A press release: August 4, 2014

ALBANY, NY – The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is pleased to announce that three outstanding women of achievement have been named as 2014 Trailblazers.

  • Gloria DeSole, retired Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the Office of Affirmative Action, University at Albany
  • Alissa M. Quinn, First Vice President, The Quinn Wealth Management Group, UBS Financial Services, Inc., and
  • Milinda Reed, Esq., Service Director, Unity House Domestic Violence Services Program.

They 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 seventh Trailblazers Awards Luncheon on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia.

DeSole retired in 2000 after a long and distinguished career as an academic and tireless social activist. Her academic experience and dedication to social justice led her to develop a nurturing vision of Affirmative Action. At the University at Albany, she worked to create an environment that encouraged success. She also took on issues of sexual violence and harassment. DeSole authored several books, including “Rocking the Boat: Women and the Academic Process.” Her many awards include the UAlbany Distinguished Alumni Award and the Albany National Organization for Women Making Waves Award.

Quinn is founder and head of The Quinn Wealth Management Group at UBS Financial Services in Albany. From her early career days as the only woman in her employer’s firm, Quinn has become a leader in financial services, participating in the Barron's Winners Circle Summit for Top Women Advisors since 2007. She has served on numerous non-profit boards and founded the Professional Women’s Network. Quinn, an accomplished ballroom dancer, also founded Zoller Ballroom Kids, an inner city children's ballroom dance program.

At Unity House, Reed developed and implemented the Law Project, which provides free legal representation for victims of domestic violence. She has grown it to a staff of 40, working for clients in civil legal matters, including divorce, custody, visitation and child support. Federal regulators have hailed the program as one of the most comprehensive in the nation. Reed has also forged collaborative partnerships with the courts, police, public assistance and child protective service personnel. Her community linkages led her to team with the Hudson Mohawk Humane Society to support the fostering of pets when a victim seeks refuge.

The Women’s Fund of The Capital Region is a collaboration of a core group of volunteer women, The Community Foundation for the Greater Capital Region, and the United Way of the Greater Capital Region. Starting in 2007, it awarded grants to organizations that worked to help women and girls find the inner resources to overcome barriers of abuse, neglect, poverty and fear. Its education initiative launched in 2010 helps motivated but struggling women achieve their goal of a college degree.

  • The Fund has awarded more than $338,500 in scholarships, emergency funds and grants:
    • $168,500 grants to 19 organizations
    • $170,000 in scholarships to 36 women attending Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and Schenectady County Community College (SCCC).
    • $9,200 for an Emergency Fund at SCCC that is available to assist non-traditional female students who are experiencing unusual or severe financial strain due to a sudden unforeseen crisis.
  • The Women’s Fund is the single largest scholarship donor at SCCC.
  • In spring 2013, the Fund launched its Mentorship Program and facilitated workshops at SCCC and HVCC, helping women recognize the power of their own dreams.

"Opening the pathway for education is an economic gateway…a woman earning a bachelor's degree potentially raises her income to more than $47,000. Education is key to economic development for all. When you help women, you help everyone. It is our collective effort that will create an upward spiral for women in our region," says Beth Coco, 2014 Trailblazers Honorary Committee chair, Entrepreneur in Residence, University at Albany, and 2013 Trailblazer.

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