A press release: January 11, 2017

ALBANY, NY – The Women’s Fund of the Capital Region is pleased to announce that three outstanding women of achievement have been named as 2017 Trailblazers.

  • Ann DiSarro, consultant on aging and former director of Senior Services of Albany
  • Maggie Fronk, Executive Director of Wellspring, and
  • Elizabeth Miller, Executive Director of the Capital District Women’s Resource Center (WERC)

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 ninth Trailblazers Awards Luncheon on Friday, March 10 at the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia.

Honorary chair for the event is Mona Golub, 2015 Trailblazer and Price Chopper Vice President for Public Relations and Consumer and Marketing Services.

DiSarro spent decades serving the community, devoting more than 25 years of service to Senior Services of Albany. Prior to joining Senior Services, DiSarro served as the director of Title V employment programs for the City of Schenectady. Since her retirement in 2006, she has worked as a consultant for a long list of Albany organizations that serve seniors and serves on a number of non-profit boards.

Fronk has been the executive director of Wellspring since 2002. She has more than 30 years of experience working with vulnerable populations including: the mentally ill, individuals with HIV/AIDS, homeless families, and domestic violence and sexual assault survivors. She serves on the Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Advisory Committee by appointment under Governors Pataki, Spitzer, Patterson and Cuomo.

Miller is the Executive Director of the Capital District Women’s Employment & Resource Center (WERC), one of 13 centers throughout New York State that help Displaced Homemakers find employment. Her passion for the Center started more than 20 years ago when she was hired as the Training Coordinator, developing the employment network still used today. In her current position, she is responsible for all of WERC’s operations and ensuring the overall success of the agency. In addition to her accomplishments with WERC, Miller has more than 20 years of experience as an active community member and volunteer.

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 over $420,000 in scholarships, emergency funds and grants:
    • $168,500 grants to 19 organizations
    • $240,000 in scholarships to 51 women attending Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC) and Schenectady County Community College (SCCC).
    • $14,200 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.

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.