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11/09/2018 12:44 PM | Rebecca Buchanan (Administrator)

Who doesn’t love a great party?

The 2018 Touchstone Award event had it all the perfect venue, a great turnout, a smiling Board of Directors,energetic Keynote Speaker, enchanting honoree, plentiful food and drinks, and networking with colleagues, peers and friends! 

The Venue The Phoenixville Foundry, built in 1882 along the French Creek and serving as an active Iron & Steel manufacturer well into the 1970’s, was the chosen venue for 2018. Regeneration of this Brownfield property began in 1998, and this elegantly restored historic icon provided the perfect backdrop for our awards night.

The evening began months ago with planning and capped off with members of the SWEP Board of Directors coordinating the ceremony. Ms. Beth Witouski, SWEP Executive Board Co-Chair, gave the opening remarks, welcomed the attendees, and explained the five tenets of the mission of SWEP. Ms. Nora Pearse-Nimmerichter, SWEP Touchstone Sponsorship Chair, recognized our generous sponsors and gave thanks. Ms. Jennifer Poole, SWEP Scholarship and Grants Chair, presented scholarships to three dynamic and deserving young ladies, (Ms. Adrienne Donaghue, Ms. Katie Lample and Ms. Elena Rohner) as well as recognized the Grant Awardee – Darby Creek Valley AssociationMs. Kristin Weiler, SWEP Touchstone Co-Chair, introduced the dynamic Keynote Speaker. Ms. Joanna Waldron, SWEP Executive Board Co-Chair, presented the honoree with the Touchstone Pin and explained the history and meaning behind the stone. Joanna also recognized the past Honorees that were in attendance- Ms. Betsy Schamberger – 2017, Ms. Beth Davidson-Hyde – 2015, Ms. Yolanda Pagano – 2013, and Ms. Marian Young - 2012. The evening wrapped up with Ms. Ann Smith, SWEP Touchtone Co-Chair, sharing closing remarks and inviting the attendees to stay for coffee & dessert and to continue networking.

Keynote Speaker- Ms. Barbara Cohen was the evening's keynote speaker and shared a brief slide presentation and walk through of the history of the Foundry –from its active industrial days, through its closure and deterioration, to its revitalization and complete restoration. Following the history recap, Ms. Marian Young, President of Brightfields, Inc., had the pleasure of introducing the 2018 Award winner.

The Honoree SWEP of Greater Philadelphia was thrilled to bestow the annual Touchstone Award on the very-deserving Ms. Lynn Williams during the evening ceremony. Ms. Williams graciously accepted the award and talked about her commitment to the goal of environmental stewardship and her lengthy service in the field. She set an example for all in her graciousness and the stead-fast fire that aligns with her personal mission: “…to connect people with the natural world to improve our environment through education, advocacy and conservation.”  

The evening was complimented with the fantastic Food, Drinks & Networking – enjoyed this year by more than 150 guests. And as was heard throughout the evening and in the days following, “…this one is going to be difficult to top!”  

Thank you to all who attended for our sponsors who made the event possible.  See you for the next party in 2019!

Photo Credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc., http://donpearsephotographers.com/

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