Women Recognized For Exemplary Efforts In Community

From left, 2018 YWCA of Jamestown Women of Achievement Breeanne Agett, Emily Reynolds, Brenda Salemme and Kyla Rodriguez. P-J photo by Eric Zavinski

The YWCA of Jamestown hosted its 21st annual Women of Achievement awards ceremony and dinner at the Moon Brook Country Club on Tuesday night, when four women were recognized for their efforts in different areas of the community.

Joining the list of dozens of past winners, Breeanne Agett, Emily Reynolds, Kyla Rodriguez and Brenda Salemme were bestowed with women of achievement honors.

Agett was recognized as the health/wellness/fitness woman of achievement for promoting better living standards and exemplifying healthy lifestyles through leadership and empowering others to follow in her footsteps. She serves as the epidemiology manager for the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services.

In her work, Agett tracks and trends diseases and other health issues impacting county residents. She also oversees the department’s community health assessment and community health planning process. She has worked for the county since 2009, helping out as a sanitarian trainee and public health planner.

“I have achieved nothing in isolation. It’s all been a part of a bigger process that involves many other hardworking and passionate people,” Agett said.

Reynolds was recognized as the leader of the future for helping to build a better tomorrow for the local 4-H programs. She is also the executive director at Cornell Cooperative Extension. Having served on the Sherman Board of Education for seven years, Reynolds is highlighted by her peers as someone who puts public service and helping others before all else.

When funding was cut for 4-H programs, Reynolds became a crucial part in keeping the community-focused club afloat with emergency funding. A sign in Reynolds’ office says, “Proceed as if success is inevitable,” and others agreed her motivation is akin to that saying.

“To me, leadership is surrounding yourself with good people,” Reynolds said.

Rodriguez was recognized as the outstanding entrepreneur for successfully operating Forbici Hair Design and providing a salon experience for customers that molds to their desires. Forbici is a woman-owned and operated full-service salon that employs 13 women, many of whom are small business owners themselves.

The salon’s motto of “caring, daring, different” applies to Rodriquez according to one of her co-workers. It is said Rodriguez cares for the hearts, minds and hair of her clients. Rodriguez dared to start a small business during her twenties and absorbed information like a sponge all the while being service-oriented according to her cosmetology instructor.

“To my salon girls, you ladies deserve to be up here with me tonight,” Rodriguez said. “Thank you for continuing to put your faith in me and the business and standing beside me.”

Salemme was recognized as the mentorship/education/training woman of achievement for inspiring others with her passion for life-long learning and developing innovative programs as the director of admissions for Jamestown Business College. Since 1999, Salemme has helped thousands of students attain their degrees. Colleagues agree she lives by the motto of “students come first.”

In the community, she has volunteered as a co-chair for the education committee for the Hispanic Coalition of Chautauqua County and Hispanic Immersion Action Team. She also served on the Board of Family Services of Jamestown for seven years.

“I am blessed to work for a fantastic organization where we offer people a chance to change their lives,” Salemme said.