Tribute to Women: Katharine F. Erskine Award Luncheon

Tuesday, September 12, 2023 | Mechanics Hall

YWCA Central Massachusetts is set to host their 29th annual Tribute to Women celebration on Tuesday, September 12, 2023.

The Katharine F. Erskine Award recognizes women who have demonstrated leadership and reached exemplary levels of achievement in their professions and communities. Award recipients show a commitment to the YWCA’s mission to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

Recipients of the Erskine Award meet the following criteria:

  • Distinctive achievement and service in her current field
  • Service to the community with a demonstrated commitment to social and racial equality
  • Demonstrated commitment to serving as a role model for women and girls
  • Must live and/or work in Central Massachusetts.

Schedule of Events:

11:45 AM – Registration
12:00 PM – Welcome
12:30 PM – Program & Awards Presentation

This page is updated daily. check back for updates.

2023 Katharine F. Erskine Award Recipients

Arts & Culture

Nayana LaFond
Artist and Curator

Business & Law

Jill Green Lebow
Chief Human Resources Officer, Fallon Health

Community, Social Services, & Government

Susie Ryan
Fiber Artist and Co-founder of Sisters in Stitch Joined by the Cloth (SISJBTC) Quilt Guild


Ivonne Perez
Chief Diversity Officer
Worcester Public Schools

Health, Science, & Technology

Debra Maddox, Psy.D.
President and CEO, Multicultural Wellness West


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About Katharine Erskine

Katharine Forbes Erskine devoted more than 80 years of her life to furthering the mission of the YWCA Central Massachusetts. She first became a member of the YWCA as a teenager in the early 1900s when she signed up for a gymnastics class at the organization, which was formerly located on Chatham Street.

A 1911 graduate of Vassar College, Mrs. Erskine went on to serve as President of the YWCA twice – once in 1930 and again in 1960 during the YWCA Building Campaign, which raised one million dollars to construct the present YWCA facility located at One Salem Square. She also briefly studied law and received a physical education certificate from Wellesley College.

Mrs. Erskine served on nearly every YWCA committee throughout her lifetime, but particularly enjoyed serving on the YWCA Public Affairs Committee, as well as the Camp Committee, which acquired Camp Wind-in-the-Pines located on Stiles Reservoir in Leicester. She founded the YWCA Dialogue Group, which was comprised of women interested in discussing women’s issues and current events, as well as the Nereids Club, a swimming group for adult women.

Mrs. Erskine died in 1990 at 100 years of age, but her unwavering spirit and commitment to creating opportunities for women and girls lives on through the contributions of the Katharine F. Erskine Award recipients.