SOMERSET COUNTY, NJ - The Somerset County Commission on the Status of Women is honoring the 2015 Outstanding Women in Somerset County.

“We have many women in Somerset County doing amazing things every day,” Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia Walsh said in a release. “It is most appropriate that during Women’s History Month, we take the time to publicly recognize them and say thank you.”

Honorees are women who live in Somerset County, and they are honored in multiple categories. The women will be celebrated at an awards dinner March 27 at The Imperia in Somerset.

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Tickets to the dinner are $55 per person, and there will be a cash bar at 6 p.m., followed by a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. Reservations are required by March 1, and can be made by contacting Jane O’Donnell at 908-234-9302.

This year’s recipients are:

• Arts/Entertainment: Martha J. Weintraub, of Hillsborough, Gallery 14; Florence Larkin, of Green Brook, Watchung Arts Center

• Business Management: Cynthia Polanco, of Bernards, Branchburg Allstate Insurance Agency

• Education: Dr. Betty W. Barber of Franklin, retired dean, Kean University

• Entrepreneur: Anna Marie Racioppi, of Bernardsville, business mentor

• Environmental Initiatives: Cindy Malinchak, of Warren, Envrionmentally Based Green Building LLC; Robbie Lert, of Bedminster, vice chair, Bedminster Township Environmental Commission

• Government: Shannon Marie Snook, of Bridgewater, former deputy coordinator, Somerset County Office of Emergency Management

• Hometown Hero: Sonal Shah, of Bernards, Sonal Shal Legacy Group; Courtney Newman, of Hillsborough, Steps Together

• Information Technology: Jackie P. Taylor, of Hillsborough, Ernst & Young Success Ladder Enterprises

• Journalism/Media: Audrey Blumberg, of Hillsborough, L.B. Media (The BReeze)

• Medical: Michele Samarya-Timm, MA, HO, MCHES, REHS, DLAAS, of Franklin, Somerset County Department of Health

• Public Service: Regina Tegeler, of Bridgewater, New Jersey Developmental Disabilities Council

• Social Service: Joanne Polito, of Franklin, From the Heart Thrift Shop

• Sports: Stephanie Johnson, of Somerville, Shimon and Sara Birnbaum Jewish Community Center

• Volunteerism: Laurie Richmond of Bridgewater, Elle Foundation; Lisa Frey, of Franklin, Franklin Township Food Bank

• Volunteer, High School Level: Giana Giorello, of Branchburg, Somerville High School

• Shirley Noble Lifetime Achievement Award: Estelle Julian, of Hillsborough, “Profile of Positive Aging” honoree

Editor’s Note: I am so proud and honored to be chosen as one of the Outstanding Women of Somerset County 2015, and delighted to be in the company of such amazing women. The work that I do with The BReeze means the world to me, and having the support from the community makes it worth it every day. 

— Audrey Levine Blumberg