The “Women of Honor” award was created to recognize women who exemplify leadership and promote health and wellness in their communities. We have recognize women and their companies who have made significant advancements in the areas of Education, Humanitarian & Culture, Community Service, Entertainment & Art, Artistic Expression & Business Entrepreneurship. View our Women of Honor wall below to learn more about these amazing women and their organizations. To support their efforts please contact them directly for more information on how you can support. If you would like to nominate a Woman of Honor please submit the information below:


The “GAIA AWARD was created to recognize and honor Individuals, Groups, and Organizations that positively impact education, girls and women's rights and environmental sustainability.
Esther Gitobu was born and raised in Kenya. After attaining college education, Esther secured her dream job with the Central a Bank of Kenya where she worked for 11 years. In 1999, she answered the call to missionary service and moved from Kenya to Democratic Republic of Congo where she was involved in peace and reconciliation efforts in a country that was torn by war for decades. Her desire to continue empowering especially young women, led her to continue her missionary journey to Cambodia in 2002 until now. She particularly delights in connecting partners in the United States and local partners in Cambodia through the "In Mission Together" program.

While serving in Southeast Asia, Esther has felt a growing passion to help young people in Cambodia acquire the resources needed to obtain high school and college education. In Cambodian culture, parents consider boys more important than girls. That makes more chance for boys to go school while girls have no option but staying at home helping parents for the household chores. Many parents in Cambodia cannot see how crucial formal education is for their daughters. It is for this reason that Esther dream's to create a Scholarship Endowment Fund to assist future generations. She was instrumental in initiating “University Scholars Program" that is now supporting 89 young women to attain college education as well as raising funds to help build dormitories where young women can stay while they go to school.

Esther also helps women groups involved in making Cambodia Crafts find market for their handcrafts so that they are not exploited by the middlemen. Esther believes that when you educate a woman, you educate a whole community. When you empower a woman, you empower a whole community.

GEWWC 2018 Women of Honor Nominees

Science Nominee

Dr. Sabrina Caliendo

GEWWC 2018 Science Honoree

Dr. Sabrina Caliendo is a British Chiropractor, Wellness Speaker and Writer with a special interest in creating health in the body from the inside-out. After graduating from AECC in England in 2000, she was fortunate to have practiced in Britain’s top family Chiropractic practices where she developed a love of working with pregnant women, babies and children. Dr. Sabrina Caliendo is an Internationally recognized expert in Natural Health. She has worked with newborns to those upwards of 90 years of age.

Her experience includes many forms of Chiropractic which deal with Cranial work, Nutrition, Chronic Illness, Pediatrics, Chirodontics (dentistry and Chiropractic together), Emotional release work and women’s health. Her additional certifications include the Websters technique which is a gentle therapy for the pregnant woman.

In 2004 she founded the Wave of Life Wellness Center in the U.K. In 2015, Dr. Sabrina Caliendo opened Nurture Wellbeing Chiropractic in Stonybrook, NY, fulfilling the need in her community. It has grown into a thriving office with an emphasis on educating the community about Chiropractic care and living to one’s highest potential. She is a wife and mother of two daughters.

Fine Arts Nominee

Christie Devereaux

GEWWC 2018 Fine Arts Honoree

Ms. Devereaux was born in Brooklyn. She studied at Pratt Institute and has a degree in Industrial Design. While at Pratt, Ms. Devereaux also studied modern dance at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan. She has performed with famed choreographer, Robert Wilson, and went on tour for a year with the Electric Circus.

In 1969, Ms. Devereaux moved to Italy. While in Italy, she worked as an industrial designer and graphic artist. In addition, she painted commissions for the church and the state. Her commissioned portrait of Padre Pio is in the permanent collection in the Museum of Padre Pio, Pietrelcina, Italy.

In 1980, Ms. Devereaux returned to New York. She has exhibited in numerous galleries and museums. Her solo shows include the Interchurch Center in New York, NY, Port Washington Public Library, Port Washington, NY, National Association of Women Artists Gallery, New York, NY.

Empowerment Nominee

Lisa Pinkard

GEWWC 2018 Empowerment Honoree

Lisa Pinkard is currently studying to obtain her Master's Degree in Social Work from Fordham University. She received her B.S. Degree in Legal Studies from St. John's University. Moreover, she spent her undergraduate years studying in an American Bar Association approved program at Suffolk County Community College where she received her A.S. Degree in Paralegal Studies. Her love for law and people inspires her to continue her professional and scholastic journey.

Lisa is a dedicated wife and mother of three who desires to see children of all races succeed. Her father served as Executive Deputy Director for the New York State Division of Youth for New York.

Today, Lisa Pinkard organizes community meetings, forums and workshops to discuss local concerns and to promote dialogue on how to overcome the challenges that hide in disenfranchised communities. Ms. Pinkard uses her knowledge of the legal field and political infrastructure to educate all those she encounters on the importance of education and civic engagement. She is a woman of faith that believes in the possibility of collaborative change.

Humanitarian Nominee

Linda Leaf

GEWWC 2018 Humanitarian Honoree

Linda Leaf has enjoyed a career focused on volunteerism, humanism and caring. Through her secular education at The Wheatley School and her religious education and United Synagogue Youth Group activities at Temple Beth Sholom in Roslyn Heights. She was awarded a full year's scholarship to study at the prestigious Institute For Youth Leaders From Abroad in Jerusalem, Israel. This unique school featured a multi-national student body with faculty from The Hebrew University and other outstanding professionals supplemented course material. Linda elected to study Art with members of Bezalel Academy, Israel’s National Art School. She minored in Art History and as a result, she has always enjoyed a dual and parallel career in both Art and Politics where she has created, sold, exhibited and presented artwork and represented artists.

After Graduation from Hofstra in 1965 she applied and was hired to serve as the Director of Housing for the newly formed Nassau County Commission on Human Rights, (at the time one of only three county Human Rights Commissions in the country). As Director of OPEN ISLAND, Linda not only assisted people looking for housing on Long Island, but assisted in forming local, state and national Fair Housing Networks as well. Under the direction of Nassau County Police Commissioner Francis B. Looney, Linda became the first female instructor at the NCPD Academy.

Linda has been honored *(partial list) by the NAACP for Distinguished Service for The Cause of Freedom, by CSEA, Women's Committee Recognition Award for Women in Government, and the Roslyn School District's MLK Scholarship Committee. While Linda may have retired from her job in 2000, she has never stopped being a mentor, sponsor, life coach and an inspiration. She suffered a life threatening illness in 2011 and her only comment was on being released, “Glad I didn’t die then, I still have more things to do”.

Health Nominee

Dr. Gertie Hurley

GEWWC 2018 Health Honoree

Dr. Gertie L. Hurley, MBA, D.Min, an ordained minister, is the founder and CEO of Taking Effective Action, Incorporated, a 501 (3) (c) non-profit health and wellness education organization. Dr. Hurley holds a BS in Community Service, an MBA in Health Care and a Doctor of Ministry degree.

She is publisher and editor of Fruit for the Spirit, a devotional and published author. She is also an ordained minister and has received numerous awards for her achievements and community work. Her media exposure includes radio, television and print media such as the Washington Post Newspaper, Essence Magazine and others.

Dr. Hurley is most proud of her community outreach efforts. Through her non-profit; some of her  outreach includes: Kids for Healthy Living; Fit Families/Fit Kids; Seniors Health Education Programs; Fitness and Strength Training, and Image/Self-Esteem Coaching. Her SISTAH Voices program, offers women a safe place to be transparent and begin the steps to establish an action plan to seek their purpose and to create positive change in their lives. Most of the programs are offered free or at low cost to the public.

Performing Arts Nominee

Marcia L. McNAIR

GEWWC 2018 Performing Arts Honoree

MARCIA L. MCNAIR grew up in New Jersey and moved to New York shortly after her college graduation. She has lived in both Harlem and Queens, but has resided on Long Island for over twenty years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Dartmouth College and her master’s degree in Writing from New York University. McNair was an assistant editor at Essence Magazine and is currently an Associate Professor of English, Journalism, and Women’s Studies at Nassau Community College.

She is the Executive Director and Founder of Long Island Girl Talk, a program for teen girls interested in media. McNair’s essay, It Takes a Lioness to Raise Young Lions, appears in Issues in Feminism/ An Introduction to Women’s Studies/Fifth Edition (Mayfield, 2001). Her creative nonfiction story, Before We Were Gangstas, won honorable mention in the 2003 National New Millennium Writers Creative Nonfiction contest and appears in the anthology, Memoirs in the Light of Day (Lamberson Corona Press, 2008). Her poem Long Island Just Isn’t Long Enough is featured in Songs of Seasoned Women (QuadraSoul, 2008). An excerpt from her first novel, E-Males (Aya Press, 2007), was performed at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in 2009.

Her essay The Incident Revisited, which is excerpted in Sistas on Fire! A Newsical was recently published in Black Lives Have Always Mattered/A Collection of Essays, Poems, and Personal Narratives (2Leaf Press, 2017). She is the receipient of the 2018 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award. Her professional memberships include Sigma Delta Chi (the Society of Professional Journalists) and the American Association of University Women.

Past Honorees Wall

Filomena Lombardi

Humanitarian Award

GEWWC 2013 Honoree

Soh Young Lee Segredo

Community Service

GEWWC 2013 Honoree

Zazel Chavah O’Garra

Artistic Expression

GEWWC 2013 Honoree

Dorene Romero

Women Empowerment Award

GEWWC 2014 Honoree

Sang Lee

Humanitarian Award

GEWWC 2014 Honoree

Valdelice Reis

Community Service Award

GEWWC 2014 Honoree

Jasmin Pitter

Humanitarian & Culture Award

GEWWC 2015 Honoree

Cheryl Fratello

Business Award

GEWWC 2015 Honoree

Franshuas Rodriguez

Educator Award

GEWWC 2015 Honoree

You Jung (Anes) Jong

Entertainment & Art Award

GEWWC 2015 Honoree

Shalin Raj

Health & Community

GEWWC 2015 Honoree

Colette Knuth Phd

Empowerment Nominee

GEWWC 2016 Honoree

Amy Zaslansky

Education Honoree

GEWWC 2017 Honoree

Linda Oalican

Humanitarian Honoree

Brittany Schiavone

Humanitarian Nominee

GEWWC 2017 Honoree

Alina Delgado Cuevas

Education Nominee

GEWWC 2017 Honoree

Alicia James

Empowerment Nominee

GEWWC 2017 Honoree

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