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Seneca County undersheriff will be honored as 2024 New York State Senate ‘Woman of Distinction’ on Tuesday


Albany, N.Y., May 13—State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) today announced that Seneca County Undersheriff Melinda Marquart will represent his 58th Senate District as a 2024 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction.”


Marquart, a lifelong resident of Seneca County, was officially sworn in as Seneca County Undersheriff at the beginning of this year, becoming the county’s first-ever female undersheriff and continuing a distinguished and stellar career in law enforcement. 


Marquart will be honored as part of the Senate’s 26th Annual “Women of Distinction” celebration in Albany on Tuesday, May 14. She will join nearly 60 other honorees representing state senatorial districts throughout New York. The 58th District covers all of Chemung, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, and Yates counties, and a part of Allegany County.


The Senate's annual recognition program, which began in March to coincide with Women's History Month, allows senators statewide to select one honoree from their respective legislative districts to be celebrated for their significant accomplishments, service, and contributions to the quality of life within and beyond their communities. 


The 2024 “Women of Distinction” ceremony will be held in the Legislative Office Building beginning at 5:30 p.m. It will be available for viewing on the Senate’s main website, www.nysenate.gov.


O’Mara said, “Melinda Marquart has had a distinguished and groundbreaking career in law enforcement serving and protecting the communities and residents of Seneca County. She fully exemplifies the bravery, and the unwavering and deep commitment to service and sacrifice that defines all of our dedicated law enforcement officers here at home, throughout New York State, and across the nation. I am grateful and proud to take this opportunity to pay tribute to Melinda’s achievements, her leadership, and her contributions to the life of Seneca County. She clearly represents the very best of what we hope to honor through the Senate’s annual ‘Women of Distinction’ recognition. She has made an enormous difference in the quality and strength of Seneca County, and I am truly pleased, on behalf of the 58th Senate District, to extend this well-deserved and well-earned tribute of appreciation and respect.”


Marquart began her career in 2002 as a Police Dispatcher with the Seneca Falls Police Department.


In 2003, she successfully completed the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy in 2003 and was hired as a Deputy Sheriff with the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office. While assigned to the Road Patrol Division, she served as a Field Training Officer, School Resource Officer, and D.A.R.E. Officer in addition to working patrol duties.


In January 2016, Marquart was promoted to Investigator in the Family Services Unit within the Criminal Investigation Division with the primary responsibilities of investigating child abuse, sexual abuse, crimes against the elderly, and domestic violence. She continued to expand her knowledge by becoming a Forensic Interviewer of Children, Crime Scene Photographer, Evidence Technician, and Advanced Youth Officer.


Marquart is a graduate of Waterloo High School and Keuka College. She resides in the village of Waterloo with her sons Maxwell and Blake.


O’Mara’s past “Women of Distinction” honorees have included:


> Carol Berry of Hornell, a longstanding regional library professional and director of the Dormann Library in Bath;


> Virginia “Ginny” Houseknecht of Watkins Glen, a longtime area Cornell Cooperative Extension educator and leader, and founder of the Southern Tier Parkinson’s Disease Support Group;


> Beverly “Bev” Stamp, co-owner and operator of Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen, a long-time and beloved ambassador of New York State’s nationally and internationally renowned wine and grape industry;


> Lauren R. Snyder, a public health professional from Penn Yan who served as the Yates County Public Health Director for 28 years;


> Linda Thomas, owner and operator of the Wellsburg Diner and recipient of a prestigious “Small Business Excellence Award” from the U.S. Small Business Administration;


> Dawn R. Smith, Transition and Care Management (TCM) Program Manager at the Bath VA Medical Center and a well-known local veterans advocate;


> Carmella Hoffmann, Owner and Operator of Sunset View Creamery in Odessa (Schuyler County);


> Kathryn J. Boor, a native of Chemung County and former Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University; 


> Pauline “Polly” Holbrook, a longtime stalwart of civic affairs in the city of Hornell and the Canisteo Valley;


> Natasha Thompson, former President and Chief Executive Officer of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier; and, last year,


> Nancy Kirby, a longstanding advocate and leader for small businesses and entrepreneurship throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions.

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