PENTA Joins YWCA In Honoring Erskine Award Recipients

WORCESTER, MA _ On May 2, PENTA Communications, Inc. (PENTA) joined the YWCA of Central Massachusetts and UMass Memorial Health Care as a Premier Sponsor of the 2017 Tribute to Women Katharine F. Erskine Award Luncheon, to honor five local women who exemplify leadership and a deep commitment to their communities. Nearly 400 attendees gathered at Mechanics Hall, located at 321 Main Street, to celebrate this year’s honorees.

Opening remarks were delivered by PENTA’s Founder and CEO Deborah Penta who is also the 2013 Recipient of the Katharine Forbes Erskine award in Business and Law, and has chaired the Erskine Tribute to Women Committee for the past four years. Penta welcomed attendees, and shared staggering statistics of the significant positive impact the YWCA of Central Massachusetts is making to ensure a better life for women and girls.

“Just in the past year alone, the YWCA’s domestic violence helpline fielded more than 3,000 calls,” said Penta. “This is unprecedented. In addition, the YWCA’s Domestic Violence Services Program provided support to more than 850 people.”

Penta encouraged attendees to reflect on the special women in their lives, and to consider making a gift to the YWCA in their honor. “Your gift in honor of a special woman in your life will pay-it-forward, as it will brighten the lives of women in need all throughout the region,” said Penta. “The statistics I shared with you earlier represent just a small sampling of the lives that are affected every day by the YWCA and its staff. The YWCA affects real change and has a deep and lasting impact on our community, especially for women and girls.”

“As a company whose community values align with the YWCA by supporting and illuminating the true empowerment of women, PENTA holds this event close to its heart,” she said.

The esteemed Erskine award has been bestowed upon a small group of admirable and accomplished women each year since 1995, to honor the memory of Katharine Forbes Erskine, who spent over 80 years of her life advocating for women and girls, and preserving the mission of the YWCA.

For 23 years, the YWCA has been honoring the strength, courage, and spirit of women and their extraordinary achievements with the Katharine F. Erskine Award. The YWCA articulated that it is proud to have welcomed more than 100 women into this esteemed “sisterhood” over the years, representing the most dynamic and accomplished women in Central Massachusetts.

The 2017 Katharine F. Erskine Awards recognized Elizabeth Bacon, Coordinator for The Clemente Course in the Humanities, in the category of Arts and Culture, and Christine Cassidy, Senior Vice President & Chief Communication Officer at Fallon Health, in the category of Business and Law.

Community volunteer and advocate Ginger Navickas was honored for her work in the Community, Social Service, and Government category. Mary Jo Marión-Farrell, Assistant Vice President for Urban Affairs & Executive Director of the Latino Education Institute at Worcester State University, was celebrated in the Education category, and Sara Connor, Family Nurse Practitioner & Manager of the UMass Memorial Ronald McDonald Care Mobile at UMass Memorial Medical Center, was recognized in the Health, Science, and Technology category.

In addition, Denezia Fahie, junior class president at Worcester’s North High School, received the 2017 Spirit of Leadership Award.

The Leadership Team at PENTA maintains an enduring interest in mentoring women, from high school and college throughout their careers. The Company also sponsored a table at the event, inviting Westborough high school women to attend in hopes of inspiring them to aim high in whatever careers they embark on in the future. “We were delighted to offer this opportunity to the young women at Westborough High School in an effort to empower them to aim high and realize that with success comes responsibility to give back to their communities.”

“It’s always an honor and a privilege to celebrate the achievements of individuals who have gone above and beyond for our community, inciting a ripple effect of human-service, compassion, and respect,” Penta said.

PENTA is 100 percent female-owned and operated, and the Company is at the top one percent of all female-owned businesses nationwide. As a partner of the United Nations Global Compact, PENTA is an influential activist for the advancement of women and strives to elevate its community involvement each year through mission-driven values.

For more information on the YWCA of Central Massachusetts, visit: