Reconfirmed or New Reservations Due March 22

FRANKLIN – The 2018 Outstanding Women in Somerset County awards dinner sponsored by the county Commission on the Status of Women, canceled due to a power outage at the restaurant earlier this month, has been rescheduled for Monday, March 26.

The program will be held at The Imperia at 1714 Easton Ave., Somerset.  A cash bar at 6 p.m. will be followed by a buffet dinner at 7 p.m. Cost is $60 per person.

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Guests who already paid for reservations are asked to reconfirm by contacting commission member Marti Kalko at New reservations also are welcome; the deadline is March 22.  Visit to print the reservation form.

Related article: Franklin Residents to be Honored as 2018 Outstanding Women of Somerset County

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

Franklin's own Terry Seggio, Nancy LaCorte and Tasneem Firdaus Shamim M.D. are among the honorees. 

Terri Seggio of Franklin is musical director at the Samson G. Smith Middle School in Franklin Township. She has been teaching and directing children’s theatre productions for the past 31 years. Terri was the musical director at Franklin Park School and Conerly Road School before moving to Sampson G. Smith (SGS) Intermediate School. She has been at SGS for 13 years and has taught both the Gifted and Talented Literacy Program and 6th-grade literacy. Terri also directs the arts portion of the annual district showcase, and the Annual Alumni Cabaret that raises money for The Kevin J. Maskall Memorial Scholarship Fund. For the past six summers, she has directed the teens’ Villagers Summer Musical Theatre Intensive and recently partnered with The Franklin Cultural Arts Council to create affordable theatre classes for young artists. She was named Teacher of the Year at SGS in 2012 and recently received the 2017 Education Excellence Award in the Arts from the Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

Nancy LaCorte of Franklin is president of the Franklin Township Board of Education. She also has been employed by the Franklin Food Bank as a fundraiser and event planner for the past five years.  Nancy has worked on political campaigns, township committees, nonprofits and events that bring together community. As an AmeriCorp volunteer, she became involved with senior citizens.  Nancy has received many awards for her work with the troops, including Family Readiness Group Leader of the Year (twice) and the Presidential Gold Award from former President George Bush. Nancy once said, “When I die I want someone to know I lived.” She does that by opening her home and heart to the troops; doing what she can to make sure people are aware that their neighbors might be suffering from food insecurity; and helping set policy, balancing the needs of the taxpayer while providing the future – our students – with the tools they need to be the best they can be.

Tasneem Firdaus Shamim, M.D., is a board-certified ophthalmologist, living and practicing in Franklin Township for the last 33 years.  She practices cutting-edge technology for cataract and glaucoma surgeries.  Tasneem also is a clinical instructor at Robert Wood Johnson and St. Peter's hospitals.  She is well known in the community as a skilled, charitable and caring doctor, and has won several awards for her humanitarian involvement. Tasneem has been very dedicated to uplifting women and the underprivileged.  She is the founder of Muslim Women's Coalition, which has organized several relief projects for crises such as hurricanes and earthquakes – both locally and internationally.  Tasneem also is a co-leader of the Somerset/Highland Park chapter of the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom and is active in many interfaith ventures to create harmony among people of all backgrounds and faith.  She routinely organizes Sufi get-togethers to invite the local community to bond with each other in an atmosphere of love, tolerance and goodwill.'s Brenda Nemcek will also be honored. 

Brenda A. Nemcek of Warren is the owner/publisher and editor of TAPinto Warren and TAPinto North Plainfield/Green Brook/Watchung. TAPinto is a free online daily newspaper covering local communities. Brenda graduated with a double major in economics and political science and followed a career on Wall Street and at Foot Locker.  After 23 years, Brenda decided to stay local and volunteer in the schools and become more involved in the community. She is a founding member and on the executive board of the Warren Township Chamber of Commerce, serves on the Warren Youth Services Commission and the Watchung Hills Parent Communications Advisory Council, has run the Warren Middle School PTO fundraiser for the last five years, and is a member of the WHEAT Foundation-a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to support the participation of Watchung Hills Regional High School students in programs designed to inspire young people to pursue opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math while building self-confidence and life skills.

Honorees are women who live in Somerset County. This year’s recipients by category are:

  • Arts– Stephanie Moench of Bridgewater
  • Business – Theresa Richardson, CPA, PSA, of Green Brook
  • Education – Michelle Mele of Somerville
  • Entertainment – Terry Seggio of Franklin
  • Environmental Initiatives – Kristi MacDonald, Ph.D., of Bernardsville
  • Hometown Hero – Rebekah Hayward of Somerville
  • Journalism/Media – Brenda A. Nemcek of Warren
  • Medicine – Tasneem F. Shamim, M.D., of Franklin
  • Social Service – Fae Cushing of Bridgewater
  • Volunteerism – Nancy LaCorte of Franklin

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