Organizations & Institutions

The New York Junior League Announces its 2023 Outstanding Sustainers and Outstanding Volunteers

The NYJL to Celebrate Outstanding Sustainers Barbara Etzel and Marion S. Hedges and Outstanding Volunteers Blythe Winchester Brock, Marie T. Finan, Andrea Theresa McDermott, Christina Bott Murphy, and Contessa Officer
( | Press Release | 2022-12-21 12:27:21 )
The New York Junior League (NYJL) is pleased to announce the organization’s 2023 Outstanding Sustainers and Outstanding Volunteers, who will be honored at the 71st Annual Winter Ball on Saturday, February 25, 2023. As the organization’s highest honors, the Outstanding Sustainer and Outstanding Volunteer awards are reserved for those women who exemplify a superior standard of excellence in volunteerism. These exceptional women are dedicated to serving the New York City and NYJL communities, living the NYJL’s core values, and leading by example.

The NYJL Sustainer Nominating committee selected the two 2023 Outstanding Sustainers: Barbara Etzel and Marion S. Hedges.

Barbara Etzel has been a volunteer with the NYJL for 26 years, originally joining as a transfer from Chicago. She has served in a variety of roles including Treasurer, Director at Large, and chair of the Finance, Audit, and Investment committees. She currently serves on the Food & Beverage Work Group. Outside of the NYJL, Etzel serves on the Board of Culture Lab in Long Island City and works professionally as a realtor with Corcoran Group. Etzel graduated from the University of Kansas.

Marion S. Hedges has been a volunteer with the NYJL for 29 years and has held a variety of roles, including co-chair of Winter Ball, Development Manager and Fundraising Vice President, Provisional Training Leader, Audit committee member, and Director at Large. Hedges currently serves as a Director at Large and sits on five Board work groups. Outside of the NYJL, Hedges has served on the Board of the Johnson Center and the Stanley Isaacs Center and currently serves on the Board of SCAN-Harbor. Hedges recently founded her own nonprofit, Sweet Returns, which supports the social and emotional well-being of pre-teens. Hedges graduated from Barnard College.

The NYJL Nominating committee selected the five 2023 Outstanding Volunteers: Blythe Winchester Brock, Marie T. Finan, Andrea Theresa McDermott, Christina Bott Murphy, and Contessa Officer.

Blythe Winchester Brock joined the NYJL in 2011 and currently serves as the Associate for the Child Health & Welfare Council, co-chair of the First League Fund, and Secretary of the Development Work Group. Brock has previously served as co-chair of the Project Muse and Passport to the World committees and member of the Nominating, Provisional Training, and Stanley Isaacs Performing Arts committees. Outside of the NYJL, Brock sits on the Advisory Council of the Single Parent Resource Center. Brock is a graduate of Hamilton College and worked in advertising and marketing for some of the nation’s leading publications including Time Magazine and Rolling Stone.

A current Director at Large on the Board of Directors, Marie T. Finan joined the NYJL in 2009. Finan also serves as chair of the Strategic Planning Work Group, co-chair of the First League Fund, and a member of the Development, Communications, Food & Beverage, and Governance Work Groups. Finan previously held roles including Secretary of the Management Council, Strategic Planning Council Associate, and co-chair of the Research & Analysis and Golden Tree committees. Professionally, Finan is a Senior Vice President at Havas Health & You and is a graduate of Lafayette College. Finan has also studied nonprofit coursework at Columbia University and New York University.

Child Health and Welfare Council Head Andrea Theresa McDermott joined the NYJL in 2014. She has served as a co-chair of three different Community Area committees and a member of the Nominating and Provisional Training committees. Professionally, McDermott is the Director of Counseling at Loyola School, her alma mater, where she is a founding faculty member and the mentoring program coordinator for INES (Institute for Nurture, Enrichment, and Self-Empowerment). McDermott is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland.

Volunteer Development Council Head Christina Bott Murphy joined the NYJL as a College-Aged Provisional in 2009 and became an Active member in 2014. Murphy previously served as Culture and the Arts Council Head, co-chair of Spotlight on Performance, and vice chair of Beacon to Broadway. Professionally, Murphy is a Program Officer for the Michael J. Fox Foundation and received her Bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University.

A current Director at Large on the Board of Directors, Contessa Officer has been a member of the NYJL since 2012. She also serves as co-chair of both the Human Resources and Community Impact Work Groups and a member of the Audit committee and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Work Group. Previously, Officer held roles including co-chair of the Cancer Awareness and Support committee and founding co-chair of the Leadership Development committee. Professionally, Officer is the Director of Veterans Programs at VNS Health and has served in the United States Army Reserves as well as in the Washington, D.C. National Guard. Officer received her Bachelor’s degree from Howard University and Master’s degree from National University.

“These seven women each embody the NYJL’s humanitarian spirit, with a compassion and commitment to serving their community that keeps our organization at the forefront of meeting the needs of women, children, and families in New York” said NYJL President Serra Eken. “I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments and dedication at Winter Ball.”

The Outstanding Sustainers and Outstanding Volunteers will be honored at the NYJL’s 71st Annual Winter Ball, The New York Woman: Leading a Legacy and Lighting the Way, on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at Cipriani South Street. Since 1952, the Winter Ball has helped raise essential funds for the NYJL’s community programs while bringing together volunteers, family, friends, and supporters for presentations of the award recipients.

Winter Ball Harriman Circle Benefactor VIP tickets are available for $750, Advance Dinner Admission for $525, and Dessert & Dancing Admission for $275. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

About the New York Junior League
Since 1901, the New York Junior League (NYJL) has responded to New York City’s most pressing socioeconomic challenges. Powered by more than 2,300 women volunteers, the NYJL works with more than 60 community-based organizations to advance children’s social-emotional learning and to provide life skills programs to youth and adults who are navigating periods of difficult transition. Bringing their diverse experiences and talents, trained NYJL volunteers engage women and children in health, education, and arts workshops specially customized to their needs. The NYJL also advocates with state and city government for women- and children-centered policies and develops volunteers’ leadership skills for service in the NYJL and on other nonprofit boards, all while cultivating a community that reinforces women’s personal relationships and collective power as drivers of positive change.

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Megan Zuckerman

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