Six women will be honored by the YWCA Darien/Norwalk at the fifth annual Women of Distinction awards and luncheon on Tuesday, May 29 at Woodway Country Club. The Women of Distinction Award is bestowed in recognition of the outstanding achievements of a select group of women. Darien Rowayton Bank is a Platinum sponsor of the event. Tickets are available at ywcadariennorwalk.org.

Mary Genco parlayed a career in finance into many years of community service in Darien, transforming the town’s public schools along the way. Formerly a vice president at Morgan Stanley specializing in public finance projects, she left her profession to dedicate herself full-time to motherhood and volunteer work-starting with the YWCA Newcomers Club, New Canaan Community Nursery School and then Ox Ridge School, where her children attended.

Genco joined the Council of Darien School Parents in the 1990s, when the Darien Public Schools were going through a period of dramatic change. She was instrumental in helping CDSP interpret the Board of Education budget, while introducing research and metrics to support CDSP’s goals and setting the standard for future CDSP budget representatives.

Genco didn’t stop there, turning her attention to helping enhance technology in the Darien public schools as well as the community in general to better prepare for the digital age. She oversaw the development of the organizational and operating structure of the Darien Technology Foundation, the first public-private partnership of its kind in Darien. She served as a volunteer executive director and a member of the board for eight years. The Darien Technology Foundation (now The Darien Foundation for Technology & Community) has provided more than $3 million in private funds for technology and community capital projects in Darien. Some of the projects she helped facilitate during her tenure include; a teacher training lab, Middlesex Music, Art and Design Lab, mobile science computer labs, authentic science research center, mobile laptop carts, a technology room at Darien Library, and computer workstations and classes at the senior center.

“We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mary for the work she has done on behalf and in support of our schools. She forced us to challenge the long-held thinking in our community about appropriate funding levels for education, and helped to open our eyes to the limitless possibilities of technology in education,” says Susan Vogel, former co-chairman of CDSP.