Mary Reardon Johnson chosen as Founder’s Day Recipient for 2015

Western MA ~ Mary Reardon Johnson has been chosen by the Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley  to receive its 2015 Founders Day award.  She will be honored with a reception and dinner on Monday, November 9, 2015  at Ludlow Country Club, 1 Tony Lema Drive, Ludlow, MA. 

MRJ Portrait 004Mary was born and raised in the Greater Springfield Area.  She holds her Masters in Social Work with a concentration in Administration and has worked in Human Services for over 40 years.  Since 1983, Mary has served as the Executive Director of the YWCA of Western Massachusetts. She recently announced that she will retire in January. Under her leadership, the YWCA has gone from a negative fund balance to its current position of over $16M in assets. The YWCA has evolved as a statewide leader in the provision of responsive and responsible programs meeting the critical needs of women and girls.  They are the state’s largest provider of both Domestic Violence Services and Services to Pregnant and Parenting Teens.    Mary boasts the diverse YWCA staff of more than 125 employees and the quality of services the YWCA provides.  She maintains that Not for Profit is a tax status and not the way to run an organization with an operating budget exceeding $6M annually.  Currently operating at locations in Springfield, Holyoke, Northampton and Westfield, the YWCA is the region’s largest and oldest women’s organization.

Mary has served on many statewide and several national committees and task forces.  Most recently, she served on the Baker/Polito Transition Team and was appointed to the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Homelessness.  Mary has received numerous commendations and awards – among them the Pynchon Award for outstanding community service.

The public is invited to join us in honoring Mary Reardon Johnson on November 9th starting at 5:30. Please RSVP by October 31st. Either send a check ($25/pp) with names of all attendees to Pamela Albertson, 169 Aldrich St., Belchertown, MA 01007 or email her at with names of all attendees and pay $25/pp at the door – cash, check or credit card.

The Founders Day award is given annually to a woman in the greater Quaboag area who exemplifies the ideals of Zonta International, a global organization of professionals working together to advance the status of women and girls worldwide through service and advocacy.  Past recipients of the Founder’s Day award include Kathy Picard, Yoko Kato, The Honorable State Representative Anne Gobi, Bonny Rathbone, Nancy Fletcher, Gertrude (Trudy) Canterbury, Kathleen Conley Norbut, Janice Marciniec, Mary Ann Rigali, Tess Pelissier and Janice Kucesicz.

It is especially fitting that Mary Reardon Johnson is the honoree this year, as the club continues its participation in an initiative called “Zonta Says NO” – a campaign focused on ending violence against women and girls.  Zonta International considers this a societal issue.  Maria Jose Landeira Oestergaard, President of ZI, notes that we need to “address root causes and focus on prevention through education to change attitudes in men and women.”

The Zonta Club of Quaboag Valley is part of Zonta International. Local projects of the club include raising awareness on issues of domestic violence, homeless women veterans, trafficking of women and children, and suicide prevention in Western MA.

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