A press release: November 3, 2011

On Friday, November 18, 2011, the Women's Fund of the Capital Region honors three outstanding women at its signature Trailblazers Awards Luncheon at the Desmond Hotel & Conference Center. Philanthropist and civic leader A.C. Riley, Ruth Mahoney, President KeyBank Hudson Valley/Metro New York, and Julie Massry Knox, Sales and Marketing Manager Tri City Rentals will be recognized as the Trailblazing Women of 2011.

The Women’s Fund has chosen these distinguished women for this year’s award in recognition of their leadership in philanthropy that challenges and inspires others to support efforts focused on women and girls; contribution of substantial time, knowledge and resources to issues affecting women and girls; long-standing commitment to, and involvement in, community initiatives; and actions as a role model for women and girls. They join nine past honorees, including Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, Jane Golub, Charlotte Buchanan, Jan Smith, Candace King Weir, Dr. Jeanne Neff, and Sr. Constance Casey, snjm.

Almeda C. Riley, a founding member of the Women’s Fund of the Capital Region, and long-term resident of Saratoga Springs, served as Supervisor for Saratoga Springs from 1980 through 1988 and Mayor of Saratoga from 1990 through 1995. She chaired the Board of Supervisors in 1985.

The quintessential community volunteer, Ms. Dake chairs the Planned Giving Committee of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation and is a member of the Board of the Saratoga County Economic Opportunity Council, the League of Women Voters, the Saratoga Springs Historical Society, the United Methodist Church, the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, Saratoga Arts, the Forum for Executive Women of the Capital Region, and the Endowment Committee for the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region.

Ruth Mahoney, a founding member of the Women’s Fund of the Capital Region, serves as president for Key’s Hudson Valley/Metro NY District. In this capacity she serves as the senior representative and spokeswoman and leads the organization’s economic and community development efforts. Prior to relocating to the Hudson Valley, Ms. Mahoney was Capital Region and Hudson Valley/Metro NY market manager for Key Private Bank, responsible for all of the banking, investment and trust needs of affluent individual clients. She was honored as a 2004 Woman of Excellence by the Women’s Business Council of the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce’s, a Business Review Forty under 40 award winner in 2003, a Hope House Funding Corporation Circle of Hope recipient in 2003, and a YWCA of Schenectady as a Woman of Achievement in 2009. An active member of the community, Ruth serves on the boards of the Westchester County Association and United Way of Northeastern New York, where she also serves on the executive and finance committees.

Julie Massry Knox graduated from Emma Willard School in 1998 and she attended Drexel University in Philadelphia, where she received an undergraduate degree in hospitality management. Upon returning back to Albany she attended The College of Saint Rose and received her MBA through their one-year, full-time program. She is a 2011 graduate of the Rensselaer County Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Institute. Ms. Knox is actively involved with many community organizations, including the board of the Center for Disability Services Foundation; The College of Saint Rose Board of Associates and committee member for the annual Community of Excellence event; Treasurer and board member of the Gifts Board of Girls Incorporated; Co-Chair of the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center’s annual Mystery Challenge Event; and cabinet member of the Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York’s Coalition for Tomorrow (under-40 philanthropy group).

Established in 2006 as a collaboration of the Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region, the Women's Fund has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships and grants to organizations that help and support women and girls make meaningful changes to enhance their economic futures.

In 2010 the Women's Fund began a new education initiative to assist motivated but struggling women to achieve their goals of a college degree. To date, the Fund has awarded scholarships to 14 women attending Hudson Valley Community College and Schenectady County Community College. Proceeds from the luncheon will help expand this program—giving others the opportunity to become role models for a new generation of women who will follow in their paths.