HON. RUTH HASSELL-THOMPSON - New York State Senator of the 36th District

First elected to the New York State Senate in 2000, Ms. Ruth Hassell-Thompson brings years of public service and community involvement to her post as the Senator of the 36th Senatorial District. She currently represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester Counties. In 1993, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was elected to the Mount Vernon City Council, serving as Council President and Acting Mayor. In addition, she was Vice chairperson of the Urban Renewal Board; a voting member of the Board of Estimate; Vice chairperson of the Real Estate Board and Chairperson of the Capital Projects Board. Among her other committee responsibilities was oversight of all Council committees, which included Legislation and Public Works: Human Resources; Finance and Planning; Public Safety and Codes. Ms. Hassell-Thompson continues to balance her public responsibilities with other important community and business-related endeavors in the district. A retired nurse/counselor specializing in helping women with substance abuse issues, she is the Founding-President/CEO of "The Gathering," a volunteer-staffed women's center in Mt. Vernon that provides counseling and support services.
In addition, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was a health educator for the Mt. Vemon Neighborhood Health Center's Ryan White Title I Project. This initiative, which entails working with persons infected with and effected by HIV/AIDS, led to her being honored with the "Unsung Heroes" award, presented by the AIDS Related Community Services (ARCS) organization.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson serves as a consultant to the National Office Managers and Comptrollers Association (NOMCA), an automobile dealership/industry organization responsible for promoting special projects for the firm. Prior to holding an elected office, she was President/CEO of Wharf Development Company. Inc., a real estate development company and a consultant to small and developing businesses. Senator Thompson's firm researched and published "The African American in Westchester" for the African-American Advisory Board in 1990. She is wall known for her expertise on minority business needs in the Northeast, and has launched numerous workshops and seminars on business development.
From January 1980 to June 1987, Ms. Hassell-Thompson was the Executive Director of the Westchester Minority Contractor's Association (WMCA). this position, she became well versed in economic development issues which impact women and people of color. She became one of their most ardent advocates and was successfully persuading members of both the public and private sectors to increase economic participation with minority and women-owned businesses. She served on numerous boards and committees that focused on issues related to minority and women business ownership.
Among her many achievements was her ability to spearhead bank loans for financing minority and women-owned business activities. She continues to serve as an advocate for this organization.
As a testament to Ms. Hassell-Thompson's achievements in helping women and minorities excel in business ventures and in life, she has received several awards. Chief among them are: the "Sojourner Truth Racial Justice Award", the 'Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award", the 'Minority and Women Business Development Award' from the state of New York Department of Commerce; the Professional Women in Construction Award for 'Dedicated Services and Action on Behalf of Equal Opportunity for Women and Minorities"; and Westchester Black Women's Health Project for *Outstanding Contributions to Business.*
Prior to leading the WMCA, Ms. Hassell-Thompson worked for the Westchester Community Opportunity Program (Westchester Co-op) far 10 years in a number of management positions. ranging from director of an infant day care center to executive assistant to the executive director of the Co-op. During her tenure there. she was awarded the Joseph P. Gavrin Memorial Award for personal achievement and contributions to the community by the Co-Op.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson is married with two children and has one grandchild.

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