O’Mara will honor Lauren Snyder in Albany
PENN YAN—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C—Big Flats) announced he will honor Lauren R. Snyder, a long-time public health professional in Yates County, as a New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.”
Snyder, a Penn Yan native who served as the Yates County Public Health Director for 28 years before retiring in 2009, will represent O’Mara’s 58th Senate District at a statewide awards ceremony in the Legislative Office Building in Albany Tuesday, May 13.
O’Mara said Snyder’s lifelong commitment to public health, including her 33 years at Yates County Public Health, produced many enduring contributions that continue to help improve the health and safety of Yates County, along with regional communities and residents.
“For nearly four decades, Lauren Snyder has been a positive, driving force behind countless achievements to improve the health, safety and well-being of the residents of Yates County and our entire region,” said O’Mara. “Her commitment, leadership and vision have produced a remarkable record of accomplishment and dedication to stronger, healthier communities and neighborhoods. I’m extremely grateful to have this chance to recognize Lauren as a ‘Woman of Distinction.’ It’s a well-earned and well-deserved tribute.”
Snyder was born and raised in Penn Yan, graduated from Penn Yan Academy, the University of Buffalo (RN, BSN) and the State University of New York at Brockport (MPA). She was employed at Yates County Public Health for 33 years, including 28 years as director before her retirement in 2009.
Among numerous groundbreaking contributions, Snyder was instrumental in 1997 as a co-founder of the S2AY Rural Health Network, which for nearly two decades has been the catalyst for notable health improvement projects across Yates County and regionally. She remains active in the network as a coordinator on a Neighborhood Health Status Improvement project in Dundee.
She also remains active in numerous civic, business and community service organizations, including the Dundee Rotary Club, Milly’s Pantry, Yates Christmas for the Needy, Dundee Mobile Food Pantry and as a Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer. She has been the recipient of several of the region’s most prestigious civic awards including the Dundee Rotary Paul Harris Fellow Award, Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency Sage Award, ProAction Shining Star Award, and the New York State Association for Rural Health’s Worker of the Year Award.
Yates County Legislator William Holgate and current Yates County Public Health Director Deborah Minor nominated Snyder for this year’s “Woman of Distinction” award.
Minor said, “Lauren is a true grassroots leader with heart and commitment for her community and the vision to see what might be possible. She focuses on the strengths of those she serves and has a true talent for motivating others into action.”
Holgate said, “As project coordinator of ‘Our Town Rocks,’ Lauren has given the communities of Barrington, Starkey and Dundee the opportunity to see improvements in health, pride and appearance, and bring our towns closer together.”
The Senate’s annual “Women of Distinction” program, which began in March to coincide with Women’s History Month in New York State, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts for this distinguished, statewide tribute.
“I’m very honored and humbled to get this award,” Snyder said. “[...] It’s really quite an honor. Honestly I was speechless when I took the phone call I heard on the other end ‘Hi, this is Senator O’Mara.’ I was in shock. It’s an incredible honor.”
O’Mara’s past honorees have been:
• in 2011, Carol Berry of Hornell, a long-time regional library professional and director of the Dormann Library in Bath;
• in 2012, Virginia “Ginny” Houseknecht of Watkins Glen, a long-time area Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and leader, and founder of the Southern Tier Parkinson’s Disease Support Group; and
• last year, Beverly “Bev” Stamp, co-owner and operator of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen, a long-time ambassador of New York State’s nationally and internationally renowned wine and grape industry.