Burlington County women recognized for leadership

Reception and awards presentation will be held October 18

Christine Harkinson/Special to The Sun: The Outstanding Women of Burlington County Awards Reception will be held on Oct. 18 at the Riverton Country Club to honor several award and scholarship winners.

Release Courtesy of Burlington County:

Eleven Burlington County women will be recognized for their leadership and service to their communities during this year’s 2021 Outstanding Women of Burlington County Awards Reception. For more than two decades the Burlington County Women’s Advisory Council has honored county women for their contributions to elevating women and making our community better.

This year’s group will be honored on October 18 during a reception at the Riverton Country Club and will once again provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the often unknown or unpublicized accomplishments of women leaders.

The reception will start at 5:30 p.m.

“For far too long the contributions of women were relegated or ignored so it’s incredibly gratifying to help lead a county that is home to so many outstanding women and to continue this tradition of celebrating their achievements and community service,” said Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson, who serves as a liaison to the Women’s Advisory Council. “Each of these women comes from a different walk of life, but they each have had a great and lasting impact on our county.”

This year’s honorees are:

  • Volunteerism: Fozia Janjua, Mount Laurel resident and founder of Community South Jersey and Philadelphia (Community SJP)
  • Mentorship: Helen Barsocchi, Medford resident and board member/coach for United Girls’ Softball Association
  • Law/Law enforcement: Sally Landrum, Willingboro Police Community Engagement Officer
  • Health Care: Holly Funkhouser Cucuzzella, Burlington County Health Officer
  • Government: Carol Murphy, New Jersey Assemblywoman
  • Frontline Worker: Phyllis Worrell, Healthcare Coordinator for Burlington County OEM and Emergency Management Coordinator for Virtua Health
  • First Responder: Lori Engler, Bordentown EMT/Firefighter
  • Education: Amanda Cassel, Assistant Principal and Supervisor of Instruction at Lenape High School
  • Diversity and Inclusion: Saima Bhutta, Moorestown resident and activist
  • Corporate Leadership: Kathleen Horton, Chief Financial Officer for Food Bank of South Jersey
  • Community Service: Shannon Gibson, program director at Oaks Integrated Care

 The award recipients were selected by a panel of Advisory Council members from several areas of exceptional service. This year marked the first time the Council recognized women leaders in the categories of first responder and frontline workers.

“The Council wanted to recognize the outstanding service performed by women leaders during the pandemic, and the selections were spot on,” said Hopson. “All the award recipients have gone above and beyond for our communities, and they continue to do so.”

In addition to recognizing the contributions of outstanding women leaders, the Council is also awarding scholarships to three female high school graduates who have demonstrated leadership and advocacy for equity, excellence in scholastics and interest in women’s issues and an interest in pursuing a career in a Science Technology Engineering and Math field. 

The scholarship winners are:

  • Skylar Brotz, Delran High School, Alice Paul Champion Award
  • Maya Tanikawa-Brown, Northern Burlington County Regional High School, Celeste Arties Memorial Award
  • Makayla Scott, Burlington County Institute of Technology-Westampton, Elizabeth Coleman White STEM Award

 “As women leaders, we have a responsibility to serve as mentors and role models for the next generation and I’m incredibly proud of the work the Council performs to inspire and support our young achievers,” said Commissioner Linda Hynes, who is also a liaison to the Council. “These three young women are shining examples. They have excelled in academics, activism and leadership and will help carry on our legacy of outstanding women.”

Tickets for the awards reception are $75 and are now available and can be purchased online at https://outstandingwomenburlco2021.eventbrite.com

The Council is also making several different sponsorships available for the event. If you can’t attend but would still like to participate or congratulate the winners, you can place a message in the reception slideshow. Those interested in sponsorships should visit https://www.co.burlington.nj.us/DocumentCenter/View/14053/Ad-Solicitation-2021-final?bidId=