Members and guests of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk filled the dining room of the Thursday for the organization's annual Women of Distinction awards luncheon.
This year's recipients were Anne Flanagan, who received the Distinguished Service Award; Katie Grozier, who received the Young Woman of Distinction Award; and Susan Daly, Lisa Joyce, Kiki Karpen, Jeanne Marconi, and Grace Lichtenstein, who received the Woman of Distinction Award.
Dina Temple-Raston, who covers national security and counterterrorism for National Public Radio, was the guest speaker at Thursday's event.
The YWCA's Nomination Committee selects award winners each year from nominations submitted by residents of Darien and Norwalk.
Below is a brief summary of each winner's accomplishments and areas of service provided by the YWCA:
Anne Flanagan joined the YW in 1990 after she moved from New York City to Darien. Flanagan's community service spans five decades, including serving on the YW's Capital Campaign and becoming its development director, a position she held until she retired in 2008.
Katie Grozier is a senior at who has been dedicated to community service. She is vice president of the school's National Honor Society chapter and a member of the track team.
Susan Daly moved to Darien in 2004 and has been a member of the town's Parks and Recreation Commission since 2007. Since 2005, Daly has been a member of the YW's Push-in-Pull Parade Committee, which organizes the annual July 4 event.
Lisa Joyce has been secretary of the the past two years and has been a volunteer for the . Joyce's passion for helping children is exemplified by her advocacy and volunteerism for the past eight years in the Shepherds Program, which is committed to at-risk inner city youths in Connecticut.
Kiki Karpen began as the Darien president of the and advanced to state president of the organization. Karpen has also been a member of several Darien committees and currently is executive director of the Community Fund of Darien. Karpen has been a "driving force" in community collaboration to address gaps in the town's human services.
Jeanne Marconi is a pediatrician in a practice that offers comprehensive services, including pediatric endocrine and diabetes specialists and breast feeding center. Marconi has served as president and vice president of the Connecticut chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Grace Lichtenstein is noted for her participation in numerous activities in Darien, Norwalk, and Norwalk's Rowayton community. Lichtenstein was commissioner of Norwalk's Sixth Taxing District for 12 years and was chairman of the planning commitee that was instrumental in the revitalization of South Norwalk. Lichtenstein has also be active in environmental causes, including her continuing service on the board of the Norwalk Land Trust.