Four receive Outstanding Women of Kansas Award

Photo courtesy: MGN
Photo courtesy: MGN(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 14, 2020 at 11:39 AM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The 19th Amendment Centennial Committee has awarded four women its Outstanding Women of Kansas Award.

The 19th Amendment Centennial Committee says it received a handful of well-qualified nominees from across Kansas for its Outstanding Women of Kansas Award. It says judges selected four women that stood out above the rest.

The Committee says Lori A. Boyajian-O’Neill, D.O., F.A.O.S.M., F.A.C.O.F.P, Judge Marla Luckert, Aryn L. McCoy and Michelle White “Miki” Bowman.

According to the Committe, the four were selected to represent the spirit of suffragists that fought for women’s right to vote. It says the four have served their communities well in the categories of service, civics and community, education and business.

The Committee says Boyajian-O’Neill received the Service Award and is the Director of West Sports Medicine Physicians where she specializes in the care of athletes and people of all ages with musculoskeletal conditions. She is especially involved in the all-over health of her patients with exercise as a goal to maximize health.

According to the Committee, Boyajian-O’Neill is known as a “physicians’ physician” and better known as a “compassionate doctor who treats her patients with the upmost kindness, is sympathetic to her clients’ time and works around their schedules and has a great bedside manner.”

The Committee says Boyajian-O’Neill is a member of the American College of Sports Medicine Team Physician Consensus Conference and a founder of Global Event Medicine which oversees the medical care of mass participation events such as USA Cycling, USA Triathlon, USA Volleyball and USA Amateur Softball. It says she has served as a physician at the Ironman Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, and provided medical care at the LPGA Northwest Arkansas Gold and USA Senior PGA. It says she has written scientific articles for the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, Annals of Emergency Medicine and Journal of Amercian Medical Association as well as others.

The Committee says Judge Marla Luckert received the Civics and Community Award and serves as Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court. It says she was chosen for her extraordinary commitment to justice and the rule of law.

According to the Committee, Chief Justice Luckert is the second woman appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court and has served in her position tirelessly. It says she organized and created the Kansas Women Attorneys’ Association annual conference in 1989 which is held yearly on the Bethany College campus in Lindsborg and provides networking opportunities for legal professionals in the state of Kansas. It says Chief Justice Luckert is a regular presenter and on its 30th anniversary, Luckert presented alongside her daughter who is also a lawyer.

Justice Luckert’s colleagues say she is known “...for helping to develop our state-wide legal and professional connections which has deeply benefited all of us as we pursue our careers. When the conference first began, women were not elected into leadership positions in our bar organizations. Now, there are women leaders aplenty in our local and statewide bar associations. The conference has attracted nationally known speakers and the programs held every year contribute to the professionalism of the lawyers in this state.”

The Committee says Aryn L. McCoy has earned the Education Award and is the Principal of Capital City Schools where she shows a passion and commitment for her students, providing emotional support and guidance to her youngsters, staff and parents. It says her motto has always been, “First, do what’s best for the kids.”

McCoy’s colleagues say they are touched by her inspiration and support provided to her students to strive for success. They say before coming to Capital City Schools, she served as head softball coach at Topeka High School for 17 years and taught her student-athletes to carry the zest for hard work, self-improvement and winning into the classroom. They say in her last five years of coaching all of her senior students attended college on softball scholarships.

According to the Committee, other than assisting and encouraging others, McCoy delivers a true impact on education. it says she is a strong advocate for equity in at-risk, educational settings. It says she has provided opportunities for deficient students to obtain additional credits for on-time graduation and makes possible additional opportunities for students to gain elective credits through courses that interest them, removing the stigma of “falling behind.”

The Committee says Michelle White “Miki” Bowman has been awarded the Business award and is a University of Kansas and Washburn University of Law educated attorney serving as Governor on the Federal Reserve Board. It says in April of 2018, President Trump nominated her to fill the 14-year term of Stanley Fischer on the U.S. Federal Reserve Board of Governors and occupy the seat on the Board that represents community banks. It says she is the first persona nd woman to fill the community bank seat which was created in 2015.

According to the Committee, Bowman has a long list of achievements. It says she served as the first woman commissioner to the Kansas Banking Commission and has held senior staff positions with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Department of Homeland Security during George W. Bush’s administration as Director of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary and Policy Advisor to Secretary Tom Ridge.

The Committee says Bowman also was an intern for Senator Bob Dole, served as counsel to the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and later was appointed to the Committee on Governmental Reform and Oversight.

According to the Committee, in 2004 Bowman started her own public affairs and consulting business, the Bowman Group, and chaired Republicans Abroad UK. It says she also joined her family’s bank, Farmers and Drovers Bank, as Vice President before being chosen by former Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to become the Kansas banking commissioner.

The Committee says those that judged the nomination process in Kansas were Diane H. Sorensen form North Newton, an attorney with the Law Offices of Morris Laing in Wichita and Sherri L. Wattenbarger from Overland Park, a trial attorney with the U.S. Departmetn of Justice and the Office of the U.S. Trustee.

“We need women who not only understand the greatness of our past women leaders but are also able to lead the conversations for women leaders of this next 100 years. The events will be open to all who are interested in participating without discrimination of race, religion, nationality, gender or political affiliation,” says Jan Henrie, Founder of the 19th Amendment Centennial.

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