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Congratulations to the 2011 V/F/F/T Hall Of Fame inductees who were recognized at the Pioneer Conference in Boston, Massachusetts on November 4, 2011! This awards program was conceived to honor the “Best of the Best.” The Pioneers selected for this honor have generously provided many years of their time and talents to serving their communities.
Alexander Graham Bell Chapter #15
Denise Darden-Woody Darder-Woody

Since joining the Pioneers in 2000, Denise Darden-Woody has held an executive position for the Alexander Graham Bell Chapter, including chapter president for two terms. As an active Verizon employee, she keeps the Pioneers informed of company issues and changes.Over the past several years, she has organized cookouts, cleaned the grounds, cooked breakfast and babysat for the soldiers and their families at the Fisher House in Washington, DC. She also serves as the lead contact with the three Fisher House directors, who provide Darden-Woody with their wish lists. She, along with other volunteers, purchases the items and delivers them to the houses. Darden-Woody and her Pioneer partner have purchased and donated new televisions to be used for local chapter fundraisers.
W.J. Denver Chapter #20
Elizabeth “Betty” Viens Viens

As a Pioneer for 38 years, Betty Viens has always been willing to lend a hand. For the past six years, she has been the presiding president of the Pioneer Valley Club.Viens delivers scholastic books, atlases and thesauruses to Springfield Public School classrooms. In 2009, she was a crucial part of the Chapter’s healthy lifestyle program, “Exercise Your Mind and Body Project,, which provided a mobile computer lab and gym equipment to the New Leadership School. In 2010, she formed a partnership with Springfield Forward, a non-profit organization that developed the “Tell Me Your Story” project. Because 96 percent of the children are at or below poverty level, Viens arranged for the children to receive dependable footwear for the winter through the “Happy Feet” project. Because of her work on this project, the chapter received a proclamation from the City of Springfield.An outdoor enthusiast, Viens has participated in all of the chapter’s camp refurbishing projects, attended the New Orleans Annual Meeting for the park cleaning project and planted trees for the Worcester Tree Initiative.
Excelsior Chapter #98
Michele “Micki” Cavanaugh Cavanaugh

Micki Cavanaugh joined the Pioneers in 1990, and has held many offices at the council and chapter level. Currently, she is the Excelsior Chapter president. Cavanaugh trains new members, provides updated materials to members and helps individuals when needed. She has written several grants, organized the Camp Badger project in 2009 and the Scoopers fundraiser.Cavanaugh received a Project Excellence award from the Pioneers for “Kids Café,” a Corning YMCA after school program. Computers, printers and Leap Frog learning tools were donated. Through Project Connect, Internet service was provided free during the first year. She also received an additional $1000 to purchase more items for “Kids Café.”The Verizon Foundation “Shower for Shelters” program recognized Cavanaugh for collecting a record dollar value per item for Cortland YWCA Domestic Violence Shelter. Several Verizon trucks and three personal SUVs were needed to deliver all the items.
Fort Pitt Chapter #13
Sylvia “Sis” Arendas Arendas

Sis Arendas became a Pioneer in 1976 and served as member-at-large, treasurer, community service chairperson, council vice president and president for two years. For the past 31 years, she has coordinated the annual Easter Egg Hunt at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Blind. In this role she organizes 40 volunteers to assist multi-handicapped children; provides the services of clowns, therapy dogs and local sports characters; arranges the purchase of toys, candy, stuffed animals and refreshments for 100 children and maintains the supply of beeping eggs. Also, she serves as coordinator/participant for Craft Night at the Children’s Institute in Pittsburgh. She encourages a group of faithful volunteers to maintain a high level of interest in continuing these very worthwhile efforts.Arendas has volunteered at the Forbes Center for the past 20 years. Patients look forward to a monthly “ice cream and cookie” night where they are served homemade cookies along with various flavors of ice cream. Also, she puts together care packages for the military and initiated the collection of medical supplies for a First Responder unit in Afghanistan. In recognition for her efforts, military personnel presented an American flag, flown over the battlefield, and a certificate of appreciation to the Fort Pitt Chapter.
Jasper N Keller Chapter #33 – FairPoint Communications
James “Jim” Dowd Dowd

In 1990 Jim Dowd became a Pioneer. Since then, he has served as chapter president twice, Reunion chairperson, and Sports Jamboree chairperson and security chair. He was instrumental in bringing the Scoopers fundraiser to the Jasper Keller Chapter and to FairPoint Communications. He has delivered Hug-A-Bears and hygiene kits to domestic violence shelters and has collected supplies for the Ronald McDonald house.Dowd has set up membership drives at the local work centers and has assisted with fundraisers throughout the chapter. He has served as FairPoint’s Dictionary Project chairperson since 2005 and as development chairperson for three years. He represented the club and Verizon at the Funfest celebration in Hazleton, Pennsylvania by constructing a float and driving it in the parade. At the national level, Dowd was recognized as a President’s Circle member.In his spare time, Dowd volunteers at the Catholic Social Services Material Assistance and Food Bank Program, serves as a parish council president at his church and as vice president of the Hazleton Mountain City Lions Club. In 2010, he helped provide food and gifts to 800 families and 1,600 children during the Christmas season and was recognized for his 1,400 hours of service by President Obama through the President’s Volunteer Service Award program.
Genesee Chapter #37 – Frontier Communications
Lynne DeMeco DeMeco

Lynne DeMeco has been dedicated to Pioneering for more than 15 years. She has held leadership positions within Pioneering as both an active and a retired member. As a member of the Frontier Pioneers, she has sewn hats and gloves for organizations that assist the homeless and Hug-A-Bears for children in local hospitals. She has organized military programs for those serving overseas, and dedicated numerous volunteer hours to various organizations.Currently, DeMeco serves on the board of the Pioneers and lends her vast knowledge of Pioneering and volunteerism to help guide both the officers and Pioneer projects.
L.H. Kinnard Chapter #7
George Snyder Snyder

Since joining the Pioneers in 1973, George Snyder has served as Lehigh Valley Club president for five terms and as treasurer, sometimes holding both offices at the same time. He has been instrumental in getting new and retired Pioneer members involved in club and chapter activities. The Kinnard Chapter has recognized him as a Pioneer of the Month and he has been highlighted in the Communicator’s “Spotlight on a Life Member.”Snyder leads the Dictionary Project, which has distributed more than 2,400 dictionaries to Lehigh Valley school children. Snyder said, “A dictionary can be a spark that ignites a desire for learning and can help form productive and leading citizens of tomorrow.” He is also involved in coastal cleanup projects, numerous fundraising projects, painting Pioneer Playground maps and distributing e-maps to schools.In addition to supporting the Pioneers, Snyder has held many positions within the Boy Scouts of America, serves as a Scout leader and is an active member of the Knights of Columbus. He also supports deployment of Army National Guard Troops and welcomes troops returning home.
Liberty Bell Chapter #6
Jody Ryan Ryan

An active member of the Pioneers since 1986, Jody Ryan encourages co-workers, friends, family members and former co-workers to get active in Pioneering. She is the point of contact for Verizon Foundation Company Projects, an active member of the Verizon External Affairs Committee, serves on her department’s Diversity Council and assists with diversity training. When her office was clearing out office supplies this past year, she coordinated the distribution and donation of the supplies to local charities and schools.Ryan chairs the Dictionary Project, Thinkfinity, Cell Phones for Domestic Abuse, Eyeglasses for local Lions Clubs, Pioneer Playground Maps, and Cereal and Campbell Soup coupons for local schools. She coordinates Dessert Night at the Magee Rehab Hospital in Center City Philadelphia, planning four to five special evenings a year with desserts, decorations, and entertainment for patients and their families. She received a $750 Verizon grant for the West Philadelphia Ronald McDonald, where she shares her cooking talents at dinner. Also, she won an Apple Award from the Philadelphia Manna Project, which feeds more than 600 homebound patients and family members, by coordinating the Pioneers to assemble meals in a record-breaking two-hour session!Ryan coordinates Christmas projects for a variety of charities, collects items for the Delaware Sunday Morning Mission training program, coordinates volunteers for bingo parties and outings at the Mary Campbell Center, and organizes 33 six- and seven-year-old Girl Scouts to help with the Breast Cancer Comfort Pillow project.
Maryland Chapter #44
Paul Redline Redline

After his retirement in 2002, Paul Redline accepted the position of Central Region president. He signed up new members by holding several membership drives, including one at the entrance to Hershey Park. Paul adopted Elmwood and Chase Elementary schools and became their chairman for Students Under Construction, opening school pantries in both schools. He has organized supplies, shopped for cost-saving items and rewrote the project requirements while still running the monthly pantries.In 2008 and 2009, Redline was elected president of the Maryland Chapter. Using Thinkfinity as a material reference, he conducted teacher training for Internet Safety. Afterwards, he held a contest for the students of the teachers who participated in the summer training, awarding Netbooks and flip videos to the winning schools. Through the chapter’s Vial of Life Project, he distributes vials at fairs, senior centers, churches, civic organization meetings and government-sponsored events. He also headed up the chapter office move to Shawan Road, Cockeysville, Maryland.
McCully Downstate Chapter #81
George Albright Albright

Since the 1990s, George Albright has served in numerous executive positions: Monmouth-Ocean Council president and vice president, McCully Downstate president and vice president, Life Member representative and Verizon’s representative on the national Telephone Pioneers Awards committee.Albright led a project that planted 50 trees at a Middletown, NJ school, taught physically-challenged children to horseback ride at the Somerset Hills Handicapped Riders, and oversaw the ordering, delivery and distribution of more than 3,000 dictionaries and hundreds of Scholastic books to neighborhood schools. Active with the chapter’s Sports Jamboree for physically-challenged youth for the past 15 years, he assists as needed prior to the event and becomes Willow the Clown during the event. Actually, Willow the Clown can be seen at many children’s activities, St Patrick’s Day parades, etc. Albright’s additional activities include painting Playground MAPS, providing Christmas gifts to children at abused women’s shelters, preparing food baskets for the needy, organizing care packages for military troops, rallying people for beach clean ups, and chairing a fundraising partnership with Scoopers Ice Cream each year.
McCully Upstate Chapter #12
Jeanine A. Shabazz Shabazz

Jeanine Shabazz has served the H.G. McCully Upstate Chapter and Newark Council in numerous capacities since becoming a Pioneer in 1966. She has chaired various committees in education, fundraising, community service, participation, and entertainment in addition to serving as treasurer. She was co-captain of the Verizon Pioneer team for the America’s Cure for Lupus team, which helped raise more than $500,000 for lupus research.Shabazz received a Telecom Challenge award for the Body Wars Exhibit that taught children about common diseases and how to prevent them. She also received a Competitive Grant through the Verizon Pioneers for the Seniors Connect project that provided technology and instructor-led computer classes for senior citizens throughout the chapter area. The Newark Council has given her their Heart of Pioneering award and the Pioneer of the Year award.
Mountain Valley Empire Chapter #97
Sallyann Purcell Beaudry

Sallyann Purcell Beaudry joined the Pioneers in 1980 and is still volunteering 31 years later. As an active Verizon employee, she served as a group representative and group representative chairperson in Albany. After retiring, she became the group representative chairperson for the Troy Life Member Club.For the past 22 years, Beaudry has been committed to the PAL Pioneer Toy Repair and Distribution program, volunteering every Thursday to repair, clean and package donated toys that are delivered to thousands of underprivileged children in the Capital District at Christmas. Seven years ago, she assumed the following responsibilities: coordinating volunteer work schedules and distribution hours, interfacing with PAL Committee officers and warehouse personnel, and seeking money and toy donations.Beaudry has also organized the annual delivery of poinsettias to the Resurrection and Barnwell Nursing Homes for the past 15 years in addition to purchasing items and packing Christmas stockings for the residents. She has prepared and served meals to the Joseph House Homeless Shelter in Troy, New York, been active with the Albany Alzheimer’s Association, initiated a Troy Eddy Alzheimer’s support group that was sponsored by the governor and New York State Elder Care group, served as a council member, secretary and newsletter editor for her local St. Joseph’s Church, and was instrumental in starting St. Joseph’s Senior Outreach Program to visit shut-ins and local nursing homes.
Nova Five Chapter #5
Eddie Williamson Williamson

Eddie Williamson, now a retiree, has been a Pioneer since 1985. He has served as director of the Manhattan Clown Unit, council vice president and president, chapter vice president and president, served on several committees and helped rewrite Nova Five’s “Rules of Operation.” He coordinated the move of Nova Five’s chapter office and Pioneer Store to a new location after their office building was almost demolished when the World Trade Center was attacked.As the environmental chair, Williamson spearheaded the clean up in New York City’s Riverside Park around Grant’s Tomb, the largest mausoleum in North America. He has accumulated many hours with projects such as the Cancer Society, Lou Rawls College Fund, Florence Nightingale Nursing Home, March of Dimes and many walk-a-thons. He helps special needs children and senior citizens, volunteers at soup kitchens and serves as the chapter’s webmaster.
Old Dominion Chapter #43
Jim Glass Glass

Jim Glass, a Pioneer since 1969, has served as Roanoke president, Old Dominion president and Talking Book group coordinator. He founded Sports Jamboree, originally named Special Games for Special People. Every Thursday, he opens up his home to Pioneers who want to help repair Talking Books. He trains each person on how to repair the Talking Books. The Library of Congress recognized Glass and the other volunteers for their involvement with the Talking Book program.When he is not traveling with the Pioneers Camping Club, he collects volunteer hours from council members and reports them to the participation chairperson. Also, he delivers dictionaries and books to schools and after-school programs. He is very active with the Roanoke Council volunteering for the Valentines for Veterans program. Glass has received awards from the Virginia State Games and the National Prevention of Blindness program.
Paumanok Chapter #85
Arlene Pottash

Exemplifying Pioneering principles, fellowship, service and loyalty, Arlene Pottash has been an active Pioneer for 34 years. She has held various chair positions including participation, group and life member representative, and recording secretary. She has shopped, collected, stored and delivered more than 4,000 items of clothing, non-perishable foods, toiletries and toys to shelters and other non-profit organizations across Long Island. She has served meals at the Ronald McDonald house, soup kitchens, and Veteran Stand Downs.Pottash spearheaded a successful drive for silly string for the military to use for bomb detection. She collected several hundred cans and arranged for them to be sent overseas. She volunteered at the Traveling Vietnam Wall and has participated at the annual placing of flags at Calverton National Cemetery Memorial Day weekend.She was instrumental in helping Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder receive a $5,000 Verizon Foundation grant. She volunteers regularly at walk-a-thons for breast cancer, juvenile diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Special Olympics, just to name a few. She also transports elderly and disabled neighbors to their medical appointments, does their grocery shopping and shovels snow for them in bad weather. Pottash has received numerous citations for her work over the years.
Thomas Sherwin Chapter #14
Richard Matthews Matthews

Richard Matthews started Pioneering in 1972 while working in Brockton, MA. He was president of the Old Colony Council, served on the Pilgrim Chapter Executive Board, held positions of treasurer, vice president and president of the Mayflower Life Member Club and served on the Sherwin Chapter board as Life Member club representative.Matthews has served meals at the Brockton Main Spring House, a homeless shelter, and has volunteered at the annual Brockton Virginia Hospital cookout. For more than 20 years, he has provided the Brockton Virginia Building Number Four with a night of bowling. He has also served on the organizing committee for auctions and played a key role in fundraising. Matthews feels that fundraising has been his most important contribution to Pioneering.
Telecordia Chapter #99
James “Jim” Cunningham Cunningham

After joining Western Electric in 1955, Jim Cunningham became a Pioneer almost immediately. Later, he was transferred to Newark Engineering and to the New Jersey repair center in Union. He became a member of the McCully Upstate Pioneer Chapter and became involved in repairing Talking Books and other electronic devices to help the handicapped.In 1983, Cunningham was transferred to Central Services Organization, which later became Bellcore and then Telcordia Technologies. He immediately got involved at the council and chapter levels, serving as a member-at-large, council vice president and president. He was part of the original kitchen crew to prepare and serve a Christmas holiday dinner to hundreds of senior citizens in Woodbridge. He has continued in that capacity for more than 25 years. Passionate about golf, he co-chairs the chapter’s biannual Pioneer Golf Tournament. When the Pioneer Playground Map project was introduced, he immediately purchased the plastic sheets and supplies and coordinated several map template-making sessions. He also chaired one of the first actual Pioneer Playground Map painting sessions at a school in Teaneck, New Jersey.Cunningham has cleaned beaches, built a deck at a cancer camp for children, sold flowers and collected and delivered boxes of food to a local food pantry. He is a Life Member, member-at-large and regularly attends Life Member luncheons where he often sells raffle tickets.
Verizon West Chapter #25
Mary Wellington Wellington

Mary Wellington joined the R. Parker Sullivan Club in Thousand Oaks, CA, 16 years ago. She has held various leadership positions, including vice president and president with her club and the Verizon West Chapter. As Verizon West president, she led the chapter through changes in ownership with the telephone companies.For many years she has staffed election booths in the Thousand Oaks area. She volunteers for the Backpack Project, filling them with much needed basic hygiene supplies and distributing them to the local domestic violence shelters. At Christmas, she raises funds for her club by selling See’s candy.Wellington has received the five- and ten-year pin for volunteering at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. For four years, she has volunteered for the Dictionary Project, delivering dictionaries to 12 schools and was recognized in the local newspaper for delivering dictionaries with the R. Parker Sullivan Club. In 2007, she distributed health kits to the Red Cross after the Santa Barbara Wildfires. President Obama recognized her in 2010 for volunteering and gave her a certificate and a gold pin.
West Virginia Chapter #42
Frances “Fran” Nutter Nutter

Joining the Pioneers in 1984, Fran Nutter has served as Clarksburg Life Member Club president, chapter Life Member representative, chapter vice president, and chapter president. She worked diligently as chapter president during the transition of the Verizon sale to Frontier Communications. She encouraged and helped with the reestablishment of the Clarksburg Pioneer Council in 2009 by mentoring new officers and helping recruit new Pioneers. While she was chapter vice president, she organized and designed a Pioneer Centennial coffee mug for a fundraiser. The chapter bought each council and club six Courage Lion sets to donate to various hospitals, domestic violence centers, and Head Start programs for children.For the past 12 years, she has been involved in the International Sports Jamboree. She served as the Decoration Committee chairperson in 2000, has been the Publicity chairperson for several years and is currently the General chairperson. At the Jamboree, you will find her busy preparing food in the kitchen area where she delights in serving the participants, their families and all the volunteers. This year, she received a grant to resurface the basketball/playground area. According to Nutter, “The Jamboree is one of the most rewarding projects I have been involved in.”She has also helped her community through various projects, such as painting Pioneer Playground Maps at several schools, stuffing dozens of Hug-A-Bears, delivering hundreds of dictionaries to elementary students and to regional jails for GED classes, presenting “A Book About Me” to preschool and kindergarten students and presenting numerous USA map rugs to elementary schools. She has organized and collected supplies for local food pantries, the Clarksburg Mission, and domestic violence centers.
Verizon/Frontier/FairPoint/Telcordia Pioneers
Stephen Kohn Kohn with Sue

Stephen Kohn became the executive director of V/F/F/T when Pioneering was making a comeback from an all-time low in the corporation’s eyes. He convinced Verizon that the Pioneer organization put the best interests of the Verizon Foundation, corporation and communities first. His success has resulted in the chapters receiving funding from the Verizon Foundation to expand their community projects support. Through Pioneer Competitive Grants, chapters receive seed money to support special initiatives promoting Foundation and Pioneer missions to support education, literacy and domestic violence prevention. To date, $285,000 has been awarded to fund 38 projects. Fourteen projects have garnered awards at the Pioneer’s annual meetings. One was the Dictionary Project. More than 600,000 Verizon branded dictionaries have been distributed to local schools as well as branded thesauruses and atlases. This project continues to grow and gets the name of Verizon and Pioneers into our communities.Kohn has elevated the chapters and Pioneer organization to a higher level of excellence by advocating and supporting the continued education of Pioneer leaders through regular monthly calls, face-to-face meetings three times a year, advocating and providing education about new technologies and sharing new information. He encourages in-coming chapter presidents and vice presidents to attend annual training developed by former chapter leaders.He is also a hands-on volunteer. He has built bunks at Camp Nawaka, cabin decks at Camp Badger and planted trees in New Orleans. He has participated in key projects such the Sports Jamboree in Pennsylvania, the White House Beeping Easter Egg hunt, Military Care Package project and many more initiatives undertaken by the chapters, group and national Pioneer organization. His experience and service as a contributing team member at the national level has been extremely helpful as the Pioneer organization transitions to support the chapters for the next 100 years.