Pamela Ann Maurath

Obituary for Pamela Ann Maurath

August 30, 1949 - January 4, 2019
New York, New York | Age 69

Loving and Dedicated Mother and Wife!

Obituary

Pamela Ann Maurath August 30, 1949 – January 4, 2019

Pam was born on August 30, 1949, in Cleveland, Ohio, daughter of the late George and Iona (Caldwell) Maurath. She died peacefully on January 4, 2019, after a year long battle with cancer, at home on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. Pam grew up in Hudson, Ohio; graduated from Hudson High School in 1967, and attended Syracuse University, majoring in English and Music. An accomplished musician she played the flute throughout her life. While at Syracuse Pam met Frank Orsini. They were married in 1970, and lived in the Saratoga Springs region, eventually settling in the small town of Cambridge, NY. Pam and Frank had two sons, Occhio and Alito, and a daughter, Mona. Pam got involved in local non-profit food cooperatives, which developed into the two lifelong career paths of bookkeeping and environmental awareness. Pam and Frank ended their marriage in 1986.

Pam's determination, professional drive, and creative thinking enabled her, in 1986, to become the Office Manager of a newly formed lobbying firm, Malkin & Ross, in Albany, NY. Never one to shy away from a challenge, she took on an array of duties from bookkeeping, and tax preparation, to grant writing. She learned about the legislative process and worked on issues that included; energy policy, healthcare, and political reforms, and midwives became some of her favorite clients. In 1990 Pam followed her dream to live in New York City, she left Malkin & Ross and went to work in Manhattan for the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), moving from small town Cambridge to suburban Larchmont, NY, commuting until 1995 when she moved to the Upper West Side of Manhattan, New York City. When Pam joined RFF, she did administrative work organizing advocacy projects, and assumed responsibility for managing The Environmental Grantmakers Association (EGA), a then fledgling effort to bring environmental funders together. She created a model for how to recruit new foundations to join EGA, and for years played a leadership role. In 2002 Pam left RFF and founded New Leaf Strategies, a consulting firm for individuals, nonprofit organizations, and small business owners. New Leaf Strategies provided guidance on time and information management, and bookkeeping and accounting services, with a special interest and knowledge of fund accounting and nonprofit tax issues. Her "can do" attitude attracted clients.

On June 22, 2003, St. Alban's Day, Pam met Michael Sofronas in front of St. Michael's Episcopal Church in Manhattan. They were married September 29, 2003, in East Hampton Long Island, NY. When they met, Michael was a widower from Argentina, a multi-lingual metallurgical engineer, and with Pam's encouragement, he became a husband again and set off on a new career path that led to his current position as a NY State Court Interpreter. Pam and Michael enjoyed a close group of friends who gathered for monthly gnocchi parties. Michael was instrumental in getting Pam away from her work to enjoy time with family and friends, lectures at the NY Historical Society, tango dancing, weekend getaways, and even a trip traveling to Argentina in the summer of 2018.

New Leaf Strategies became a passion for Pam and Michael, and it grew to include translation services, specializing in legal and scientific assignments. Pam was proud that New Leaf Strategies enabled small businesses and non-profits to be more successful. In 2011, Pam was approached by a client to "set up the books" for a newly created real estate company working off a dining room table in an apartment on the Upper West Side. Little did Pam know at the time, this decision would lead her to scale back her work with New Leaf Strategies as she agreed to become the first employee of what became one of the largest owners of residential real estate in New York City, A&E Real-Estate. Eventually, Pam's role evolved into Controller and Director of Human Resources, laying the groundwork to facilitate the growth of the company from forty-nine apartments to over ten thousand, providing high quality, affordable housing to thirty thousand New Yorkers.

Pam could not be stopped from working on causes for good, and she was especially proud of her work with Sustainable Markets Foundation(SMF). For more than fifteen years Pam combined her passion for environmental and social justice issues with her non-profit management and finance expertise to help SMF become a vehicle which last year directed over 13 million dollars to support a broad international spectrum of vital charitable and advocacy programs. Through the years SMF has been an incubator for countless new organizations that have gone on to make significant contributions to the nonprofit sector in areas including climate change, health, and human rights. Pam's dedication and solution oriented approach to problem solving made this possible.

Starting with the births of her children Pam became a passionate advocate for midwifery, and beginning in the early 90's became a pioneer by coordinating and teaching midwives how to effectively lobby, and went on to help organize political strategies for the main midwifery organizations that include: Midwives Alliance of North American (MANA), The North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), The Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC), Citizens for Midwifery (CfM), and The Big Push for Midwives. She championed state by state legislative efforts for licensing of direct-entry midwives and national efforts to increase midwifery visibility as a viable maternity care profession. She worked tirelessly to advance midwifery, out-of-hospital births, and the apprenticeship model of education by promoting standards and recognition through the national credentialing process Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). To date, 3500 CPM's have been issued. Pam was one of the authors of the Midwives Model of Care document that brought direct-entry midwifery into the 21st Century. She was a founder of The College of Traditional Midwifery (CTM) and sat on the Board of Trustees as the treasurer. The CTM Midwifery Program is a Competency-based three-year post-secondary educational program, authorized in 2016 by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission. Upon completion, students are awarded an Associate of Applied Science in Midwifery.

Pam's loved ones feel honored to have been part of her full and meaningful life, and she will forever live on in their hearts and minds. She was survived by her loving husband Michael Sofronas, of 15 years who devotedly cared for her, especially during her illness. She is also survived by her three children: Occhio Orsini and wife Lucinda Orsini, Mona Funiciello, Alito Orsini, and her two stepchildren; Nicolas Sofronas and wife Rosa, and Daiana Sofronas and husband Jose; her four beloved grandchildren: Avery Orsini, Julia Orsini, Austin Chan-Orsini, and Sophia Sofronas; her siblings: brother Garry Maurath and wife Lesa Maurath, sister Elianna Price and husband Patrick Price, and her nephew Jeff Price and wife Bethany, and niece Jill Price; her two dearest friends Sharon Wells and Carol Nelson (who cared for Pam in her final days), and the many friends and colleagues Pam touched with her gentle kindness, wisdom, and unique perspective.

A private funeral service was held. A public memorial will be held for family, friends, and colleagues, to gather and celebrate the life of Pam, it will be held on:

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Synod Hall (corner of 110 Street & Amsterdam Avenue)
On the Close of The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, New York 10025
PLEASE, for planning purposes confirm your attendance (and guests) through Evite.com at this link: http://evite.me/nqxsR5BfFB.

In lieu of flowers Pam had requested donations be made to the College of Traditional Midwifery. Donations should be directed to Sustainable Markets Foundation (45 West 36th Street, 6th floor, New York, NY 10018) noting its for the College of Traditional Midwifery. Sustainable Markets Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization and contributions are tax deductible. For questions, and to wire contributions, email rebekah@hblawyers.com with a cc to jrh@halfon.com and instructions will be provided.

Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers Pam had requested donations be made to the College of Traditional Midwifery through Sustainable Markets Foundation (501(c)(3)) noting its for the College of Traditional Midwifery. Email rebekah@hblawyers.com and jrh@halfon.com.
  • Sustainable Markets Foundation
    45 West 36th Street
    6th floor
    New York, NY 10018

Message from the Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
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