UNION, NJ – Five local “she-roes” were honored Monday evening at the 2018 Women’s Month Celebration, themed “A Celebration of She-Roes”.

The honorees included:

  • She-roe in Business - Sharon Patel, Patel Printing
  • She-roe for the Environment - Adrienne Miller Kubicz
  • Community She-roe - Ernestine Frye, Union Township Community Action Organization
  • She-roe in Education - Kim Conti, Director of Special Services, Township of Union Schools
  • She-roe in Training - Dasia Edmond, DasiaVu Books

“Each one of these women has made a positive impact on our community and we’re proud to recognize them this year,” said Union Mayor Suzette Cavadas.

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The event featured a keynote speech by Janet Davis, owner of Jade Jamaican Grill and workshops by Tara Marcus of Dillon Marcus Executive Retreats and Denise Wilkerson of Abounding Women Community Outreach, Inc.

Introducing Patel, Cavadas said Patel and her husband combined their desire to be entrepreneurs with their dream of being a socially responsible business by their involvement in community and cultural affairs and donating a portion of their sales to charitable causes.  “The hallmark of their firm’s reputation is their extraordinary emphasis on service and quality, serving the business community with creative marketing ideas and business promotion strategies,” said Cavadas.

“I’m grateful for all of the challenges of being a woman business owner for over 40 years in a male dominated field” said Patel.  “That has really helped shape me as a human being.  Thank you.  I’m so appreciative.”

Township Committeewoman Michele Delisfort introduced the She-roe in Education Award recipient Kim Conti.  Delisfort said Conti has been the Director of the Department of Special Services for the Township of Union Public Schools since 2010, and in 2014 was the recipient of the Rotary Club of Union Excellence in Education Award.  “She continues to support education through membership in several professional organizations and participating in various committees,” said Delisfort. 

“I first became interested in a career in education when I attended Montclair State University,” said Conti.  Conti said she graduated with a Master’s in Educational Psychology and participates on the Township’s ADA Committee.

Introducing the recipient of the Community She-roe Award, Cavadas said Frye received a Master’s Degree in Adult Learning from Columbia University.  “Ernie decided that she would develop her own management development to advance her career, as she was not going to wait for someone to do it for her,” said Cavadas.  Frye started with the Union Township Community Action Organization in 2010, eventually leading to her current position as Executive Director.

Frye was unable to attend the event, but Joanne Clark, UTCAO Board Chairperson accepted the award on her behalf.

In her acceptance video, Frye said, “I’d like to thank you not just on behalf of what I’ve done at the agency, but I stand on the shoulders of many who came before me.  This organization has had a long and storied history because of that leadership.  I thank you for your support.”

Delisfort introduced the Environmental She-roe Award recipient, Adrienne Miller-Kubicz.  Together with a few members of the Garden Club, Miller-Kubicz founded the Township of Union Community Garden in 2014.  The garden now has 41 raised beds and donates to the Union Senior Center.  Miller-Kubicz is a Master Gardener and joined Groundwork Elizabeth as the Community Garden Coordinator in 2016 and assumed the role of Manager of Agricultural Experiences in 2017.

"I thank you very much for this honor," said Miller Kubicz.

The last award was presented to Dasia “DasiaVu” Edmond, a She-roe in Training.  Edmond is a student at Burnet Middle School.  “Her passion is to capture her life’s events in books to allow her peers to journey with her through those tough teenage years,” said Cavadas.  Her book, “Uniquely Made” was published in 2016 and last year, she published her second book, “Hair Chronicles:  The Struggles of Natural Hair”.

“I would like to thank Mayor Cavadas and the Township Committee on the She-Roe in Training Award,” said Edmond.  Speaking of her published books, Edmond said, “I wrote these books to inform my peers about gender equality.”