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Cortland resident named “Woman of Distinction” by state senator


On yesterday’s national Women’s Equality Day, State Senator Peter Oberacker honored Sheila Ryan of Cortland as the 2021 NYS Senate “Woman of Distinction” from the 51st District.

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Ryan is a lifelong county resident and her contributions to the betterment of the region are endless.

She has served for the past six years as assistant director at the Center for the Arts of Homer.

Throughout the pandemic, Ryan worked with the C4A team to plan safe and engaging events, activities and programs for the greater community.

Among the success stories: A Homer Main Street Art exhibition, Parking Lot Music Performance series, the first live drive-in concert in New York at Dwyer Park, and a variety of arts programs for children and young adults.

“Sheila is a true ambassador for the Center, ensuring a first-class experience for patrons and performers alike,” said Sen. Oberacker.

Additionally, Ryan is a board member of the Homer Downtown Business Association.

But her contributions to the community don’t stop there.

For the past 25 plus years, Sheila has dedicated her life work to supporting individuals that have sustained a traumatic Brain Injury.

While managing the busy art center, Sheila continues to maintain her role as the Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinator for the Centers at St Camillus/Integrity Home Care.

She is never more than a phone call away from the patients she supports.

The senate’s “Women of Distinction” program was created in 1998 to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence, or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers.

Due to the COVID pandemic, the Woman of Distinction presentation was not held at the State Capitol in person this year.

Senator Oberacker will visit the Center for the Arts of Homer to formally recognize Sheila Ryan on Wednesday, September 1.

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