WERC 2018 Awards Luncheon

WERC 2018 Awards Luncheon

** Announcing the WERC 2018 Awards Luncheon **


Date:  September 27, 2018
Time: Noon to 1:30 PM
Place: Hart’s Hill Inn, 135 Clinton Street Whitesboro, NY 13492

The luncheon is our opportunity to acknowledge and honor several outstanding women in the Mohawk Valley, and is also an important fundraiser that helps support the services we provide.

The WERC Awards Luncheon offers several ways to support the economic advancement of families living right here in Oneida and Herkimer counties. Your ticket purchase or donation will fund essential career counseling, training and job readiness services enabling our participants to gain employment and become contributing members of their community.

Our Keynote Speaker:

Franca Armstrong

Associate Vice President of Workforce Development
Dean of the Rome Campus at Mohawk Valley Community College

Franca Armstrong sets the priorities and objectives for MVCC’s branch campus in Rome, NY and the non-credit Workforce Development activities of the College. She has been with MVCC for 18 years in various roles.

Franca serves on numerous boards and enjoys the work of touching so many organizations. She is currently Immediate Past Chair of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, serves on the boards of the New York State Association of Training and Employment Professionals, Herkimer Madison Oneida Workforce Development Board, Rome College Foundation, Griffiss Local Development Corporation, and the Rome Memorial Hospital.

Franca holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration and Policy Studies from SUNY Albany, a Bachelor Degree in Sociology/Anthropology from Utica College and an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from MVCC.

Luminary Award:

Alice Savino

Executive Director
Workforce Development Board of Herkimer, Madison & Oneida Counties, Inc.

Alice Savino is the Executive Director of the Workforce Development Boards of both Herkimer, Madison & Oneida Counties as well as Chenango, Delaware and Otsego. Alice ensures that these boards are made up of representatives from local training providers, private businesses, elected officials and workforce program leaders. It is her main focus to evaluate the current skill needs of local businesses and to match those needs with a trained and stable workforce. In addition to the federal funding allotted to the WDBs, Alice has also been extremely successful in securing additional grants and resources that have been used to serve a variety of groups, including ex-offenders, youth and especially women.

Alice holds a BS Degree in Economics from Russell Sage College and she has served on a number of boards including, The Genesis Group, the RCIL Living Foundation, the School and Business Alliance, Mohawk Valley Economic Development District, NY Association of Training and Employment Professionals, the Oneida County Executive Vision 2020 Committee, The Governor’s Regional Economic Development Councils and Mohawk Valley EDGE. She is also a past recipient of the Mohawk Valley YWCA’s Salute to Outstanding Women.

Peaceful Partner Award:

In memory of Rev. Dr. Tom Hast

This past year Empowered Pathways lost a dear friend, Board member and dedicated volunteer, Rev. Dr. Tom Hast. Tom served more than 20 years as an officer in the U.S. Navy and worked as an electrical engineer with IBM, which later became Lockheed Martin. He received a Doctorate in Ministry from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Along with leading two churches, Hast was a former president of the Rome Clergy Association, served as an area minister with the American Baptist Churches of New York State, worked with the Mohawk Valley Community Action Association, and volunteered with the American Red Cross, including time spent with recent hurricane relief efforts. Tom served on the board of Empowered Pathways and volunteered as a Family Court Appointed Special Advocate. In 2004, Empowered Pathway honored Tom with the Advocate of the Year Award.

Legal Aid Society of Mid New York, Inc.

The Legal Aid Society of Mid-New York (LASMNY) was founded in 1952 to provide civil legal services to individuals who could not afford an attorney. Since that time, while Utica remains as its main office, LASMNY has grown to a 13 county program with 7 offices spread throughout those 13 counties and 70 staff. In addition to those 7 offices LASMNY has an office in New Paltz which houses its Farmworker Law Project and which provides legal services to migrant farmworkers throughout all of New York State.

LASMNY’s cases involve issues affecting the basic necessities of life such as housing, protection from domestic violence, subsistence public benefits, and Social Security. At any time LASMNY will have about 2,000 cases open program wide. During 2017 LASMNY closed 5,402 cases and those cases benefitted 11,901 individuals.

WERCing Woman of Achievement:

Theresa Hamilton

Theresa Hamilton has been working for the last year and a half as an Office Assistant I at the Mid-state Correctional Facility and most recently at SUNY Polytechnic Institute. She is a 2016 graduate of Herkimer College with an Associate Degree in Business; Health Management Services Technology and also received a Medical Coding/Transcriptionist certificate in 2014.

In 2016, Theresa was made aware of the Women’s Employment & Resource Center through the Herkimer Working Solutions office and successfully graduated from our five week WERC to Work job readiness training. Through this workshop, Theresa was able to improve on her computer skills, job interviewing skills and possessed a new level of confidence to move forward in her search for employment.

Our Emcee:

Mark Leuthauser

Director of Training & Programs, The Peacemaker Program

Born in Auburn, New York but raised in West Utica, Mark attended Notre Dame High School, where he served as Company Chaplain in his NJROTC unit. He also attended Mohawk Valley Community College, where he earned a degree in Human Services with a Counseling focus. He brings nearly ten years of experience working with the Oneida County Department of Social Services, and has volunteered with children in venues from Agapé House to Sunday school.

Mark has been with The Peacemaker Program since 2006, and has earned dozens of ADR-focused certifications. These include Farm Family Divorce Mediation, Parent-Teen Mediation, Civil Arbitration, Lemon Law Arbitration, Cultural Competency, Large Group Facilitation, and more. He has delivered trainings across the country, and continues to practice regularly as a mediator and arbitrator to keep his skills sharp.

In addition to being the resident facilitator, Mark also serves as The Peacemaker Program’s webmaster. He has presented a regional Landlord Training Program, and conducts programs at local schools, in addition to having provided regular programming for Donovan Junior High School and Proctor High School. He currently resides in Whitesboro with his wife, son, and daughter.

Ticket Purchase Information

Tickets to the luncheon are $45 per person and can be easily purchased through our online and secure link, or by calling our office.

To purchase tickets online, click here Purchase Tickets Now

To purchase tickets through our office, please call 315-793-9700

Thank You very much for your generous support, and we look forward to seeing you at the luncheon September 27.

Speaking of generous support, here is a list of our wonderful sponsors!






Adirondack Financial Services
Bank of Utica
Beverly Quist
Brown & Associates
David Eghigian, Esq.
First Source Credit Union
GPO Federal Credit Union
Herkimer College
Hummel’s Office Plus
McQuade & Bannigan
NBT Bank
Nunn & McGrath Funeral Directors
Precision Unlimited Car Care
Scalzo Zogby & Wittig, Inc.
Utica First Insurance
YWCA of the Mohawk Valley