Congratulations Women of Honor, 2024! (Photos courtesy of the Town of North Hempstead)

Town Of North Hempstead Women’s Roll Of Honor 2024

The Town of North Hempstead hosted its 31st-anniversary breakfast, a momentous occasion to celebrate and induct the exceptional 2024 Women’s Roll of Honor honorees. This event occurred on June 18 at the Clubhouse at Harbor Links in Port Washington.

Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Town Clerk Ragini Srivastava unveil the 2024 Women’s Roll of Honor plaque.

Supervisor Jennifer DeSena, Town Clerk Ragini Srivastava and the town board, along with the honorees, their families and friends, came together to recognize and honor the significant contributions of these women in making a difference in the North Hempstead community.

“These women are honored because they are leaders who have made a difference in our communities,” said Supervisor DeSena. “We are a beautiful, diverse and passionate community. And, like these honorees, we must continue to put our hands out to reach and teach others.”

The Women’s Roll of Honor is named after May Newburger, an iconic figure for social justice, equality and environmental causes. In addition to her activism, Newburger was a member of the New York State Assembly and became the first woman to serve as a town supervisor in Nassau County. 

In honor of her many accomplishments, the Town of North Hempstead names several women to the Roll of Honor every year who exemplify the same dedication to activism and community as Newburger.

“This beautiful town event allows us to recognize the remarkable sacrifices made by these women amidst all the responsibilities of their personal and professional lives,” said Town Clerk Srivastava. “Some have made a difference on a large public scale, while others contributed through quiet, consistent measures. All these women serve as outstanding models on how to live for others.”

The North Hempstead community came together to celebrate the honorees. The Albertson VFW 5252 presented the Color Guard, and United States Army Captain Ramona Jones led the attendees in the pledge of allegiance. Leah Del Orbe of the New Hyde Park Senior Chorus and Metropolitan Youth Orchestra of New York joined Cristina Palumbo and Reilly Toner from Kellenberg Memorial High School to sing the National Anthem.

The Westbury Middle School Select Senior Chorus, directed by Mr. Jonathan Fulcher, put on an electric performance of Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys.

Parvaneh Sarraf Doustan of Roslyn

Parvaneh Sarraf Doustan

Parvaneh Doustan Sarraf was raised by parents who were leaders in their community. The Doustan family eventually established the Mashadi community’s synagogue and center. She moved to Israel for five years to deepen her understanding of her culture and faith. Upon returning to Israel, she was awarded a scholarship by Rabbi Leo Young of Otzar Ha’Torah University. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education and Jewish Religion and Culture from Yeshiva University in New York City while also spending some time at Columbia University. Parvaneh became a guest lecturer at Columbia University’s Sephardic Center and is now the Assistant Principal at the North Shore Hebrew Academy. She has been honored with the 1994 Gruss Teaching Award and the 1989 Teacher of the Year award and co-founded the “Paras Jewish Organization, which supports displaced Iranian Jewish immigrants in America, and is a founding member of the “New York’s Iranian Mother’s Association.” As the Director of Family Mediation for the Jewish Iranian Federation of New York, she serves on the boards of numerous

organizations. Parvaneh raises funds for destitute families, widows, orphaned children, and children battling addiction. She has written numerous articles and three books conveying her knowledge and passion for Judaism. She is also an accomplished singer and poet in Farsi. Parvaneh’s steadfast commitment to her faith and community inspires and uplifts all those around her.

Michelle Golden

Michelle Golden of Roslyn

Michelle Golden is a former President of Temple Sinai of Roslyn where she has devoted countless volunteer hours over more than a decade to bettering the community. During her term as temple President, Michelle led Temple Sinai through COVID shutdowns, budget uncertainty, and the restructuring and rebuilding of the nursery school (now the Temple Sinai Early Childhood Center). At the same time, Michelle brought in new future leaders and made lasting improvements to the temple’s board and governance. Michelle remains active and highly involved. She recently led the temple through a development campaign that raised $1M, which allowed the temple to make it through COVID without cutting back services any services provided to the community. Michelle’s leadership allows Temple Sinai to be a strong, thriving synagogue that is devoted to serving the community.

Priti Jain of Roslyn Heights

Priti Jain

Dr. Priti Jain is a visionary leader, dedicated physician, and compassionate entrepreneur who is transforming the healthcare landscape by focusing on addressing healthcare disparities. She is the founder and CEO of Nao Medical, a chain of healthcare clinics with over 13 clinics and 200 employees that intentionally focus on expanding into healthcare deserts and seeking out diverse communities. They offer programs such as the Zero Zip Code Wellness initiative, which provides no-cost mammogram and Pap smears to all uninsured women in the community. Dr. Jain’s vision for the future of healthcare is one where everyone has access to high-quality, affordable, and culturally competent care, born out of her experiences working in the ER, where she witnessed the health equity challenges in underserved communities firsthand. Dr. Jain is committed to employing women and ensuring equal pay parity. She volunteers her time to mentor aspiring women medical professionals and is a vocal advocate for women leadership in healthcare. Dr. Jain was named a Crain’s NY 2022 Notable Healthcare Leader, an Ernst & Young 2023 Entrepreneur of the Year New York Award finalist, a 2023 Entrepreneurial Woman of Impact by Women President Organization and Women Elevating Women, and an Enterprising Woman in 2024. She has received multiple citations from the Town of North Hempstead for her local work in the community. As a married mother of three, Dr. Jain extends her service beyond her work, and is actively involved in her community and serves on several school committees. Dr. Jain has witnessed first-hand the impact of drugs on families and communities and has started a not-for-profit to improve outcomes for those affected by substance abuse disorders.

Agnes Kirschner of East Williston

Agnes Kirschner is a long-time volunteer at St. Aidan’s Church in Williston Park. She was the Girl Scout leader of Troop 1446 for many years, guiding the girls to receive their bronze award in 2012. Agnes was involved with the PTA and was a great success in aiding the Northside school Books Alive, the Willets Road Spook Walk, and the Wheatley Senior Party. She coached girls in volleyball and softball for many years. Agnes joined the Recreation Committee in 2004, where she revitalized many different activities. Last year, she helped the East Williston Volunteer Fire Department create The Thanksgiving 5K- the Drumstick Dash. She is a founding member for the Ryan’s Case for Smiles of East Williston branch where she teaches, and volunteers. Ryan’s Smiles creates fun pillowcases to lift the spirits of children in local hospitals. With this program she collaborates with North Hempstead’s Project Independence, connecting senior citizens with Ryan’s Smiles. Agnes aids in fundraising efforts for Children’s Readiness Center at Nassau BOCES. She also contributes and participates in the Autism Speaks Walkathon. Agnes is a dedicated volunteer who has a profound impact on the community.

Maggie Messina of Albertson

Maggie Messina

Maggie Messina is among the first generation of women to own and operate a martial arts school, and is a world-class martial artist who has won multiple gold medals for the USA. Master Maggie founded Taecole Tae Kwon Do and Fitness Inc. in 1996, one of the most successful martial art schools in New York State. Facing numerous hurdles as a female athlete throughout her career, she became determined to facilitate change for the future, so founded the Female Fighters Matter Too movement to bring equality to all athletes. Maggie was a project coordinator for many years for Sloan Kettering Cancer Hospital in New York City, heading toy, clothing, and food drives. Maggie is an awe-inspiring speaker who advocates for women in sports, as well as child abuse, abusive relationships, addiction, and suicide. Maggie has received many awards and accolades throughout her career, including the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Joe Biden, the New York State Community Service Award in recognition of her dedication on behalf of the youth in New York, the Most Powerful Woman in Business for NYS by Schneps Media, the New York Assembly Certificate of Merit for Female Fighters Matter Too, the Martial Artist Legacy Award, Special Congressional Recognition for her “outstanding and invaluable service to her community”, and Special Recognition by state Sen. Joseph P. Adabbo, Jr. Maggie’s trailblazing spirit continues to inspire and empower women, making a lasting impact on both the martial arts community and our community at large.

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