The YWCA Darien/Norwalk has announced the six honorees for the 2018 Women of Distinction Awards and Luncheon on May 10 at Woodway Country Club in Darien. The honorees are Carrie Bernier, Tina Duryea, Scarlett Lewis, Allison Molkenthin and Wendy Ward.  Emma Dahlquist will be honored as a Young Woman of Distinction, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of a woman under 21 years of age. The Darien Times will be featuring spotlights on these women beginning this week.

This event is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased at For further inquiries about this event or to become a sponsor, contact

Carrie Bernier

For more than 25 years, Carrie Bernier has been a passionate advocate for social justice.

Bernier’s commitment to public service started after her college graduation, when she volunteered for Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) in North Dakota to serve Native American and rural victims of domestic violence as a community educator at the Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

After earning her law degree, Bernier was selected to lead the Stamford specialized criminal court docket prosecuting crimes of domestic violence. Balancing a career she loved and dedication to her growing family, Bernier later returned to the nonprofit sector to open the first legal department at Stamford’s Domestic Violence Crisis Center, where she started a civil legal clinic and oversaw victim advocates in criminal court.

In 2013, Bernier assumed the role of executive director of The Community Fund of Darien. At The Community Fund, Bernier oversees a philanthropic portfolio with investments of more than $1 million annually in Stamford, Norwalk and Darien nonprofits and community initiatives. She guided the innovative “Our Darien” campaign to prevent underage binge drinking, and created, a crowdfunding website for nonprofits.

In June, Bernier will assume the role of executive director of the Norwalk Community College Foundation. There, Bernier is looking forward to advancing opportunities for a diverse student body by expanding access to affordable, quality higher education and supporting the development of a productive workforce.

Carrie Bernier has lived in Darien with her husband and four daughters for 17 years.