YWCA announces 2021 Women of Excellence honorees

YWCA Northeast Kansas Women of Excellence Honorees 2021
YWCA Northeast Kansas Women of Excellence Honorees 2021(YWCA NEK)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 3:31 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - YWCA Northeast Kansas has announced the 2021 Women of Excellence honorees.

The list for the 33rd annual celebration includes 37 women. 13 NEWS weekend anchor Danielle Martin is among the honorees.

The women will be recognized at an event from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 15. The YWCA said the 2021 celebration will be a hybrid recognition ceremony to amplify stories of women whose contributions have been crucial to the greater Topeka community.

The event also will recognize the Shawnee County Health Dept. as this year’s Employer of Excellence. The YWCA says the agency was chosen for its dedication to cultivating a safe and healthy community and promoting inclusion in the workplace. The YWCA says SNCO Health also aligns with the YWCA’s mission through their work to consider racial inequities in all facets of public health.

“The 2021 Women of Excellence honorees represent the resilience and strength of our Topeka neighbors, showing us how to overcome challenges, lift up others, and Ignite & Inspire us all toward a brighter future. We hope you will join us for an extraordinary gathering of people committed to building a better community, centered on eliminating racism and empowering women through inspiration and focused philanthropy on September 15th,” said YWCA Northeast Kansas CEO Kathleen Marker.

13 NEWS’s own Melissa Brunner will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event, which will include interactive programming with testimonials, a spotlight on the contributions of women in the community and the story of how YWCA Northeast Kansas has stayed true to its mission while moving to meet community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to YWCA Northeast Kansas, 2021 Women of Excellence Honorees are as follows:

  • Lacey Bisnett, Junior League of Topeka;
  • Sherri Camp, Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library;
  • Rosa Cavazos, Greater Topeka Partnership;
  • Gillian Chadwick, Washburn Law Clinic, Washburn University School of Law;
  • Ashley Charest, Junior Achievement of Kansas;
  • Michelle Cuevas Stubblefield, Greater Topeka Partnership;
  • Kristen Czugala, Office of the Kansas Attorney General;
  • Ariane Davis, Midwest Venom;
  • Alisha Delgado, TARC;
  • Tammy Dishman, Capitol Federal Foundation;
  • Maggie Doll, Kansas Department of Transportation;
  • Lindsay Freeman, Kansas Gas Service;
  • Phelica Glass, LSCSW;
  • Danielle Hall, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program;
  • Mindy Hardenbrook, CoreFirst Bank & Trust;
  • Lesleigh Hodam, Derrick Hodam Farm Bureau Financial Services;
  • Jacqueline Hyland, MD, The University of Kansas Health System St. Francis Campus;
  • Brianne Johnson, Security Benefit;
  • Tracy Kihm, Family Service and Guidance Center;
  • Rebecca Kramer, USD 345;
  • Jessica Lehnherr, United Way of Greater Topeka;
  • Danielle Martin, 13 NEWS - WIBW-TV;
  • Connie Mason Michaelis, Just Now Old Enough;
  • Crista McPherson, The MCP Group;
  • LeTiffany Obozele, City of Topeka;
  • Stefanie Olson, Kansas Department of Health and Environment;
  • Tracy O’Rourke, Stormont Vail Health;
  • Alison Pollock, Security Benefit;
  • Dr. Lyn Rantz, Topeka Collegiate;
  • Yana Ross, Farm Bureau Financial Services;
  • Ann Shelton, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas;
  • Dr. Laura Sidlinger, Valeo;
  • Lauren Tice-Miller, Kansas State Treasurer’s Office;
  • Jennifer Vance, Envista Credit Union;
  • Amanda Wilwert, Foulston Siefkin LLP;
  • Reva Wywadis, Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas;
  • Angel Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Zimmerman, P.A.

YWCA NEK said a committee of at-large community members will review the applications of honorees and select a Woman of Excellence in five award categories; Small Business, Large Business, Government, Nonprofit and Education.

According to the organization, the Empowered Leader Award will be given to an employee who exemplifies its mission to eliminate racism and empower women. It said 2021′s Empowered Leader is YWCA Early Learning Center Lead Toddler Teacher, Nevaeh Edwards.

Proceeds of the event will benefit YWCA Northeast Kansas’ transformative services in areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human trafficking, early childhood education, before and after school care, racial justice and advocacy and leadership initiatives.

For event details, click HERE.

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