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21st Annual Spectrum Awards Breakfast

21st Annual Spectrum Awards Breakfast
In the five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania alone, we responded to more than 800 disasters—mostly home fires – last year.

21ST Annual Spectrum Awards Breakfast | Wednesday, November 12, 2014

It is perhaps fitting that the Philadelphia Union League which began its history in 1865 as an elite men’s club, should be the chosen setting for the 21st Annual Spectrum Awards Breakfast honoring the achievements of women who exemplify the principles of the American Red Cross and have distinguished themselves as corporate and community leaders. The event took place in the League’s magnificent Lincoln Hall.

The program began with the introduction of hosts Judge Renée Cardwell-Hughes, Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA) Chapter CEO, and Dan Rhynhart, Board Chair ( and the only male on the program), as well as Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS TV News Anchor, herself a past recipient of a Spectrum Award. Denise Devine and Lisa Gray co-chaired the Awards Committee.

Judge Hughes listed some of the activities of the Philadelphia (SEPA) Chapter over the past year. She said, “In the five counties in Southeastern Pennsylvania alone, we responded to more than 800 disasters—mostly home fires – last year.” She also mentioned SEPA’s commitment to sheltering families affected by last winter’s power outages and its service to the community in the form of blood drives and life-saving courses in CPR, first aid, babysitting, pet first aid and more. Judge Hughes highlighted SEPA efforts to reduce fire injuries and deaths through a campaign to install working smoke alarms and disseminate fire safety information. She also mentioned the American Red Cross’s support for military families and thanked supporters for their commitment to the Red Cross mission.

Host Pat Ciarrocchi talked about the importance of Red Cross House to members of the community who have nowhere to turn after a house fire. She said, “It truly is a wonderful place, doing great work for the people of Philadelphia. Now let me add my name to the list of people thanking you for your support.”

The award ceremony began with the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to, Joan Carter, Co-founder and President, UM Holdings, LTD, by Spectrum Awards Co-Chair, Denise Devine. UM Holdings is a private company that has owned and managed a portfolio of companies since 1972. Ms. Carter serves on the boards of several companies and institutions and is the immediate past President of the Union League of Philadelphia, the first woman President in the League’s 150 year history. Ms. Carter has received numerous awards and accolades including the prestigious 2011 Musser Leadership Award from Temple University.

Awards committee co-chair, Lisa Gray, presented the Beyond the Glass Ceiling Award to Janet B. Haugen, SVP & Chief Financial Officer, Unisys. Janet Haugen joined Unisys as Corporate Controller in 1996 and was elected to CFO by the BOD in 2000. Since then she has taken on even greater corporate responsibility, serving as the Executive Program Sponsor of the “Cornerstone” program, a Unisys- wide initiative to simplify and standardize global business processes and to build the information systems architecture to support them. Janet graduated magna cum laude from Rutgers University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics.

SEPA Board Chair, Dan Rhynhart, presented the Clara Barton Outstanding Humanitarian Award for Community Service to Denise J. Graf, Project Administrator, Vanguard & ARC Chester County Disaster Action Team Captain. Denise has been with Vanguard for 18 years and currently serves as an Institutional Systems Tester. Denise joined the Red Cross in Oct 2005, became the Chester County DAT Captain in April 2007 and have held that role ever since. Over the years she has responded to numerous local disasters such as fires, floods, etc., and has managed shelters local disasters like apartment fires and national disasters including Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee, Hurricane Sandy and most recently managed a mega-shelter for the ice storm in February.

Finally, Dale Kesheshian, member of the Twinkle Star Award committee, presented the Twinkle Star Scholarship to Summer Kollie from the Girard Academy Music Program. Summer is from the West African country of Liberia. She has been a Red Cross Club member since the 9th grade, and she also participates in the Diversity League and as Vice President of the Student Council at Girard College. Hoping to become a physician and to work in her home country, Summer plans to double major in the Biological Sciences and English. When Summer is not researching or winning science fairs, she enjoys reading, volunteering, and playing the trombone. She has been awarded a full scholarship by five major universities.

We celebrate the achievements, successes, and service of this year’s recipients and recognize their embodiment of their values of the Red Cross. These women serve as extraordinary role models for coming generations of women.

Click here for photos of the event.