YONKERS – In honor of Women’s History Month, Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano presented “Women of Distinction” Awards to Yonkers women whose distinct achievements have improved the lives of others in the community and whose impact has changed Yonkers for better.
“Women’s History Month recognizes the historic accomplishments of women, and now it is Yonkers’ turn to pay tribute to the local leaders who either live or work among us each day,” added Mayor Spano.
This year’s honorees range in talent and service. They include:
Daisy Cruz – Daisy is a philanthropist and social media personality who has been involved in community work for over 20 years. She focuses on domestic violence (DV) victims by using her own testimony and experience as a DV survivor. She has her own online radio show that attracts over 1,000 people nightly where she covers all topics that people struggle with at some point of their lives. She’s highly involved in community events whether it be distributing food to those less fortunate or covering City of Yonkers events/press releases and translating them in Spanish for the Latino community. Daisy is a board member on Mayor Spano’s Hispanic Advisory Board and has received countless awards and proclamations for her community work.
Detective Autumn Edwards – Detective Edwards has been a member of the Yonkers Police Department for over 23 years, and has served as a local ministry leader for 17 years and counting. The latter part of her career has been spent ministering to the mental, emotional, and physical needs of her fellow officers. In 2020, during the height of a very challenging year, her passion and call to law enforcement officers became overwhelming. This led to the birth of The BlueHOPE Project Inc. a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization dedicated to ministering to the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical needs of law enforcement officers and their families. Its vision is to change the face and shift the culture of Law Enforcement. The BlueHOPE Project Inc. is a team of active and retired law enforcement officers who share a love for God and His people. They are committed to spreading the gospel with their fellow brothers and sisters, actively seeking opportunities to engage with the community they serve by partnering with local faith based and community organizations bringing community and officers together in the City of Yonkers.
Romano Terrero – Ramona is the President of Manos Creativas of Yonkers. Ramona currently works as a volunteer with the YMCA, ACDY, DORENEXT, Manos Unidas a la Obras, Greyston Foundation, Orgullo Borinqueño and Environment Earth Club. She is also a Vice President of the Group of Artisans of NYC, Member of 100 Women of Westchester Chapter and GAHLEP. Ramona was on the Board of Steppin’ Up participating in the Chat & Chew and Black and Brown Workshop, and a former Board Member of the Puerto Rican parade of Yonkers. She promotes the Latino culture by presenting expositions on Folklore, Music, Arts and the traditional food of each country. Ramona is Honorary Captain for the YAI 5K fundraising. Ramona has been working with faith-based organizations in assisting the people of Yonkers. In 1996, Ramona organized an American Citizenship workshop with Mount Carmel Catholic Church and the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO).
Ursula McIntyre – Ursula is highly regarded for her significant philanthropic contributions to her community and beyond. Locally, Ursula is well-known for her involvement throughout numerous organizations in Yonkers, including her work with the Yonkers Police Athletic League, the Aisling Irish Community Center, and the Annual Yonkers Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. This year Ursula was selected to Chair the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee in honor of all that she has done from the Irish-American community. Ursula is also a staunch advocate for Cancer research and treatment accessibility.
Nnenna Akoma-Ononaji – Nnenna serves on the Mayor’s Disability Advisory Board (MDAB) for the City of Yonkers. Nnenna Akoma-Ononaji raises awareness of the needs of the citizens with disabilities. As a person with a hearing disability, Nnenna overcame many obstacles in her life believing she can achieve her goals despite being deaf. As a single parent raising two boys (one with Autism and one with ADHD), her passion for helping special needs children led her to co-found the Yonkers Special Education PTA (SEPTA) to support parents of special needs students. Her advocacy work for children with special needs extends outside Yonkers, where she is currently the Westchester East Putnam Region Special education PTA Chair.
“These women have demonstrated excellence, leadership and integrity within their community, serving as role models for other successful women,” stated Mayor Spano. “We are inspired by these women and strive to make a true difference amongst our neighbors.”
Mayor Spano presented the “Women of Distinction” Awards at a ceremony held at Yonkers City Hall on March 25th.