The City & State Above and Beyond award is given to exceptional women in New York who exceed expectations and accomplish incredible initiatives. Above and Beyond honors women of public and civic mind, choosing 25 deserving women to receive the award during March of each year in areas of politics, media, education, nonprofit, and beyond. The award is presented in March to celebrate Women History Month. This year, the award was split up into five sectors: advocacy, business, education, government, and business. Awards were presented last night, on March 28th, at a gala recognizing each woman for her achievements.

Within advocacy, Jennifer Cunningham, Ali Davis, Ann Kayman, Safeena Leila Mecklai, and Cristyne L. Nicholas were honored.

Business recipients included Mylan Denerstein, Caress Kennedy, Katherine A. Lemire, Nekpen Osuan, and Judith Spitz.

Ester R. Fuchs, Sherry Glied, Dr. Gail O. Mellow, Nadine Strossen, and Suzanne Wilson received the award for education.

The award for government was presented to Cathy Calhoun, Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, Jacqueline Mallon, Catherine Nolan, and Shola Olatoye.

Lastly, the healthcare award was presented to Andrea G. Cohen, Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, Kathleen Regan, Deidre Sully, and our very own Executive Director, Eliane Abou-Assi.

Eliane, who has been with the American Autism Association since the end of 2012, became executive director of the organization in 2013. She has a duel Masters of Arts and Education Degree in Counseling Psychology from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her passion for allocating quality resources to families and individuals affected by autism, increasing education about autism, and fundraising for the cause is clear through the tireless and ardent work she does for the organization. In an interview with City and State, Eliane describes, “Every family … should have the ability to receive services for their child or loved one with autism,” and that “Quality therapeutic resources … will help in aiding the personal growth and development of the individual on the spectrum.”

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