Women of Achievement

1410 900 Cribs for Kids

The Women of Achievement Awards are back for the first time since 2020! We have missed honoring these exemplary women and are excited to return to highlight their amazing work within their fields and communities.

In 2023, Cribs for Kids will be recognizing 20 Women of Achievement and 5 Junior Women of Achievement at the 16th Annual Women of Achievement Awards.

Nominations will open on November 1, 2022, and will close on January 1, 2023, at 11:59 PM. Our planning committee will select and notify the honorees in early January. Use the button below to nominate a Woman or Junior Woman of Achievement in your life.

16th Annual
Women of Achievement Awards
Thursday, March 2, 2023

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

The Omni William Penn Hotel
Grand Ballroom
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

The Nomination form is hosted in a program called Submittable.
You will be redirected to Submittable’s website. 

National Women of Achievement Awards

Each year at the annual Women of Achievement Awards, Cribs for Kids honors two National Women of Achievement.

Laura Ditka Award for Advocacy and Service

In 2019, we introduced the Laura Ditka Award for Advocacy and Service in memory of Laura Ditka, who unexpectedly passed away in October 2018 at the age of 55. Laura Ditka was a Woman of Achievement in 2008 for child advocacy.  Her life revolved around serving others as she dedicated her life to public service, law enforcement, and supporting victims. 

Laura spent her legal career as a prosecutor serving for 25 years in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office, before joining the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office as supervisor of the western region criminal division. In her honor, the Laura Ditka Award for Advocacy and Service will be awarded each year at this event.  Laura will always be an example of an inspirational Woman of Achievement.

2020 Recipient of the Laura Ditka Award for Advocacy and Service

Stephanie Fox, PMP, CSSGB, EMC: Center for Victims

Stephanie Fox is an inspirational leader who tells stories that inspire action while at the same time is grounded in financial information that levers the business. She is respected as a credible voice in decision-making, finding strategic financing partners, and establishing governance boundaries.

National Woman of Achievement: Making a Difference Award

The National Woman of Achievement: Making a Difference Award celebrates women who have turned tragedy into triumph. At Cribs for Kids, we are incredibly inspired by women who turn their struggles into a positive force for good. Each day these women demonstrate their strength, resilience, and unwavering commitment to their cause. They are exemplary models for what it means to persevere in the face of adversity.

Whether their influence can be seen in the non-profit sector, legislative action, volunteer work, or philanthropy, these women walk with a purpose and use each day to work towards the goal of creating not only a better community, but a better world.

Each year, Cribs for Kids recognizes one woman, nominated by her peers, who demonstrates strength, resiliency, compassion and commitment to being a force for change. This woman will be known as the National Woman of Achievement.

2020 Recipient of the National Woman of Achievement: Making a Difference Award

Kathryn Martin: Kellie Rynn Academy

Kellie Rynn Martin was born to Kathryn and Ashley Martin. On February 21, 2014, at 3 ½ months old, Kellie Rynn passed away from suffocation as a result of negligence in an in-home childcare center. This Center had come highly recommended as a great place. However, it was discovered that many laws and regulations were not being followed. After months of investigation, Kellie Rynn’s caregiver pled guilty to Child Neglect, Obstruction of Justice and Unlawful Operation of a Daycare.

Kathryn and Ashley have spoken before the SC Senate and House of Representatives. Kathryn is currently working with SC legislators on Kellie Rynn’s Law to enhance the penalties that childcare providers face when a child is seriously injured or killed in their care. Friends, family, and supporters have come together to create the Kellie Rynn Academy in Greenville, SC. The Academy works to provide infant safety education and scholarships for child care in locations that meet their high standards.

Take a Look Back at our 2020

Distinguished Women of Achievement Honorees

  • Rachel Berger, MD, MPH: UPMC
  • Jan Brimmeier, AIA, NCARB: Architectural Innovations, LLC
  • Belinda Callaghan, MSN, RN, NE-BC: Allegheny Health Network
  • Patrizia Costa, PhD: The Brother David S. Baginski FSC Scholars Program at Central Catholic High School
  • Rosamaria Cristello: Latino Community Center
  • Sloane Davidson: Hello Neighbor
  • Fafa Dedji:  PPG Architectural Coatings
  • Christine S. Ferguson, BSE, MBA: Ferguson Financial Consulting, Inc, Prima Eventi, Inc
  • Angela Garcia: Global Links
  • Amera Gilchrist:  City of Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS
  • Alicia B. Harvey-Smith, PhD: Pittsburgh Technical College
  • MariAnn Hathaway, Esquire: Law Offices of MariAnn Hathaway
  • Jennifer M. Joseph: HIAS PA
  • Leilani Mears, PMP: PNC Bank  
  • Rosemary Mendel Senior Nonprofit Executive
  • Michelle Muccio:  Elk County Coroner’s Office & Lynch-Green Funeral Home
  • Emily Nugent: Christ the Redeemer Diaper Pantry
  • Lisa J. Perry, MPM: Jeremiah’s Place
  • Mary Ellen Ramage: Borough of Etna
  • Lisa Kay Schweyer, MPM: Carnegie Mellon University Traffic21 Institute
  • Jada Shirriel, MS, CLC: Healthy Start, Inc.
  • Rebecca J. Watters, PhD: University of Pittsburgh
  • Senator Lindsey Williams PA Senate, 38th Senatorial District
  • Sister Linda Yankoski, CSFN, EdD: Holy Family Institute

Women of Achievement 2020


For more information, please email us at info@cribsforkids.org