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PR- 065-11
March 1, 2011


NYC Commission on Women’s Issues and NYC Media Premiere Video Series Recognizing Thirty-One Women Making a Difference in New York City

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today launched “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen” a video series produced by the City’s Commission on Women’s Issues in collaboration with NYC Media, the official network of the City of New York, to shine the spotlight on extraordinary women of New York City. The series, which will air on NYC life (Channel 25) during Women’s History Month, will feature 31 stories of triumph in one-minute videos each day in the month of March. Every video will also appear on accompanied by a link to a City or nonprofit resource that can help women throughout New York City achieve similar success. On March 8th at 10pm, NYC life will also air a thirty-minute special focused on five women making a difference in New York.  The Mayor announced the launch of “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen” at an event held at the Museum of Modern Art, where he was joined by MoMA President Marie-Josée Kravis, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Commission on Women’s Issues Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs, Executive Director Briana Collins, and Mercedes Cano of the Law Offices of Mercedes S. Cano.

“The women featured in this series come from all backgrounds, professions, and walks of life, but they have all been given the same thing: an opportunity,” said Mayor Bloomberg.  “They have used their success to extend opportunities to others. Now it’s up to all of us to give that chance to a whole new generation of young women.  Opportunity is what it’s all about.  That’s why we continue working so hard to make this a City of Opportunity for all New Yorkers.” 

“We are recognizing the tremendous impact that just a small group of thirty-one women can have in their communities,” said Commission on Women’s Issues Chair Anne Sutherland Fuchs.    “This series highlights the strength, power, and importance of today’s leading women as they are paving the way for future generations of New York City’s leaders.  We hope through their stories, men and women throughout New York City are inspired to make a difference in their own unique way, too.”

“‘NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen’ is an inspiring look at some of the very special women who help make a difference in our City,” said Commissioner Oliver, Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. “NYC Media is honored to have produced this video series with the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues and to be a part of this celebration of Women’s History Month.”

Women featured in the series discuss their individual experiences including overcoming obstacles, reaching top positions in their career fields, serving as role models and how the work they’re doing is impacting the communities around them. The series can be seen each night on NYC life at 7:30pm and will also air throughout the day. The one-minute videos will also be available to viewers on the NYC Media Video on Demand, You Tube, the NYC Commission on Women’s Issues website and

The 31 women featured in “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen” are:

  • Shavonne Bell, Senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  • Kelley Brooke, Founder of the DOE District 75 Golf Program, Randall's Island Golf Group
  • Mercedes S. Cano, Sole Proprietor, Law Office of Mercedes S. Cano
  • Lisa Caputo, Founder and Chairman, Women & Co., Citigroup, Inc.
  • Alondra de la Parra, Founder and Conductor, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas
  • Luda Demikhovskaya, Disabled Activist
  • Patricia E. Harris, First Deputy Mayor, City of New York
  • Maryann Hedaa, Founder and Managing Director, The Hunts Point Alliance for Children
  • Daphne Hsu, MD, Chief of Pediatric Cardiology, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore
  • Dr. Kerry Kelly, Chief Medical Officer, Fire Department City of New York
  • Dr. Joan Klingsberg, Founding Principal, Voyages Preparatory High School
  • Hoda Kotb, Co-Host, NBC Today Show, Dateline
  • Helen Arteaga Landaverde, MPH, Director, Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center, Queens
  • Carol Laurenzano, ADA Manager, New York Yankees
  • Gena Lovett, Founder and CEO, Littlewolf Capital
  • Danielle Mahoney, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Seeds of Love
  • Sister Kathleen McKinney, CSJ, Principal, the Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates, Queens
  • Corinne A. Michels, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Biology, Queens College-CUNY
  • Benita Miller, Founder and Executive Director, The Brooklyn Young Mothers’ Collective
  • Dolores N. Morris, Former Vice President, HBO Family
  • Mahroo Moshari, LMSW, Director, Manhattan Multicultural Summer Youth Program
  • Robina Niaz, Founding Executive Director, Turning Point for Women and Families
  • Merble Reagon, Executive Director, Women’s Center for Education and Career Advancement
  • Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, Founder and CEO, Hot Bread Kitchen
  • Teri Russo, The Down Syndrome Foundation
  • Amy Sewell, Writer/Filmmaker, “Mad Hot Ballroom” & “What’s Your Point, Honey?”
  • Karen Simmons, Executive Director, The Children’s Law Center
  • Shawn Slevin, Founder and Executive Director, Swim Strong Foundation Inc.
  • Sarah BJ Sung, Board Chair, Korean American Family Service Center
  • Mary Spiritt Taylor, Retired Vice President, Argus Community, Inc.
  • Toni Williams, Co- Creator, Host/Executive Producer, Brooklyn Savvy

“It is an honor to be recognized amongst the other incredible women who are featured in this series,” said Mercedes Cano, who was featured in the video project.  “We each have different stories and backgrounds but there is a common thread that unites us. At many points in our lives, we faced situations that could have prevented us from becoming who we are today.  But instead of succumbing to our challenges, we rose above them.  I think it takes purpose, determination, tenacity and a positive attitude. Even if it means taking two steps back to go one step forward.”

In addition to these one-minute videos, the thirty-minute special, “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen,” focuses on the larger stories of five inspirational and successful women. This NYC Media original production will premiere on NYC life on Tuesday, March 8 at 10pm and encore throughout the month. The special provides in-depth profiles of the diverse ways these women are serving as role models for others. The five women featured in the thirty-minute special are: Shavonne Bell, a senior at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Lisa Caputo, founder and chairman of Citigroup’s Women & Co.; Alondra de la Parra, founder and conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas; Hoda Kotb, Co-Host of the Today Show’s 4th hour on NBC News; and Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen.

To learn more about “NYC Women: Make it Here, Make it Happen” and other programs in support of women, please visit or call 311.


Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

Julianne Cho/Marybeth Ihle (MOME)   (212) 669-7742


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