Logos for the Women of Influence and Power 200 Women lists

Buffalo State Makes Strong Showing on Business First's Lists for Power, Influence


Several Buffalo State College alumnae, faculty, and staff members were recognized last week when Buffalo Business First released its annual Women of Influence Awards list and rolled out its 2021 Power 200 Women countdown, showcasing its picks for Western New York’s most prominent female leaders.


The 2021 Power 200 Women list spotlights those whose talents and influence fuel economic, social, and cultural growth in the region. Buffalo State College President Katherine Conway-Turner ranked ninth on the list, making her one of the region’s top 10 leaders. Linda Dobmeier, B.S. ’71, chair of the Buffalo State College Council; and Susan McCartney, director of the Buffalo State College Small Business Development Center, were also recognized.

The list also included an impressive number of Buffalo State alumnae, including Crystal Peoples-Stokes, B.S.Ed. ’74, M.S. ’02, majority leader of the New York State Assembly, who placed fifth on the list:

LaVonne Ansari, M.S. ’91
Michelle Bradley, M.S.Ed. ’92
Connie Brown, B.A. ’78
Patricia Clabeaux, B.S.Ed. ’72
Catherine Collins, B.S. ’75
Anne Constantino, B.S.Ed. ’80
Gayle Perry Dunning, B.S. ’88
Patricia Farrell, B.A. ’89
Darby Fishkin, B.S. ’94
Lynn Fusco, B.S. ’79, M.S.Ed. ’84
Alice Jacobs, M.S. ’18
Denise Jones, B.S.Ed. ’88
Shelia Kee, B.A. ’73
Karen King, M.S. ’04
Brenda McDuffie, B.S. ’74
Brandye Merriweather, B.S. ’04
Pamela Panewski, B.A. ’80
Jennifer Parker, B.S. ’93
Michelle Roman, M.S. Ed. ’00
Shana Stenger, B.S. ’14

The Power 200 Women countdown is sponsored by M&T Bank, BestSelf Behavioral Health, and Independent Health.


This year’s 15th annual Women of Influence Awards recognized 26 women for their civic contributions, business acumen, and community spirit.

Buffalo State alumna Holly Hubert, B.S. ’88, founder and CEO of GlobalSecurityIQ, was cited in the “Entrepreneur” category, which honors women who have founded or head the organizations they’ve helped to start and significantly expand.

Alumna Alexsandra Lopez, M.S.Ed. ’02, coordinator of regional culturally responsive education for Erie 1 BOCES, was recognized in the “Inspiration” category, which honors female leaders who inspire those around them through their words, actions, and attitude.

And Bhakti Sharma, associate professor of interior design and chair of the Buffalo State College Senate, was distinguished as the sole honoree in the “Behind the Scenes” category, recognizing women whose work helps to drive the success of their employer.

Sponsored by Catholic Health, BestSelf Behavioral Health, and Lake Shore Savings Bank, the Women of Influence awards ceremony will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 29, at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens.

Images by Business First.