top of page

Speaking Up for Women

The Women’s Voice celebrates accomplished Fort Bend women with the Accolade Awards


Photo Credit: Annie Mulligan

The Celebration

The picture perfect Sweetwater Country Club was the place to be on Thursday, September 27, 2018 when 250 guests came together to honor some of Fort Bend’s must successful and community-minded women. The occasion was the 2018 Accolade Awards hosted by the Women’s Voice. Farida Abjani and Teresa Cox Reading cochaired the sold-out event and welcomed participants. Founder of the Women’s Voice, Neeta Sane, also addressed the audience. Ruthanne Mefford, chief executive officer of Child Advocates of Fort Bend, was the keynote speaker.

The Story

After registering, guests had the opportunity to mingle and network. During the delicious lunch, they were entertained by Gail Best singing an uplifting song written by Sharlene Jacobson. After lunch, the award ceremony, honoring six exceptional women with individual Accolade Awards, began. Each was presented with a unique plaque hand painted by Ayad Fadel of Saatchi Art.


Dee Koch: Community Leader Award

Connie Kwan-Wong: Philanthropy Friend Award

Dr. Noreen Khan-Mayberry: Entrepreneur Hero Award

Malisha S. Patel: Healthcare Hero Award

Keri Schmidt: Women Empowerment Award

Ruthanne Mefford: The Women’s Voice Award

The Moments

Guests were treated to a door-prize draw of distinctive items, including a crystal clutch from the CKW (Caring Kindness Wisdom) Collection, donated by Connie Kwan-Wong; a pearl and acrylic bracelet, donated by Teresa Cox Reading and owner of Better Bling Jewelry, Britt Caffarena; and Kendra Scott earrings, donated by Farida Abjani. Participants also had the opportunity to have their pictures taken with the honorees.

About The Women’s Voice

Women face a wide range of struggles to advance in life. To support them, The Women’s Voice, an all-volunteer community network of diverse women, provides meaningful resources for women so they can enjoy fulfilling careers, good health, and financial stability. At its annual Opportunity Fair for Women, the organization partners with various entities that offer informational sessions and resources on such topics as healthcare, job search and workforce skills, entrepreneurship, business start-up, finances and investment, networking skills, life transitions, and civic engagement. The Women’s Voice helps empower women so they can make a difference for themselves, society, and others.

bottom of page