Compiled by Zonta Club of Grand Island
Photos by Alice Gerard
The Zonta Club of Grand Island has selected three outstanding women to receive the 2023 Yellow Rose award for leadership and service to the community. The club honors women whose talent, dedication, determination and caring hearts have both made a difference in the lives of others and inspired a new generation to achieve to their greatest potential.
The 2023 recipients are Andrea Tarshus, Esq.; Betty Harris, licensed real estate broker; and Dr. Adrienne Cassata.
For Zonta women worldwide, March 8 is not only International Women’s Day; it is also Zonta Yellow Rose Day. On this day, women’s achievements are celebrated in countries all over the world, while also acknowledging women’s ongoing quest for gender equality. In many countries, this day is also a national holiday. March 8 was designated Yellow Rose Day by Zonta International in 1999 to celebrate women’s achievements through the beauty of presenting a single yellow rose.
The Grand Islanders receiving this year's Zonta Yellow Rose award come from various professions, including legal, real estate and optometry.
Zonta members Heidi Travagline and Sonja Miller with Yellow Rose honoree Andrea Tarshus.
Andrea A. Tarshus, Esq., Owner, Lawyer for Business PLLC
Andrea has owned and grown her business for the past eight years. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in communications from Marist College and her law degree (J.D.) from the Albany Law School.
“The highlight for me so far is starting my own charity, Boss BeCause, to help empower kids fighting life-threatening medical illnesses start their own nonprofit, free of charge,” Andrea said. “I love that I can lean on my skillset to help make someone’s life a little bit brighter.
“Western New York is a fiercely loyal community, and the overwhelming backing from my for-profit business clients and not-for-profit clients alike is fundamental in the success of Boss BeCause. I am very proud that I’ve built an ecosystem, where both profitable and charitable business executives come together to support my mission in our community.”
Andrea enjoys helping her business owners feel confident in their ability to succeed, and they often credit her for helping them launch or turn their business around. She loves her job, so, sometimes it’s challenging for her to maintain a work-life balance.
Andrea’s personal mission statement is: “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
More information about Andrea can be found on the following websites: lawyerforbusiness.com; Bossbecause.com. Andrea’s email address is [email protected].
Zonta members Heidi Travagline and Sonja Miller with Yellow Rose honoree Betty Miller.
Betty Harris, President/NYS Licensed Real Estate Broker/Owner
Betty, who started her career in 1980 as a real estate salesperson, grew into her role as a business owner. In November 1998, Betty opened a new Metro Town Reality office on Whitehaven Road. She loves the challenge of running her own company and balancing it with a “Family First” mindset.
Formerly a resident of the Town of Tonawanda, she was the volunteer assistant director for the Tonawanda Organized Neighborhoods Impacting Crime. This neighborhood watch was funded by a 10-year grant program through the Criminal Justice Department.
Betty’s commitment to our community includes active involvement in the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce, Grand Island Professional Women’s organization, and the Grand Island Women’s Moose Lodge chapter. In addition, she chaired the first Grand Island tourism program. Betty enjoys helping her agents and others succeed. In the early 1990s, Betty was awarded Grand Island Citizen of the Year.
Presently, Betty is a volunteer with the town’s Traffic Safety Advisory Board, as well as with Grand Island’s youth program. In addition, she is a member of the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals and is a liaison for the Long Range Planning Committee.
Betty’s personal mission statement: “Always integrity, honesty and fairness, offering good advice and supporting others. Real estate is my passion, and it’s a daily challenge. I love doing the homework.”
For more information, contact Betty at Metro Town Center Realty Inc. at 716-773-1177.
Zonta members Heidi Travagline and Sonja Miller with Yellow Rose honoree Adrienne Cassata, her husband Justin, and her children, Michael and Ashlyn.
Dr. Adrienne Cassata, Optometrist
Adrienne has been a practicing optometrist for 20 years. The highlight of her career was opening a private practice here in her hometown three years ago. A graduate of Grand Island High School, Adrienne obtained her bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and her doctorate in optometry at NOVA Southeastern University. She enjoys working with her patients to help solve their problems.
Adrienne said, “I am joyful when a patient comes to me for help with a challenging case, and I am able to find a solution, which makes the patient's entire life better by improving their vision and function. My favorite types of cases to solve are people with double vision and computer eye strain. The best feeling stems from helping someone who had been suffering. The patient is then able to see better, be free from pain, and get back to work.
“The most difficult part of my job is telling someone they have a blinding disease, or that their case is not able to be helped with current technology, although there is hope with the neurological and ophthalmic research that is being conducted right now to help those people in the near future. The advances that are being made in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular diseases are very exciting.
“Our organization exists to provide excellent eye care to patients so that they may be able to see and feel their best in achieving what they want to in life. I most value the patients who trust me with their ocular health, as this is an essential part of making the most out of their life and livelihood.”
For more information, contact Adrienne at 716-775-2220 or [email protected].
The Zonta Club of Grand Island is currently holding a membership drive. For more information, contact membership chair Sonja Miller at [email protected] or Heidi Travagline at [email protected]. The club’s websites are https://zontagrandisland.org and www.Zonta.org.