The Union County Office on Women offers a platform for all women of Union County to be included and supported in the areas of equality, advocacy and social awareness.
The Office provides special programming for women concerning: Advocacy, health and wellness, financial literacy, employment and work rights, personal safety, civic involvement and supplies information on women’s policy issues such as prevention and awareness of violence against women.
The Union County Board of County Commissioners reminds residents, business owners and non-profit managers to submit nominations for the 30th annual Women of Excellence awards. The nomination period will run from Monday, November 1, to Wednesday, December 1, 2021.
The Women of Excellence awards celebrate women who have made a powerful impact on life in Union County. The awards are given out to women who have made strides for significant enhancements of the lives of the members of the community in which they work or live by the Union County Commission on the Status of Women.
“The Women of Excellence program highlights the significant contributions of women to life in Union County across many different fields of activity, raises awareness about the continued need make progress on diversity and equality, and helps inspire the next generation of achievers and change makers,” said County Commissioner Board Chairman Alexander Mirabella.
“For 30 years, the Union County Women of Excellence Awards has shown just how vital women in leadership roles have been to the growth and improvement of our communities,” said Commissioner Kimberly Palmieri-Mouded, who is the Commissioner Board Liaison to the Union County Commission on the Status of Women. “I look forward to reading the many amazing accomplishments made by this year’s nominees.”
Women currently make up the majority of the Commissioner Board, holding six of nine seats.
Women of Excellence nominations are open to all women 21 years or older who live, volunteer or work in Union County. Individuals, businesses, non-profits and government agencies are all invited to submit nominations in a variety of fields.
The Women of Excellence awards are sponsored by the Board of County Commissioners and the Union County Commission on the Status of Women, with the Union County Office on Women.
Ovarian Cancer Awareness
The Union County Board of County Commissioners would like everyone to know that September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Take charge of your health and use the following ovarian cancer information to advocate for yourself!
Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer deaths among U.S. women, and accounts for 3% of cancers in U.S. women.
- A woman’s lifetime risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1 in 75
- Ovarian cancer rates are highest in women aged 55-64
- Around 22,000 women are diagnosed each year in the U.S.
- Approximately 1 in 10 cases are hereditary, attributed primarily to mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes.
Often called the “silent disease” because of vague or subtle symptoms, If you experience any of the following symptoms please contact your doctor, early detection can save lives:
Breast Cancer Awareness
The Union County Board of County Commissioners would like everyone to know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Take charge of your health and use the following breast cancer information to advocate for yourself!
- Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in women, second only to skin cancer.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, a woman has about a one in eight chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.
- While non-Hispanic white women have higher rates of breast cancer incidence, African-American women have a higher incidence rate before age 40 and are more likely to die from breast cancer at every age.
- Women of Ashkenazi Jewish heritage are at higher risk of having BRCA mutation. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends testing for BRCA mutations for Ashkenazi Jewish women if they have a first-degree relative with breast or ovarian cancer or two second-degree relatives on the same side of the family with breast or ovarian cancer.
- Women with dense breasts (more glandular and fibrous tissue and less fatty tissue) on mammograms have a risk of breast cancer that is about 1.5 to 2 times that of women with average breast density.
- The movement away from one-size-fits all screening doesn’t mean you should skip your mammogram. Talk with your physician to evaluate your personal risk of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society continues to recommend women should have the choice to start annual breast cancer screenings with mammograms at age 40.
Know your risk for breast cancer, talk to your family and learn your family health history. Talk to your doctor about your personal risk of breast cancer. Get screened every year (mammography) and do your self-examinations these will help you know what is normal for you. Make healthy lifestyle choices by maintaining a healthy weight, add exercise to your daily routine, limit alcohol intake and limit menopausal hormone use.
The Union County Commission on the Status of Women was pleased to present the recipients of the 2020-2021 Women of Excellence Awards celebration on Friday, June 11th. Eleven Union County women have been selected to receive awards for their outstanding contributions to the community. If you weren’t able to make the event, please view the video below:
“For over 25 years, the Board of County Commissioners has recognized women among us who lead, serve, and inspire. Through their work, they raise awareness about the influence of women in every sphere of the Union County community, from business and legal affairs to public service and education,” said County Commissioner Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We are proud to acknowledge their contributions towards a positive difference in the quality of life for everyone in the County.”
The Union County women being recognized for their accomplishments by the Commission on the Status of Women are:
- Women’s Advocacy – Margot Baruch – Mountainside
- Mental Health Advocacy – Joyce Benz – Springfield
- Volunteerism – Joan Crout – Westfield
- Environmental/Activism – Marian Glenn – Summit
- Education – Monica Goncalves – Elizabeth
- Lifetime Achievement – Sister Percylee Hart, RSM – Scotch Plains
- Healthcare – Pamela Palmieri – Fanwood
- Special Education Advocacy – Diana Pinto-Gomez – Fanwood
- Entrepreneurial/Medical – Nancy Polow, PhD. – Scotch Plains
- Government – Clara Fernandez – Elizabeth
- Special Service Award – Judy Jenkins-Gaudino – Summit
Each awardee will receive an engraved Women of Excellence plaque and a County Commissioner Resolution in their honor recognizing their impact on the Union County community.
The Women of Excellence awards are sponsored by the Union County Board of County Commissioners and the Commission on the Status of Women, with the Union County Office on Women.
For any questions or to get more information about the Women of Excellence awards program, contact Nancy Malta, Commissioner Administrative Liaison at 908-527-4298 or email@example.com or Jen Erdos, Secretary to the Commission on the Status of Women, at 908-527-4216 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
County of Union SHeroes Awards
Janice Caren Lilien
On behalf of the Union County Commission on the Status of Women and the Union County Office on Women we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of The Union County Women of Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient in 2010 and Cranford resident (originally raised in Springfield, NJ,) Jan Lilien.
Jan’s life’s work serving women, girls, the disabled, and those battling substance abuse was imbued with a passion for humanity, dignity, and equity. Jan’s significant contributions will not be soon forgotten and her outstanding and unwavering dedication to the people of the entire Union County community will always be remembered.
You will be very much missed, Jan.
Sheros of Coronavirus/Covid-19
Covid-19 Resource Directory
100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote.
In support the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement, the Union County Office on Women and the Union County Freeholder Board asked County of Union staff to wear Red today. Wearing Red is to raise awareness about cardiovascular disease in women. For more information please visit: ucnj.org/women.
Meet the New Jersey Women Who Won the Right to Vote
In celebration of Women’s History Month, all Union County residents and visitors are invited to attend a presentation of Reclaiming Our Voice: New Jersey’s Role in Woman Suffrage, a first-person historical interpretation that opens a window into the world of women activists who fought for the right to vote, and ultimately won.
The event takes place on Wednesday, March 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Liberty Hall Museum Carriage House at Kean University, at 1003 Morris Avenue in Union.
Admission is free of charge but advance registration is required at ucnj.org/womens-suffrage.
The performance features the story of former Union County resident Lillian Ford Feickert, who lived for a time in Plainfield. She served as President of the New Jersey Woman Suffrage Association during the pivotal eight-year period of 1912 to 1920, the year that women’s suffrage finally became the law of the land through the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“Lillian Feickert and her contemporaries are inspirational figures in American history,” said Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “The Freeholder Board is proud to help keep their stories alive through this special presentation as we celebrate the centennial anniversary of the 19th Amendment.”
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lucy Stone, Alice Paul and another former Union County resident, Florence Spearing Randolph of Summit are among the activists featured in the performance, as told through the voice of Lillian Feickert.
Performing as Lillian Feickert is Carol Simon Levin, a New Jersey storyteller, presenter and author of the book, Remembering the Ladies: From Patriots in Petticoats to Presidential Candidates.
Reclaiming our Voice is funded in part by a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of Cultural Affairs in the Department of State.
For more information about the event contact the Union County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs at 908-558-2550 or visit online at ucnj.org.
Women in S.T.E.M.
The women of Union County are some of the most accomplished women in history. The Union County Women Making History Video (below) is Mrs. Marion Johnson, Plainfield. Thanks to Mrs. Johnsons’ groundbreaking work at Boeing, where she was hired just after college, she was help to the United States to land the first person on the moon. This video not only celebrates Mrs. Johnsons’ achievements but shows us how Union County has its own ‘Hidden Figure’.
Margaret (Peggy) Salisbury
On behalf of the Union County Commission on the Status of Women and the Union County Office on Women we would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of 2017’s The Union County Women of Excellence Award for Lifetime Achievement recipient and Union resident, Margaret (Peggy) Salisbury. Peggy’s significant contributions will not be soon forgotten and her outstanding and unwavering dedication to the people of the entire Union County community will always be remembered. You will be very much missed, Peggy.
Union County Women Making History Video Series – Judy Jenkins Gaudino
The Union County Board of Freeholders is proud to announce that the Union County Office on Women has created a new series of videos highlighting women of achievement and leadership here in Union County, NJ. The new video series is called “Union County Women Making History.”
This video is for the final celebration of Women’s History Month here in Union County and features Judy Jenkins Gaudino, a Summit resident. Judy served in the Vietnam War as a civilian Special Services Recreation Employee. Her story is another look into the Vietnam War and the women that were there serving their country.
The Union County Women Making History video series highlights the achievements of the women of Union County and their contributions.
Jennifer Erdos, Coordinator
The mission of the Office on Women is to help ensure that women connect with services and programs that enable them to reach their full potential at every stage of their lives, in education, in employment and business, health, and in the social fabric of Union County, and to raise awareness of the many contributions that women make to life in Union County.
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to announce the development of the new Office on Women. Established under the Department of Human Services, the Union County Office on Women is the first County government office of its kind in New Jersey.
“The Office on Women will provide a platform for leadership and advocacy on the needs of women of all ages, and serve as a catalyst for awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact women’s lives,” said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen.
The new Office on Women serves women in all walks of life throughout Union County. Through analysis, research and strategic collaboration the Office on Women will work to ensure that local programs and services support women’s leadership, equality and advancement in the home, at work and in the community.