TOPEKA, KS - The accomplishments of women in the workplace took center stage in downtown Topeka Monday.
More than 550 people packed into the Ramada Hotel and Convention Center for the 20th annual YWCA Leadership Luncheon. 36 female community leaders, seven recent high school grads and three employers were nominated as role models for women's efforts in the workplace.
Kansas Secretary of Revenue Joan Wagnon delivered the keynote address. She was the YWCA's executive director when the event began. She said, at the time, some supporters questioned whether they'd run out of women to nominate. Twenty years later, Wagnon pointed out, more than 600 women have been nominated, and she anticipates 600 more over the next 20 years.
Winners announced in various categories as Women of Excellence were Debbie Wolgast of TARC, Cheryl Creviston of ABWA Career Chapter, Marilyn Stanley of Housing and Credit Counseling, Lissa Staley of the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library, Mary Martell of Stormont-Vail HealthCare and Carrie Greenwood, the state's first Ms. Wheelchair Kansas.
The Future Leader, winner of a $500 scholarship, was Katie Oelke of Seaman High School. The Employers of Excellence were Saint Francis Health Care and the National Trailer Manufacturers Association.
The Leadership Luncheon is an annual event, serving as a major fundraiser for the YWCA of Topeka. 13's Melissa Brunner emceed the event.