Harrisburg, Oct. 10, 2012 – Governor Tom Corbett and First Lady Susan Corbett today recognized eight outstanding women as this year’s Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania.
The women were honored at a luncheon at the Governor’s Residence in Harrisburg where they were presented with medals and citations for their achievements.
“As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I’m proud to see these women representing the commonwealth with such honor,” said Susan Corbett. “These women are an inspiration for all Pennsylvanians.”
This year’s award recipients are: Joan Myers Brown, of Philadelphia; Joanne A. Epps, of Shamong, NJ; Dr. Sylvia M. Ferretti, of Erie; Pat Halpin-Murphy of Ambler; Judith Thomas Horgan of Pittsburgh; Feather O’Connor Houstoun of Philadelphia, Kathleen Marshall of New York City and Suzanne Yenchko of Lemoyne, PA.
“The women honored today show great commitment and dedication to improving the world around them,” said Governor Tom Corbett. “The leadership shown by each of them is impressive, and they represent Pennsylvania with great distinction.”
“The governor and I are pleased to recognize this group of influential women who
truly exemplify the highest standards of leadership and service,” Mrs. Corbett said.
“Each recipient has had a positive, lasting impact on their community and on our
Distinguished Daughters of Pennsylvania began in 1948 as a way to honor women who have shown distinguished service through a professional career and/or voluntary service. The women are nominated to receive the honor by non-profit organizations and within Pennsylvania. They do not need to be a native of Pennsylvania, but must have lived in the state.
Biographical Information for each honoree follows:
Joan Myers Brown, Philadelphia
Joan Myers Brown is recognized as a pioneer in the world of dance in Philadelphia
and internationally. She founded the Philadelphia School of Dance Arts in 1960 and
The Philadelphia Dance Company Philadanco in 1970, where she continues to serve
as Executive/Artistic Director. She is the recipient of the prestigious Philadelphia
Award, the Hazelet Award and Philadelphia Magazine’s 10 Best Philadelphians
Award, among many others.
JoAnne Epps, Shamong, NJ.
JoAnne Epps became the Dean of Temple Law in 2008 after serving on the faculty
since 1985, and as the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1989-2008. She is
an officer of the American Bar Association Section of Litigation, serves on the Board
of Directors of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, and is active in several
other legal and civic organizations. She teaches criminal law, criminal procedure
and evidence, at Temple’s Philadelphia campus, as well as China and Japan. She
has authored or co-authored numerous academic publications.
Silvia Ferretti, D.O., Erie
Dr. Silvia Ferretti has been a driving force behind the growth of osteopathic medical
education in Pennsylvania. As Provost, Senior Vice President and Dean of Academic
Affairs of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, she has dedicated her career to
the education and training of future doctors, pharmacists and dentists. Beyond her
professional work, she has been actively involved in charitable and economic
development endeavors in Erie and throughout Pennsylvania.
Pat Halpin-Murphy, Ambler
Pat Halpin-Murphy founded the Pennsylvania Breast Cancer Coalition in 1993 and
continues to serve as the organization’s president. She was appointed by four
successive governors to the Pennsylvania Cancer Advisory Board and co-chairs the
Pennsylvania Income Tax Check-Off for Breast and Cervical Cancer Research
Committee. In addition to service on multiple national boards and commissions,
she co-authored both editions of the book, “Breast Cancer: Covered or Not? A
Guide on Insurance.”
Judith Thomas Horgan, Pittsburgh
As a volunteer, Judith Thomas Horgan founded Child Watch of Pittsburgh, which has
made great strides in mobilizing the community to focus on the needs of at-risk
young people. In addition, Judy has served on the boards of a number of agencies
that promote programs for girls and boys including the Allegheny County Children
Youth & Families Advisory Board, the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and the
Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, among others.
Feather O'Connor Houstoun, Philadelphia
Feather O’Connor Houstoun has served in the public and non-profit sectors of
Philadelphia and the region for more than 20 years. Most recently, she was
appointed by Corbett to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission. She
previously served as president of the William Penn Foundation as well as Secretary
of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare under Governor Tom Ridge.
Author of numerous publications, she is a columnist for Management Insights, a
joint publication of Governing Magazine and the Ash Institute of Democratic
Governance at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Kathleen Marshall, New York City, N.Y.
Kathleen Marshall has received wide acclaim as a successful Broadway director and
choreographer. Her extraordinary creativity and talent have been recognized by the
coveted Drama Desk and Tony Awards for her musicals, ‘Nice Work if You Can Get
It,’ ‘Anything Goes,’ ‘The Pajama Game,’ ‘Wonderful Town’ and ‘Kiss Me Kate.’
Raised in Pittsburgh, Marshall graduated from Smith College and began her
professional career in Pittsburgh regional theater.
Suzanne Yenchko, Lemoyne
Suzanne Yenchko is a leader in government relations, business and community
service. She recently retired as Director of Government Affairs for Pennsylvania
American Water, having served in the same capacity at International Paper
Company and AMP/TYCO Electronics. Considered an expert in national and state
environmental policy development and long-range planning, Yenchko served on the
boards of the Technology Council of Central PA and the National Association of
Water Companies, Pennsylvania Chapter. She chaired the Pennsylvania Commission
for Women for six years and served on the boards of numerous local community