Women across America achieve amazing feats- both big and small- every single day. Leading businesses; enhancing communities; making monumental discoveries. In honor of Women’s History Month, we're highlighting “Happening Women” from each state across the country.
ALABAMA: Juanita Graham
Juanita M. Graham is the Visionary behind Alabama STEM Education. While serving as Executive Director, her passion and advocacy for comparable education among underrepresented and underserved children in low-income populations, has lead a path for communities in Bessemer and beyond to help bridge the gap of STEM education. She believes that good education is the only way to empower children today to fight for a more sustainable and better future for the next generations. Mrs. Graham is an experienced enterprise applications consultant and manager with fifteen years of experience in business management and marketing. Mrs. Graham’s experience covers every stage of the project lifecycle from training to overseeing. Mrs. Graham bring to the team fifteen years of United States Postal service as operation support specialist, ten years as Broker/Owner of The Buyers House Real Estate office and continuous leadership achievements.
ALASKA: Lauren Padawer
Lauren Padawer discovered her business on a 2001 trip down the Copper River. After soaking in the glacial pool, she realized that her skin felt incredible. With a loan from her parents and two grants form the Alaska Marketplace competition, Padawer started Alaska Glacial Mud Co. in Cordova. Her company sells soaps and facial masques made with “mineral-rich and pure glacial clay in the world,” according to the website. She received a major boost to business after appearing on the hit show, Shark Tank.
ARKANSAS: Courtney Pledger
Hometown: Little Rock
Courtney Pledger began her career as an actress in New York and Los Angeles, but moved over to the production side when, on a trip to Upstate New York with a friend, she discovered the story of housewife-turned-activist Lois Gibbs. Gibbs' life became the subject of a 1982 CBS film, starring Academy Award-winning actress Marsha Mason, Lois Gibbs and the Love Canal (1982).
Courtney went on to produce various forms of television, including the Emmy-winning A Killing in a Small Town (1990), starring Barbara Hershey, the Challenger (1990) mini-series for ABC, and the ABC/London Weekend Television/Television France series, A Fine Romance(1989). During these years, she was a high level executive for several film/TV production companies, among them “Hearst Entertainment”, “The IndieProd Company” and “IndieProd/Rastar”. She later moved to London and, in 2000, partnered with British producer Sarah Radclyffe on “Jigsaw Films”. Jigsaw is currently developing a number of high profile studio projects, including “Cry of the Icemark” (Fox 2000), Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (2009) (The Donners Company/Universal), “Box of Delights” (Fifty Cannon Entertainment), “Kensuke's Kingdom” (HBO Films), “The Edge Chronicles” (Film Council of Great Britain), “Toad Rage”, “Pure Dead Magic”, “Little Darlings” andCherub: The Recruit.
ARIZONA: Elaine Kessler
Elaine Kessler is a “phenomenal business woman, mother and wife” according to long-time friend Tiffani Murray. Her thriving photography business serves the local community, professionals and anyone who is in need of her skilled eye behind the camera. She provides pro-bono services to non-profit organizations, such as Operation Love Reunited, covering homecomings and of deployed soldiers.and The F.I.L.M. project working with families dealing with life-limiting illnesses. Her images have been published in several publications as well as on CNN.
CALIFORNIA: Kate Schatz
Kate Schatz is the author of Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries Who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future!
Kate decided to write the book that she was seeking to own. As she says, “I figured there must already be something like this, but Google yielded few results. Once she began mentioning the idea to friends and fellow parents, it quickly became clear that she wasn't the only one craving some inspiring, diverse, cool-looking kid lit. The response was overwhelming.
Girls need strong, diverse role models, and they need to be able to see themselves reflected in history books and in stories of greatness and success. At the same time, boys need to see these stories of strong women, too, so that they also know that women are capable of anything. Again, these aren't just role models for girls—these are scientists, activists, artists, musicians, judges, and leaders whose stories can inspire us all.”
Kate is the mother of 2 children and is a writer, editor, educator and Chair of the School of Literary Arts at the Oakland School for the Arts, where she teaches fiction, poetry, and journalism to 9th-12th graders.
COLORADO: Anita Cumalat
Anita Cumalat is a woman with large heart and a solid passion for her community. She uses her many talents to contribute significantly to the public. Here is small list of the kinds of things Anita does: runs the food bank, Anita chairs all the baby showers at her church, works with pregnant homeless women, supports foster kids camp. Meanwhile she is an incredible merchandiser. Anita’s last bake sake sold $2,300 worth of cookies, cake in support of the Community Food Share in only 45 minutes! Anita is also a master seamstress and landscape quilter. Anita’s quilts often hang at churches and are requested by many. She is stand out in her quilting guild of 180 member because of her amazing talent but mostly because of her generous, giving heart. Anita is the woman behind the scenes that makes so many non-profits run smoothly and successful and any community that had just one of her would be a better place to live.
CONNECTICUT: Janis Collins
Co-Founder of The Refinery, which hosts a regional competition for the InnovateHER Business Challenge. The SBA is using this competition to locate and support entrepreneurs that create products or services that have a measureable impact on the lives of women and families.
DELAWARE: Rashmi Rangan
So, imagine you’re a single mother, working two jobs to pay the bills and cover the mortgage. Or perhaps you’re a newlywed couple or an elderly widow trying to make ends meet and you’re about to lose your home. What do you do? Who do you call? You go to bed each night in fear, wondering, “Isn’t there anyone out there who cares about people like me?” The answer is, YES THERE IS!
Rashmi Rangan is one of those people. As co-founder of Stepping Stones Credit Union and Executive Director of the Delaware Community Reinvestment Action Council (DCRAC), Rashmi has earned the reputation as a hands-on, in the trenches administrator, a rare and welcome management style seldom seen by the middle-to-lower income community. Spend five minutes with Rashmi, and that word becomes a recurring theme – community. Whether hosting a seminar on how to improve your credit rating or throwing a barbeque with a goal to educate her friends, neighbors and clients on how to go about buying a home, Rashmi doesn’t see people as demographics. They are simply, her friends – her community. And her life’s work has been to help her community regain control of their lives through financial stability.
When Rashmi isn’t enjoying the company of her granddaughters Adriana and Arya, she is tirelessly shepherding North Delawareans through the dangerous financial waters that often swallow the uninformed consumer. She is currently on the Community Advisory Board of Capital One, is a member of the Foreclosure/Mortgage Fraud Prevention Task Force, the Fair Housing Task Force and is a former member of the Consumer Advisory Council with the Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Read more from North Delaware Happening here.
FLORIDA: Maraya Pearson
Maraya Pearson is a mom of three and a fighter against human trafficking and modern day slavery. After working in corporate America managing multi-million dollar international strategic projects for Fortune 500 companies, Maraya became a stay at home mom, helped open the Dream Center of Tampa and is currently building a human trafficking healing center, called The Adsila Retreat, on 270 acres in upstate New York where leaders and survivors of trafficking will conduct healing and empowerment retreats. A collaboration with one of the world’s leading voices for human trafficking, GEMS, a world-renowned architecture firm Architectonica and an incredible Pennsylvania Amish Builder, Sylvan Stoltzfus Builders, Maraya funds her projects as personal charitable work and through her social enterprise Home CEO, an encouragement service for women, providing online training, printables and tools for the modern mom.
Anisa Telwar is the founder of Anisa International, a company that raked in $30 million in sales last year. The company supplies patented makeup brushes to the world’s most well-known cosmetic brands – from Sephora and MAC Cosmetics to Estee Lauder.
HAWAII: Karen Kriebl
A PhD in History from The Ohio State University, Karen traded in her briefcase and heels to bring her entrepreneurial talents to a Kona coffee farming community on the Big Island of Hawaii. While here she has run a farm household. She co-founded The South Kona Green Market, an all-local farm and artisan market that brings fresh local produce to our community. It now has 70 vendors who rely on it for their livelihoods. She founded and runs Luana Naturals, a natural skin care company and founded (with her daughter) a luxury lip balm company, Bihada and raised two fantastic teenagers.
IDAHO: Daphne Mallory
Hometown: Twin Falls
Born in Liberia, Daphe Mallory is making a difference in Idaho. She organized the first ever senior advisory commission in my city so that senior citizens can recommend ideas about how to improve the quality of life for other senior citizens. She sits on the board of the South Central Community Action Partnership that helps low income families build houses, weatherizes their homes, and feeds the hungry. She wakes up 2:30 every day to build the business so that when we get up she's ready to help us with schooling and social activities. She's covered in the national press alot. She also writes alot for our newspaper and Entrepreneur Magazine and she's new to the Huffington Post.
ILLINOIS: Emilie Shoop
Leadership and cultural development is NOT one-size fits all.
Emilie works with her clients to really get to know their unique businesses and what defines success for them. Once she has an idea of what makes them shine, she helps them build a voice for their leadership that reflects it.
As the Full Throttle Leadership Coach and Team Culture Creator, and founder of ShoopTC, she created Central Illinois’ premier team building event Rally the Team, in addition to popular programs such as “Lead Any Team” and “The Shoop Shift: 6 Gears to Rev Up your Culture, Team, and Leadership.”
INDIANA: Sherry Ocker
Sherry Ocker is an elementary school teacher in Evansville, Ind. who realized that her low income students were underserved, so she worked with her principal and other community leaders to create Westbrook Evolution, a tutoring program located in the middle of a mobile home park that housed most of the underserved kids. Whereas those 350 kids once had no homework help or reachable after-school activities, because of Sherry's work they now have a place within walking distance of their homes where caring adults are available to them daily. And that really rocks.
IOWA: Kim Reynolds
Kim Reynolds, a former state senator and county treasurer, serves as Iowa’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. She was elected Iowa’s Lieutenant Governor on November 2, 2010. Kim truly understands the importance of fiscal responsibility, job creation, education, and technology.
As Lieutenant Governor, Kim uses her in-depth understanding of Iowa’s small towns and urban communities to continually move Iowa forward with bold economic development initiatives. Since 2011, she has helped attract more than $9 billion in private investment to the state. Companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, CJ Bio America, Cargill, Mid-American, CF Industries, and Valent Biosciences, have chosen to locate or expand in our state.
Each year, Kim travels to all 99 counties and enthusiastically listens to Iowans of all ages. She actively seeks to learn how Iowa can become an even stronger state. Whether it’s meeting with women business owners or rural farmers, Kim embraces the opportunity to gain insights into their concerns or encourage collaboration.
Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds just went on a statewide tour in March to highlight how women are “positively impacting Iowa,” with the goal of setting up new “networks” of women who will mentor other women.
KANSAS: Janet Wright
Janet Wright is the co-chair of Women for Kansas. She has served in various non-profit roles most of her adult life as a volunteer and staff member, having recently retired as CEO of Wichita Festivals, Inc., the organization responsible for creating the annual Wichita River Festival. As a dedicated community volunteer, she has been a member and served on the board of directors of several organizations including East Wichita Rotary, Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau and the state board of Travel and Tourism. Janet is married and has three adult sons.
KENTUCKY: Victoria MacRae-Samuels
With more than 25 years of experience in the spirits industry, Victoria MacRae-Samuels holds the unique distinction of being the first woman to hold the title of vice president of operations of a bourbon distillery. Her job includes just about anything and everything to keep the Maker's Mark Distillery running smoothly and efficiently from long range and strategic operations for the facility, down to our day-to-day activity. Each workday is different and brings a unique set of challenges, and every day is spent managing a team of over 100 employees, accepting and inspecting incoming grains for production, overseeing distillation, bottling (including dipping!) barrel warehousing, shipping, quality control (taste-testing too!) and even the award-winning visitor and tour program, which brings in over 100,000 visitors every year.
As a prominent figure in what has traditionally been considered an ‘all-boys club', Victoria has surpassed expectations beyond belief and lives by her motto, “Always let your career be a reflection of who you are – not the other way around.”
LOUISIANA: Dr. M. Maitland DeLand
Dr. M. Maitland DeLand is a radiation oncologist who treats women and children with cancer. She is is the founder and former owner of OncoLogics, a group of cancer treatment centers in the southern United States. One of the leaders in her field, she is the chairman of the Health Education Authority of Louisiana Board whose mission is to promote medical education, research and healthcare throughout the state. Dr. DeLand also serves as a member of the BreastCancer.org Professional Advisory Board and has dedicated her career to helping her patients and their families lead balanced and rewarding lives. Dr. DeLand authors several children’s book series, including The Great Katie Kate books focused on educating children about medical conditions including questions on cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and asthma. She is also the author of Baby Santa, a series of children’s Christmas books, Busy Bees, and Fishing for Flowers. She will be releasing her first adult mystery novel this year.
MAINE: Melissa Smith
Melissa Smith is the CEO of the global corporate payments company, WEX, where she maintains operations in ten countries and more than 2,000 employees.
In her “spare” time, she also co-founded sheJAMS in 2010, an all-women training club, which allows women to train together in a non-competitive spirit and to share each other's achievements. She has been passionate about using fitness as a way to help balance her lifestyle for almost a decade. Training with her friends has filled both a social need as well as helped her meet training goals. She ran her firstof many marathons in 2004 and adding in biking and running in 2005. The active community has been an integral part of her life for almost a decade and she wanted to find a way to include more women. “Women individually accomplish wonderful things, but when you put them together; it can be magical.”
Melissa also serves on the Center for Grieving Children's Board of Directors and participates in the Executive Women's Forum, which she co-founded to provide a support network for female executives in the local community.
MARYLAND: Athena Saratsiotis
Athena (Tina) Kathleen Saratsiotis is an unsung every day hero, a caretaker that represents so many women who give so selflessly of themselves as a caregiver.
While away in grad school in Texas, Tina's battle with Schizophrenic Affective Disorder became so prominent she had to leave school. After returning home, she spent the next 20+ years caring for her father until his passing about 7 years ago in his mid 90s. She now continues to care for her 88 year old mother who is also dealing with vascular dementia issues as well as a congenital disorder which impacts her digestion. During this time she was also volunteering with the national Alzheimer's Association.
Tina has earned the reputation as the “the miracle girl” due to her level of recovery and functionality by her therapist, was finally able to return to work in a couple years ago. She serves as Project Manager for The P. Francis Murphy Initiative for Justice and Peace, the first job she's held since she was an undergrad. She continues to care for her Mom and coordinate care during the daily with a network of caregivers (non-agency) she found on her own. I can't stress how much courage and strength Tina has, fighting her own illness while caring for her two parents, totally on her own, having to essentially forfeit her youth for the care of her family and due to the pains of her own disease. She is the bravest woman I know who continues to care for those around her, keeping a positive attitude, always smiling, despite so many challenges. Her drive now is to try to find ways to help people like herself, those “mentally ill-but-functional” who face the challenges of trying to work and live successfully in mainstream society. She has done interviews with publications like SZ
MASSACHUSETTS: Pendred “Penny” Noyce
Pendred “Penny” Noyce is among a group of scientists, educators and writers who are making the world of math and science more colorful for the next generation. Penny, whose father co-founded Intel, was an internal medicine doctor before transitioning into a full-time author and science education advocate.
MICHIGAN: Shawn Duperon
Shawne Duperon is a a lifelong Detroiter who’s earned degrees in mass media and journalism and is passionate about the power of giving.
Her writing includes an upcoming book called “Changing Your Channels” that deals with media beliefs.
6-Time EMMY® Winning media coach & communications speaker Shawne Duperonoffers leadership keynotes, communication programs, marketing webinars, easy downloadable videos & online courses that have business participants keep coming back for more.
MINNESOTA: Jeanne Crain
Hometown: Minneapolis – St Paul.
Jeanne Crain is the President/CEO of Bremer’s Twin Cities banking group, a privately-held, $8.1 billion regional financial services company. Crain has nearly 30 years of community banking experience, working in a variety of roles in commercial and retail banking, as well as private client services. In her new role, Crain will be responsible for providing leadership to a banking group with $2.7 billion in assets, 27 locations and more than 300 employees.
Active in the community, she serves on the board of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association (MEDA), chairs the Basilica of St. Mary Investment Committee, and is an advisory Board member of Women’s Business Development Center of MN. She has received numerous awards and recognitions, including being named ‘Women’s Business Advocate of 2011’ by the Women’s Business Development Center of MN; receiving the ‘Women in Business Industry Leader Award’ in 2010 from the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal; and earning the ‘Top Women in Finance Circle of Excellence Award’ in 2010 from Finance and Commerce.
MISSISSIPPI: Dr. Mary S. Graham
Dr. Mary S. Graham is the president of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. A native of Mississippi, Dr. Graham earned her Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from the University of Southern Mississippi (USM); her Master's and Bachelor's Degrees are from USM as well. Dr. Graham's experience in master planning, leadership development, budget management, credit and noncredit instruction, public relations, legislative advocacy, human resources, residential student life, athletic and marching band programs have prepared her to lead this institution.
MISSOURI: Josey Milner
Hometown: Kansas City
Teen country music artist and anti-bullying advocate, Josey Milner. is a 19 year old, chart-topping country artist from Kansas City, MO, who's last release, “Cowgirls” reached #1 on the LA-based New Music Weekly country charts. Josey is also an anti-bullying advocate/spokesperson with Angels and Doves, and she works with the Shriners Hospitals for Kids, based out of St. Louis. She is also a freshman at UCMO, receiving straight As.
MONTANA: Jen Euell
Jen is a native Montanan and a long-time advocate for women and girls in Montana. She is the co-founder of the GUTS! (Girls Using Their Strengths) girls' leadership project and the former Program Director of the YWCA Missoula. In this position, Jen grew the program from one that served 10 girls per year to a program that now serves more than 250 girls per year. Her work has empowered thousands of girls and hundreds of women over the years. Jen is the Program Director of the Women's Foundation of Montana and is passionate about its mission to build economic self-sufficiency for Montana women and a brighter future for Montana girls. When not working towards this passion, Jen enjoys spending time with her husband John, 3 year old daughter Amelia and their two dogs, hiking in the woods near their home in Missoula.
NEW HAMPSHIRE: Elaine Hamel
Hometown: New Boston
In 1991, Elaine Hamel was determined to help a young neighbor (a girl whose parents suffered from addictions and had difficulty caring for her) go to summer camp. Elaine was then a struggling young general contractor unable to afford the camp’s tuition. So, she offered to teach campers how to build in exchange for her neighbor’s tuition. The camp director accepted her offer. That summer, Elaine loaded her truck with tools and materials, headed to camp, and that is how it all began! The girls at the camp were so excited to learn how to use power tools that they started building after breakfast and continued until dinner time. Many even built after dinner. They were unstoppable! Elaine knew that she wanted to give other girls this same experience.
Using timbers salvaged from a 200 year old barn, Elaine built a workshop where she could develop a building program specifically for girls. She knew from experience that girls can be inhibited when learning non-traditional skills, and in a setting where they are outnumbered by boys. In 2000, she proudly founded Girls at Work, Inc. in order to provide girls-only woodshop classes that empower girls to learn to build with other girls in a supportive and encouraging environment.
Since 2000, over 5,000 girls have participated in programs with Girls at Work, Inc. The transformation this program offers girls is breathtaking. The girls who stand tall and beaming with pride by their finished projects in the afternoon are an entirely changed group from the girls who walked into the work area in the morning timid, shy and intimidated. They are proud, confident, excited and powerful.
The mission of Girls at Work, Inc. has always been to provide programming for girls at risk: Girls in foster care, homeless shelters and low-income families, girls with incarcerated prents or parents in rehab programs. All girls at risk.
NEW JERSEY: Wendy Richardson
Meet Wendy Richardson, the owner of Software School Design & Training who has also devoted hundreds of hours to revitalizing Flemington. Hailed by locals as an energetic contributor full of clever ideas, Wendy has played integral roles in creating the mural to cover the front of the Union Hotel on Main Street as well as the creation of town-wide music festivals called Thursday Night Lights. Read more about Wendy on Hunterdon Happening.
NEW MEXICO: Nina Simons
Hometown: Santa Fe
Nina is an award winning social entrepreneur and co-editor of Moonrise: The Power of Women Leading from the Heart. She co-founded Bioneers, and has helped to lead the organization through 23 years of identifying, gathering and disseminating breakthrough innovations to re-imagine how we live on Earth and with each other. Currently, Nina’s focus is on inspiring leadership that connects women, nature, healing, diversity and justice. She co-founded Cultivating Women’s Leadership trainings with Toby Herzlich in 2006, is developing www.everywomansleadership.org, and co-facilitates trainings while speaking and teaching widely.
NEW YORK: Rhonesha Byng
A millennial on a mission, journalist and entrepreneur Rhonesha Byng launched a website based on her personal motto “No one Ever Slows Her Agenda” called HerAgenda.com to inspire and empower other young women to follow their dreams.
Her Agenda was listed in Forbes as a “Top Website for Women” and won an NYABJ award for the “Peek Inside Her Agenda” series that spotlights successful women across various industries. Byng's entrepreneurial work earned her awards from The Kauffman Foundation and Youth Venture. She was part of the 2013 inaugural class for the Mobilizer Academy, a leadership development program for millennials with social ventures. To date, Byng has hosted and moderated four sold out panels targeted towards millennial women, career development, and leadership. She spoke as an expert on “Millennial Women in Social Media” during Chicago's Social Media Week.
Byng was recognized by Clutch Magazine and Hewlett Packard as one of the top 50 African American women to follow on twitter and dubbed her a ‘Tech Tastemaker.’ As a journalist, Byng won an Emmy award as a field producer with WNBC. She currently works as a freelance multi-media journalist contributing to sites including The Huffington Post and Madame Noire. In the past, she's covered various topics ranging from breaking news, to music features, tech and culture stories for outlets including NBC New York, NBC News, The Grio, AOL Black Voices (theBVX), Mass Appeal, and Ebony.com.
Byng is an alumna Posse scholar. Through the Posse Foundation, she attended DePauw University on a full-tuition leadership scholarship.
NEVADA: Kim Amato
Hometown: Las Vegas
Kim Amato started Baby’s Bounty™ in Las Vegas in July of 2008 to address the rise in homelessness among families with young children. After learning about the increase in homeless families, Kim began investigating how often newborn children were being released from the hospital without the proper clothing and supplies for their health, safety and wellbeing. Hospital and Clark County caseworkers confirmed that many families were leaving the hospital without any supplies whatsoever for their newborn children. The infants had no safe place to sleep and no clothing or diapers.
Once Kim started collecting clothes and gear by reaching out to family, friends, churches, schools and anyone else who was able to help, Baby’s Bounty™ was “born.” Now, each baby in need receives a diaper bag filled with new and gently used infant clothing, receiving blankets, bottles, toiletries and any vital equipment, such as a pack ‘n’ play (portable crib), car seat, bathtub and a front carrier for a parent.
NORTH CAROLINA: Mary Lynn Schroeder
Mary Lynn started selling her handmade leather wares (journals, wallets, flasks, totes, etc.) on Etsy.com back in 2008 at 25-years-old, and now has an 11-employee Asheville, NC company with 350+ wholesalers. She did $720,000 in sales last year, leading her store to become the #1 leather shop on Etsy.com.
She has figured out how to make a living selling her art and continues to grow In Blue Handmade in new ways, including her latest venture- video production.
NORTH DAKOTA: Terri Zimmerman
Terri has wide-ranging business expertise working with private and public companies. Zimmerman has served as COO and CFO of several companies, including Dakota Technologies, Wamnet, and Great Plains Software. At Wamnet, she raised $300M, enabling the company to build one of the world's largest intranets and secure a $900M government contract. While CFO and Vice President of Operations at Great Plains Software, she had a leadership role in growing revenue from $25M to $200M and executing a successful initial public offering. Zimmerman was recently appointed to an economic development board by John Hoeven, Governor of North Dakota.
OHIO: Crystal L. Kendrick
Hometown: Cincinnati, OH
Crystal L. Kendrick has more than 20 years of global and domestic marketing experience. In 2007, she founded The Voice of Your Customer, a minority-owned marketing consulting firm. The firm works extensively with government agenices, non-profit organization and corporations. Under her leadership, The Voice of Your Customer was named the NMSDC National Supplier of the Year and the Cincinnati PRSA Small Agency of the Year. Prior to launching The Voice of Your Customer, Crystal held management positions at three Fortune 500 companies. She is an avid supporter of the Arts, higher education, tourism and the library. She holds a BBA from Temple University and an MBA from Northern Kentucky University. For her professional and philanthropic accomplishments, she has been named a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement, Business Courier Forty Under 40 and a Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Woman of Achievement.
OKLAHOMA: Sally Bentley
Hometown: Oklahoma City
Sally Bentley is the board president of Harding Fine Arts Academy Charter School in Oklahoma City and participates on numerous boards including Junior League of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, Oklahoma City Public Schools Foundation, Payne Education Center, Leadership Oklahoma City, S.P.A.R.K Program at Westmin-ster Presbyterian Church, Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education at OU and Visionary Women of Oklahoma.
OREGON: Angela Haseltine Pozzi
Hometown: Bandon Oregon
An artist and veteran teacher with 30 years teaching K-12, Angela set up WashedAshore.org a non-profit organization that uses the power of the arts to teach about environmentalism and pollution in our oceans and waterways. Angela design sculptures of fish and sea life made from marine and ocean debris mostly picked up on beaches. With the help hundreds of community volunteers, including students and seniors, she produces these large works of art which through her traveling exhibit teaches the public about the tragedy that’s killing so much sea life worldwide.
PENNSYLVANIA: Kiersten Ball
Hometown: Southampton, PA
Even when Kiersten’s health declined through college due to complications with Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, she remained focused on her goal, working and volunteering and ultimately graduating with a masters degree in medical science at the young age of 23. She immediately began working as a PA in cardiac surgery at a hospital in Northeast Philadelphia where she continues to work today saving lives.
In addition to working in the hospital, Kiersten often travels to third world countries to provide medical care to people without access. She’s involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Bucks County and the Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA).
RHODE ISLAND: Latha Sivaprasad
Latha Sivaprasad MD, FACP, FHM is senior vice president and chief medical officer at Rhode Island Hospital. In this role, she brings a depth of understanding of hospital administration as a physician executive with more than ten years of experience in large hospital settings. Her professional focus is on physician training, mentoring, and leadership development, and on streamlining health care delivery to foster evidence-based and patient-centered care, cost containment and a culture of safety.
The recipient of numerous awards for quality outcomes and measures, Sivaprasad is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine, and is a member of numerous other professional associations, including the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, the Alliance for Continuing Medical Education and the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She is a leader in system and hospital-wide safety programs—most notably in anticoagulation safety, blood management and surgical safety.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Tameika Isaac Devine
Attorney Tameika Isaac Devine made history at Age 29 when she was first elected as a member of Columbia City Council, becoming the first African American female elected to city council and the first African American to be elected at-large. She has also worked on local, state and national campaigns, to include the Presidential campaign of our 43rd President, Barack Obama. Mrs. Devine is a founding partner in the law firm of Jabber & Isaac. She is married to Jamie L Devine, a member of the Richland One Board of School Commissioners and the mother of 2 girls, Tamia & Jade and one son who was born into heaven in August 2014.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Twila True
Hometown: Sioux Falls
Twila True is a dedicated philanthropist, successful entrepreneur and Sioux Tribe member. True is a member of the Lakota Sioux Tribe from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, an entire Native American population living in conditions equivalent to those found among the poorest third world countries with an average annual household income of $3,500, a 90 percent unemployment rate, 70 percent high school dropout rate, a life expectancy of only 47 years for men, and the highest infant mortality rate in the world.
Having spent her formative years on reservations, True knows the courage that it takes to become a strong, independent, modern American Indian and has defied the odds with her multitude of business success. True is the co-founder, CEO and president of True Investments, LLC, a leading woman and minority-owned real estate private equity firm, founder of prototype nail studios under the Polished Perfect℠ by Twila True brand, founder of Love Without Boundaries – True Children’s Home and the founder of True Sioux Hope Foundation.
Knowing firsthand the unconscionable conditions in which the Lakota Sioux Tribe lives and with her unmatched experience, passion and business acumen, True founded True Sioux Hope Foundation with hopes to spread awareness of the conditions of the Pine Ridge Reservation and make impactful, permanent changes for the Sioux Tribe by fostering sustainability, education and immediate assistance.
TENESSEE: Marcie Allen
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
As a Nashville native, Marcie Allen, is one of few music industry execs with homegrown roots. Allen is a graduate of Harpeth Hall School and currently serves on the National Advisory Board. Allen previously owned event marketing agency, MAD Booking, and produced the summer music festival, Dancin' in the District, (2001-2004). Over 10k people attended the festival every Thursday night, during the summer, in downtown Nashville with an economic impact of over $10 million.
Allen's philanthropic efforts in Nashville run deep. As co-chair of WO Smith School's “Birdhouse Thing” (2006-2010), 75K was raised annually to contribute to providing music lessons to inner city children. Allen was also on the board Nashville based cancer research charity, TJ Martell Foundation (2009-2014). Allen currently serves as a board member for the Country Music Association (CMA's).
Allen currently splits her time between NYC, where MAC Presents is based, and Nashville where her husband and two step daughters live. Allen and her husband Derek Van Mol are extremely involved in the Nashville community including sponsoring Harding Academy's Annual Art Show where their daughters attend school.
TEXAS: Sharon Simmons
When Sharon Simmons’ nephew was killed, she channeled the pain into positivity and created the iGot’em app to empower people to fight against crime within their communities by uploading recorded incidents to the nearest law enforcement office. The application notifies law enforcement of the date, time, and location of the crime in progress. The combination of this information along with the general images taken by users will allow accurate reporting while protecting the identity of the user.
Using the iGot'em app will help you in reporting criminal activities whereever you are. This amazing tool is not a 911 app therefore the police will not be arriving once to click the send button. According to the FBI preliminary figures show that law enforcement agencies across the country shown an overall decrease of nearly 5 percent in the number of violent crimes brought to their attention for the first six months of 2014 when compared with figures reported for the same time in 2013.
UTAH: Angela Martindale
Hometown: Salt Lake City
Angela Martindale, a Salt Lake City resident, has made it her business to bring nutrition education to families in Salt Lake City, UT through her Meals That Transform services. Offering customized, handmade organic meals and snacks to families in the area, Martindale makes more than 3400 meals/week in her Holladay, UT kitchen. As the winner of the Best of SLC award for Nutrition services, her meals are so in demand, that Sundance Film Festival celebrities request them for door delivery and party catering when they are in town. She also makes it a point to teach children the importance of healthy habits as part of the EATS, (Eating Awesome Things at School) program in the Park City School District, and offers healthy cooking classes and retreats to tens and adults as part of her outreach.
VERMONT: Sarah McCall
VIRGINIA: Susan Greenbaum
Susan is a singer-songwriter based in Richmond, Va. Susan Greenbaum committed the first sin of musicians: She quit her day job. After working as a corporate executive in Fortune 500 companies, Susan traded her power suits for performing. She has been singing as long as she’s been speaking, growing up in Kansas City, in college at Harvard, and in Boston and Richmond, VA. And now her tax return, under “Occupation,” reads, “Singer-songwriter.”
In December, 2012, Susan performed two record-breaking concerts as the featured soloist with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra; of her five songs with the Symphony, two were her own compositions, orchestrated for the concerts. She also performed in a sold-out show with multiple Grammy winner Jason Mraz, other Virginia songwriters, and 150 talented kids of all abilities, in support of SPARC—School for the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community.
Susan recently released her CD, “This Life,” on Compass Records Group. It is her fifth recording, and her first on Compass. The recording is already receiving significant national airplay on Americana, folk and country stations. Producers Alison Brown and Garry West were so pleased with the recording once it was completed that they decided to sign Greenbaum to their label. Country/Americana music website “Roughstock” calls her “a songwriting talent to be reckoned with,” comparing her writing and singing to Mary Chapin Carpenter and Bonnie Raitt. And The Australian, the largest paper in Australia, has this to say about “This Life”: “Greenbaum writes intelligent yet refreshingly uncomplicated and honest lyrics that relate to her life but resonate in a wider context.”
WASHINGTON: Jme Thomas
Hometown: Redmond, WA
Jme has been volunteering 80 to 100 hours a week as the Executive Director of Motley Zoo Animal Rescue (www.motleyzoo.org) since inception in 2009. She has personally fostered over 900 animals and manage over 150 volunteers. Since founding, Motley Zoo has rescued and rehomed over 1500 animals and even started a dog daycare to help raise funds for the rescue animals.
Her viral marketing campaign has led Motley’s animals to meet musicians and artists that Jme names them after, including Snoop Dogg, Macklemore, ZZ Top, Slayer, Rob Zombie and many other artists. This has become a literally “rockin” way to help connect with a new audience to find new homes for their animals.
WASHINGTON DC: Sara J. Bloomfield
Hometown: Washington DC
Sara J. Bloomfield has led the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for 15 years, working to build a global institution that raises Holocaust awareness, deepens understanding of the lessons of the Holocaust, confronts denial, and advances genocide prevention. She serves on the International Auschwitz Council, the board of the International Council of Museums/USA (ICOM/USA), and the advisory board of the Robert Bernstein Institute for Human Rights at New York University School of Law. She is a recipient of the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and four honorary doctorates. She joined the planning staff of the Museum in 1986 when it was a project in development and served in a variety of roles before becoming director in 1999.
WEST VIRGINIA: Susan Haywood
First picking up a mountain bike in 1991, Sue developed her grassroots and gritty style in the mountains and mud of West Virginia. Sue went on to race professionally for over 10 years on the National and World Cup Circuits. She raced on the prestigious Trek/Volkswagen for most of her pro career. She has 4 National Championships to her credit as well as a World Championship in 24 Hour Solo racing. She is known for her love of riding over rocks and being successful at many different types of racing and riding.
One thing has remained constant over the years…her strong love of riding her mountain bike. She believes nothing is better than a day in the mountains on a bike with friends.
Sue continues to race special select races to keep herself fit and challenged. She also shares her knowledge with other riders through race coaching and mountain bike skills clinics. It makes her happy to see people achieve their riding and racing goals while having fun doing it.
WISCONSIN: Tammy Salmon-Stephens
Tammy Salmon-Stephens is the director of the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science Student Success Programs, which is made up of the EMS Advising, Women in EMS, CenterPOINT and Menominee Nation programs. She is a UW-Platteville alumna who majored in industrial engineering. She also holds a master’s degree in engineering and began her professional career with Perry Graphic Communications before returning to Platteville to work as a professional.
WYMOMING: Lisa Johnson
Lisa Johnson, a 22-year economic development professional, is the Wyoming Business Council’s new Southeast Wyoming regional director.
Johnson will work on the front lines with businesses, local governments and local economic development organizations in Goshen, Laramie, Albany and Platte counties. She will assist in business retention, expansion and recruitment, and deliver the many Business Council programs and services.