Four women where honored as leaders in supporting and empowering all women and their families at Moon Brook Country Club on Tuesday.
During the YWCA's 15th Annual Women of Achievement awards, Victoria Patti, Kara Gilbert Peterson, Carolyn Seymour and Sheila Webster were all recipients of the Women of Achievement award for 2012.
State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, R-C-Chautauqua County, was in attendance giving his congratulations to the recipients. County Executive Greg Edwards; U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins, D-South Buffalo; Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi; and state Senator Catharine Young (R,C,I-Olean) all sent proclamations thanking the women for their contributions to the community.
The awards were broken down into four categories: business; education; government and leader of the future. Mrs. Webster received the business award for developing improvements and a marketing strategy for the county Chamber of Commerce as its director of marketing communications and governmental affairs. Previously, she was also the communications director for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County, where she developed and implemented creative marketing and communications strategies to assist to raising more than $10 million during the past decade.
''It really is heartwarming to be a part of this group,'' Mrs. Webster said acknowledging the long list of past recipients who were honored by the YWCA.
Mrs. Kara Gilbert Peterson was awarded the education award. She has been a teacher at Harvey C. Fenner Elementary School for the past nine years. She is the grade five team leader, where she integrated educational subjects into everyday learning experiences. Her ''Dinner and a Movie'' program teaches students math skills and table manners when planning and preparing meals. Her ''Straight A Breakfast'' invites students with good grades to a breakfast in the classroom.
Mrs. Peterson wasn't at the award ceremony, but her mother, Jerrie Gilbert, accepted in her honor.
''(Mrs. Peterson) truly is one of the outstanding women in Chautauqua County,'' Goodell said.
Carolyn Seymour was honored with the government award. During her lengthy and vast career, she has been the assistant to the mayor of Jamestown for Stan Lundine; she has been the mayor of the city; housing and economic development coordination for the Southern Tier West Regional Planning Board; family editor for The Post-Journal; owner of The Bookshop; and executive director of Chautauqua Home Rehabilitation and Improvement Corporation. Seymour was the first women elected mayor of Jamestown in 1991, serving one term. She hopes for more women pioneers to lead the community in the future.
''While I was proud to be the first woman mayor of the city I love,'' she said. ''I hope I won't be the last.''
Victoria Patti was honored with the leader of the future award. She is the youth engagement specialist for Chautauqua Tapestry, where she educates adults on youth culture. She founded the Chautauqua Tapestry Youth Leadership Group, which strives to promote youth leadership through personal development training, social skill interaction, community service initiatives and youth-led training in community agencies and organizations. She also goes to school, working for her master's degree in social work.
''Most people in social work say it is a calling, and that was true for me,'' she said.