Improving the quality of life for women and girls in Waukesha County

WOMEN OF DISTINCTION AWARDS LUNCHEON

Thank you to all who attended the 2017 Women of Distinction Luncheon! Nearly $105,000 was raised to support the Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County. We look forward to seeing you again on May, 8th 2018.

The Women of Distinction Awards Luncheon began in 1984 through the YWCA. The annual event honors the extraordinary accomplishments and leadership of women in Waukesha County. The Women and Girls Fund of Waukesha County is proud to recognize the talents, skills and accomplishments of our honorees, whose efforts have improved the quality of life in our community.

Through 125 individual grants, the Women and Girls Fund has donated nearly $835,000 to more than 50 non-profit organizations that support women and girls. The proceeds from the Women of Distinction Awards and from our endowment fund investments will help us continue our efforts in Waukesha County.

WOMEN OF DISTINCTION & YOUNG WOMAN OF TOMORROW NOMINATION INFORMATION

The Women of Distinction Award recognizes a woman living or working in Waukesha County who has demonstrated sustained excellence, accomplishments, and creativity through community and/or work-related involvement.

The Young Woman of Tomorrow Award recognizes a young woman currently in high school, college or advanced training in Waukesha County, under the age of 25, who has demonstrated sustained excellence, accomplishment, and creativity through academic and extracurricular involvement.

If you would like to nominate an individual for one of these awards, you may do so online here.

Submit a Nomination

2018 Women of Distinction and Young Woman of Tomorrow nominations are due to the Women and Girls Fund office by
4:00pm on Wednesday, January 31, 2018.

WOMEN OF DISTINCTION HONOREES

Honorees were selected by a panel of Waukesha County community leaders. Selection was based on professional leadership, civic and philanthropic achievement in family, education, public service, community life, and arts and culture.

WOMEN OF DISTINCTION

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Pamila Brown

Retired Community Investment Manager, Manpower Group

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During a career at ManpowerGroup that spanned nearly three decades, Pamila Brown developed a passion for helping people – both within her industry and in her community. As ManpowerGroup’s Community Investment Program Manager, Brown became a skilled mentor who won praise for her professional dedication and commitment. She used her considerable talents to help others develop their own skills and gain meaningful employment. For 10 years, she helped organize ManpowerGroup’s annual Ready, Set, Work! Women’s Job Seminar in Milwaukee, a full-day workshop to help women overcome barriers to employment. The project was so successful that the United Way in Waukesha County, with Brown’s help, replicated it.

Brown’s passion also inspired her to community service. A recognized leader in corporate volunteerism, she ran employee giving campaigns for United Way and the United Performing Arts Fund, and organized her colleagues to spend countless hours volunteering for a wide variety of community groups, including Junior Achievement, the Next Door Foundation, Hunger Task Force, and the United Community Center.

Brown had a special desire to help vulnerable populations. She worked tirelessly with Easter Seals to help people with disabilities develop job skills, and partnered with Pearls for Teen Girls to organize a workshop to educate girls on career planning and education paths.

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Christine Fenske-Eben

Partner, Baker TIlly Virchow Krause LLP

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Christine Fenske-Eben is a partner at Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, serving as the firm’s asset management practice leader, as well as the New York market leader. In addition to her role in providing outstanding client service, Christine is a member of Baker Tilly’s Board of Partners, and she is a founding member of the firm’s women’s initiative GROW (Growth and Retention of Women). This highly successful program provides opportunities for Baker Tilly’s female professionals to network, share information, acquire skills, and develop rewarding professional relationships to help them advance toward leadership roles.

While Christine has spent significant time building a stellar professional career, she believes in the value of giving back to the communities in which she lives and works. She has been consistently dedicated to utilizing her professional expertise to help numerous individuals and community groups reach important goals. Beginning as a donor in 2003 to ProHealth Care Foundation, she decided that wasn’t enough and eventually became a board member. She now serves as chair of the foundation’s board of directors and co-chaired multimillion-dollar fundraising campaigns for the UW Cancer Center, Community Dental Clinic, Sixteenth Street Clinic and CyberKnife®. In addition, she has served in leadership roles heading substantial fundraising efforts for the Milwaukee Art Museum, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, the American Heart Association, the YMCA of Greater Waukesha County and Milwaukee Women Inc. Christine was named a Woman of Influence in 2012 by the Milwaukee Business Journal. She is a widely respected and knowledgeable business professional who embodies the positive attributes of leadership and integrity making her an outstanding role model.

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Cathy Kozlowicz

Founding Executive Director, Literacy For All, Inc.

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Cathy Kozlowicz spent more than 12 years working at the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha (LCGW), developing and expanding  the basic literacy and the English as a Second Language program. But she had an idea for taking basic literacy a step further, focusing on those who have general skills, but are not performing at a competitive level. That idea became Literacy for All (LFA), a nonprofit she founded in 2014. She now has many partners, but in the beginning, she was it –  fundraising, communicating to potential students , and writing the curriculum. LFA helps people gain higher paying jobs, change careers, improve academic skills, and understand wealth management. One goal is to teach women, many of them in low-paying jobs and saddled with debt, how money works. What these women learn has helped them pay off debt, save for emergencies and retirement, and improve their quality of life.

Literacy is central to Cathy’s life. She is a national ProLiteracy trainer and coordinated book discussions for Waukesha Reads. She worked with instructors at Waukesha County Technical College to help students earn their high school diploma, and improve math, reading and writing skills through the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha. Since 2003, she created a countywide Dr. Seuss event, and organized a community book drive to provide more than 300 Dr. Seuss books to needy children.  She coordinated this event eleven years, and it has become a community event.

YOUNG WOMEN OF TOMORROW

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Annie Bartosz

Arrowhead High School Freshman

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Stung by cancer twice in her young life, Annie Bartosz decided to turn her personal sorrow into a mission. Now a freshman at Arrowhead High School, Annie, at only 10, lost her twin brother Jack to neuroblastoma, a deadly form of pediatric cancer. Dreaming that no other family suffers the same devastation, she decided to take on the fight against childhood cancer. Understanding the impact of pink and October for breast cancer, Annie asked about the color and month representing childhood cancer. “Gold,” her mother Sarah replied. “And September.” And so, Gold In September (G9) was born.

Since 2014, G9 has raised more than $2 million for pediatric cancer research at G9 Centers of Excellence hospitals, including Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, and to help turn the world gold for every child everywhere.

In 2016, Annie’s father John unexpectedly died from the long-term side effects of  the cancer treatments he received as a young man. Though the cancers that struck her brother and father were completely unrelated, Annie well understands the devastating ramifications of cancer and remains focused on her goals to change the outcome. A Kohl’s regional scholarship winner, she hopes to be a doctor. She is an Arrowhead High School peer tutor, high school leadership representative, and member of the lacrosse and field hockey teams. She also leads the Milwaukee Field Hockey Club as a team captain. In 2015, she was chosen as one of Massachusetts General Hospital’s The 100, an initiative that honors those around the world whose commitment to the fight against cancer inspires others to take action.

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Emina Halilovic

Carroll University Senior

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A childhood in war-torn Bosnia inspired Emina Halilovic to devote her life to improving the lives of others. A Bosnian refugee who emigrated to the United States with her family at the age of eight, Emina, a Waukesha resident, is a student at Carroll University.

Lauded for her passion, perseverance and positive attitude, Emina’s life story has inspired Carroll students and staff. In 2015, she started a fundraising walk, Walking in Their Shoes. With participation by students, Carroll employees and community members, the walk raised $2,300 in 2016. The funds will help provide meals and transportation to school for eight children in Bosnia.

Education is a priority for Emina. Carroll staff and faculty note that she is an excellent student, and is interested in the education of others, too. This summer, she will return to Bosnia to implement a tutoring program she created, and she has mentored first-generation college aspirants through two Carroll programs.

Emina’s dream is to be a pediatrician. She has volunteered more than 3,000  hours at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and has accepted a research job at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After her 2018 graduation from Carroll, she will attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine.

FEATURED ARTIST

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Linda Kowalewski

 

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Linda Kowalewski earned her bachelor’s degree in art education at Mt. Mary College and her master’s degree at National Louis University. She taught in the Waukesha School District from 1981-1987. After starting her family, she taught drawing part time at Milwaukee Area Technical College, ceramics at Waukesha South High School and art at the Alternative High School Program in Waukesha. During this time, she also facilitated and worked on painting murals with artist Renaldo Hernandez at all three Waukesha high schools and exhibited her ceramic textural creatures in galleries in the Milwaukee area.

In 1997, Linda accepted a full-time position in art education in Oconomowoc. In 2013, she took a class in ceramics at Carroll University as an independent student, and decided this is where her heart belongs. In the summer of 2014, she started her head series.

In 2016, she had her first solo exhibit at Gallery 2622 in Wauwatosa, participated in a four-person exhibit at the Joyce Paddock Bliss Gallery at Carroll University and participated in a ceramic show at the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee. Earlier this year, she was in the Statement Art Show in Muskego, where she was the recipient of one of two awarded grants.

She is still teaching art in Oconomowoc, is an antique dealer in Milwaukee and Oconomowoc, and expresses herself in clay at Carroll University’s clay studio.

2016

Dr. Patricia DeKlotz

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To help take care of her family, Pat Deklotz made a difficult choice. Just shy of earning her teaching degree, she left college and began a 20-year career in software development. She eventually earned that degree and, in 1996, realized her lifelong dream of becoming a teacher. She went on to earn both master’s and doctorate degrees and is now superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School District. Widely respected for her collaborative leadership and strong commitment to the potential of every student, Pat was described by her nominator as a woman with “a passion to make her community better.” That passion has spawned new opportunities for students in her district, as well as service to a host of professional and community organizations, including the boards of Waukesha County Technical College and GPS Education Partners. She was recently named Wisconsin’s 2016 Superintendent of the Year.
Dee Mellor

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By the time Dee Mellor recently retired as vice president, chief quality officer for GE Healthcare, she oversaw 1,600 employees in 35 countries and directed multiple facets of a $20 billion business. But it wasn’t just her own career that garnered her focus. Spurred by a desire to use her own success to help other women, Dee helped form GE Women’s Network, a professional development group that now serves more than 100,000 GE employees worldwide. She also led GE Girls, a summer program that exposed girls to careers in science, technology, engineering and math. She earned the respect of colleagues around the world for her efforts to mentor and develop new talent. She won the GE Healthcare CEO Award in 2006, GE Chairman’s Award in 2010 and the University of Massachusetts Engineering Alumni of the Year in 2005. Her work has been cited in national media, including Time magazine and CNN.
Karen Tredwell

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Widely known throughout Waukesha County for her passionate dedication to the hungry, Karen has been executive director of the Food Pantry of Waukesha County since 1997. During her tenure, the number of people served has grown from 2,800 to 6,000 per month, and the annual budget from $250,000 to more than $3 million. She led the Food Pantry through two major capital campaigns and incorporated technology to make waiting times shorter for clients. She developed the Food Recovery Program, which recovers from manufacturers, distributors, retailers, caterers and others, food that would otherwise go to waste. She also developed a home delivery program for clients unable to get out, gardening programs to give clients access to fresh vegetables, and a special needs diet program for clients with health issues. Known for leadership skills, but also compassion, she consistently uses her vacation time to volunteer for Friends for Health in Haiti. She also lends her time and talents to a host of Waukesha area community organizations, such as the Waukesha County Nutrition Coalition.

2015

Laura Cherone
Kathryn Foster
Kay Ruekert Lettenberger

2014

Lillian Boese

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Special assistant to the dean and CEO of UW-Waukesha Lillian Boese is known throughout Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, as well as the world, as an inspiring, gracious, dedicated woman who “makes things happen.” A tireless fundraiser and champion of education, the performing arts, ecology and wildlife, her impact in each of these areas has been profound. In the words of one colleague, Lillian “listens to the needs of others and finds a way to fill those needs.” Lillian has served in many executive positions at non-profit organizations over the past 30 years, including nine years at the War Memorial Center/America’s Freedom Center. She has also served as the executive director of the River Revitalization Foundation, the Milwaukee Ballet Company, the Leukemia Society of America, the Zoological Society and the UW-Waukesha Foundation, and senior vice president of advancement at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Regardless of Lillian’s mission – increased public and private funding, awareness, accessibility, enhanced programming, scholarships – she achieves it.
Christy L. Brown

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Chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of Southeastern Wisconsin Christy Brown is a remarkable leader, collaborator and mentor who has left an indelible mark on our community. She has served on the boards of many area organizations, including Pathfinders, the Milwaukee Bar Association and the Wisconsin State Bar Association. She is also the past president of the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers. Christy is currently the CEO of the Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin and has held a number of key leadership roles for area non-profit organizations. These include vice chancellor of finance and administrative affairs for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, general counsel for Milwaukee Area Technical College, and general counsel for Lutheran Social Services. Christy began her career as an attorney for Michael, Best & Friedrich, a Milwaukee law firm. She earned an undergraduate degree in psychology from Stanford University and a law degree from Duke University.
Deanna Tillisch

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President, United Performing Arts Fund
Deanna embodies the qualities of a Woman of Distinction. She strives to make southeastern Wisconsin a better place to live and work through her support of community causes, the performing arts and art education. As executive director of UPAF, Deanna has helped meet ambitious fundraising goals. During her second year as executive director, she oversaw a campaign that raised more than $11 million. Prior to joining UPAF, Deanna led Northwestern Mutual Foundation’s charitable giving program. Deanna’s volunteer efforts include president of Life Navigators, which serves people with disabilities. She is on the board of Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design and is a founding member of the Medical College of Wisconsin Women in Science Advisory committee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and TEMPO. Deanna is a strong advocate for women, helping create UPAF’s Notable Women, a group of women advocating and advancing arts education in the community. Deanna is known for her creativity, intellect and dedication.

2013

Sara Carpenter

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As the Division Administrator of Court Services and Community Alternatives for Wisconsin Community Services Inc. (WCS), where she has worked for 23 years, Sara Carpenter oversees 15 different juvenile and adult programs in Waukesha County. She has played a significant role in enhancing the county’s reputation as a leader in criminal justice programs. Sara is responsible for implementing new initiatives, including the county’s alcohol treatment center (the first of its kind in the state), drug treatment court, and day report center and employment services for offenders. She launched the use of an electronic bracelet for secure remote alcohol monitoring. Waukesha County’s use of this technology has led numerous other Wisconsin counties to seek Sara’s expertise for implementation in their own jurisdictions. Sara is the recipient of WCS’s Outstanding Leadership Award. She serves on a variety of committees in the Waukesha County Court System, including the Waukesha and Milwaukee County OWI Work Groups, the Waukesha Juvenile Justice Subcommittee, the Waukesha County Drunk Driving Victim Impact Panel, and the Waukesha Child and Family Services Advisory Committee. Sara lives in Oconomowoc and has two children.
Kathy Gale

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Interfaith Senior Programs (ISP) serves thousands of older adults, adults with disabilities and family caregivers. Under Kathy Gale’s leadership, the faith-based, grassroots organization has expanded from a single program serving 400 clients annually to six programs serving 3,800 clients annually. In 2007, Kathy managed the merger of Interfaith Caregiving Network and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program to create ISP. Under her guidance, ISP has established collaboration with the Caregiver Connection, the Transportation Collaborative, the Wisconsin InterFaith in Action Network, and Mobility Management, to ensure community access to important resources. Kathy is a member of the Waukesha Rotary Club, treasurer of the Housing Action Coalition, serves on the Client Experience Action Team for the Thriving Community Taskforce, and is a co-leader on the Waukesha Senior Concerns Consortium. She also serves on a variety of professional organizations for nonprofit leadership. She is a classical vocal soloist and volunteer director for the Angel Choir at her home church. As the executive director of a successful and financially stable nonprofit organization, Kathy is a valuable resource to other executive directors throughout the state. Her willingness to collaborate benefits people and programs far beyond Waukesha County. Kathy lives in Waukesha and has two sons.
Renee Ramirez

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Renee Ramirez is the executive director of the Waukesha County Community Dental Clinic. Under Renee’s leadership and tireless advocacy, the clinic has grown from a fledgling agency to a state model of oral health services for those in need. Renee is deeply engaged in the community, lending her expertise to programs serving the health and educational needs of youth, families and the underserved. She is currently co-chair of the Waukesha County Community Foundation Advisory Council and a member of the Carroll University Board of Trustees. Renee is also actively involved with the Hispanic Collaborative Network, the Waukesha Head Start Council and Tempo Waukesha. She has served on the board of directors for the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association and the University of Wisconsin Foundation, and was recently appointed to the governor’s Special Task Force on UW Restructuring and Operational Flexibilities. Renee has been very involved with the American Field Service program as an exchange student, chapter president and host. Renee is the recipient of the Rotary International Paul Harris Award, was named the UW Badger of the Year for Waukesha County and in December 2012 received a Key to the City from the mayor of Waukesha. Renee and her husband, Ralph, have three children and live in Waukesha.

2012

Susan Bellehumeur

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While working as a dental hygienist, Bellehumeur was encouraged by a patient to pursue a career in the financial services industry. In 1985 Bellehumeur joined Baird as a receptionist and also returned to school to complete a masters degree in business administration. After a series of promotions she was named branch manager of the firm’s Mayfair office in 2002. Bellehumeur is currently branch manager and managing director at Baird’s Waukesha office, one of the firm’s largest branch offices. As manager she leads a team of nearly 60 associates that provide asset management, business succession planning, retirement income planning and asset allocation strategies services. A consistent top producer, Bellehumeur, as part of a financial advisor team, was recognized in 2010 with the G. Frederick Kasten, Jr. Private Wealth Management Award, the most highly regarded client service recognition at Baird. In 2008 she was cited by On Wall Street magazine as one of 10 Branch Managers of the Year, a program honoring excellence and achievement in branch management. Bellehumeur is a former member of Baird’s Diversity Steering Committee and currently co-chairs Baird’s Business Diversity Council. Passionate about education, Bellehumeur served as a tutor at Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services for many years and she is currently a trustee at Mount Mary College. She also serves as the current president of the Board of Directors at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center, Brookfield.
Nancy Major

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Armed with a successful career history of organizational business management, Major took a struggling Waukesha nonprofit agency and restructured its service delivery model to improve outcomes and enhance its community reputation. In 2008, Major was named executive director of Pregnancy Support Connection, a 27-year-old agency serving the needs of young pregnant girls in crisis. After an organizational review, Major broadened the agency service model to include a programmatic shift to more effectively help these girls break the cycle of poverty and abuse that was interfering with their ability to provide better environments to raise their children. Major led the agency’s return to financial stability, as well as a merger with Healthy Families, an organization already operating in the same building. The consolidation of services created Safe Babies Healthy Families and increased capacity to provide additional and higher- quality services. The merger also provided for a continuum of support to two populations—isolated, abused and pregnant young women and young at-risk families lacking and financial, health and social supports. As a newly emerged organizations, Safe Babies Healthy Families has increased positive outcomes, heightened staff morale and increased credibility with funders and community partners. Her professional memberships include the Waukesha County Business Alliance, Brookfield Chamber of Commerce, Waukesha Housing Coalition, United Way of Waukesha and the ProHealth Care Advisory Board.
Barbara Prindiville

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Prindiville has nearly 30 years of leadership and teaching experience in the Wisconsin Technical College System and is respected for her work with area business and education leaders to facilitate increased interaction between technical colleges and communities. Named president of WCTC in 2006, Prindiville has championed business, industry, education and community collaborations in response to changing needs in adult education and workforce development. Working closely with the Manufacturing Alliance of Waukesha County, Prindiville has positioned WCTC to proactively meet current and future training needs of southeastern Wisconsin’s skilled workforce. Responding to the needs of adult learners, Prindiville has spearheaded the development of new degree and certificate programs and led efforts to expand articulation agreements with various colleges and universities, allowing students greater ease in transferring WCTC credits toward two- and four- year degrees. An advocate for service-learning, Prindiville has advanced opportunities for WCTC students to integrate meaningful community service and civic responsibility with academic preparation. As a result of her initiatives, WCTC was acknowledged on the U.S. Presidential Higher Education Community Honor Roll for Service Learning in 2009 and 2012. Prindiville is active in numerous professional and community organizations, including Public Policy Forum, Executive Board for Community Colleges International Development, International Institute of Wisconsin, Waukesha County Business Alliance, WCTC Foundation, Board of Advisors for the Carroll University Center for Leadership Excellence, Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation and the Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington County Workforce Development Board. Her other memberships include the President’s Advisory Council at Carroll University and the Workforce Development Center Leadership Executive Committee.

2011

Beth Erickson Wittmann, MD

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Dr. Beth Erickson Wittmann, a professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at The Medical College of Wisconsin, specializes in the treatment of gynecologic cancers, gastrointestinal cancers and tumors of the eye. Internationally recognized for her cancer work, she has published numerous articles and book chapters and serves on numerous hospital medical staffs, advancing patient care, clinical research and medical education. In 1992, Beth established the high dose brachytherapy program at Froedtert Hospital and was the first to introduce this advanced treatment method in southeastern Wisconsin for women with gynecologic cancers. This has also led to the use of image-guided techniques to decrease side effects and improve cure. She is a leader in the development of The Medical College of Wisconsin’s liver and rectal interdisciplinary programs. Beth’s professional memberships, most of which include leadership roles, include the American Cancer Society, American Association for Women Radiologists, American Brachytherapy Society, American Board of Radiology, American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and the European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. Her academic and research distinctions augment her reputation as a passionate physician. Since 1998 she has been designated as one of the“Best Doctors in America.”
Carol Lombardi

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Carol Lombardi served as City of Waukesha Mayor from 1998-2006. As Mayor, she spearheaded efforts to revitalize the Waukesha downtown, championed community policing, and initiated the Waukesha Youth Collaborative, bringing together non-profit agencies to provide Waukesha youth with safe places and activities to do after regular school hours. After her tenure as mayor, Carol continued her community involvement by serving on numerous committees, including the National Children’s Study – Waukesha County Vanguard Community Advisory Board, the Salvation Army Advisory Board, the United Way Public Policy Committee, La Casa de Esperanza’s Financial Stability Advisory Board, St. Joseph’s Medical & Dental Clinic Advisory Board, and the Waukesha County Addiction Resources Council. A champion of children and education, Carol has provided leadership for the Waukesha Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization focusing on creating funds to support grants for classroom projects and overall school enrichment projects. She was instrumental in developing and leading the Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Waukesha County. Through her efforts, Carol helped start five tutoring programs in Waukesha schools, securing more than 500 senior volunteers to help students with reading.
Marie O’Brien

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Marie O’Brien founded Enterforce in 2001 and is recognized as a pioneer and leader in the managed services provider industry, customizing hiring solutions for clients looking to reduce costs and maintain and grow a competitive edge based on a diversified workforce. In 2010, Marie was the first Wisconsin woman to receive the coveted Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year—Woman Business Enterprise Success Award from the Women’s Business Development Center. Her other honors include awards for customer satisfaction, cost reduction and diversity initiatives from We Energies and the Harley-Davidson Corporation. An avid supporter of women in business, Marie frequently volunteers to assist area women in building strategies that will result in successful entrepreneurial business ventures. In addition, she volunteers time to support and shape the philanthropic efforts of numerous community and civic boards, including Mount Mary College, the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Woman’s Club of Wisconsin and Catholic Memorial High School.

2010

Karen Dalessandro

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Karen Dalessandro, Morning Show host for Clear Channel’s WMIL “Moo Crew”, has raised over a quarter of a million dollars annually for the Child Abuse Prevention Fund /Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin through the FM106.1 RadioThon. In addition to her many charitable contributions, she has found homes for hundreds of animals through her work with the Wisconsin Humane Society. Karen has devoted herself to women’s wellness through her annual Mammogram Party, taking a group of ladies for their screening in a limo, complete with brunch, Q & A with a breast care specialist and a live broadcast of the morning show. After losing her own mother to breast cancer last summer, Dalessandro teamed with Wisconsin Well Women and Susan G Komen to develop “106 Check Up for Chicks”. The campaign allows her to create awareness year-round while offering 106 underinsured and uninsured women the opportunity to receive a mammogram. Her Bosom Buddy social networking program invites women to join in the fight against breast cancer by promising to spread the word about the importance of self-exams and mammogram screenings. Her voice represents hundreds of women becoming advocates for their own health every day.
Linda Kons

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Linda Kons, office assistant at Carmel Builders, Inc., has a long history of community involvement in MenomoneeFalls, especially with local youth development programs. She helped start a Little League program that has grown tosupport more than 1,100 boys and girls, and she started a committee that led to the opening of a Teen Center in the community, and served on its board for many years. Kons served on the School Board in Menomonee Falls for 12 years, including a term as the second female President of the Board. She is currently the Program Chair for Leadership Menomonee Falls and is scheduled to be the 2010/2011. Chair of the Board of Governors of Leadership Menomonee Falls. She co-founded a high school job fair and has been active with the Optimist Club, Falls Community Outreach Steering Committee, the Skateboard and Bike Park Committee, the Chamber Tourism and Marketing Committees and her church Parish Council.
Brenda Ness

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Brenda Ness Marineau, Bilingual / ELL Program Coordinator and Educator for the School District of Waukesha at the secondary level, is a tireless advocate for English Language Learning students and their immigrant families, who is dedicated to making the dream and vision of America work for all. She takes a personal interest in the success of her students, facilitating after school tutoring and “College Fridays” to support their work on college and scholarship applications to connect them with post-secondary success, while working at the same time to connect their families with needed access to a range of other community resources. Ness is a charter member of the Waukesha County Dental Coalition and served as President of the Waukesha Area Sister City Association since 1998, coordinating medical supply shipments, three youth exchange projects, fundraising efforts to support life-saving operations for numerous children, and three State Department supported domestic violence exchange projects between Waukesha and its sister city of Kokshetau, Kazakhstan.

2009

Kate Bloomberg

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Kate served 20 years in the city of Brookfield government, most notably as the five-term mayor. She played a key role in establishing the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, the founding of Fox Brook Park, and Greenway Trail System. She is also the inventor of “Shrinky Dinks.”
Mary Lodes

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Vice President and chief nurse executive at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Mary was instrumental in the Waukesha Memorial Community Outreach Nursing Program. Recently, retired, she is a volunteer and community board member for the Prevention and Protection of Abused Children, as well as Interfaith Senior Programs.
Joan Shafer

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Joan is vice president of Customer Service at WE Energies. She is a United Way in Waukesha County board member, and a taskforce member for the merger of the United Way and the Volunteer Center. She also is a Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin board member and past president of the board of trustees for the Milwaukee Montessori School.

2008

Hanneke Deeken

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Hanneke is a ProHealth Community Outreach nurse with the Waukesha Public Schools. Along with Teri Terrill, Hanneke formed the Waukesha County Dental Coalition – Community Dental Clinic. According to Hanneke, “Receiving the Women of Distinction Award has offered me a platform from which to raise awareness of the needs of low-income children, especially in regard to oral health care.”
Karen Ellenbecker

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Karen is the founder and president of Ellenbecker Investment Group, Inc., and host of the radio show, Money Sense. She served as secretary of the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau and created the Lake Country Charity Connection.
Teri Terrill

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As a community benefit consultant at ProHealth Care, Teri worked with Hanneke Deeken to form the Waukesha County Dental Coalition – Community Dental Clinic. She is currently executive director of Family Service of Waukesha County. On forming the dental clinic, Teri said, “Building something from the ground up and using the power of community collaboration creates a momentum and realization that together, we can do this!”

2007

Mary Charles

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When she received this award, Mary was executive director of the Great Blue Heron Girl Scouts, as well as an active member of Waukesha Rotary, TEMPO Envision, United Way and Leadership Waukesha. She is now the CEO of Girls Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes in Green Bay, which was created through the merger of six Girl Scout Councils in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. She was named one of 20 women to know in Green Bay in 2008. Mary said, “Being named a Woman of Distinction was humbling and affirming and, professionally, it is recognized as a significant accomplishment.”
Karin Kultgen, MD

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A physician and the first female chief of staff at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Karin was also a founding member of WomenConnected, and invested her time with Kyle’s Korner, Children’s Outing Association, and Youth and Family Services. She recently joined the Volunteer Service Club of Pewaukee Lake, and she has also been involved in patient safety efforts, chairing the Milwaukee Patient Safety Collaborative.
Betty Lou Tikalsky*

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A well-known community volunteer, Betty Lou dedicates her time to the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum, the Interfaith Senior Programs, is a founding member of Women Connected, and is a Carroll College Distinguished Alumnus for service in other groups.

2006

Cynthia Eggleston

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Co-founder and executive director for the Mukwonago Food Pantry, Cynthia’s dedication to establishing the Pantry included taking a full-time night shift job at Wal-Mart because there were no funds for the executive director position. She did this as a single mother with four children. More recently, Cynthia helped another non-profit establish their policies and procedures manual and shred information on fundraising and raising awareness of their mission. She also hosted a creative art workshop to benefit the Retreat House at Willow Springs Sanctuary in Athens, Wisconsin.
Margaret Farrow

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Margaret is one of the most well-known female elected officials in Wisconsin, serving in the State Assembly, the State Senate, and as Lieutenant Governor. She is chair of the Waukesha County Action Network and the WisconsinEye public television channel, which accepts no state funding. She enjoys fishing, quilting and her 11 grandchildren.
Lillie Wilson

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Prior to co-founding the Waukesha County NAACP, Lille worked at Schlitz Brewery and GE Medical Systems. Today, she continues her work with the NAACP, including serving on its national board of directors. She has also earned several accolades, including the Wisconsin 2008 Fair Housing Network Individual Volunteer award and the 2009 Black Excellence Community Leadership award.

2005

Jo DeMars

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Founder of DeMars & Associates, Ltd., a leading alternative dispute resolution consulting firm, Jo was recognized as the 1995 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year. She was vice-chair of the Waukesha Landmarks Commission, and she restored the Andrew Frame house. Today, Jo is serving her second term on the City of Waukesha Plan Commission, as well as two ad hoc committees for the city. She added, “A breast cancer survivor, I am an active advocate on the state and national levels. Best of all, I’m grandma to two more little ones.”
Juanita Gonzales

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Juanita has dedicated countless hours volunteering to help educate thousands of low-income, under-served Hispanic women about breast and cervical cancer presentation. Her dedication to this cause continues today.
Dorothy Heale

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A community advocate, Dorothy developed the concept of WomenConnected at the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation. She volunteered on many boards and committees including the St. Joseph’s Dental & Medical Clinic, Children’s Civic Theatre and Ascension Lutheran. She is still “doing Christmas” and enjoys sharing that time with others. She continues to actively participate in marketing fundraising projects into he community.

2004

Linda Monk-Farina

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When she accepted this award in 2004, Linda was Family and Consumer Science teacher at Waukesha South High School. She was involved in several activities at Waukesha South in addition to creating a community service program that averaged 5,000 volunteer hours each year. Today, Linda is director of the Waukesha Academy of Health Professions, a charter school, and received the 2007 Kohl Fellowship Award for the School District of Waukesha for her ability to inspire the love of learning in students and for her service both inside and outside of the classroom.
Kristine Rappé

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When Kristine accepted this award, she was vice president and corporate secretary for Wisconsin Energy Corporation. Her many achievements included building a new customer contact center which was named Call Center of the Year by Call Center Magazine. Her community involvement included serving on the Advancement Committee of Catholic Memorial, and the boards of the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and the United Performing Arts Fund. Today, Kristine is a senior vice president and administrative officer for Wisconsin Energy Corporation. She served on the boards of Marquette University, Catholic Memorial High School, the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Goodwill Industries and Partners Advancing Value in Education (PAVE). She recently co-chaired the 2005 UPAF campaign.
Robyn Turtenwald

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Robyn was a manager of the Village Centre Business Improvement District for Menomonee Falls when she was honored with the Women of Distinction award. She was also active in the Menomonee Falls Chamber of Commerce, Tourism Committee and chair of the Retail Committee. She also coordinated the Circus Train from Baraboo for the Great Circus Parade. Today, she continues her volunteer service and was recently appointed to the Waukesha County Community Development Block Grant Board. She also was co-chair of the Community Memorial Hospital Spring Splendor event.

2003

Lynn Gaffey

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As the owner of the Almont Gallery and an accomplished artist and musician, Lynn accepted this award in 2003. Her many accomplishments include establishing an Art Crawl for 70 resident artists in downtown Waukesha. Today, she is president of Waukesha’s Big Read. Her civic activities include serving as commissioner for the City of Waukesha; she’s a member of the City of Waukesha Sign Appeals Board, a Rotary Club member and a member of the Landmarks Committee.
Jan Hoeksema

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Founder of HeartLove Place on Martin Luther King Drive which is designed to unify families, strengthen values and energize a great sense of community within the central city, Jan served on the boards of Christian Stewardship Foundation and the Timber-Ice Christian Center. She is currently the director emerita at HeartLove Place, and is working directly with families in the Harambee neighborhood.
Patricia O’Donoghue, PhD

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When she received the Women of Distinction award, Patricia was president of Mount Mary College. She served on the executive committee of the Women’s College Coalition and was a member of TEMPO Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and the American Council on Education – Commission on Women in Higher Education. She was also a volunteer with the Milwaukee Alzheimer’s Association and Girl Scouts of Milwaukee. Patricia is currently the vice president for alumni outreach and engagement at DePaul University in Chicago.

2002

Betty Arndt

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Betty is the vice president of global communications at Johnson Controls and co-chair of the U.S. Energy Efficiency Forum in Washington D.C. She serves on the advisory council for Northwestern University Medill School and the Corporate Advisory Board State of Wisconsin Women’s Prosperity Initiative. Over the past several years, Betty has expanded her leadership role in non-profits, serving as chair of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, trustee for the Women and Girl’s Fund, trustee for Marquette University Haggerty Museum of Art and a board member of Skylight Theatre and the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts. She is the founder of the Women’s Resource Network at Johnson Controls, which was honored with a Pathfinder Award by Professional Dimensions. Betty is proud of her professional accomplishments, but more so of her involvement in the non-profit world.
Dorothy Smith

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As principal of White Rock Elementary school, Dorothy has been active in the Education Association of Waukesha. She also serves as a mentor to a colleague at an alternative school in Milwaukee, and a shadow student from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Mary Steinke

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Retired vice president and sales director of Shorewest Realtors Lake Country Office, Mary’s Community service includes the Town & Country YMCA, Rotary and United Way in Waukesha County. She is strongly associated with the YMCA at Pabst Farms and the Ministry to Young Moms. Mary is a mother of five, grandmother of 30 and foster mom to 10 children.

2001

Katherine Bayliss, MD

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Katie has served for many years as co-medical director of the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Regional Cancer Center and is medical director for the Center of Breast Care. She previously served as associate medical director of the Professional Medical Lab Association, and she is a national speaker on cancer program development. She enjoys traveling, biking, yoga and pilates, as well as her grandchildren that have only recently joined the world.
Darlene Hanson

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At the time of this award, Darlene was vice president and co-creative director of Shepherd’s Bridge, which provides care for caregivers. Darlene is the adoptive parent of 10 children with special needs.
Holly Patzer

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As administrator of Waukesha programs for the Wisconsin Correctional Service, Holly was responsible for 10 programs including Intoxicated Driver Intervention and Juvenile Restitution. She was vice-chair of the Waukesha County Child Advisory Committee. Today, she is the executive director of Wisconsin Community Services, Inc. (formerly known as Wisconsin Correctional Service). She said, “I still display the award gift (a beautiful custom art piece) in my office, which makes for some great conversation.”
Sister Kathryn Van Hulst, SSND

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Sister Kathy served a director of Hispanic Ministry at St. Joseph Parish where she developed a group of eucharistic ministers, lectors for Spanish masses and Spanish-speaking catechists. She retired in 2007 and is forming a language exchange program for adults learning English or Spanish as a second language. According to Kathryn, “I felt happy and privileged to be able to help many needy families living in Waukesha through my position at St. Joseph parish.”

2000

Jennifer DeGlopper

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Jennifer is the founder of Value Computer Accessories, Inc., which achieved $2 million in sales with 2,500 customers worldwide. She volunteered with the Young Entrepreneur’s Organization, the Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation and the board of Hang Tough USA. Today, she continues with this business in Punta Gorda, Florida, and is a volunteer guardian ad litem for abused and neglected children. To this day, Jennifer says she is inspired by the speech that was given at the 2000 Women of Distinction event by Young Woman of Tomorrow honoree Angela Kuemmel.
Aven P. Polley

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Aven was an agenda consultant for Stein Mart when she was given her award in 2000. This was particularily notable as she overcame debilitating illnesses of two children and the death of her second husband. She led programs at Elmbrook Church, was a member of the vestry at St. Edmund’s Episcopal and was president of Brookfield Sunrise Rotary.
Gertrude Wilkinson

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Gertrude is a retired regional vice president of the Milwaukee office of Mutual of America Life Insurance. She has been a member of Redemptoristines religious community for 23 years and was named 1999 Oconomowoc Citizen of the Year. She is currently a member of the founding board of the Oconomowoc Area Foundation and chair of the AngelsGrace Hospice board. She was motivated by the Women of Distinction Award to continue being of service.

1999

Susan Kurtz

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A retired assistant vice president of US Bank, Susan continues to volunteer with groups that are committed to improving our community, including Girl Scouts of Southeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, TEMPO Envision, Milwaukee Art Museum West, AAUW, and the Brookfield Chamber of Commerce. Susan said, “It is empowering to be a part of the Women of Distinction who are committed to improving the community as their goal.”
Catherine Labinski

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A chaplain with Rolland Nelson Hospice, Catherine has also served as a facilitator of ENCORE, a peer support program for breast cancer survivors. Her involvement with Rolland Nelson means visiting patients in their homes to address their spiritual needs. She said, “I come with an open spirit to learn from the dying, what they have to teach me about living Ministering to them is my passion in life.”
Sister Kieran Sawyer, SSND

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Kieran is the founder of TYMEOUT Youth Ministry Center in Merton and the author of eight books. She taught middle school for 20 years. Today, she continues to be an author and conference speaker, traveling across the nation training religion teachers and youth ministers to use the uniquely successful methods developed during her 27 years at TYMEOUT.
Jayne Thoma

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Jayne is the executive director of United Way in Waukesha County. She currently serves a member of United Way of America’s National Professional Council, the Inclusion Council, and the 2-1-1 Wisconsin board of directors. She also volunteers in her community by serving on the Waukesha County Ethics board, the Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum board, and as a Big Sister for Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

1998

Susan Bischmann

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Sue was the executive director of Cooperating Congregations of Greater Waukesha and chair of the board of directors of WCTC when she received this award in 1998. She left CCWC in 2000 to train as an associate minister with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. She was called to Christ the Servant Lutheran Church where she does visitation to the sick and small group ministry.
Carmen De La Paz

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After serving as preschool director of La Escuelita (the Little School) at La Casa de Esperanza for 28 years, Carmen is semi-retired but continues to help La Casa with special projects, events, translation and interpretation. Over the course of her career, she served as coordinator of the Spanish Marriage Encounter program for Southeast Wisconsin and was a board member for the Waukesha Public Library.
Kathryn J. Herman

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Kathryn was president of the board of directors for the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program, vice president of Altrusa and served on the board of Family Service of Waukesha. Earlier in her career, she was the founding director of the Literacy Council of Greater Waukesha. She is currently the president of the Resident Council at Avalon Square, a member of WomenConnected, and funded a Neurosciences Lecture Series with her husband at Waukesha ProHealth. She is proud of her contributors to Southminster Mother’s Day Out, as well as the Waukesha County Literacy and Family Services Family Day at the Farm.
Sarah Jerome, PhD

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When Sarah was superintendent of the Kettle Moraine School district, all six schools were recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education. She was also a volunteer for United Way in Waukesha County, Rogers Memorial Hospital and the Wisconsin Alliance for Arts Education. Today, Sarah is superintendent of Arlington Heights Association of School Administrators, the second woman to be elected to this position in 144 years. She was named Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year in 2005 and one of four finalists for AASA’s National Superintendent of the Year. She was also named a distinguished alumna of Greensboro College and Marquette University, and received an honorary doctorate from Ripon College. In 2009, she was honored with the Effie Jones Humanitarian Award.

1997

Andrea Bryant

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Andrea served as the corporate secretary of Century Fence and has been active in many community volunteer activities throughout her career, including United Way in Waukesha County, Symphony Auxiliary, the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Friends of Carroll College, Board of Directors of the Waukesha County Community Foundation, and the Women and Girls Fund Board of Trustees. Andrea is currently involved in community music, arts and philanthropy. She takes great pleasure in spending time with her grandchildren and taking worldwide trips with her husband.
Grace Ann Davis, PhD

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Grace was the director of Student Development at WCTC where she was credited with many innovations during her career. She served on the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout board, the United Wat Allocations committee, and provided cultural diversity training for the Women’s Center. She received a Black Excellence Award in 2008 in the Field of Religion from the Milwaukee Times, and has also received the George P. Hambrecht Award for 25 years of service from the Wisconsin Association for Career and Technical Education. She became the jurisdictional supervisor in the Department of Women Ministries for 46 churches (COGIC) in 2004 and retired in 2009. She is currently finalizing, “Cover Girls Inc.,” a leadership and mentoring program for high-risk girls.
Lee Morris-Mueller

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When she was selected as a Woman of Distinction, Lee was the executive director of the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Council. She was active at Zion Episcopal Church, Youth Services of Kiwanis Breakfast club, and served as chair of the board of directors of WCTC. She is currently a Girl Scout executive at Mid-South Council in Memphis, Tennessee.

1996

Georgeian Krabath

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A public school teacher and English as a Second Language instructor at WCTC, Georgeian also served as board president of Community of the Living Spirit where she organized support for Hmong families. She also served on the Waukesha Center for Peace and Justice, Beyond War Commission and Church Women United. She remains active with Community of the Living Spirit, and recently was cited for her leadership of 25 years of outreach to 40 Hmong families, furnishing school supplies for their children, 50 pounds of rice for all 40 families at Christmas and providing a Book Fund for Hmong college students.
Donna Lexa*

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Donna was the founder of Community Art Centers, which promotes creativity and artistic expression as a therapeutic tool. She served as an executive board member for United Way and man other community groups. Tragically, Donna passed away in a car accident between the time she was selected as a Woman of Distinction and the date when it was awarded to her posthumously.
Lynn Revoy

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As dean of business occupations at Waukesha County Techinical College at the time when she received the Women of Distinction Award, Lynn was instrumental in many innovations in their business programs. She was an active member of the Waukesha business community and served as a 4H leader. Currently, she is vice president of learning and student services at WCTC and served on the boards of the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, The Women’s Center, La Casa de Esperanza, the Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation, the Women and Girls Fund and Women of Distinction in the Waukesha County Community Foundation. She was a recipient on the Don Richards Leadership Award in 2002.
Margaret Schnabl

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When she received the Women of Distinction award, Margaret was the jail supervisor for the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department where she partnered with a literacy program and reduced recidivism. She also served as chair of the WCTC Adult Basic Education advisory committee. Today, Margaret is a Captain in the Sheriff’s Department where she continues her service to Waukesha County.

1995

Susan L. Andrews, PhD

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Susan served as a professor of psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha and a clinical psychologist during her career, contributing to several UW system publications, until she retired in 1998. She also served on the Bark River Therapy Dogs board and the Women’s Center.
Ann Bartos Merkow, MD

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When Ann received the Women of Distinction award, she was a primary care physician at Waukesha Medical Centers and chair of the Department of Medicine at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. She also served on the Visiting Nurse Association board and was involved in the local school department activities. Ann is now the medical director of Quad-Med West Allis Clinic and the internal medicine physician. She serves on the board of directors of the Women’s Center and is chair of its fund development committee. She serves on the WIAA Medical advisory board and is chair of the Tobacco Free Coalition of Waukesha County. She also is the medical advisor for the Swallow School District and an instructor in Advanced Cardiac Life Support at ProHealth. Ann said, “I am most proud of family and work; Quad-Med is a unique paradigm of medical care. I am able to spend enough time with my patients to manage their chronic medical problems, to keep them out of the hospital and as healthy as possible.”
Joan D. Finley

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Joan was the coordinator of program development for the Upper Room, Pilotti House and was actively involved in many church related activities. She was also a volunteer for Interfaith Caregivers Network founding group. Hebron House and the Food Pantry of Waukesha County. Joan is currently a board member for Waukesha County Historical Society and Museum and Adaptive Community Approach Program and is president of Church Women United. She is a volunteer at Arch and delivers Meals-On-Wheels. Joan gains great pleasure in helping people, and she is grateful that her sons carry on the tradition of community volunteering.
Jean E. Graf

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When she received this award, Jean was executive director of the Waukesha Area Chamber of Commerce and was also active in Leadership Waukesha, the Waukesha Choral Union and served as the vice president of the Wisconsin State Chamber of Commerce Executives. She has since moved to North Carolina where she is director of Wilkes Vision 20/20. She is a graduate of Wilkesboro Leadership, a board member for Wilkes Regional Medical Center and the president of United Way Wilkes.

1994

Cathy A. Bellovary

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When Cathy received her award, she was executive director of the Waukesha Food Pantry and a group facilitator of People to People (Family Services, WCTC). She also served as president of the Waukesha Service Club, chair od Thrift Shop, secretary of the Waukesha Training Center board and the United Way in Waukesha County. She is currently the director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center, a member of the County Executive’s cabinet and Vice President of Aging & Disabilities professionals. She is a member of numerous county and community committees including United Way, and she is proud to be part of a community where many honorees have had such an impact.
Kathryn C. Bemmann, MD*

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Kathryn was a physician and served as president of the American Medical Women’s Association, as well as the first medical director of the Psychiatric Unit at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. She founded the Women and Families Psychotherapy Resources, formed the Sexual Assault Counseling Service and was a co-founder of the Women’s Center. Her life of great accomplishment came to an end in 2005.
Susan N. Dreyfus

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When she was selected as a Woman of Distinction, Susan was the executive assistant to the Waukesha County Executive where she spearheaded the Lake Country Trail, the Landsberg Center and the Waukesha County Workforce Development Center. She was an active member of many community activities including the Food Pantry of Waukesha County, Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, the Potawatomi Area Council of Boy Scouts of America, the Cancer Society and the Arthritis Foundation. She also served as superintendent of Education at St. Mathias Church. Her other notable career roles include serving in Governor Tommy Thompson’s administration, with the National Alliance for Children and Families and as executive vice president of Strategy for Rogers Memorial Hospital Behavioral Health Systems. Susan is currently secretary of the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.
Marlena Mackie, PhD

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Marlena was dean of General Education and Student Services at WCTC when she received the award. In this position, she was nationally recognized for her work in the integration and assessment of general education competencies into occupational programs at WCTC. She received the Wisconsin Vocational Administrator of the Year award in 1997; and the Woman of the Year in 2000 from the American Association for Women in Community Colleges. Marlena is currently involved in the Pewaukee Area Arts Council. serves on the Potawatomi Area Council of Boy Scouts of America board, the Institutional Review Board at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and the Waukesha Rotary Club.

1993

Honorable Marianne Becker*

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When she was selected as a Woman of Distinction, Marianne was the first women to serve as a Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge. Marianne pioneered efforts in and out of her courtroom that encouraged victims to share their experiences in an intimate forum with their offender for personal healing. As a result, the opportunity provided the offender with rehabilitation and the community with a safer environment. Her vision reflected the important principles of restorative justice. She also served as chair of the State Bar Subcommittee on Children’s Law and Children’s Court and on the Jury Instruction Committee. After a life of distinction, Marianne passed away in March 2003.
Marie F. Kingsbury

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Marie was honored as a Woman of Distinction for her service as executive director of The Women’s Center (TWC), as well as her many activities on behalf of women and children. She continues with TWC, one of the oldest and most comprehensive centers in the United States.
Barbara Nordberg

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As a manager of the Women’s Development Center at WCTC, Barbara developed a mentoring program for part-time faculty and managed an Emergency Loan Fund for women. She continues to work with staff and students at the Waukesha and Menomonee Falls campuses, as well as La Casa de Esperanza and the Waukesha County Jail, to ensure students receive the instruction needed to achieve their educational, employment and personal goals. These programs include English as a Second Language (ESL), Basic Education, GED/HSED, adult high school courses, and high school completion for at-risk high school students in Waukesha and Menomonee Falls public schools. This past year, 420 students received a high school credential and 608 students took part in ESL classes.

1992

Suzanne Frank

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As an award recipient, Suzanne served as executive director of the Waukesha County literacy Center and was a board member and president of the Waukesha Training Center. Suzanne’s many volunteer activities included serving on the boards for the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Council and the Waukesha County Federation of Women’s Clubs. Today, Suzanne works on freelance projects along with writing her “great American novel.” Her community involvement includes serving on the boards of the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation and the Southeastern Wisconsin chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Most important, according to Suzanne, is time spent with family. She is “humbled and honored to be included as a Woman of Distinction.”
Louanne Jozwiak*

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A career educator, Louanne was president and a board member of Escuela Preparatoria para Ninos, and also served as president of the Education Association of Waukesha (EAW) in 1992. She retired in 1997 and has since worked with EAW to raise money for scholarships to send middle and secondary students to summer programs. She is the president of the Eta chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma and is active in the Learning in Retirement group, WCTC and other volunteer activities. She also travels with Elderhostel and other groups.
Carol Meissner

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Carol served as coordinator for Parent’s Place for many years, and is now retired. Her volunteer efforts included the Waukesha County Mental Health Association, the Rolland Nelson Memorial Hospice and United Way. She also served as chair of the Waukesha County Public Health and Human Services Advisory Committee. Today. Carol continues to volunteer, primarily with the Cooperating Congregations of Waukesha County, and stays busy with her children and grandchildren.

1991

Barbara J. Mathison

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Barbara is director of Women’s Health Services at Waukesha Memorial Hospital and she founded the National Association of Women’s Health Professionals. She served as president of UP connection (now Pregnancy Support Services) and was active in Ventures for People (Haiti), 4C’s (Community Coordinated Child Care) and the Wisconsin Association of Perinatal Care. In recent years, she provided leadership for ProHealth’s Regional Cancer Center that became the first network program in the country to earn the Commission on Cancer’s Outstanding Achievement Award.
Rebecca Sherrick

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When she was selected as a Woman of Distinction, Rebecca was vice president for enrollment and planning at Carroll College. She also served as president for enrollment and planning at Carroll College. She also served as president of The Women’s Center, a member of the Waukesha County Historical Society board, an officer at the YWCA, a Great Blue Heron Girl Scouts board member and a volunteer at the First United Methodist Church. She is currently serving as president of Aurora University in Aurora, Illinois.

1990

Janet Brown, PhD

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Janet was the director of Student Support Services for the University of Wisconsin Colleges when she was honored with a Women of Distinction award. She served as director of the Study Center at UW-Waukesha and was also a member of the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Council Board. She also was vice president of Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) and traveled to Greece and Mexico with Global Volunteers to work with students on conversational English. Janet retired in 2002 from UW-Waukesha, but has continued to provide interim services at other UW Colleges including Washington, Sheboygan and Rock Counties. She is a reviewer for the US Department of Education, an officer for the College Endowment Association, and a volunteer at The Woman’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee.
Diana Gonzalez, PhD

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Diana was the director of planning and analysis at WCTC when she was selected as a Woman of Distinction. She helped Waukesha County develop its first plan and served as a volunteer/board member at Central City Churches. La Casa de Esperanza, the Waukesha Auxiliary Symphony, the Mental Health Association in Waukesha County and the Women’s Development Center. She is currently chief academic officer for the State of Iowa Board of Regents.
Hilda Houston*

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Hilda was a nurse who taught at Lutheran Hospital, Alverno College and Marquette University. She served as president of the Wisconsin Nurses Association, president of the Waukesha County Homemakers Club, the American Cancer Society’s Reach for Recovery and Rogers Memorial Hospice. Hilda passed away in November 2014.
Mary Lou Riedy

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In 1990, Mary Lou was a social worker in the Waukesha County Social Services Department and a state board member of the Wisconsin Family Based Association. She also served as chair of the Governor’s Commission on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. She is now retired from her most recent role as child and family division manager in the Waukesha County Social Service Department, where she was most proud of her role in implementing family systems theory in the agency. She served o the boards of Family Service of Waukesha County, The Women’s Center and Healthy Families of Waukesha County. Mary Lou said, “The Women of Distinction award helped strengthen my resolve to mentor other women.”

1989

Ruth Heinzen

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A design engineer turned Number One Sales Associate for Merrill Lynch Realty, Ruth has also served as a member of the Waukesha Board of Education, the YWCA Board, the Waukesha Symphony Board and Finer Waukesha. She is now living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Phyllis J. Piano

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When Phyllis received this award, she was manager of communication and community relations at GE Medical Systems Group. She left GE in the early 90’s to go to Cooper Industries, then Raytheon. She also served as a leader in Community Coordinated Child Care and Educator-in-Industry. Currently, Phyllis is vice president of corporate communications and philanthropy for Amgen Corporation, Thousand Oaks, CA. She appreciated the Women of Distinction Award as recognition of the work she did on behalf of GE and the community. She acknowledges fellow Woman of Distinction Joan Underberg as being an outstanding role model for community relations work.
Senator Joanne Huelsman

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After beginning her career as a teacher and attorney, Joanne was elected and served as a State Representative (1983-1990) and State Senator (1991-2002). She served on the board of the Mental Health Association in Waukesha County, Planned Parenthood, the Waukesha Symphony, and held several United Way in Waukesha County elected offices. She also served on the Waukesha Board of Education and the Waukesha County Board, was a member of the Commission on Uniform State Laws, and a member of the Wisconsin State Bar Legislative Oversight Committee. Joanne is proudest of the opportunities she has had to serve the community and make it a better place.
Barbara Thompson

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As president of The Roberts Group, Barbara and her team have earned more than 500 awards for strategic and creative excellence from their peers in the healthcare marketing industry. She is a fellow in the Wisconsin Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society, and frequently speaks to communications groups. Earlier in her career, Barbara served as director of Public Relations and Marketing for Children’s Hospital. She has also volunteered for Finer Waukesha, served as vice president of the Potawatomi Council Boy Scouts and is a member of the Waukesha Area Chamber of Commerce.
Bernardine Juno

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When Bernadine was selected as a Woman of Distinction, she was the executive director of Hebron House where she remains today. A dental hygienist, she helped establish St. Joseph’s Medical & Dental Clinic, the Loaves and Fishes Meal program and Hebron House. She is also a past president of Cooperating Churches of Greater Waukesha. Since then, the Hebron House of Hospitality added the Siena House, a secondary emergency shelter for families and single women, and the Jeremy House Safe Haven for single men and women experiencing homelessness and mental health issues. Bernadine is currently active with a pilot program called “Expediting SSI” for the State of Wisconsin to assist persons with disabilities in obtaining social security benefits within three months of their eligibility.

1988

Helen Grant

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Helen was the director of Happy Times Nursery/Lutheran Social Services, a pre-school program for developmentally delayed or disabled children. She was a board member for Waukesha County Head Start and received two Professional Awards from ARC. She was also honored as Beta Sigma Phi Woman of the Year and received the Wisconsin Council for Exceptional Children Outstanding Service Award (1990), and the Wisconsin Council on Developmental Disabilities Full Citizen Initiative Award (1993). Helen is now a retired great-grandmother and spends her retirement years with her large family.
Anita Heimsch

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Anita was the executive director for the Mental Health association in Waukesha County when she received the Women of Distinction Award and was active in many community organizations. She retired in 1992 and is now living in Wauwatosa.
Laraine O’Brien

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Laraine was the district operations customer services administrator for Wisconsin Natural Gas and a former public information director at the University of Wisconsin -Waukesha. At the time when she received this ward, she was active with the Voluntary Action Center and United Way in Waukesha County. Later in her career, Laraine became a communications manager and director at Wisconsin Gas, WICOR and Wisconsin Energy. She continued her community involvement as board chair of Catholic Charities of the Milwaukee Archdiocese, board president for the Waukesha Training Center and YWCA of Waukesha. She also was a member of the Waukesha Planning Commission. She now enjoys retirement, being a grandmother, traveling with her husband, golfing and volunteering in Waukesha and in Tucson, Arizona.

1987

Linda M. Graebner

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An interior designer who volunteered her talents for the Milwaukee Counseling Center, Linda and her husband also served nomadic tribes in Kenya for to years. She taught a class in lay counseling, and later evolved her career into sales and business development. She is currently marketing manager of Ajilon, division of Adecco. She has also worked on economic development with non-profits, co-founded Interfaith Earth Network, and served on Mayor Barrett’s Green Team. She is currently president-elect of the Women’s Center and a consultant with United Church of Christ of Southeastern Wisconsin.
Ellen Morris-Gutierrez*

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Ellen founded RSVP as an offshoot of the Volunteer Center and served as its executive director for 13 years, later becoming president of the Wisconsin RSVP and Region 5 representative to the National Association of RSVP. She pioneered home sharing and initiated what is now Waukesha County Literacy. After retiring from RSVP, Ellen served as district liaison for State Senator Lynn Adelman, Public Affairs Director at Carroll College, and a substitute teacher for The Caring Place, a member of the Board of Education for the school district of Waukesha, and Moderator of the Presbytery of Milwaukee.
Judy Jorgensen

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When she received this award, Judy was associate dean for academic support at WCTC, and she retired in 2001 as dean of Academic Support. Among her activities in the community, Judy was president of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Board. She is currently president of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
Carol Smart

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Carol is best known for writing a play about her grandmother, the first women physician to serve the Wisconsin Oneida nation, which she did for nearly 50 years. Carol provides a temporary home for troubled teens from the Rosebud reservation in South Dakota. She is a member of the Waukesha YWCA board, the Carroll University Teacher’s Education Advisory Committee and the Dr. Rose Minoka Hill Fund. She also founded Married Couples in Business. She currently performs the 27th revision of her play around Wisconsin as part of the Wisconsin Humanities Council Speakers Bureau, and she credits receiving the Woman of Distinction Award as giving her the courage to perform this play.
Louise Koonce Lyon*

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Louise was ordained as an elder in the Presbyterian Church in 1965 and became the first woman moderator of the East Iowa Presbytery. In 1980, she was elected moderator of the General Assembly of United Presbyterian Church. She moved to Waukesha in 1979 where she was a member and officer of the boards of directors of Family Service, Avalon Manor, Waukesha Environmental Action League and a session of the Southminster Presbyterian Church. She passed away in December 1996.

1986

Susan S. Engeleiter

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A former Wisconsin State Senator and Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Susan is now president and CEO of Data Recognition Corporation (DRC), which is based in Maple Grove, Minnesota. When Susan was elected to the Wisconsin Legislature at age 22, was the youngest women to be elected to this position.
Elaine V. Pfeiffer

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A former director of nursing for maternal and child health at Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Elaine is now retired and resides in North Carolina.
Ruth Sells

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Ruth was director of Human Resources at Waukesha Bearings when she received this award. She also served as a WCTI board member, as president of Altrusa and on the Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation Board. She was also active in the PTA at Blair Elementary school and the Waukesha city and district PTA. Ruth is now retired and serves as a WCTC Foundation board member. She was named a Partner in Philanthropy by WCTC, and she is an officer and volunteer for many activities at United Methodist Church. She enjoys “smelling the roses” with her family, travel and fine arts activities.
Joan Underberg*

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An administrative consultant for Finer Waukesha, Joan was active in the Waukesha County Medication Society Auxiliary, the Great Blue Heron Girl Scout Council and the Waukesha Service Club. She was president of the United Way in Waukesha County, and later served at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Joan passed away in 2008.

1985

Betty Cooper*

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When Betty received this award she was the first woman to chair the Waukesha County Board of Supervisors and had been active in politics and county government for 13 years. After a lifetime of public service, Betty passed away in May 2006.

*In Memoriam

Gloria Halverson, MD

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Gloria is a physician at WOMENCARE and a primary motivator in developing an extensive infertility clinic in Waukesha. Over the course of her career, she started a program to preserve childbearing options for women with cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy, which was the third program of its kind in the county. She co-founded an ob-gyn clinic for women and by women in Waukesha. Gloria also taught in medical school – not just the science, but also the art of delivering health care for women. She is currently working in developing countries to train doctors to meet the health-care needs of women.
Mary Knudten, PhD

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When she received the Women of Distinction award, Mary was campus executive officer and dean of the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha. She also served as president of the Waukesha Area Chamber of Commerce, president of the Waukesha Symphony Orchestra, and a Waukesha County Economic Development Corporation board member. She currently is retired and enjoys music and volunteer activities in addition to her role as a domestic and international adventure traveler.
Deborah Wallendal

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Deborah was a social worker for the Waukesha Police Department when she was awarded the Women of Distinction award. She was also active with various community youth programs including those at La Casa de Esperanza and the YWCA. She currently is dean of Student Services at WCTC, a position she had held since 1994. She has served on a variety of non-profit committees and boards in Waukesha County over the years, including Hebron House, United Way in Waukesha County, Great Blue Heron Girl Scouts and Family Service of Waukesha County.

2016

Elizabeth Jorgensen

2015

Rebecca Dalum

2014

Genevieve Rohrer

2013

Kelly Riordan

2012

Kaitlyn Reichl

2011

Allyse Jorgensen

2010

Stacey Lynn Bjorgaard

2009

Megan McNulty

2008

Christina King
Kaitlin Swanson

2007

Hortencia Huerta
Karly Wallace

2006

Maria Ramirez

2005

Flora Zeng

2004

Callie Laz Recknagel

2003

Kelly Walt

2002

Lindsey Cunneen

2001

Gena Cooper

2000

Angela Kuemmel

1999

Wei Ho

1998

Linda Lardinois
Breanna Liburdi
Deepa Pawar

1997

Kelly Hauser
Lisa Kieso
Kari Martinson
Amy Riek

1996

Wichnart Ann Imsangjan
Leota Thomas-Breitfield

1995

Sandra Arteaga-Hernandez
Sharon M. Koller
Erica Kritzer

1994

Tracey Bickerstaff
Erin L. Donovan

1993

Shari Ann Franjevic
Suzanne Walczak

1992

Kathy Diane Marsho
Abha Thakkar

1991

Heidi Hudson-Mairet

1990

Tara Lynn Dall
Trang Truong

1989

Alyssa O’Farrell
Elizabeth Paulus

1988

Michelle Thaller

1987

Rebecca Stevens
Deber VanderMey
Bianca Zick

1986

Jody Rupple Lowe
Rebecca Sanchez
Lisa Talbot

1985

Becky Bauer

2016

Vanessa Devaki Andrew

2015

Andrea Skyberg

2014

Virgilyn “Virgi” Schaetzel Driscoll

2013

Jill Bedford

2012

Jody Nolan & Sally Porter

2011

Mary Krauski

2010

Peggy Farrell

2009

Sylke Vonk

2008

Jody Nolan

2007

Stacey Steinberg

2006

Lynn Gaffey

2005

Angel Eveliszer Burton

2004

Jill Verbick

2003

Dint Sweitzer

2002

Linda Krukar

2001

Charlotte Fung Miller

2000

Martha (Marty) Kessler

1999

Beverly Nunes Ramsay

1998

Jean Horburg

1997

Robbie Rose

1996

Claudia Engler

1995

Lori Klingbiel

1994

Michalene Groshek

1993

Susie Underberg Flegel

1992

Alison Schmidt

1991

Jeanine Semon

1990

Joyce Winter

1989

Christine Buth-Furness

1988

Mimi Litschauer

1985

Jeanne Nikolai-Olivieri

2011

The McGlocklin Family

Pam McGlocklin, Meghan Lodes, Colleen McGlocklin

2010

The Etzel Family

Marian Etzel, Diane Harley, Janet Kenny, Kathleen Farvour

2009

The Wolff Family

Sandy Wolff, Robin Busalacchi

2008

The Wilson Family

Kate Wilson, Kathy Wilson Otto, Jennifer Healy, Kris Wilson

2006

The Herro Family

Patricia Herro, Susan Herro, Margaret Herro, Katherine Herro, Kim Verhein Herro, Janet Ann Kaldhusdal

2005

The Dalum Family

Maripat Dalum, Amy (Dalum) Sellman, Judi Taylor, Marikris (Dalum) O’Grady, Karen Dalum

2004

The Richards Family

Carol Richards, Nancy Richards, Karie (Richards) Stupek

*In Memoriam

2003

The Delzer Family

Mildred Delzer*, Lynn Delzer, Jane Delzer, Jan Delzer

2002

The Link Family

Marion Link*, Betsy (Link) Wolf, Anne Link

2004

Bev Chappie

2017

Kim Preston

Event Chair

Michelle DuBord

Executive Director

2016

Page Remmers

Event Chair

Kim Preston

Event Vice Chair

Tracy Wayson*

Executive Director

2015

Jennifer Thompson Davies

Event Chair

Page Remmers

Event Vice Chair

2014

Mary Lodes

Event Chair

Jennifer Thompson Davies

Event Vice Chair

2013

Linda Caldart-Olson

Event Chair

Mary Lodes

Event Chair

2012

Mary McNulty

Event Chair

Linda Caldart-Olson

Event Chair

2011

Meg Yost

Event Chair

Mary McNulty

Event Vice Chair

2010

Traci Huntemann-Piatt

Event Chair

Meg Yost

Event Vice Chair

2009

Lillian Boese

Event Co-Chair

Sandi Wietzel

Event Co-Chair

Beverly Chappie

Honorary Co-Chair

Marilyn Baus

Honorary Co-Chair

2008

Jill Blazek

Event Chair

Renee Ramirez

Event Chair

2007

Jill Blazek

Event Chair

Lillian Boese

Event Chair

2006

Lillian Boese

Event Chair

Kay Lettenberger

Event Chair

2005

Jill Haupt

Event Chair

Anne Styza

Event Chair

2004

Dwyn von Bereghy

Event Chair

Laraine O’Brien

Event Co-Chair

Bobbie Peters

President

2003

Linda Martino

Event Chair

Dwyn von Bereghy

Co-Chair

Gayle Becker-Protz

CEO

2002

Maripat Dalum

Event Chair

Linda Martino

Co-Chair

Beverly Siligmueller

Executive Director

2001

Anne Styza

Event Chair

Maripat Dalum

Co-Chair

2000

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

Event Chair

Anne Styza

Co-Chair

1999

Suzanne Frank

Event Chair

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

Co-Chair

1998

Deborah Wallendal

Event Chair

Jennifer Higgins

Event Co-Chair

1997

Pam Knoll

Event Chair

Deborah Wallendal

Event Co-Chair

Merry L. Jorgensen

Executive Director

1996

Laraine O’Brien

Event Chair

Pam Knoll

Co-Chair

1995

Karen Nelson

Event Chair

Laraine O’Brien

Co-Chair

1994

Wendy Florian

Event Chair

Karen Nelson

Co-Chair

1993

Susan Fronk

Event Chair

Phyllis Piano

Co-Chair

1992

Betty Willert

Event Chair

Susan Fronk

Co-Chair

1991

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

Event Chair

Lou Lyon

Co-Chair

1990

Judy Jorgensen

Event Chair

Ellen Morris-Gutierrez

Co-Chair

1989

Kristi Strode

Event Chair

Judy Jorgensen

Event Co-Chair

Victoria Wellens

Executive Director

1988

Betty Arndt

Event Chair

Kristi Strode

Event Co-Chair

Beverly Chappie

Executive Director

1987

Suzanne Frank

Event Chair

Betty Arndt

Event Co-Chair

Beverly Chappie

Executive Director

Jennifer Wall

President

1986

Robin Dorman

Event Chair

*In Memoriam

Jennifer Wall

Event Chair

Suzanne Frank

Co-Chair

Joyce Garbaciak

2005-2008, 2010-2012, 2014-2017

Toya Washington

2013

Betty Arndt

2009

Margaret Farrow

2002-2004

Jill Geisler

1991-2001

Nancy Chandler

1987-1990

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