Annual Program Recognizes Women’s Contributions to Our Communities


ALBANY – State Senator Rob Ortt (R,C,I – North Tonawanda) today recognized Annette Finch of Albion in Orleans County, as one of the New York State Senate’s “Women of Distinction” during a ceremony at the Legislative Office Building in Albany. Finch was personally selected by Senator Ortt and was among 61 other distinguished women who were honored by the state Senate this evening.

The Senate’s Women of Distinction program celebrates outstanding women from all walks of life throughout New York State whose contributions have enriched the quality of life in our communities.

Senator Ortt said, “The Women of Distinction program allows us to pause and recognize the extraordinary women in our communities whose lives, work or accomplishments contribute to enriching our society and neighborhoods. Annette is one of those women. I am proud to honor her for her achievements, and I thank her for making our communities better and brighter.”

“I’m honored that Senator Ortt selected me as the ‘Woman of Distinction’ for his district,” said Finch. “What I do is not for recognition or awards. I do it from my heart to better families, children, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. It’s a privilege to work for Community Action and volunteer in my community.”

Finch is a dedicated and passionate advocate for low-income and disadvantaged families throughout Orleans and Genesee counties. She has worked for Community Action of Orleans & Genesee Counties since 1977, and because of her exceptional leadership skills, was appointed as the nonprofit’s Director of Community Services in 1990.

Among Finch’s responsibilities, she assists individuals with emergency services, job training, clothing, and transportation, while ensuring clients are treated with dignity and respect. She works diligently to provide programs, services, and opportunities that can enable all people to reach their fullest potential in becoming self-sufficient.

For forty years, Finch has compassionately worked to initiate and develop life-changing programs through Community Action, including its garden projects, thrift store, care packages for veterans, school supplies for children, the annual holiday basket, coat drives. In addition, she has worked in conjunction with the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle campaign and camp for families and children in need, as well as the work release program through the Albion Correctional Facility to help teach life skills.

Finch plays a vital role in her community, dedicating her time, talent and energy to numerous local organizations. For the past 39 years, Finch has volunteered as the Treasurer for the Salvation Army Service Unit for Orleans County. She also serves as both an advisory committee and board member of the following: Orleans & Albion Correctional facilities; the Village Recreation Committee for more than 35 years;, where she has; the Bereavement Committee for Holy Family Church; Genesee Community College; Job Corps; the statewide Angels in Action program; Food Link; and as Chairperson for Orleans County, FEMA to name a few.

Finch has been honored for her community service with several awards, such as Salvation Army Volunteer of the Year; Rosemary Fleming Memorial Award presented by the New York State Community Action Association; Orleans Chamber of Commerce Award for Community Service; Local American Legion Award for Continued Service; and a New York State Certificate of Recognition.

“Annette’s commitment to her community is commendable,” said Senator Ortt. “Her reputation as an outstanding administrator is a direct reflection of her love for and dedication to the individuals and families in her community. She truly is an inspiration and embodies the word ‘distinction.’”

The “Women of Distinction” celebration started in 1998. Previous winners in the annual event have included leading women from the world of business, academics and civic life, as well as those who have performed heroic or selfless acts, made significant discoveries, or provided examples of personal excellence against difficult odds.

Each honoree’s photograph and biography will be on display as part of a special exhibit at the LOB.

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