North Texas Leaders Chosen for Legacy Awards

by Joy Donovan on August 26, 2011

Tanya Brown, sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson

Winners have been named for the 2011 Legacy of Women Awards, chosen annually and honored a  fall luncheon benefiting SafeHaven of Tarrant County.

This years luncheon, set for Oct. 14 at the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, will feature keynote speaker Tanya Brown, youngest sister of the late Nicole Brown Simpson.

Honorees are nominated by the public, and chosen for their outstanding contributions by specially-formed committees. This year’s winners and their catergories are:

Winners in the arts  Shirley Orr, of Theatre Arlington; Deborah Ferguson, news anchor at NBC 5; and portrait artist Cheri Irwin. For the business category, selected were Connie Gauntt, owner of Gene Allen’s Gift Stores; attorney Patricia Cole; and Realtor and broker Roxann Taylor.

Education honorees include Judy Leflore, director of the Pediatric and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Programs at University of Texas at Arlington; Triesha Light, psychology professor at Tarrant County College;  and Shea Stanfield-McGarrah, pre-kindergarten coordinator for the Hurst-Euless-Bedford school district. Winning for health and human services are Jackie Finch, president of Cancer Research Foundation of North Texas; Dr. Karen Albritton, director of adolescent and young adult oncology at Cook Children’s Medical Center; and Jenny Ellis, oncology nurse specialist at Texas Health HEB Hospital.

Outstanding for their volunteerism are Laura Distefano, Martine Ginsburg, Ginny Richards and Karen Parsinen.

Guest speaker Brown and her family created The Nicole Brown Foundation in 1994 to educate communities on strategies to prevent domestic violence. Nicole Brown Simpson’s famous ex-husband, O.J. Simpson was accused of her murder in 1994 before being found not guilty in a controversial decision. Tanya Brown recently was the keynote speaker at The Sixth Annual Conference to Promote Mental Health and Prevent Mental Illness in Washington, D.C.
A frequent guest on national TV programs, Tanya Brown is completing her master’s degree in counseling at Argosy University.

For sponsorship information, contact Valerie Salter at 817-546-6040, ext. 246 or  Additional information about SafeHaven is available by visiting

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