Can you think of a woman who possesses the qualities of leadership, influence and
dedication to the Delaware Valley?
KYW Newsradio wants your help to honor the many contributions and accomplishments of women, and highlight the strategies and experiences that help women advance their careers, businesses and lives. Five of these women will be honored and receive the Women’s Achievement Award of 2013.
We have selected the 2013 Women’s Achievement Award winners:
Sister Eileen Marnien, SSJ - Director of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Welcome Center
Sister Eileen Marnien was born and raised in Philadelphia. She entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph in 1974. She holds a BS in Education from Chestnut Hill College. Sister Eileen taught elementary schools in West and North Philadelphia before pursuing a Masters in Social Work from Temple University. As a social worker she worked in the Kensington area of Philadelphia.
Currently Sister Eileen is the Director of the SSJ Welcome Center, a sponsored work of the Sisters of Saint Joseph that focuses on the needs of the immigrant community.
When the Sisters of Saint Joseph decided to open an education and outreach center to serve our newest neighbors, Sister Eileen was appointed as director. Under her direction the Sisters of Saint Joseph secured a property and began the process of rebuilding what would become the SSJ Welcome Center. In March of 2003 the SSJ Welcome Center opened its doors in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. The SSJ Welcome Center offers classes in English as a Second Language, Citizenship Test Preparation, and Computer Skills, as well as assistance with applications related to immigration. Social services are available to help our immigrant friends navigate the city’s health care and education systems. Staff and volunteers willingly accompany clients to clinics, schools, banks and city offices.
During the past ten years the SSJ Welcome Center has grown to capacity as a global community of people of all ages, races, and cultures who gather to share their common goal – to learn English and to become citizens of the United States of America. Passionate about the rights of immigrants Sister Eileen and the staff of the SSJ Welcome Center work tirelessly to advocate for Just Immigration Reform.
Lynne Z. Gold-Bikin, Esquire – Senior Partner in Weber Gallagher’s Family Law Practice Group
Ms. Gold-Bikin is a senior partner in Weber Gallagher’s Family Law Practice Group , as well as Chair of the Family Law Department. . She concentrates her practice in the areas of divorce, custody, support cases, pre-nuptial agreements. Ms. Gold-Bikin has authored numerous books in the field of Family Law and has authored and co-authored numerous articles. She has been a lecturer in law at various law schools and is an Adjunct Professor at South Texas College of Law..
Ms. Gold-Bikin received her B.A., summa cum laude from Albright College in 1973 and her J.D. from Villanova University in 1976. She received an Honorary LL.M. from Albright College in 1996. Ms. Gold-Bikin was admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar in 1976. She was a member of the ABA Board of Governors; served as an Advisor to the American Law Institute, Family Law Project; and has held the following positions: Chairperson of the American Bar Association, Family Law Section (ABA/FLS), 1994 to 1995; ABA House of Delegates, Delegate at Large, 1995 to present; Montgomery County Bar Association Board of Directors, 1992 to 1995; Chairperson of the Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Family Law Section, 1988 to 1990; Commissioner, ABA, Commission on Domestic Violence; and member of the Pennsylvania Future Commission on Justice in the 21st Century. She is on the Editorial Board of The Matrimonial Lawyer and has served on the Editorial Boards of Family Advocate, FairShare, and The Practical Lawyer. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; the AmericanAcademy of Matrimonial Law Foundation, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation; and AmericanCollege of Matrimonial Trial Lawyers, Pennsylvania Bar Foundation. She is a life fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation.
She was recently honored as one of the Top 100 attorneys in the Country by Worth Magazine, as well as one of the Top Ten Divorce attorneys in the country, also by Worth Magazine.
Elsa Candelario, MSW, LCSW
Elsa Candelario has served as the Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (HFC) where she has been employed since 1997. In this role, she is responsible for the overall administration of the organization, founded in 1976 as a multi-service human service agency that provides a wide range of social services and advocacy programs to nearly 10,000 individuals annually across Southern New Jersey.
She is a voice for the community through her participation in a wide-range of activities including her service as board member and executive committee member of the Centers for Nonprofits, member of the Camden County Human Services Advisory Council, past president of the New Jersey Hispanic Directors Association and past president of the Council of United Way of Camden County Partner Agencies. She is also a past member of the boards of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Camden, United Way of Camden County and the Community Planning and Advocacy Council.
She is a well known expert on health and human services issues participating on a number of prominent and influential advisory boards. She was the founding chairperson of the Governor’s Council on Mental Health Stigma from 2005-2009 and was a member of the New Jersey Governor’s Blue Ribbon Advisory Panel on Immigrant Integration from 2007-2009 and the Commission on the Status of Women from 2004-2007. From 1998-2002 she also served as Chairperson of the NJ Latino Health Advisory Committee.
Prior to joining HFC, Ms. Candelario had a distinguished career as a human services administrator in New York City where she also worked with various client populations in direct clinical practice while in affiliation with numerous institutions. She earned a Master’s of Science in Social Work degree from Columbia University’s School of Social Work in New York City, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communications from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 2010, she completed the Leadership New Jersey program. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the state of New Jersey and has provided clinical supervision to numerous social work students. In addition, she serves as an adjunct instructor for the BSW and MSW programs at Rutgers University School of Social Work.
Lori O’Leary founded MusicWorks, along with her husband Jerry O’Leary, MA, MT-BC, to provide music therapy services to children, young adults and seniors with challenges in the Delaware Valley. For the past twelve years, Lori has provided strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, business expansion, and public relations expertise to MusicWorks. She has assembled a strong Board to provide direction and oversight for MusicWorks. Under Lori’s management, MusicWorks, a nonprofit entity, established a Financial Assistance program to ensure that all individuals could obtain music therapy services regardless of their ability to pay.
MusicWorks provides services to children and young adults with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delays and genetic abnormalities. With Lori’s efforts and global evidence-based research, she established a relationship with Pennsylvania HealthChoices Behavioral Health Program to accept Medical Assistance coverage for residents of Delaware and Montgomery Counties. In 2010, MusicWorks received the Star of Excellence Most Innovative Children’s Program Award from the Delaware County Office of Behavioral Health and Magellan Behavioral Health.
To service individuals with special needs, Lori spearheaded the opening of a new music therapy treatment center in Havertown. The center services 140 clients per week. Through the use of music, five Board Certified music therapists work on learning and communication, focus and attention, fine and gross motor skills and socialization within a small group setting.
MusicWorks is truly a pioneer – the first music therapy agency to be credentialed into the Magellan Behavioral Health network nationwide.
Out in the community, Lori has developed relationships to supply services to Overbrook School for the Blind, Presbyterian Children’s Village, Child Guidance Resource Centers, and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit as well as into community living group homes for CADES, Elwyn and LifePath. Between the treatment center and community sessions, MusicWorks touches the lives of over 500 people per week.
Constantly giving back, Lori has established fieldwork opportunities for music therapy students from Immaculata and Temple Universities. She is a Disabilities Awareness Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America – Cradle of Liberty Council training young men to respect the worth and dignity of every person.
Lori is a graduate of Vassar College and earned her MBA from the Stern Business School at New York University. Her partner at MusicWorks, as well as in life, is Jerry O’Leary, the Director of Music Therapy for the organization. Lori and Jerry have two wonderful and talented children – Patrick and Mariel.
A Philadelphia native Rochelle (Shelley) Schwartz was graduated from Lower Merion High School and attended the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to 1990 she was wife to surgeon husband Gordon, and mother to Amory and Susan. In the spring of 1990 her husband Gordon, a breast surgeon, bemoaned the lack of government resources devoted to stamping out breast cancer which was becoming an epidemic. Together they decided to raise the money themselves, and founded the Breast Health Institute, whose initial mission was to provide mammograms to underserved women and to raise funds for research and education about breast cancer. In the course of doing so, she contacted the Komen Foundation , which was in its infancy/ She was instrumental in bringing the Race for the Cure to Philadelphia, where it has been quite successful over the past twenty-plus years.
Since 1990, Shelley has helped to raise more than 13 million dollars for breast cancer. Part of her mission was to advance knowledge about breast cancer by running consensus conferences to tackle controversial subjects in breast cancer. These conferences bring together scientists from all over the world who come to Philadelphia to debate these issues and promulgate guidelines for breast care in these situations. The proceedings of these conferences have been published in several mainstream medical journals and have, in part, changed clinical care for many patients worldwide.
In 2001, recognizing the similarities between female breast cancer and male prostate cancer, she established the Prostate Health International foundation and merged it with Breast Health Institute to create the Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health. The Run 4 Your Life prostate cancer race was started in 2002, and was renamed the Gary Papa Race in 2010, in honor and memory of Gary Papa, the Channel 6 sportscaster who succumbed to this disease. Thousands of men in the Delaware Valley have received free screenings through the foundation’s programs.
In response to many of the European breast experts who attended the consensus conferences, Shelley established the International office of the BHI in London in 2002, changing the name to Breast Health International and affiliating with European hospitals and donating resources to helping breast cancer patients and their families in Italy, Germany, France, Spain and the U.K through the Fund for Living Program.
Shelley and her staff and hundreds of volunteers, here and abroad, work tirelessly to bring their mission to fruition.