PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten - On Saturday May 3rd 2014 at the 18th Annual Woman of Great Esteem (WGE) Emerald Awards Ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Hotel at Battery Park, New York, Dr. Rachnilda (Nilda) Lynch-Arduin, Ombudsman of Sint Maarten was the recipient of the 2014 Woman of Great Esteem Emerald Award and awarded the Emerald Award of Excellence.
The Woman of Great Esteem 2014 honorees represent women who develop and advance their communities without regard for race, ethnicity, religiosity, gender, age or national origin. This award recognizes outstanding achievement in area of Politics, Religion, Education, Health, Economics, Arts, Law and Leadership.
Dr Arduin was the recipient of the Award of Excellence from among six nominees:
1. Honorable Sylvia Ash, New York State Supreme Court Justice
2. Dr. Carissa Etienne, Dominican native, MD, PAHO Director since February 2013.
3. Dr. Suzette Graham-Hill, US Virgin Islands, cardiologist.
4. Ms. YolandeNicholdson, Esq., Native New Yorker, corporate finance attorney.
5. Ms. Sharon Gordon, Jamaican, journalist and media specialist.
6. Dr. Rachnilda Lynch-Arduin, NationalOmbudsman Sint Maarten.
Dr. Arduin was honored in the field of politics for among others her pioneering work as the first Ombudsman of Sint Maarten, the "Guardian of the Constitution", as a scholar and lawyer, whose dedication to making the Constitution understandable and accessible to the general public with among others the booklet “The Constitution made simple”;producer and host of the well- known television program “Law in Focus” which empowered the citizens of Sint Maarten with knowledge of various laws.
Certificates and citations of recognition were received from NYS Senate, NY City Council, and US House of Representatives.
Dr. Arduin accepted the awards on behalf of all women, who work diligently and passionately in their communities to better the lives of all persons.
The Women of Great Esteem Emerald Award was founded in 1995 by Brooklyn based, Bishop Sylveta Hamilton - Gonzales, who had a vision to recognize the increasing contribution of women who have excelled beyond normal expectations in a multi-cultural society. Bishop Gonzales points out that, "The Emerald Award is a vehicle used for the empowerment of women, honoring them for their relentless efforts to nurture and serve their communities. " The annual event is a fundraiser for MACADEMY, School of Science and Technology in Brooklyn. To date, the organization has honored over 150 women from twenty-seven countries from North America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Central America.
This is the first time Sint Maarten captured the Emerald Award of Excellence.A globe representing the award, traveling around the world, will be officially presented to Dr. Arduin in June 2014. The globe will remain in her possession until next year,to be passed on to the next recipient of the Emerald Award of Excellencein 2015.
Dr. Arduin returned to the island on May 5th 2014 to an elated Team Ombudsman and friends.