in each of four areas:
- As a role model who inspires and energizes others as well as serving as a model for others to follow.
- As a change agent who removes barriers in order to increase opportunities for others.
- As a teacher or mentor who instructs, supports and/or advises groups or individuals.
- As a community activist who contributes directly and positively to the community.
The winner can be, but does not need to be, an AAUW member. Since 1996 when the award was established, a number of AAUW members have been recognized as a Woman of Excellence.
Nominations are solicited from citizens throughout the East Jefferson community, must be accompanied by letters of support for the nominee, and the choice is made by the voting members of the AAUW-PT board. All nominees are worthy of this honor, so the decision is always a difficult one.
We are excited to announce that Siobhan Canty, President and CEO of the Jefferson Community Foundation (read more…), is our 2021 Woman of Excellence. In the short time that Siobhan has lived in Jefferson County, she has made huge strides for the betterment of our community. According to Rose Lincoln “Siobhan has led the board of the Jefferson Community Foundation with energy and vision.”
As a Role Model Siobhan has led increased the number of fund holders, and gives others an overview of challenges and opportunities that face Jefferson County. She leads a “comprehensive programmatic and management program for our nonprofits” providing strategic planning and education. She is “a leader in nonprofit organizing” according to Debbi Steele who has worked for JCF.
Recognizing the critical need for housing in our county, Siobhan created the Housing Solutions Network to review and come up with ideas on how best to solve the problems. Being a Creative Agent Siobhan raised $30,000 to support the new initiative and brought together nonprofits, developers, and landlords to work on creative solutions. She also created the Covid 19 Emergency Fund that raised over $700,000 all of which went to helping our community with “housing, financial assistance, mental health, healthcare, food, and youth/education.”
Kathleen Kler, Former Jefferson County Commissioner for District #3 states that Siobhan “kept the scope of the entire county’s needs in front of the decision making. The transparency of the process and the decision to use none of the donated funds for administrative purposes was and continues to be laudable.” Kathleen also states that Siobhan’s “expertise in handling community crisis events has been a gift to Jefferson County. From her rapid response of gathering donations, to the selection of a representative board for disbursements, to the networking of agencies and individuals, Siobhan demonstrated that a change agent is that person who is ready to face the storm.”
As a Teacher and Mentor Siobhan leads educational programs for nonprofits, has a weekly radio show, and writes frequent newspaper articles that benefit the community. She has organized “giving circles that pool individual contributions for greater impact, taught grant writing skills”, and educated others about charitable networking and giving.
Siobhan is also a Community Activist in that she manages other programs under the umbrella of the Community Foundation. The Fund for Women and Girls and the United Good Neighbor Fund are under that umbrella. She created the “Give Jefferson online campaign that allows nonprofits to introduce their services and successes and raise funds for basic needs.”
Anne Schneider who is a Retired President of Jefferson Community Foundation and one of the members of the Founding Board of Directors states “The true measure of an excellent woman is one who makes a positive difference in the lives of many, without anyone knowing who is responsible for these meaningful contributions. Siobhan Canty is such an excellent woman.”