Honoring The Coalition’s
Women of Distinction
Patricia T. Cataldi
Award: HONORING WOMEN IN NEW YORK
Patricia T. Cataldi is a lifelong resident of the Rochester area and has called Webster her home for the past 46 years. In recognition of her passion for Main Street revitalization, she was asked to serve on the planning board in 1999 and she was eventually elected to the Village Board in 2004, serving a term of four years. In 2009, Ms. Cataldi was elected to the Town Board of Webster, where she currently serves as the only councilwoman.
One of her proudest accomplishments is spearheading the initiation of a series of annual summer concerts and theater performances at the Veteran’s Park and Gazebo. An active member of her community, Ms. Cataldi was a director for the Webster Village Business Improvement District, a committee member with the Webster Chamber of Commerce, and worked with the committee for the town’s new community center.
Following a breast cancer diagnosis in 2006, Ms. Cataldi was introduced to the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester. In the year following treatment, she lent her talents and helped organize and implement several fundraising events. Ms. Cataldi was appointed to the board of directors in 2009 and for three years chaired the ARTrageous Affair Gala, which raised over $325,000 for the Coalition.
Ms. Cataldi currently serves as chair of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester board, in which she regularly travels to Albany and Washington, D.C. with the advocacy committee, visiting government representatives to advocate through determination and experience for legislative issues directly affecting breast cancer survivors.
In addition to her civic and community involvement, Ms. Cataldi continues to work professionally as a registered dental hygienist both in a private practice and at local nursing homes.
Senator Jim Alesi (R-Perinton) announced today that Maureen Chisholm of Fairport and Katherine Clark of Rochester have been selected as 2007 “Women of Distinction.” Both women will be honored at a ceremony tonight at the State Capitol in Albany.
“Both of these remarkable women truly exemplify the definition of “Women of Distinction,” said Senator Alesi. “I am so proud of their achievements and to nominate them for this statewide recognition. They both are valued members of their community and have served as role models for others. Each has given selflessly of their time and energy in their career and to the many civic and non profit organizations they are members of. Both women have been afflicted with and overcome a serious life-threatening illness and have since dedicated their time and efforts to helping others who have also been diagnosed.”
Maureen Chisholm retired from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office after 27 years of service and achieving the rank of Major. To date, she remains the highest ranking woman in the history of the Sheriff’s Department. Retiring due to leukemia, Ms. Chisholm underwent two bone marrow treatments and remains in remission. Throughout her career, she encountered many crisis situations where parents had no safe options for their children. Today, she is the Executive Director of Crisis Nursery of Greater Rochester, an organization that provides a safe haven for children. Crisis Nursery provides 24 hour care to children newborn to age 10 while parents resolve their crisis. Additionally, Ms. Chisholm serves on various task forces and charitable boards.
“Maureen worked her way from part time deputy to achieving the highest rank ever by a women in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department,” said Senator Alesi. “That is no small feat in a career where every day one puts their life on the line to protect the citizens of Monroe County. Successfully beating leukemia, Maureen has gone on to continue to protect our county’s most vulnerable citizens, although in a different capacity. She continues to give of her time and energy to ensure that children are safe, residents are able to work through their problems and she serves on various charitable boards. It is an honor to nominate her for this award.”
Ms. Clark is the CEO and owner of Clark Moving and Storage, a business she founded with her husband Richard in 1985. Under her guidance and leadership, Clark Moving and Storage has grown to a $10 million dollar business, been included in Rochester Top 100 and expanded it services from Rochester to Albany. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, Ms. Clark has become very active in the breast cancer community having served as co-chair of the Rochester Breast Cancer Coalition and Honorary Chair for the Highland Breast Cancer Education Luncheon. She also works closely with newly diagnosed women and facilitates a monthly gathering of breast cancer survivors. In addition to serving on numerous non-profit boards, she also holds many corporate board positions due to her record of success with Clark Moving and Storage.
“Kathy is a remarkable businesswoman with a keen sense of how to grow and expand a business into a multi-million dollar company,” said Senator Alesi. “Her contributions to the Rochester community extend far beyond economics. She has dedicated herself to helping women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and leading the fight for a cure. Kathy is also very active in the business community, serving on many boards that help contribute to economic growth in Monroe County. It’s my pleasure to nominate her for this honor.”
Both women will be honored tonight in Albany at ceremony in the Legislative Office Building next to the State Capitol at the Senate’s 10th Annual ‘Women of Distinction’ Ceremony. Their names will be included in the roll of other women who have made an impact in the community that they lived in and improved the quality of life for all New Yorker’s. Some notable names they will join include Lucille Ball, Susan B. Anthony, Emma Willard, Harriet Tubman and “Grandma Moses” Robertson.
Phyllis Connelly, an outstanding member of her Webster community, is a survivor turned staunch activist in the fight against breast cancer. Ms. Connelly has been a member of the Breast Cancer Coalition of Rochester since 1999, where she has contributed her expertise in many capacities, including Board of Directors’ President and Advocacy Committee Chair. She participates in the “Check It Out” program at Monroe County high schools, where she advocates on the importance of breast self-exams and early detection.
As team leader for the National Breast Cancer Advocacy Day held each year in Washington, D.C., Ms. Connelly has held key positions in the New York State Breast Cancer Network (NBCC). Ms. Connelly also was a participant in NBCC’s Project LEAD, an intensive program that helps advocate survivors to influence research and public policy process.
Ms. Connelly is a former elementary school teacher, and retired from the Social Work Department of Rochester General Hospital. She has also volunteered as a reading and writing tutor, and with the Visiting Nurse Service Hospice Program. Phyllis is currently a member of the League of Women Voters.