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Judy Hernandez Among Honorees as Morris County Democratic Committee Celebrates Three Trailblazing Women Leaders

MORRIS COUNTY — The Morris County Democratic Committee highlights three fearless and trailblazing local elected officials recently honored for their outstanding service.

These revolutionary women — Former Morris Township Mayor Cathy Wilson, Boonton Town Councilwoman Marie DeVenezia, and Parsippany Councilwoman Judy Hernandez – were selected for new awards to honor their longtime leadership and fighting spirit.

In recognizing the honorees, Chairwoman Amalia Duarte said, “These are leaders with a vision, who are relentless and don’t back down. They fought against the odds to win elections.”

The women were honored at the Morris County Campaign Kickoff & Awards Night on June 20. It started with Morris Township Mayor Donna Guariglia presenting the first “Cathy Wilson Leadership Award.”

Mayor Guariglia described Wilson’s record of breakthrough initiatives. Wilson was primarily responsible for transforming the Morris Township Committee from all-Republican to entirely Democrat. She became the first Democratic woman deputy mayor and mayor.

Mayor Guariglia called up former Mayor Wilson to open an envelope revealing the winner: a very shocked Cathy Wilson!

Next, John Holly, a Boonton attorney running for County Surrogate, read a touching introduction for the new “Dr. Edina Renfro-Michel Community Service Award.” This award recognizes Councilwoman Renfro-Michel, who passed away last year after a long battle with cancer. “Her town of Boonton was what she cared about, and her fingerprints are on all over projects that continue to this day,” said Holly.

The award was given to a surprised and emotional Councilwoman, Marie DeVenezia. “Marie is exactly what you’d want in a Council Member,” said Holly. “She is direct — straightforward — honest, dedicated and thoughtful. She carefully considers each action — not for how it would benefit her personally or her election prospects — but for how it will benefit the town.”

Finally, Chairwoman Duarte revealed the winner of the first “Sandi Mayer Fearless Leadership Award” in honor of the late Morristown council president, who passed away in April.

“This winner, like Sandi, is badass, fearless, compassionate, and a loyal friend to many,” said Chairwoman Duarte. “The honoree has been involved with Morris County politics since President Obama’s years. She has volunteered on local boards and with nonprofits for many years. She is passionate about the environment and led her community’s green team, advocating for sustainable policies.”

“Running for office is never easy, and this honoree ran four times, finally winning a local council seat last year by just a handful of votes,” said Chairwoman Duarte.

The Morris County Democratic Committee congratulates award winners Parsippany Councilwoman Judy Hernandez, former Morris Township Mayor Cathy Wilson, and Boonton Councilwoman Marie DeVenezia for all their achievements.

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Frank L. Cahill
Frank L. Cahill
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town and Chairman of Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board.
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