Women Making History 2022

On March 2, 2022, the Mercy Center for Women held its 29th annual Women Making History event at Mercyhurst University. The event recognized the accomplishments of 12 Honorees who have served the Erie community with love, grace, and compassion. The event would not be possible without the honorees, sponsors, MCW staff, and everyone involved. Click here to see the WMH 2022 photo gallery.

Women Making History 2022 Honorees

Mary Bula

Meet Mary Bula, Erie Together director and former vice president of Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership. Mary has been instrumental in instituting many Erie initiatives, bringing together stakeholders such as law enforcement, domestic violence agencies, and public health care providers which has resulted in improved and sustained services for underrepresented populations.

Katrina L. Byrd

Meet Katrina L. Byrd, United Way of Erie County community school director. A native of Brooklyn who grew up in public housing surrounded by poverty, teen pregnancy, and drugs yet graduated from college. Katrina is giving hope to Strong Vincent students and their families in similar circumstances.

Elizabeth Edwards-Steen

Meet Elizabeth Edwards-Steen, Nicklas Insurance Agency producer. Through her work at Multicultural Community Resources Center, MLK Center, Opportunities Unlimited and New Hope Presbyterian Church, she assists immigrants and those with developmental and other disabilities to improve their lives.

Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk

Meet Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk, an architect/medical planner, and board chairman of the Erie County Office of Drug and Alcohol Advisory board, Mary Kay lost a child to a drug overdose and has spearheaded local efforts to educate children in schools and their parents about the dangers of drug use and the warning signs.

Susannah Weis Frigon

Meet Susannah Weis Frigon, Erie Community Foundation Vice President, Philanthropic Services. Through Susannah’s quiet yet determined leadership, the Foundation received $123 million in new assets over seven years and guided Erie Women’s Fund in rebranding which tripled membership. Both undertakings improved the quality of life for those in the Erie region including those in the arts, women, LGBTQ+ students, and those who’ve suffered the loss of a child.

Amparito Hernandez

Meet Amparito Hernandez, a Spanish teacher, Amparito finds creative ways to remove roadblocks to learning for her multicultural students, including building student desks in a friend’s garage for home use during the height of the pandemic and delivering food baskets to students’ homes. She has also provided humanitarian relief to Puerto Rico.

Penny Johnson

Meet Penny Johnson, a cancer survivor of an aggressive form of cancer, Penny heads Powerful Pink Warriors, raising funds for breast cancer and posting videos on social media to inspire others who are struggling. She also works with church councils and other nonprofit organizations to raise funds and spread her message of faith.

Marybelle Martin

Meet Marybelle Martin, Erie Free Taxes program director. Marybelle has a long history of improving individuals’ living conditions through education and advancing other opportunities and is also committed to eradicating human trafficking. Committed to ensuring all those who wish to be educated have access, Marybelle has been a staunch advocate of under-represented populations and has taught volunteers to look for signs of financial instability in the families they serve.

Sr. Michele Schroeck, RSM

Meet Sr. Michele Schroeck, RSM, a Sister of Mercy who has served in various capacities at Mercyhurst Preparatory School and the Mercy Center for Women, Sr. Michele is also committed to improving immigrants’ transition to Erie. Her work, much like that of all Sisters of Mercy, is done quietly yet has a tremendous impact on those fortunate enough to have her as their champion.

Karen Seggi

Meet Karen Seggi, Second Harvest Food Bank CEO. Karen has been involved with the nonprofit for 30+ years, significantly grown its outreach programs, and holds leadership positions in statewide food bank organizations. Her tireless commitment to do whatever is necessary to provide nutritious food to those who are food insecure within the food bank’s 11 counties and 414 member agencies is astounding.

Dr. Karen Tyler

Meet Dr. Karen Tyler, Erie Day School head of school. Karen led a $4 million capital campaign, has made her school more inclusive/economically diverse and advocated to her board the need for salary increases and improved benefits for her staff, mostly women. She is a staunch advocate for education particularly women, including students of Edinboro University where she is an adjunct professor.

Annette Wittmann

Meet Annette Wittmann, currently in charge of St. George’s food pantry since 2009 as a volunteer, Annette has also taught Baptism classes at the parish for 25 years. Annette credits her volunteers for their dedication but it is her staunch dedication and passion to feeding the hungry which is most noteworthy. She has served on the Erie County Medical Society Alliance board and conducting several fundraising activities.

Thank you to all sponsors of Women Making History 2022