History & Timeline

Written by Anthony Drago. Posted in History

NYWLE was developed by a core group of 14 women representative of the many different areas of law enforcement within New York State who served as our founding Board of Directors. These women all shared a vision to strengthen the Law Enforcement Community through the celebration of diversity, the promotion of education and the development of leaders. To date, our organization has expanded to almost 400 members, led by our Board of Directors comprised of 21 women from across the state. 

Each year, NYWLE hosts an annual training conference which affords women and men in law enforcement the opportunity to enhance their professional and personal lives through a range of relevant training topics. The election of new Board Officers takes place at each conference.



March 2009

NYWLE is Founded

Initial meeting of the founding members of Board of Directors for NYWLE. These members included:

Colonel Deb Campbell – NYSP
Lt. Colonel Patricia Groeber – NYSP
Major Robin Benziger – NYSP
Deputy Counsel Lois Goland – NYSP
Director Office of Public Safety Julie Pasquini - DCJS
Chief Margaret Ryan - Dryden PD
Chief Barbara Duncan – Mt. Vernon PD
Melissa Mourges - Manhattan DA’s Office
Chief Cindy Adam – Oswego University Police
Captain Paula Pellizzari - Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office
Mary Kavaney - DCJS Counsel
September 2009

NYWLE Organization Announced

National Center for Women and Policing Conference at Saratoga, attended by Supt. Harry Corbitt, and Commissioner of DCJS Denise O’Donnell and 150 women and men in Law Enforcement. During conference, announced formation of NYWLE and sign up of approximately 80 new members.
January 13, 2010

First Board of Directors Meeting

Board of Directors Meeting Hosted by NYPD on January 13, 2010

Election of Officers for organization as follows:
Deb Campbell – President
Anne FitzSimmons – Vice President
Paula Pellizzari - Secretary
Cindy Adam – Treasurer
November 3-5, 2010

Inaugural Conference for NYWLE

Inaugural Conference for NYWLE hosted by Capital Region held at the Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown, NY.

Keynote Speaker—Lillian 'Pete' Campbell, Springfield Sallies American Women's Baseball League. Attended by approximately 120 members.

Follow-up event hosted by Southern Region at Citi Field on Mother’s Day 2011. Cooperstown keynote speaker, Lillian ‘Pete’ Campbell threw out the first pitch at Met’s game. Event attended by over 60 members of NYWLE and their families.
October 2011

First Online Election

First election for new members of Board of Directors held via internet - open to entire membership to vote.
November 2-4, 2011

2nd Annual Conference

2nd Conference hosted by Southern Region at Thayer Hotel at West Point - attended by approximately 140 members.

Keynote Speaker—Author Linda Fairstein- an international best-selling crime novelist and former Chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the Manhattan DA's Office

Election of new officers:
Diana Pizzuti – President
Margaret Ryan – Vice President
Paula Pellizzari - Secretary
Julie Pasquini – Treasurer
November 14-16, 2012

3rd Annual Conference

3rd Annual Conference hosted by Central Region at Genesee Grande Hotel in Syracuse, NY – attended by 150 members.

Keynote Speaker—Denise O’Donnell - Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. DOJ.

Election of new officers:
Margaret Ryan – President
Casey Quinlan – Vice President
Danielle Keating – Secretary
Julie Pasquini – Treasurer
October 9-11, 2013

4th Annual Conference

4th Conference hosted by Capital Region at Gideon Putnam Resort in Saratoga Springs, NY - attended by 150 members.

Keynote Speaker – Kathleen O’Toole – President of O’Toole Associates (Former Commissioner of Boston PD, Former Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety, Former Chief Inspector of the Garda Síochána Inspectorate.)

Election of new officers:
Casey Quinlan – President
Paula Pellizzari – Vice President
Danielle Keating – Secretary
Maura Gagan - Treasurer
October 15-17, 2014

5th Annual Conference

5th Annual Conference hosted by Southern Region at the Doubletree by Hilton in Tarrytown, NY - attended by approximately 200 members.

Keynote Speaker – Peter Hermann – Actor, writer, advocate, and Board Member of the Joyful Heart Foundation.

Election of new officers:
Rebecca Thompson – President
Cathy Johansen – Vice President
Natalie Cole – Secretary
Maura Gagan - Treasurer
November 2014

Forum Boards launch on website

Accessible to members only.
September 30-October 2, 2015

6th Annual Conference

6th Annual Conference hosted, for the first time, by Western Region at the Woodcliff Hotel & Spa in Fairport, NY - attended by approximately 170 members.

Keynote Speaker – Inv. Kelly Remington – New York State Police Investigator and contestant on Season 30 of CBS's Survivor: Worlds Apart.

Election of new officers:
Cathy Johansen – President
Arlene Sabo – Vice President
Susan Deshensky – Secretary
Maura Gagan - Treasurer
October 26-October 28, 2016

7th Annual Conference

7th Annual Conference hosted by the Capital Region was held at the Embassy Suites in Saratoga Springs. This conference provided for our largest turnout ever and was sold out at 200+ attendees.

Keynote Speaker - Retired New York State Trooper Maureen Tuffey, among the first group of female NYSP troopers hired in 1973.

Election of new officers:
Arlene Sabo – President
Lynette DelFavero - Vice President
Susan Deshensky – Secretary
Maura Gagan – Treasurer
October 25-October 27, 2017

8th Annual Conference

8th Annual Conference, hosted by the Central Region, was held at the Greek Peak Mountain Resort and Hope Lake Lodge. This conference was well attended with over 200 Members and Non-members attending. Attendees were treated to a ride on the Greek Peak ski lift and enjoyed wonderful views of the beautiful fall foliage.

Keynote Speaker – Actress Diane Neal, who starred in Law and Order-SVU and other shows and movies.

Election of new officers:
Lynette DelFavero – President
Kim Shappy - Vice President
Casey Quinlan - Membership Secretary
Susan Deshensky – Recording Secretary
Jennifer Sterling – Treasurer
October 17-19, 2018

9th Annual Conference

9th Annual Conference, hosted by the Southern Region, was held at the Villa Roma Resort and Conference Center located in Sullivan County from October 17th- October 19th 2018. This conference was attended by 180 women and men from NYS and surrounding states. Eighty people who had never been to a NYWLE conference before attended and we were able to add over 30 new members!

Voting for new Board members was conducted at the conference for the first time during registration.

Keynote Speaker was Nicole Sheindlin, Founder & CEO of “Her Honor Mentoring” in White Plains NY.

Election of new officers: Kim Shappy- President
Deb Campbell- Vice President
Kathleen Ford- Treasurer
Arlene Sabo- Recording Secretary
Casey Quinlan- Membership Secretary