Ellen Polivy and Margie Smith Recognized
“It is important to recognize the women who paved the way,” said State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright in her remarks.
Seawright’s district includes Roosevelt Island along with the Upper East Side and Yorkville.
Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, who recently announced her reelection bid, joined Seawright in presenting the awards. Six local women were recognized for their outstanding work and dedication to the community. Two, Ellen Polivy and Margie Smith, are Roosevelt Islanders, and a third honoree, Alice Heyman, the Founder of the First Women’s Bank, gets credit for contributing critical funds that helped make the FDR Hope Memorial possible.
Many local residents know Margie Smith well from her volunteer work and stalwart advocacy of community concerns. A longtime Roosevelt Island resident, Smith serves as a resident member on the Board of the Roosevelt Island Operation Corporation (RIOC) and is Chair of the Governance Advisory Committee and a member of the Operations Committee.
Smith, in a comment shared with the WIRE, was humble about her achievement.
“All I want to say is that I appreciate receiving this recognition, but while my name may be the one on the certificate, there are so many residents who do so much for the Island,” she said in an email. “I can accept this on their behalf and hopefully over time they'll each get their own. This Island is chock full of people who care about the community and make wonderful contributions on a daily basis and as an Island resident, I thank them all.”
Before being nominated to the RIOC Board in a popular vote, Smith contributed as Vice President of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA), Board member of the Rivercross Tenants Association, and Chairperson of the RIRA Government Relations Committee. Currently, she is also the Director of Administration for one of the largest brand licensing companies in the world.
Ellen Polivy told the WIRE: "There are so many incredible women doing important things in our community. I feel honored and humbled to be among the group selected this year. Margie and I were surprised to learn that the anonymous donor of the final funds for the Roosevelt Island Hope Memorial was honored as well. We got to thank her personally and publicly. It was a thrilling afternoon.”
Polivy is a social worker, an activist on Community Board 8 and serves as a host on CB8 Speaks, the Board’s television programming. She is an activist in her own community as co-chair of the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition and former president of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association. Additionally, she is an advocate for the elderly, sitting on the board of Bird S. Coler Chronic Care Hospital, and in her own personal geriatric care management practice.
“We stand taller because we stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us, and they deserve to be recognized here today,” Assembly Member Seawright concluded at one of the top local events in Women’s History Month.