Skip to Content
Author: The BCW

Leave a Comment

Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) Celebrates 2023 Lillian Vernon Awards Honorees


In a nod to the legacy of the late Lillian Vernon, a famed Westchester entrepreneur and trailblazer known for her commitment to community, the Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) has named its 2023 Lillian Vernon Awards winners. Receiving the prestigious honor this year, at a reception in Peekskill, were Filomena Fanelli, CEO and founder of Impact PR & Communications in Poughkeepsie, and Amy Hall, owner of Hudson Valley Books for Humanity in Ossining.

Lillian Vernon’s son, David Hochberg, was on hand for the ceremony and to present the awards, alongside WEDC CEO Nikki A. Hahn. As part of the event, attendees were invited to bring entrepreneur- or business-related books to donate to WEDC’s Lillian Vernon Business Lending Library, which equips WEDC program participants with valuable resources.

“Each year we recognize women business owners who, like my mother, know that true success means giving back generously to your community,” said Hochberg. “Filomena and Amy embody that spirit.”

“Both honorees show that it’s possible to innovate as entrepreneurs, while also paying it forward and empowering others,” said Hahn. “WEDC is happy to shine the spotlight on Filomena and Amy and the sizeable impact they’ve had in the Mid-Hudson Valley, Westchester and well beyond.”

The Lillian Vernon Award was named for its first recipient, Lillian Vernon, who began a mail order catalog business in 1951 at her kitchen table in Mount Vernon and grew it into a multimillion-dollar empire and household name. She became equally well-known for her generous donations of funds and merchandise to nonprofits, as well as her keen interest in sharing her business acumen and inspiration with women entrepreneurs.

About WEDC
The Women’s Enterprise Development Center (WEDC) is a 501(c)(3) corporation that empowers women entrepreneurs in Westchester County and the Hudson Valley so they can build successful small businesses through access to traditional business and financial resources. WEDC provides comprehensive, high quality business training programs, one-on-one business and loan counseling, networking opportunities, assistance with loan applications for microloans and crowd funding through Kiva Zip, and MWBE certification assistance in English and Spanish. WEDC’s overarching goal is to build a vibrant community of women business owners, comprised of start-up and established companies. WEDC serves both women and men. For further information, visit

Editor’s Note: A courtesy photo is attached; description below.
Lillian Vernon’s son (center) David Hochberg was on hand for WEDC’s Lillian Vernon Awards and took a moment to celebrate with this year’s honorees, Filomena Fanelli of Impact PR & Communications (left) and Amy Hall of Hudson Valley Books for Humanity (right).

Similar Member News Items

Monday, April 22, 2024, at 7 p.m. Present Day Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts & Empire Terrace Trackside Restaurant  Photo Credit: Empire City Casino by MGM Resorts Mark Your Calendar for this Exclusive Race Night Dining Experience Available at the Trackside Restaurant, Empire Terrace, For Borgata Pacing Series Finale and Several […]

Read Article

The PCSB Bank Mt. Vernon, New York office hosted clients and board members at its official grand opening Tuesday evening, April 16. The office moved to its new location at 119 Gramatan Avenue in Mt. Vernon on February 12, 2024. Pictured left to right: Kimberly DeMilia, Executive Vice President, Division Head, Commercial Lending; Dominick Petramale, […]

Read Article

Read Article

Become A Member

Join the county’s largest and most influential business organization today.

The Business Council of Westchester is committed to helping businesses market, learn, advocate, and grow. Over 80 events and programs are offered every year, giving our members ample opportunity to connect and meet with businesses representatives in the Westchester community and beyond.
Back to top