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image of a compass Trailblazing Women of 2007

At the first Annual Trailblazer Luncheon, on Tuesday, May 15, 2007, the Women's Fund of the Capital Region honored three outstanding Trailblazing Women of 2007: Teri Bordenave, President and CEO of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region; Charlotte Buchanan, Retired, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams; and Jeanne Neff, Ph.D, President of The Sage Colleges.

Photo of Jeanne Neff, Ph.D., Teri Bordenave and Charlotte Buchanan
Jeanne Neff, Ph.D., Teri Bordenave and Charlotte Buchanan

These women were selected for this award because they provide leadership in philanthropy that challenges and inspires others to support efforts focused on women and girls; contribute substantial time, money and vision to issues affecting women and girls; demonstrate a long standing commitment and involvement in community initiatives; and act as a role model for women and girls.

Teri Bordenave
President and CEO of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region

Photo of Teri Bordenave Teri Bordenave has served as President/CEO of Girls Incorporated of the Greater Capital Region since 1988. During her 19 year tenure, the organization has seen unprecedented growth –serving approximately 4,000 girls in only Schenectady County to serving over 20,000 girls in Albany, Rensselaer Saratoga, Schenectady, Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie counties. The budget has grown from less than $300,000 to $1.6 million.

A tireless advocate for girls’ rights, Teri served on the national Girls Incorporated board of directors for seven years, was a member of the Executive Committee and chaired its Board Development Committee. She earned a Masters of Human Services Administration from Antioch/New England Graduate School where she focused on organizational development and training/consulting.

Photo of Teri Bordenave with friends from Girls Incorporated Currently she serves on the board of directors of the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society and is Vice President of the Susan Odell Taylor School Board of Trustees. She is a driving force behind Schenectady County Embraces Diversity (SCED) and a founding member and Chair of the Tech Valley Nonprofit Business Council of the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce. As a member of the Leadership Team for the Nonprofit Executive Roundtable, a project of Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, Teri co-authored the 2006 case study entitled, High Tech Growth and Community Well-Being: Lessons Learned from Austin, Texas.

Teri has received numerous awards including the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce Women of Excellence Award, the General Electric Accolade Award for Community Leadership, the YWCA Women of Achievement Award, the Agency Chief Executives of Schenectady Leadership Award, the Schenectady Business and Professional Women’s Woman of the Year Award and the Schenectady County Democratic Committee John F. Kennedy Community Service Award.

Charlotte Buchanan
Retired, McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams

Photo of Charlotte Buchanan Charlotte Buchanan is a graduate of the Albany Law School. About nine years ago she retired from the practice of law at the firm of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams in Albany, New York. Her practice was in the areas of closely held and not-for-profit corporations and estates and trusts. For five years she team taught biomedical ethics at the University at Albany.

Charlotte chaired the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce in 1987. She chaired the State Commission on the Capital Region in 1995. She sat on the boards of directors and boards of trustees of many corporations and organizations. Among many others, she was on the boards of the Center for Economic Growth and its Executive Committee, Kaiser-Permanente Northeast, and Albany Medical Center. Currently she is on the boards of the Albany-Tula Alliance, the New York State Board for Professional Medical Conduct, the advisory board of the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program & Harbor Management Plan of the Town of Bethlehem, the board of trustees of the Capital Region YMCA, she is an emerita trustee of the Albany Law School, and she chairs the Subcommittee on Strategic Partnerships of the Advisory Committee of the School of Social Welfare of the University at Albany. Charlotte is married to Charles Buchanan. They have four children and twelve grandchildren.

Jeanne Neff, Ph.D.
President of The Sage Colleges

Photo of Jeanne H. Neff Dr. Jeanne Neff is the twelfth president of The Sage Colleges, which includes Russell Sage College for women. A graduate of Wheeling Jesuit University, Rice University and Carnegie-Mellon University, she has had a long career in higher education, first as a faculty member and scholar in the fields of poetry and women’s studies, and later as an academic administrator and chief executive officer. Dr. Neff has been a national leader in the independent college sector, helping to launch a national consortium focused on innovation and best practices, the Associated New American Colleges, of which Sage is now a member. She has served on the boards of many national organizations, most recently as Vice-President of the Council for Independent Colleges (CIC).

In the Capital Region, Jeanne Neff is widely recognized as a leader in economic and community development as well as an advocate for women’s education and advancement. She has been instrumental in restoring many of the residences in Troy’s historic district to owner-occupancy and was recognized by the Preservation League of New York for her work in restoring historic buildings on the Russell Sage campus. She has also established the first nanoscience business incubator at a woman’s college. Dr. Neff is Chair of the Board of the University Heights Association, a member of the boards of Albany Medical Center and Capital Bank and Trust Company, co-chair of the Historic Troy 2020 community planning group and a director of the Troy Redevelopment Foundation. Jeanne Neff is known to listeners around the country as the co-host of 51%, a public radio news program about women produced locally at WAMC.