The American Business Women's Association of Western New York has announced that Amy Christieson of Youngstown was named ABWA WNY's 2011-12 Woman of the Year.
Christieson, pictured, president of Benefit Brokers of WNY in Amherst, was honored during ABWA WNY's annual celebration on Wednesday, June 27, at the Barton Hill Hotel & Spa in Lewiston. She has been a member of ABWA for three years, serving as president of the organization for the past two years. She will remain a member of the ABWA board of directors, taking the position of past president.
The Women of the Year award recognizes an ABWA WNY member who has made notable contributions to the chapter and has obtained outstanding achievements throughout the year.
Since taking the reins of the organization two years ago, Christieson has worked diligently to reorganize and grow ABWA WNY into one of the area's most successful women business organizations. Under her leadership, the organization has nearly doubled its membership, has completed a successful rebranding, formed strong partnerships with other business women's organizations in Western New York, and has undertaken the development of a brand new women's leadership conference - The New Normal with Lisa Oz - which will be held on Oct. 18 at the Adam's Mark Hotel in Buffalo.
Christieson began her career in the insurance industry more than 17 years ago. Through a variety of roles she has gained an expansive, employer-centric perspective on the people challenges in the workplace. As a broker and consultant, she has improved efficiencies, allowing her clients to enhance employee benefit offerings to assist in attracting and retaining quality talent.
Christieson's unique approach has provided her the opportunity to educate hundreds of companies on the changing landscape of health care as well as thousands of individuals on how to properly plan for the unexpected.
Christieson is a group benefit disability specialist. In 2008, she was named one of Business First's "Healthcare 50," and is the founder of the CONNECT Women's Networking Group. She has served in various capacities with the ABWA WNY board of directors. In addition, she is a current member of the National Association of Women's Business Owners.
She and her husband, Paul, reside in Youngstown with their son, Keegan.
The Woman of the Year is selected by a special committee made up of members and non-members, who review the following criteria: leadership, education, networking and recognition. As ABWA WNY's Woman of the Year, Christieson is now eligible to become an entrant in ABWA National's Top Ten, an award that recognizes the top 10 ABWA members nationally.
The ABWA WNY charter serves the Western New York region as the local chapter of the nationwide American Business Women's Association. ABWA supports women in business living or working in the greater Western New York area. ABWA's mission is to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support and national recognition.