TERRE HAUTE —
Eight women who have made positive differences in the lives of their communities will be honored next month through a new program presented by United Way of the Wabash Valley.
The inaugural Wabash Valley Women of Influence will recognize those eight women (see list below) during a breakfast event April 19 in O’Shaughnessy Hall at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College. An audience of 500 is anticipated.
A Women of Influence committee began seeking nominations in January, and received 41 nominations. Of those, 25 finalists were contacted and apprised for their acknowledgment by their peers.
“The nominations, simply put, are of high caliber and of diverse backgrounds,” committee chair Lisa Johnson said. “What is also exciting about the mix of nominations is that several came from surrounding counties.”
One of the final eight is from Sullivan County and one is from Illinois. The six others work in Vigo County.
“The caliber of women in our communities is phenomenal,” Johnson said. “It is certain the process of selecting honorees was and will be more challenging as this event grows. But, this opportunity to celebrate women is far greater.”
The program’s mission is to recognize female leaders who have grown personally while also leaving positive marks on their communities. The definition of a woman of influence, as stated on the nomination form, is a “remarkable leader, a passionate visionary, a fearless persuader. She is an open-minded mentor, a role model, always an encouraging moral example. A woman of influence is a humble innovator who accomplishes excellence while making a positive and irreversible impact on the lives of the people she encounters.”
The United Way of the Wabash Valley serves six counties in two states — Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo County in Indiana, and Clark County in Illinois.
Johnson said the committee knew from the outset that the Wabash Valley has far too many high-achieving women to narrow the selection down to one person. Even narrowing the field to eight people was difficult, she said.
This year’s eight recipients have been contacted by telephone and received a congratulatory letter about their achievement. Nominees not selected as finalists were notified by letter and were also telephoned. Johnson said that because of their positive influence, finalists who completed the questionnaire also have been invited to attend the inaugural breakfast event.
Funds raised from the inaugural Wabash Valley Women of Influence breakfast will go to fund programs of Success By 6, a program of United Way of the Wabash Valley.
Patricia Watchel, president and CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Indianapolis, is scheduled to be keynote speaker at the breakfast.
Presenting sponsors of the inaugural event are GE Aviation, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, the Tribune-Star, Union Hospital and Vectren. Underwriting sponsors include Duke Energy, Frontier Communications and Jewett Printing.
Johnson, who is employed by the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp., is joined on the committee by Janet Clark, Dottie King and Dee Reed, all with St. Mary-of-the-Woods College; Christi Fenton with the Vigo County School Corp.; Karen Lyles with Vectren; Kristin Marlin with Old National Bank; B.J. Riley with the Tribune-Star; and Lori Smith with GE Aviation.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or firstname.lastname@example.org.