A press release: January 3, 2019

ALBANY, NY – The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is pleased to announce that three outstanding women of achievement have been named as 2019 Trailblazers.

Denise V. Gonick, CEO of MVP Health Care;
Dr. Alice Green, Executive Director of the Center for Law and Justice; and
Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill, Producing Artistic Director at the Capital Repertory Theatre.

The three will be honored for their generosity, spirit and leadership in blazing trails to make a difference in the lives of women and girls in our community.

The awards will be presented at the eleventh Trailblazers Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 8 at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia.
Honorary chair for the event is Ann DiSarro, who was recognized as a Trailblazer in 2017.

As CEO of MVP Health Care, Gonick has successfully guided the organization through an increasingly complex health care environment and has led its transformation from a regional health plan to a diversified health care company serving a broad array of customers. As part of that work, she brought together a leadership team that exhibits diversity of experiences and talent, a team where 6 of the 11 are women, which is unusual for most corporate leadership groups, especially in the health care industry. In addition, nearly 75 percent of the MVP workforce is female. Gonick devotes her personal time to helping the community, including through causes that help women, such as serving as co-chair of the American Heart Association’s Capital Region Go Red for Women event and serving on the Forum for Executive Women.

Green has been a community activist and civil rights leader in the Capital Region for more than 30 years. In addition to leading the Center for Law and Justice, an organization she founded, she is an author, professor and active community volunteer. Green has a doctorate in criminal justice, and is often asked to write and deliver lectures on racism and criminal justice topics, as well as to deliver analysis for a number of media outlets. A past and current member of many community boards, she is also founder and board member of the African American Cultural Center of the Capital Region. Her many recognitions include the Shaker and Mover Award from the National Organization for Women, Women of Excellence Honoree by the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce and the Carol Knox Community Service Award from the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Mancinelli-Cahill has directed more than 100 theater productions in her career, including on Broadway, off Broadway and in regional theaters around the United States. She has served as Producing Artistic Director for Capital Repertory Theatre since 1995, and in addition to directing has authored and co-authored plays for young audiences. Empowering girls and women have been themes in her work, from highlighting women in history in her writing to making a commitment that at least one member of every creative team at Capital Rep will be a woman. Under her direction, Capital Rep has been recognized for producing a significant number of female playwrights.

People can register online for this awards luncheon here: https://www.cfgcr.org/secure-donations/trailblazers/ .

Since 2007, the Women's Fund of the Capital Region has raised and awarded more than $502,000 in grants, scholarships and emergency funds — all with a focus on improving women’s lives in the Capital Region. Women often face discrimination, domestic violence, difficulty finding high quality child care and inadequate employment training. Initially the Women’s Fund supported projects that help overcome these obstacles.

In the fall of 2010, in a continued effort to achieve the greatest impact for women in our community, the Women's Fund committed to an education initiative, to help motivated but struggling women achieve their degree goals. Committed to career advancement through higher education, these women still face obstacles to degree completion as they juggle home, work and school. Today, the Women’s Fund is the single largest scholarship donor at both Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College, and 60 women have received these full-year scholarships.

A Schenectady County Community College scholarship recipient said at a previous Trailblazers Award Luncheon, “It takes courage to believe in a student you’ve never met, and that is exactly what scholarship donors do. They give people a chance. On behalf of myself and every student you have ever touched with your generosity, thank you for giving us a chance and helping to make our dreams take flight."

Proceeds from the awards luncheon will allow the Women’s Fund to continue awarding scholarships, helping a new generation of women become role models and trailblazers themselves.

The Women's Fund of the Capital Region www.womensfundcr.org is a component fund of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.