First HERstory Awards honor the exceptional work of women in their respective community

Honorees from left: Wadson Fils – chief operating officer (Big Apple Care), Malvina Brabham, Monique Okumakpeyi (AKA president Delta Rho Omega Chapter), Bernice Kingsberry, Cheryl Hall – executive director of Caribbean’s Women Health Association, Senator Kevin Parker, Kristina M. Legrand, Tonya Ores – NHS CEO, Kim O’Neal president of Eta Nu Sigma Chapter, Brooklyn Alumnae, and Hassan Bakiriddin representing his wife Joan Alexander-Bakiriddin.
Photo by Solwazi Afi Olusola

The First Woman’s Awards presented by Senator Kevin Parker, honored gifted individuals in a groundbreaking “HERstory” that paid tribute to outstanding leaders who epitomizes philanthropy, leadership, and community engagement.

The ceremony that was hosted last Sunday, April 14, at the Kings Plaza Community Center in Brooklyn, also honored five women-owned and operated businesses for their significant impact on the local community.

They are, Kristina M. LeGrand, who served 33 years in the NYC Fire Department’s Fiscal Service as a Contracting Officer. Joan Bakiriddin, who is civically engaged as the Secretary of her Block Association and Vice Chair of the Participatory Budgeting Project Board, Community Board 17 (CB17).

Bernice Kinsberry, the Tenant Association President of Glenwood Houses. Malvina Brabham, an experienced Construction Coordinator at Verizon.
Naomi Hopkins, who currently serves in leadership as the co-chair of Social Action for the Brooklyn Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and as the Worthy Matron of Armentres Chapter No. 29, Order of the Eastern Star.

Among the five institutions and businesses owned or managed by women are: AKA, represented by Monique Okumakpeyi, Sigma Gamma Rho, represented by Kim O’Neal; Caribbean’s Women Health Association, Cheryl Hall; Big Apple Urgent Care, Dr. Tamara Moise and Neighborhood Housing Services, Tonya Ores.

“Hosting this inaugural Women ‘Herstory’ Awards ceremony has been a true honor,” said Senator Parker. “It was an opportunity to showcase the remarkable contributions of women in our society and I am deeply moved by their commitment to effect positive change in our communities. Celebrating their accomplishments and acknowledging their invaluable contributions was a delight.”

“The honorees were the stars of the evening, their stories of triumph and perseverance served as a source of inspiration for all who had the privilege of hearing them. Senator Kevin Parker’s heartfelt tribute to these extraordinary individuals underscored the importance of recognizing and honoring their invaluable contributions to our communities,” said Kamla Millwood, president of Palatial Publishing LLC.

Millwood said the event was a resounding success that left a lasting impression on all in attendance, who applauded the heartfelt speeches and poignant moments. The atmosphere was filled with the sounds of laughter and lively conversation, creating a warm and welcoming space of camaraderie and fellowship.

“It was a night to remember, where the spirit of unity and appreciation reigned supreme, leaving everyone feeling uplifted and inspired to continue making a positive difference in the world,” said Millwood.

Guests were treated to a culinary experience like no other from Make My Day NYC. The food, prepared with care and attention to detail, delighted the senses, and added an extra layer of enjoyment to the festivities. From delectable appetizers to sumptuous main courses, she added.

The wonderful event, hosted by Sonia Ave Marie Daly was designed to honor exceptional woman who exemplify the spirit of community and philanthropy, and leadership, as well as businesses and institutions that have made significant contributions to their local community.