ITHACA, N.Y. — Do you know a woman who exemplifies personal excellence, courage, selflessness, integrity and perseverance? As Women’s History Month approaches, senators are seeking nominations for the “Woman of Distinction” tribute.

In a news release, Sen. Tom O’Mara said he and senate colleagues select one new “woman of distinction” honoree every year. The woman selected is then invited to an awards ceremony and reception in Albany in early May. Nominations are due by March 16.

“The ‘Woman of Distinction’ tribute is a meaningful recognition. I look forward to this annual opportunity to recognize an outstanding area citizen,” O’Mara said in a statement. “We all know someone who makes an enormous difference to the community at large. Whether she is a service provider, a teacher going above and beyond the call of duty, a businesswoman, or simply a community resident known for her good deeds, I’d like to see her recognized.”

O’Mara’s 58th Senate District includes Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, Yates and part of Tompkins County. The Tompkins County part of the district includes the city and town of Ithaca and the towns of Enfield, Newfield and Ulysses.

Women who have been selected in the past have been librarians, educators, winery owners, public health professionals, and others. Last year, Carmella Hoffman, owner and operator of Sunset View Creamery in Odessa was honored.

The Women of Distinction program was established in 1998 and features historic New York women, “from suffragists to geneticists, labor organizers to entertainers, whose contributions are still felt today and who stand as an inspiration to the next generation of inventors, explorers and achievers.”

Nominations can be sent in online here. Learn more about the program here.

Featured image: From left, Sen. O’Mara stands with Carmella Hoffman, owner and operator of Sunset View Creamery, honored in 2017. Provided Photo.

Kelsey O'Connor

Kelsey O'Connor is the managing editor for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at and follow her on Twitter @bykelseyoconnor.