The Spirit of Sacred Heart Academy
Today, the spirit of Sacred Heart Academy lives in our students, alumnae, benefactors, and friends as they champion the Christian values modeled by St. Francis of Assisi. While we see this spirit embodied in so many, we can only highlight a few, so let us introduce you to this year's recipients of SHA’s distinguished awards.
Christus Super Omnia Award (November 2011)
This award is given to a distinguished alumna who, through her achievements and service, embodies the spirit of SHA.
Kathleen McCarthy ‘56
Kathleen McCarthy returned to her roots in Buffalo after living for 40 years in Washington, DC. Following graduate studies at the Catholic University of America, she began a 30-year career with the Federal government. She worked three years with the Youth Employment Program for the District of Columbia and then moved into a career in personnel administration with the U.S. Department of Labor, gaining experience in employment, pay, training and development, and employee and labor relations. She left the Department when she was selected as the first Personnel Director for the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Later she returned to the Department of Labor where she worked in human resources operations and staff positions in the Office of the Secretary. She retired from the Department as Associate Director of Human Resources for Employment and Evaluation. Her second career was as a human resources consultant, as well as a real estate agent in the District of Columbia and Maryland.
During her career, she found time to be active at Holy Trinity Parish in Georgetown, D.C. where she served as liturgy committee chair and as parish council president. She was a member of the Board of Directors for the Woodley Park (D.C.) Community Association. She also chaired the member advisory group for IONA Senior Services of northwest Washington, D.C. On numerous occasions, she opened her home for local SHA alumnae gatherings and her spare bedrooms for SHA visitors.
Upon returning to live in Buffalo in 2003, she joined Blessed Sacrament Parish (Buffalo) where she is an active member of the Peace and Justice Committee. This led to involvement in VOICE-Buffalo where she has worked on initiatives related to restoration of day care subsidies for working parents, transportation issues, and fund raising. She is an active member of the League of Women Voters and until recently served as Election Services Coordinator in which she oversaw the election of Tenant Council officers in housing developments of the Buffalo Municipal Housing Authority.
Kathleen has been an active supporter of the Sisters of St. Francis through the Tribute Dinner Committee and was the chair of that event in 2007. From 2007-2009, she served as Vice-Chair of the Daemen College/Rosary Hill College Alumni Association Board of Governors. She currently is a Class Ambassador for the Sacred Heart Alumnae Association and has been active in organizing reunions for the Class of 1956.
Gail Hunter ‘76
Gail D. Hunter is Senior Vice President of Events and Attractions for National Basketball Association. She is responsible for managing the NBA’s and WNBA’s domestic and international grassroots marketing programs. Events across the United States include NBA All-Star, NBA All-Star Jam Session, NBA Jam Van, NBA Summer League, and NBA Nation. Gail oversees the production, operations, sponsorship management, execution, public relations, marketing, and advertising for these events. During the 2010-11 season, the international grassroots events portfolio grew to over 200 events in 94 cities in 34 countries including NBA Madness, community outreach programs, touring basketball festivals, camps and coaching clinics, and basketball tournaments.
Gail joined the NBA in 1999 as Senior Director of Events and Attractions. She was promoted in January of 2002 to Vice President. Before joining the NBA, Gail was employed as Director of Corporate Marketing for the Seattle Mariners, where she was in charge of corporate sponsorship sales, corporate development, marketing and ballpark planning for Safeco Field. Gail served as Director of Promotional Events for Major League Baseball from 1991 to through 1998 where she developed and managed baseball’s premier All-Star event, All-Star FanFest .
Gail earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1983 in Theatre Arts from the Fredonia campus of the State University of New York, where she was an accomplished student athlete, earning the Alice Michaels award given to the most outstanding female senior athlete. Following college, Hunter went on to law school at the University of North Carolina, from which she earned her juris doctor degree in 1986. She is a member of the Washington State Bar and practiced with the firm of Schweppe, Krug, and Tausend, in Seattle, Washington.
Gail currently resides in Rutherford, New Jersey with her family.
Elizabeth Sullivan ‘83
After finishing at Sacred Heart Academy in 1983, Elizabeth attended Fordham University in New York, graduating in 1987 with a cum laude BS in Business Administration. She then worked for Goldman, Sachs & Co for 4 years in International Treasury Operations. In 1991, Elizabeth left Goldman, Sachs to pursue a MBA program at London Business School. During her 2 year MBA program, she worked extensively in Prague, Czech Republic and Latvia, watching the two countries emerge from decades of communism. It was an exciting vibrant time and Elizabeth knew that she wanted to continue in that line of work.
After completing her MBA in 1993, she set up London Business School's training programs in Moscow. In 1995, Elizabeth relocated to Moscow full time to become country director for Financial Services Volunteer Corps. This non-government organization works with the Central Bank of Russia and commercial banks in the area of financial sector reform. In 1997, Elizabeth joined UBS Russia as Operations Manager and was promoted to Chief Operating Officer in 2003.
She is also chairman of United Way of Russia, having started volunteering with that charity in 2000. Elizabeth lives in Moscow with her two wonderful daughters, ages eight and four.
Franciscan Charism Award (November 2011)
This award honors a member of the larger community who lives the Christian virtues as exemplified by St. Francis and St. Clare of Assisi.
Roxanne and David Smith
All three of David and Roxanne’s daughters attended the Academy: Kirsten ‘96, Kyla ‘00, and Kacey ‘07. Their eldest daughter is currently the 9th grade religion and dance teacher at SHA.
The Smiths’ membership to the Sacred Heart Academy Parent Faculty Guild began in 1992. They have served as officers for the Guild nearly every year since then, with only limited breaks over the past two decades. Roxanne and Dave served in many capacities, including President and Vice President several times. Roxanne also served on many committees, and chaired the Father Daughter Dance, the Mother Daughter Breakfast, and the New Parent Welcome Party. Since their youngest daughter’s graduation in 2007, they continue to serve on the board as Alumni Couple.
In their almost 20-year relationship with SHA, you can still count on David and Roxanne to be at many events a year (i.e. Walkathon, Sandstone, Day of SHAring, etc.), rolling up their sleeves, and getting involved wherever they might be needed. No task is too big or too small for David and Roxanne, and their love for SHA is evident in the countless hours they have given the Academy. Their devotion and spirit of love toward the community of SHA is what the Franciscan doctrine is founded upon, making them the the Franciscan Charism Award recipients for 2011.
David graduated from Lockport Senior High School in 1970. He was active in sports and received scholarships for track and football to attend Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. After returning home from college, he worked at Lock City Electric where he learned to repair and rewind electric motors from the proprietor. During this time, David also played semi-professional football for the Lockport Travelers and the Buffalo Geminis. On both teams he made a name for himself as the quarterback and the punter for the teams. He had several professional try-outs with teams including the Buffalo Bills, the Chicago Bears, and the Washington Redskins.
Eventually, he purchased Lock City Electric from his mentor and owned the business for many years. He went on to work for Volland Electric Equipment Corporation, where he is an electric motor repairman and member of the crane department. Dave remains active in sports … and is an avid golfer and bowler.
He is also an active member of the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, serving on a variety of committees.
He now finds himself very busy with his grandson, Eamon, who will be two in December.
Roxanne B. Smith
Roxanne Burke Smith graduated from Lockport Senior High School in the Class of 1971. After receiving several academic scholarships, she went on to complete her BSN from Niagara University in1975. In her senior year at Niagara, Roxanne was recognized by the American Cancer Society for her volunteer work and speaking out about cancer prevention/detection at various venues. For that, she received the ACS Citizenship Award.
During her professional nursing career, Roxanne co-authored computer software on Central Venous Pressure Monitoring for use in nursing education classes on the collegiate level. She worked at Lockport Memorial Hospital (now known as Eastern Niagara Hospital), mainly in critical care and as the nursing supervisor for the facility at-large. She was a member of the Policy and Procedure Committee and also worked in staff development. She obtained her Critical Care Certification in 1984, and was the first person at Lockport Memorial to ever receive that distinction. In 1984, Roxanne was also named to Who’s Who in American Nursing. Her commitment to educating nursing candidates extended to a teaching position in the Licensed Practical Nursing program at Niagara County Community College.
In 1991 Roxanne went to work at Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, now part of the Kaleida Health System. There she was on the staff of the Critical Care Unit and served on the Clinical Ladders Committee.
Roxanne is a founding member and the current president of the Progressive Mother’s Club in Lockport, and she is the Chairperson of the LSHS Class of 1971 Reunion Committee that celebrated their 40 year reunion in September.
She shares in the joy of her grandson every day!
Living the Spirit Award (November 2011)
This award is bestowed on an individual or organization that reaches out to serve the less fortunate members of the community.
Everywoman Opportunity Center, Inc.
Everywoman Opportunity Center, Inc., incorporated in 1977 as a private not-for-profit corporation to help women achieve economic and personal self-sufficiency, has been a regional employment service provider for over 25 years. With services available at six sites and multiple outreach locations in Western New York (WNY), Everywoman has assisted over 63,515 women in Western New York to move toward economic independence since 1977, and has helped place nearly 17,320 individuals in jobs in the last 21 years. In 2009-2010, Everywoman helped 730 individuals obtain, upgrade, or retain employment.
Throughout its history, Everywoman has pioneered employment related services in Western New York for displaced homemakers, older women, women who are single head of households, and public assistance beneficiaries. Everywoman has reached out to diverse communities to provide comprehensive employment-related services. Currently, Everywoman administers the largest Displaced Homemaker Program in the United States. Piloted in 1977, the Everywoman program has been replicated across the country and is the model for 25 centers in New York State.
In addition to the Displaced Homemaker Program, Everywoman provides employment retention services, vocational assessment, life skills training, career counseling, employment preparation, and other programs responsive to women in the WNY communities. All programs and services are designed to be holistic and address all the barriers a woman may face in seeking economic and personal self-sufficiency. These barriers may include a lack of access to childcare, lack of health insurance, transportation, and obsolete skills.
The success of many of Everywoman’s programs is made possible in part by Everywoman’s community linkages. Extensive coordination and cooperation with other WNY service providers enables Everywoman to successfully and efficiently "connect" the target population to services critical to the completion of career/life plans. Primary among these community linkages are those with all the educational and training providers as well as employment and training service providers.
In 2003, Everywoman received the prestigious Exemplary Public Interest Contribution (EPIC) Award from the US Department of Labor for its efforts in the area of equal employment.