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Six honored as Women of Excellence

The South Bethlehem Historic Society held its second annual Women of Excellence celebration Aug. 26, naming six honorees who are making a difference in South Bethlehem in business, health care, city government and education. These honorees are creative, hardworking, selfless, imaginative, focused leaders.

Women of Excellence are chosen based on their contributions to the South Bethlehem Community. The Historical Society takes into account their individual talents and how they enrich South Bethlehem.

The 2023 Women of Excellence Award recipients are Beverly Donchez Bradley, Carol A. Kuplen, Veronica Moore, Jessica Morrissey, Janine Santoro and Deborah Silvoy.

Beverly Bradley had a 30-year career as a business educator. Bradley was raised on the southside and is familiar with the needs of the community. Upon retirement, she became passionate about “making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged women and children” and she joined the local chapter of the service organization Quota International. Bradley’s focus through Quota is the Cops ‘n’ Kids program. This is a literacy program that brings children and police together. Literacy and education are her focused projects.

Carol Kuplen has over 30 years’ experience in hospital operations, fiscal performance, quality outcomes and strategic initiatives for St. Luke’s hospital network. She has an MSN from the University of Pennsylvania. Her roots as a patient care Manager (1987) had led to many advanced administrative roles within St. Luke’s, including Chief Nursing Officer and Senior Vice President, Nursing Officer. Kuplen brings a medical prospective to the SBHS.

Veronica Moore is well known on the Southside for her enthusiasm and energy spearheading grassroots initiatives. One such initiative was ensuring a food grocer remain at the former Aharts food market. She also helped fundraising for Turning Point and the 6th St. Shelter. An advocate for plant therapy and gardening education, Moore opened a restaurant, The Taste Smokers, in 2021 with her husband.

Jessica Morrissey, the owner of Toastique ,prides herself on introducing nourishing locally sourced foods to neighbors and guests to the Southside. Morrissey has a solid business foundation, having graduated from Lehigh University with her MBA. Her passion is the health food industry.

Janine Santoro serves the City of Bethlehem as the Director of Equity and Inclusion. She is a champion for affordable housing opportunities by creating policies and programs that are available for all residents. Santoro asks three questions when starting a project: “Who will be helped, who is harmed, and who is missing?” Santoro is also a candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church.

Deborah Silvoy is the proprietor of “The Goosemen” family-owned Deli for 40 years, located on the Southside of Bethlehem. She brings business skills and logistic skills to this organization.

The South Bethlehem Historic Society Board member and Women’s luncheon Committee Chairwoman Esther M. Lee thanked the award recipients for their contributions. She also thanked the community for its ongoing support.

Keynote speaker Diane Freeh shares her business experiences with luncheon guests at the second annual Women of Excellence awards event.
Board member and luncheon Chairwoman Esther Lee presides over the South Bethlehem Historical Society Women of Excellence Awards luncheon.
PRESS PHOTOS BY JENN RAGO Guests fill the Lehigh Fireside Ballroom at the Sure Stay Plus by Best Western in Bethlehem for the second annual Women of Excellence Awards event.