YWCA Announces 32nd Annual Women of Excellence Honorees

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YWCA Announces 32nd Annual Women of Excellence Honorees

Categories: News


TOPEKA – YWCA Northeast Kansas is proud to announce the 32 women, staff member, and an “Employer of Excellence” who will be recognized during the 32nd Annual Women of Excellence Awards on Wednesday, September 16th from 6 to 7 p.m. This year’s event will be a LIVE virtual experience recognizing and uplifiting the stories of women whose contributions have been vital to the greater Topeka community.

“While this event may look a little different as we transition from a daytime luncheon to an evening virtual event, our mission remains the same: honoring the contributions of women in our community who get up and do the work. 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 16th,” said YWCA Northeast Kansas CEO Kathleen Marker.

“While this event may look a little different as we transition from a daytime luncheon to an evening virtual event, our mission remains the same: honoring the contributions of women in our community who get up and do the work.” – YWCA CEO Kathleen Marker

Melissa Brunner of WIBW will serve as Mistress of Ceremonies for the event which will include interactive programming with testimonials, a spotlight on the contributions of women in our community, and most importantly, the story of how YWCA Northeast Kansas has stayed true to its mission while pivoting to meet serious community needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.


The 2020 YWCA Women of Excellence Honorees are:

The full list of 2020 Women of Excellence Honorees

Abby Lear, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas; Andrea Bailey, Greater Topeka Partnership; Angela S. Dailey, Capitol Federal Savings Bank; Brie Engelken Parks, Advisors Excel – AE Wealth Management; Justice Carol Beier, Kansas Supreme Court; Cassie Weatherwax-Brack, Hill’s Pet Nutrition; Cherie Huffman, Security Benefit; Christina Schmitt, Envista Credit Union; Erin Aldridge, Junior League of Topeka (The Library Foundation); Inga Klahr, Kansas Gas Service; Jaclyn Mullins, MCP Group; Jacquelyn Russell, City of Topeka; Jamie Dempewolf, CASA of Shawnee County; Jana Tenbrink, Stormont Vail Health; Jennifer Cocking, Capitol Federal Savings Bank; Jenny Crowell, USD 345 – Seaman Schools; Jesyca Hope, Community Action; Joan Proctor, Office of the Kansas Attorney General; Juli Watson, USD 501 – Topeka Public Schools; Julie Phillips, Communities In Schools of Mid-America, Inc.; Katie Beach, Azura Credit Union; Kelly Pert, FHL Bank Topeka; Lacy Barnhart, CoreFirst Bank & Trust; Mary McDonald, Lawrence Gardner High School; Meg Wilson, Lawrence Gardner High School; Melissa Goodman, Mirror Inc. Federal Residential Reentry Center; Morgan Hall, Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office; Nikki Ramirez-Jennings, SENT Topeka; Staci Dawn Ogle, NOTO Arts Center; Teresa Baker, Housing and Credit Counseling, Inc.; Tish Taylor, The Family Peace Initiative; Whitney Casement, Law firm of Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, LLP.

A committee of at-large community members will review the applications of all honorees in order to select a Woman of Excellence in 5 award categories: Small Business, Large Business, Government, Nonprofit, and Education.

YWCA Business Manager Tammy Miles is the 2020 Empowered Leader Honoree

The YWCA Empowered Leader Award is given to an employee of YWCA Northeast Kansas who exemplifies our mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. This year’s Empowered Leader is Business Manager, Tammy Miles.

Kansas Gas Service will be recognized as this year’s Employer of Excellence for their generous support, continued partnerships, and commitment to YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism.

Proceeds of this event benefit YWCA Northeast Kansas’ transformative services in the 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. Tickets are available online.

Register for the event here.


Interested in a YWCA t-shirt, tote bag, or face mask? Check out our YWCA Merch Store. All proceeds directly benefit YWCA Northeast Kansas.



Allison Marker, Resource Development Director

785-233-1750 ext. 222