The Women Breaking Ground event recognized outstanding Nassau County women for their professional achievements and service to the community. Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos presented awards to Great Neck’s Patty Katz, an influential and dedicated environmentalist, the founder of Reach Out America’s Green Committee and the elected commissioner of the Great Neck Water Pollution Control District, and Linda Abrams, a multimedia artist and quilter who produces award-winning works of wearable sculpture.
“This year’s gathering of honorees represent some of the most accomplished women from virtually every facet of professional and communal life,” noted Maragos. “What makes each honoree so unique is how they employ their specific talents for the betterment of community. I am honored to recognize their amazing contributions.”
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Abrams emigrated to United States in 1979. She has owned and operated her own belt and jewelry business and has worked with fabric design and printmaking. In 1993, she began quilting and making wearable art, for which she won several awards. The artist has also given workshops on hand painting and dying techniques on silks and cotton, design and composition and has taught sculpture at the Great Neck Adult Education Art Program, Great Neck Art School, Sid Jacobson JCC and the Long Island Craft Guild.
“Having a background in fine art, majoring in drawing and sculpture, I enjoy working in many different mediums. My journey is perceived as a continuous adventure of discovery and experimentation,” said Abrams. “I look at my art three-dimensionally, my love for sculpting transcends into whatever medium I express myself in. My clothing becomes sculptures in motion. My jewelry is drawn to carving and creating texture and dimensional surfaces. I continue to seek new avenues that lead me on a wondrous path of artistic adventures.”
“It’s a great privilege to be honored by Comptroller George Maragos and the Nassau County community,” said Great Neck Water Pollution Control District (GNWPCD) Commissioner Katz. “It is truly humbling to stand with so many women who have made invaluable impacts around the county. I am eager to continue raising awareness and supporting green technologies, both through my work as commissioner and as an engaged citizen of Great Neck.”
Before joining the GNWPCD, Katz had been an environmental activist and vital community leader for years. She is the current vice president of Reach Out America (ROA) and previously founded ROA’s Green Committee, which she chaired for nine years. She has also been a committed member of the Town of North Hempstead’s Environmental Legacy Fund for Land Preservation and the town’s Ecological Commission.
“In the three months since being sworn-in as commissioner, Patty has asserted herself as a leader in the district—bringing innovative ideas to the table that are both environmentally friendly and cost efficient for local taxpayers,” said GNWPCD Commissioner Steve Reiter. “All of us here at the district applaud Patty for her well-deserved recognition and look forward to her future contributions.”
Nassau County Legislator Ellen W. Birnbaum honored Great Neck’s Parvaneh Khodadadian at the 19th annual Trailblazers Awards Ceremony at the Nassau County Legislative Chamber in Mineola. As part of Women’s History Month, county legislators honored outstanding women in their legislative districts who have blazed trails through the work they do in their communities.
Khodadadian was born and educated in Iran, where she graduated from Tehran University with a degree in pharmacy. She came to the United States in 1968 with her husband, Parviz, with whom she recently celebrated her 50th anniversary, and her infant daughter.
She is a longtime member and the first female member of the Sephardic Heritage Alliance Inc. (SHAI), where she now serves as vice president. Khodadadian is involved with the Great Neck Public Schools as a member of the Student Fund and as a past member of the Adult Education Executive Board. She has been a volunteer for more than 16 years with the Great Neck Social Center, where she spends most of her time working with the center’s senior citizens to brighten their days through adult-education programs. She also founded the Persian seniors group at the center, which has grown from just three members to more than 120.
Khodadadian is the proud mother of three adult children and has 12 grandchildren.