Woman of the Year

On November 12, 1975 the Poughkeepsie Branch held a dinner at the Vassar Alumni House to commemorate the International Women's Year and to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of our branch. Eight women were honored for outstanding service to the residents of Dutchess County. Since that time, the Poughkeepsie Branch AAUW has selected a local woman to honor as our Woman of the Year. These women exemplify the goals stated in AAUW's mission statement:

The American Association of University Women advances equity
for women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy, and research.

We invite you to nominate candidates for consideration of this honor using the form linked below to print, fill in and mail. Your nomination will be in consideration for two years from the date you submit the form to one of the Woman of the Year Committee Co-Chairs: Margaret Ouart, 26 Broad St, Fishkill, NY 12524 or Mary Lou Davis, 125 Andrews Rd, Lagrangeville, NY 12540

Woman of the year Nomination Form>>


2019  Hon. Joan S. Posner

2018  Dr. Pamela R. Edington

2017  Mariel Fiori

2016  Krista Jones

2015  Mary Lou Davis

2014  Maureen J. Taylor

2013  Patti Peck

2012  Judith A. Lombardi

2011  Ann K. Armater

2010  Elizabeth Harrel

2009  Carole J. Wolf

2008  Eileen M. Hayden

2007  Diane Pedevillano

2006  Clara Lou Gould

2005  Eleanor Charwat

2004  Gail Webster

2003  Klara B. Sauer

2002  Anna Buchholz

2001  Margaret R Calista

2000  Ruth Stafford Peale

1999  R. Patricia Poggi

1998  Ceal Sommer

1997  Virginia A. Swartz

1996  Mary Moody

1995  Geeta Desai

1994  Gail Burger

1993  Gloria Rutgers

1991  Trudie Evangelou

1990  Marion "Chad" Patterson

1988  Earline Patrice

1987  Joyce Ghee

1986  Mary Lou Heissenbuttel

1985  Trudy Grundon

1984  Mary Keeley

1983  Helen Marchese

1982  Marie Tarver

1981  Patricia Braatz

1980  Lucille Pattison

1979  Dr. Eleanor Peck

1978  Marian B. Morse

1975  Ann Buchholz

1975  Bernie Fitchett

1975  Bessie Payne

1975  Dorothy Haight

1975  Edna MacMahon

1975  Frances Drace

1975  Margaret Race

1975  Hilda Bohmer

Hon. Joan S. Posner, Woman of the Year 2019

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Joan S. Posner served as Dutchess County Family Court Judge and as Acting Supreme Court Justice from 2009 until 2018. In addition to her duties as Family Court Judge, she presided over the Dutchess County Integrated Domestic Violence Court.

While on the bench she was the lead judge for Dutchess County for the Child Welfare Court Improvement Project, a federally-funded initiative to improve the outcomes for children in foster care. In that capacity she was instrumental in establishing procedures and protocols for the Court which directly and positively impacted the lives of children, as well as their caregivers.

During her tenure, she also served on several other statewide and local committees, including the Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee, the Family Court Judges Curriculum Committee, the Advisory Committee on Attorneys for Children and the Family Court Child Care Center Advisory Board.

In 2015, Judge Posner was instrumental in getting legislation passed which added a much-needed fourth Family Court Judge in Dutchess County.

Prior being elected, she worked as the Court Attorney for Family Court Judge Damian Amodeo for 20 years. In that capacity she was involved in many projects, particularly ones to enhance the Court's response in matters involving domestic violence. This included serving on both the Universal Response to Domestic Violence Steering Committee and the Dutchess County Legislature's Citizens' Advisory Committee. She was also the principal author and co-chair of the committee which produced the Dutchess County Domestic Violence Bench Manual for Town and Village Justices which became a state-wide model.

Her legal career also included working as a staff attorney for Legal Services of the Mid-Hudson Valley and as the managing attorney for Prisoners' Legal Services.

Judge Posner has received numerous awards for her work, including from the Mediation Center of Dutchess County, the Westchester County Bar Association, the Grace Smith House and the Coalition against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.

Although now retired, she continues to serve on the Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee, a standing committee of the Chief Judge which writes, reviews and recommends family law legislation to be included in the Court's legislative agenda

Judge Posner is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law. She has a son and daughter, both married, four grandsons ranging in ages from six to one year, and a fifth on the way.


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Website comments are welcome and may be directed to Mary King. This page last updated on Dec 17, 2018