BUFFALO—Joanne Ely was honored as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of Western New York. Ely, of Freedom, was one of nine honorees.
Ely is the senior vice president of M&T Bank and branch manager of Springville; she has been with the company for more than 24 years. She has helped her customers get through fraud, contact the Better Business Bureau, buying their first homes, purchasing vehicles and working on college savings. In 2016, she earned M&T Bank's Chairman's Club Highest Sales Rank and the President's Council Highest Rank in 2012.
She also serves on the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Board of Directors, where she spearheads its Halloween celebrations, where she’s known for playing her character of Bug Bunny. Ely has organized events for Relay for Life, worked as a Sunday School teacher and taught sign language to the children and youth in the church.
An active volunteer for Kingdom Bound Ministries, Ely assists at Christian concerts throughout Western New York as well as the Kingdom Bound Festival held annually every summer. She has participated as a volunteer assistant troop leader for her daughter's troop for 13 years. She also became active in volunteering for the Cub Scouts and later for the Boy Scouts.
Women of Distinction is the Girl Scouts of Western New York’s female-run signature fundraising event, where nine women throughout Western New York are honored for their strength in character, dedication to community service and commitment to mentoring and encouraging girls and young women.
The honorees were nominated by members of the community because of their demonstrated leadership in their careers and in their communities through public service. The women are considered role models for all girls, and in accepting this award, they commit to mentoring the young women involved with the Women of Distinction event.
A special dinner and awards ceremony was held at Kleinhans Music Hall in Buffalo on Thursday, Sept. 21 for the honorees. Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul spoke at the event that was attended by Ely’s family and co-workers.
“It is our honor to award nine of Western New York’s most outstanding women who excel both personally and professionally in their commitment to making our world a better place” said Judith A. Cranston, CEO of Girl Scouts of Western New York. “Each of the 2017 honorees exemplify what it means to be a G.I.R.L. [Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader]™ and are helping to shape the collective futures of young women as they model the way for the next generation of female leaders.”