DCA Hosts the 2008 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awards

Eleven Outstanding Women and Organizations Honored From Across the State

PRINCETON, N.J. – In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Department of Community Affairs today announced the recipients of the 2008 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awards at Drumthwacket.  The annual ceremony, sponsored by DCA’s Division on Women and the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women, honors outstanding individuals and community-based organizations that advocate for and support women.

“The organizations being honored today represent an extraordinary group of women who push our state forward,” Governor Jon S. Corzine said. “It is clear that the strength, compassion and drive embodied by Ms. Woodruff and Senator Lipman continue to thrive among the women of New Jersey.”

“Women’s History Month acknowledges the accomplishments incredible women throughout history that have enriched all of our lives,” DCA Commissioner Joseph Doria said.  “The Wynona Lipman and Connie Woodruff Awards honor today’s history makers - women that work to make life better for all New Jerseyans.” 

The Connie Woodruff Award is named in honor of the late Connie Woodruff, the first Chairperson of the New Jersey Advisory Commission on the Status of Women and past President of the National Association of Commissions on Women. The Wynona M. Lipman Award is named for the late Senator Wynona M. Lipman, the first African American woman elected to the New Jersey State Senate, and champion of women’s rights, minorities and children. 

“We are proud of the quantity and diversity of this year’s applications,” said Division on Women Director Janice L. Kovach.  “All of the applicants are outstanding women and organizations that are making significant contributions to the community.” 

2008 Connie Woodruff and Wynona M. Lipman Awardees

Connie Woodruff Award for Excellence

The Honorable Mary Taylor Previte, Former Assemblywoman
Camden County
For years, Mary T. Previte taught English and Journalism to children with challenged urban lives in Camden City.  In 1974, she was invited to serve as Director of the Camden County Youth Center due to her belief in humanity and ability to positively communicate with youth.  She was later elected in 1997 as the first women to serve as President of the New Jersey Juvenile Detention Association.  Previte served four terms as a New Jersey Assemblywoman and is the author of Hungry Ghosts, a book that chronicles the causes and consequences of trouble youth.  She has a master’s degree in english/education from Glassboro State College, now Rowan University.  

Wynona M. Lipman Awards

Empowerment Award

Executive Women of New Jersey
Mercer County
A non-profit organization founded in 1980, Executive Women of New Jersey (EWNJ) provides a forum where senior level women share business experiences and support each other.  EWNJ strives to expand opportunities for women in New Jersey by providing advanced degree scholarships, honoring women of achievement at their biennial Salute to the Policy Makers  awards dinner and encouraging the appointment of women to corporate Boards of Directors.  EWNJ has raised thousands of scholarship dollars for women seeking advanced degrees at New Jersey schools.

Jennifer Goodman Linn
Essex County
After completing her MBA at Harvard, Jennifer Goodman Linn was diagnosed with Myxoid Malignant Fibrous Histiocytoma, a sarcoma so rare it affects less than 1 percent of all cancer victims.  After three major surgeries and a potent protocol of chemotherapy, Linn created Spin4Survival, an indoor cycling event planned to challenge and reward the mind, body and soul, as well as raise money for cancer research.  With a goal of raising $25,000 on the date of the first event, Linn exceeded her expectations and presented doctors with check for $210,000.  The Spin4Survival campaign had raised a total of $610,000 as of January 2008. 

Innovation Award

Yvette Janvier, M.D.
Ocean County
Dr. Yvette Janvier currently serves as the Associate Medical Director of Children’s Specialized Hospital in Toms River and Clinical Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UMDNJ.  Dr. Janvier is deeply involved in the research of Autism, including the evaluation of patients with autism spectrum disorders and health volunteers; assessment of children for autism; and the development of a screening questionnaire for autism to be used by pediatricians across a broad range and functional span currently known as the “Janvier Scale.”

League of Women Voters of Camden County
Camden County
The League of Women Voters has a long history of involving women in the political process.  When faced with the need to increase the ranks of women as elected public officials, the Camden County League of Women Voters established the Running and Winning program, a day-long workshop for high school girls to gain the confidence and knowledge it takes to run for and win in an election, as well as have a voice in the political process.  Although starting in Camden, the program has been presented throughout the state and nation.

Leadership Award

SAFE in Hunterdon
Hunterdon County
SAFE in Hunterdon was founded in 1978 as a grassroots initiative to provide domestic violence and sexual assault services in Hunterdon County.  For over 29 years, this organization has demonstrated its ability to support, serve and advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  As the lead domestic violence and sexual assault agency in Hunterdon County, SAFE in Hunterdon provides services that address the community’s needs that includes, but is not limited to, prevention, education, intervention, advocacy and treatment.

Ruth Anne Koenick
Middlesex County
Ruth Anne Koenick has been an advocate in the anti-sexual violence movement for over 35 years.  During the early 1980s, Koenick was instrumental in creating the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA).  NJCASA is the collective voice for victims of sexual violence, their loved ones and rape crisis centers across New Jersey.  She has served as Director of Rutgers University’s Department of Sexual Assault Services and Crime Victim Assistance in New Brunswick since its inception in 1991.

Synergy Award

The Honorable Riletta L. Cream, Camden County Freeholder
Camden County
The Honorable Riletta L. Cream has served as an educator, public official, human rights advocate and community volunteer during her lifetime of dedicated service.  A native of Camden County, Freeholder Cream has devoted her time, talents and energy to improving the educational system in her community.  Freeholder Cream's accomplishments include the restoration of Camden City Council Chambers, the renovation of Kennedy Plaza and the continued improvement and upgrading of county buildings, and the creation of the Riletta L. Cream Scholarship Fund, Inc. that provides four $1,000 scholarships to all four high schools in Camden City.

National Association of Women Business Owners - Central Jersey Chapter
Monmouth County
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has operated in New Jersey since 1990 and reorganized in 2002 into three chapters: Central Jersey, South Jersey and North Central Jersey.  The Central Jersey (CJ) chapter of NAWBO offers educational, professional, personal growth and leadership opportunities to members via their special events, monthly dinner meetings, monthly newsletters, website and materials.  NAWBO–CJ hosts the S.E.E.D. (Supporting Emerging Entrepreneurs Development) Conference and the Platinum Star Award Gala, two special events that expand opportunities for and recognize exceptional women entrepreneurs.

Visionary Award

Dr. Gita Krull-Aquila, Psy.D.
Camden County
Dr. Gita Krull-Aquila has served as a tireless advocate for women with HIV/AIDS for over 20 years.  As Director of Client Services with the AIDS Coalition of Southern New Jersey since 2003, Dr. Krull-Aquila has overseen more than 20 programs that assist and treat over 800 victims of HIV/AIDS.  Dr. Krull-Aquila has also served as Co-Chair of the Comprehensive Planning Committee of the Statewide Coordinated Statement of Need Task Force and authored much of the final planning document that addresses the needs of women affected by HIV/AIDS in the state and serves as a template for the state to combat HIV/AIDS through the creation of public policy, treatment programs and services.

Industrial Commercial Real Estate Women, Inc.
Mercer County
Industrial Commercial Real Estate Women, Inc. of New Jersey (ICREW NJ) was founded in 1982 by a small group of women in the commercial real estate industry that saw a critical need for an organization that advances women in the commercial real estate industry.  ICREW NJ is a nonprofit organization that promotes communication and interaction between experienced commercial real estate professionals in New Jersey.  The organization’s mission is to advance the professional development of women in real estate through educational meetings as well as to promote the opportunity for business growth through networking on local, state and national levels.