When in need of inspiration, Pittsburgh’s young women and girls should look no further than the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Women of Excellence. This year’s list was no exception with the honorees representing some of the most influential and well-respected institutions in the city.

For the third year in a row, the New Pittsburgh Courier held its 50 Women of Excellence Luncheon in the Westin Convention Center Hotel. On July 14, the crowd of almost 500 guests gathered to celebrate this year’s list of 50 honorees.

DISPLAYING THEIR AWARDS are Elizabeth “Niecy” Dennis, Alma Speed Fox, Joyce Ellis and Tene Croom.

“I suppose it’s a privilege and I’m glad the Courier recognized me,” said honoree Lisa Haley Huff, vice president, treasury management specialty sales, PNC Financial Services. “A lot of Black women are busy doing similar things. There’s certainly more beyond these 50.”

Several honorees reflected on the importance of the Courier and how it’s presence in the Black community has shaped many of today’s community leaders as well as their own lives.

“I’m humbled by it all. The Pittsburgh Courier is an historic communication device. In my lifetime, I’ve learned a lot about being Black from the New Pittsburgh Courier,” said Alma Speed Fox. “I’ve seen a lot of young journalists being trained through the Courier. They got their foundation from the Courier.”

Fox received a standing ovation from the audience for her life long work as a civil rights activist. She joined the NAACP in 1955 and has served on the Pittsburgh branch’s board of directors for 45 years.

The luncheon was also a good opportunity for the women to network and make connections with others they might not have ever met. Several of them discussed ways to collaborate on future projects and initiatives to help the African-American community.

“I was surprised. It’s been interesting because there are so many different people from different career fields,” said honoree Linda Lane, deputy superintendent, Pittsburgh Public Schools. “I made a lot of contacts that will certainly help us in our work.”

Acting as the events Award Sponsors were Carlow University, Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and PNC. The Benefactor Sponsors were UPMC, The Institute for Transfusion Medicine and Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. The Patron Sponsors included University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Public Schools, Onyx Woman Network and Real Times Media.

“At Carlow we hold such women in high esteem and we identify them as women of true success,” said Mary Hines, president, Carlow University. “We educate other women to be like them, women who accept accountability for their lives, their decisions and their affect on other people.”

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