United Way to host annual Women’s History Month Awards Breakfast


NEWARK, NJ  — On Thursday, March 10, the United Way of Essex and West Hudson Women’s Leadership Council will celebrate and honor three outstanding women who have created a legacy that expands the frontiers of possibility for generations to come. These extraordinary women have demonstrated character, courage and commitment to the community.

“The Greater Newark area is rich in women leaders who have shaped our history, both locally and nationally on many issues. That tradition continues today and is exemplified by the contributions of these three women,” said Catherine Wilson, acting chief executive officer of the United Way of Essex and West Hudson. This year’s honorees are: Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark; Susan M. Cleary, president for District 119J; and Terri Seeney, manager, Corporate Outreach Programs, Panasonic Corporation of North America.

An internationally known social psychologist, Cantor has a long and distinguished record as a leader in higher education. She is widely recognized for advocating for universities to be not traditional “ivory towers” removed from the problems of the world, but to be anchor institutions in their communities that collaborate with partners from all sectors to fulfill higher education’s promise as an engine of discovery, innovation and social mobility, as well as a cultivator of democratic practice.

Cleary joined the staff of District 1199J as an organizer in 1989 and has served in both the guild and public sector divisions of 1199J, before becoming vice president in 1993. She assumed the role of secretary-treasurer in 1999. Cleary also spent some time on the National Union staff, helping to organize the unorganized. In that role, she led a successful campaign involving a professional unit in Hudson County.

Seeney joined Panasonic in 1999 and, in her position, is responsible for the day-to-day management, coordination and implementation of Panasonic’s annual corporate outreach efforts throughout North America. Along with her daily responsibilities, Seeney manages three of Panasonic’s signature outreach programs.

The guest speaker is Michellene Davis, executive vice president for Corporate Affairs, Barnabas Health. She directs the system’s strategic policy decisions and enhancing the system’s position with state and federal elected officials and agencies. She oversees corporate communications, community partnerships, external affairs, policy and government affairs, healthy living and community wellness, and marketing and public relations. Davis is the first woman and first person of color to serve as an executive vice president in the system’s history.

For more information about attending the event, this year’s honorees, or United Way of Essex and West Hudson Women’s Leadership Council, contact Elise Counts at 973-854-2230 or [email protected]