Honorees 2008

Senator Susan Collins
For her leadership in the United States Senate on legislation to improve the health and financial security of women.

Senator Susan Collins was elected to represent Maine in the United States Senate in 1996 and again in 2002. She has earned a national reputation as a thoughtful, effective legislator, who works across party lines to seek consensus on important issues. Senator Collins is the 15th woman in history to be elected to the Senate in her own right. She has been a leader in the Senate on many issues important to women, particularly healthcare, retiree health and income security, financial issues, education and homeland security. O Magazine said of Senator Collins, "she's straight talking, very knowledgeable, and has a solid track record."


Senator Herb Kohl
For his leadership in the United States Senate on aging issues, retiree health and elder fraud and abuse issues.

Senator Herb Kohl was elected to the United States Senate in 1988 and is serving his fourth six-year term as the Senior Senator from Wisconsin. As Chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, he has been a champion on the many issues affecting older Americans, particularly women, including Medicare, retirement security and protection from fraud and abuse. Senator Kohl has led efforts to improve the Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit, urging the Administration to negotiate lower drug prices for seniors and close the "donut hole" in coverage that is leaving many beneficiaries with unexpectedly high drug costs. Senator Kohl is regarded by many as a highly effective advocate in the U.S. Senate for consumers, women and the elderly.


Congressman Earl Pomeroy
For his work in the House of Representatives to improve Social Security, pensions and retirement security for all Americans.

Congressman Earl Pomeroy was elected to the House of Representatives in 1992 and has represented the citizen of North Dakota ever since. He has earned a reputation as a hard-working, solutions-oriented Member of Congress. His hard work and expertise on retirement security issues, among other issues, led to his appointment to the powerful Ways and Means Committee. He has also been appointed to the position on Co-chair of the House Democratic Social Security Task Force. He is active on rural issues and is a leader on promoting better healthcare access for rural citizens, and, in particular, creating more equity in Medicare reimbursements for rural healthcare providers.


James Rohr
For his community service and business innovations, removing financial barriers for women.

James Rohr is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the PNC Financial Services Group-one of the largest diversified financial services companies in the United States. Rohr joined the company through its Management Development Program in 1972. He proceeded through various marketing and management responsibilities in several Corporate Banking areas, including lending, treasury management services and merchant banking he was named Chief Executive Officer in May 2000 and Chairman in May 2001. He has overseen a top to bottom restricting of PNC and improved many facets of the bank, including customer service and products for consumers. Mr. Rohr serves on a number of civic, cultural, and educational organizations, and he is the recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Award for Corporate Citizenship.


Clara Padilla Andrews
For her work empowering Latina women to achieve career, business and financial success.

Clara Padilla Andrews is Owner and Publisher of El Hispanic News, a weekly Oregon newspaper and the oldest Hispanic publication in the Pacific Northwest. She previously was the Hispanic Services Coordinator and Supervision for Community and Family Services Integration for Multnomah County. Active in all levels of government, she served as Secretary of State for New Mexico from 1983-86. She also founded the Susana Maria Gurule Foundation, in honor of her granddaughter, who died of cancer. Ms. Andrews has been honored as a recipient of a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Distinguished Service Award, a Dorenbecher Hospital Hero Award, and as a member of the President's Board of Visitors for Minority Affairs at Oregon State University. The Hispanic Media Awards honored her as one of the 50 Most Influential Hispanic Media Professionals.  


Chris Hart-Wright
For her work as a mentor and teacher, helping vulnerable people achieve economic independence.

Chris Hart-Wright is the Executive Director of STRIVE DC, overseeing the development and implementation of the DC program with her creative and energetic leadership. STRIVE (Support and Training Result in Valuable Employees) was created in East Harlem in 1985 to help people who face significant barriers to employment achieve economic independence through work. STRIVE'S innovative model combines a short, intense period of training on attitude-the "soft" skills needed to survive and excel in any workplace-and job search techniques with rapid placement and long-term follow-up. Ms. Hart-Wright's leadership in the DC Strive Program has paved the way for scores of vulnerable individuals to join the economic mainstream and achieve stability and independence.

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