Pam Maher (from left), Carol Bennett, Mary Ann Abate, Kris Kieper and Christina Gloria pose for a photo after Abate was named Rockford Woman magazine’s Woman of the Year on Feb. 23 at a ceremony at Franchesco’s Ristorante in Rockford.
The award, which is given annually by the editors of the magazine, was presented at a Feb. 23 ceremony at Franchesco’s Ristorante in Rockford.
Rockford Woman magazine wrote about Abate:
A tragedy occurs and we ask ourselves, “What happened that someone could do such a thing?” We turn away the alarming news, turn off our television and go about our business. However, this Woman of the Year does not turn away. Mary Ann Abate has dedicated herself to bringing mental health issues to the forefront of our community for more than 40 years.
Mary Ann has worked tirelessly since starting as a licensed social worker for Janet Wattles to her current position as chief operating officer of the Mental Health Division of the Rosecrance Health Network.
Abate was nominated for the award in December. Other nominees were Carol Bennett, Cristina Gloria, Kris Kieper and Pam Maher. Rockford Woman magazine profiled each of the nominees at the time of their nominations.
The five finalists were chosen by the magazine’s advisory board from 40 nominees.