Posts Tagged Women of Excellence

Enter Your Nomination for Women of Excellence 2019


You can already see her in your mind’s eye. She’s the advocate for struggling new mothers. She’s the educator who tirelessly serves her students. She’s the volunteer that’s always working until the floor is swept and the last chair is stacked. She’s the epitome of service. You already know you’ll nominate her for the 2019 Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon.

Nomination forms for the 2019 Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon can be obtained by calling 816-232-4481, emailing, or visiting our website at  Nominations may be submitted via email, fax, mail or hand delivery, but must be received no later than March 15 at YWCA St. Joseph. Any questions related to the nominations may be directed to Mindy Grooms.

Your nomination for a Women of Excellence award may fit into one or more of several categories: Workplace, Leadership, Volunteerism or Emerging Leader. In addition, you may nominate a business as an Employer of Excellence and local high school counselors will nominate Future Leaders for the luncheon.

Once the nominations are submitted, one woman in each category will be selected by a diverse committee of community members with a variety of backgrounds. In order to preserve an impartial award process, the names of nominees are concealed throughout each step.

On May 8, nominees will be invited to be recognized at a reception at the YWCA and are also invited to attend the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon, where the winners of the awards will be announced.

This year’s luncheon will take place Thursday, June 20 at the Civic Arena, where the community will gather to celebrate the service and accomplishments of area women. Leaders of local businesses, educators and volunteers will be celebrated for their tireless work improving the lives of others.

All attendees at the Women of Excellence event will enjoy hearing from this year’s keynote speaker, Monique Holland. Monique is currently the Senior Associate Athletic Director for the Student-Athlete Experience at Auburn University. As a 1990 graduate of Central High School and a St. Joseph native, Monique personifies the heart of Women of Excellence. Her story will be the highlight of the luncheon.

Mark your calendar now to attend the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon. Tables of 10 are available for $400, but individual reservations are also sold for $40, with reservations accepted until June 7.

Nominate your choice as a Women of Excellence today and we’ll see you on Thursday, June 20 at the Civic Arena!

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Join us at the Women of Excellence Luncheon on Thursday, June 21

YWCA St. Joseph’s Annual Women of Excellence Brings Community Together

The YWCA St. Joseph is preparing a special afternoon for you. Join us to celebrate the annual Women of Excellence Luncheon on Thursday, June 21, as members of the community will gather at the Civic Arena to honor the contributions of women who are making St. Joseph a great place to live and work.

The Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon is a tradition that recognizes the efforts of women in the region, but it also inspires others to follow their example and continue the legacy of empowering and equipping women to fulfill their passions in work and volunteerism. It is an event that celebrates the role each member of the community can play in creating opportunities for hope in others.

The 2018 Women of Excellence Luncheon welcomes Kelly Griffith-Bauer, MD, who is a St. Joseph native and 1996 graduate of Central High School, as the keynote speaker. Kelly overcame incredible odds to create a career in dermatology, with a specialty in oncology and surgery. Her story of persisting through personal challenges personifies the spirit of Women of Excellence and will encourage and inspire her audience.

In addition to enjoying Kelly’s story, the luncheon awards will recognize contributions to the community in the following categories:

  • Emerging Leader
  • Future Leader
  • Woman in Support Services
  • Woman in the Workplace
  • Woman in Volunteerism
  • Employer of Excellence

Also recognized will be Helen Washington and Sharon Kosek, Ed.D. with Lifetime Achievement Awards. These awards are presented to women that demonstrate a lifelong commitment to serving others in the pursuit of improving the St. Joseph community. They serve as role models to others and encourage coming generations to continue their work.

The luncheon is also a time of remembrance, providing an opportunity to show gratitude for the service of those that have passed away. The contributions of June Rose Tibbetts Craig and Janice M. Saxton will be honored with an In Memoriam for their outstanding gifts of time and talents to the community.

Call today to check availability for remaining seats:  816-232-4481.

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The YWCA Will Honor Two Women for Lifetime Service to Our Community at Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon

Women of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award Winners Have Made a Lasting Impact in Our Community

On Thursday, June 21, the St. Joseph community will gather to celebrate the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon at the downtown Civic Arena. The luncheon marks the 17th annual event, which honors women in the community whose service in professional and volunteer roles helps to make St. Joseph a better place.

Each year, Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to women in the community who have made service a central focus of their lives and have significantly impacted the St. Joseph area with their efforts. This year, two outstanding women are being recognized with Lifetime Achievement Awards as Women of Excellence: Helen Washington and Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.

Helen Washington

Helen Washington has spent the last 30 years inspiring and equipping children to embark on a bright future. From her work in early childhood at InterServ and as a Head Start lead teacher, to her most recent position as the Bartlett Center’s Youth Director, Helen has always drawn children close. Whether they have no adult role models, are in need of food or clothing, or simply need someone to listen to them, Helen has filled that void for countless children.

Helen has also carried her love for children into her volunteerism and private life. She has worked tirelessly to support causes for the youth of St. Joseph and is an advocate for the preservation of Black History in St. Joseph. One of her most memorable efforts was the founding of O-RAP, which inspired 25 women living in the Oak Ridge Apartments to change their lifestyles and make a positive impact in their community.

Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.

Sharon Kosek, Ed.D.’s enthusiasm for the St. Joseph community is evident in everything she touches. She’s an advocate for the arts, working to promote the interests of the St. Joseph Symphony, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art and the St. Joseph Performing Arts Association, among others. She credits her dedication to the arts to her lifelong delight in music, from hearing the music of her uncle and mother to participating in high school marching and concert bands.

In her professional life, Sharon has never settled for simply meeting the expectations of the job. As the St. Joseph School District Business Chairperson, she wrote curriculum, coordinated the efforts of 27 teachers across the district and purchased materials for the department. She also spearheaded an effort to make Personal Finance a requirement for high school graduation in the State of Missouri.

Sharon’s love of St. Joseph is evident in her long list of volunteer efforts in the area. She is also proud of her two daughters, who both have successful careers in the medical field, and her three grandchildren. Sharon’s excellence reaches every area of her life, and the recipient of this Women of Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award is a treasure for the community.

To learn more about the 2018 Women of Excellence luncheon or to register for the event, contact the YWCA of St. Joseph.

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Join us for the Women of Excellence Luncheon on June 15

Recognizing Outstanding Women in Our Community

Each year, the YWCA puts the spotlight on leaders at our Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon that draws hundreds of community members. In 2016, the number of attendees topped 1,000, and organizers expect 2017 to be an even bigger event.

The Women of Excellence luncheon is a way to recognize the outstanding contributions of women in the region, but it also provides inspiration to spur more community involvement, more volunteerism and encouragement in the empowering and equipping of local women.

This year’s event will take place Thursday, June 15 at 11:30 a.m. at the Civic Arena in downtown St. Joseph. The YWCA welcomes Col. Grace Link, Director of Staff for the Missouri Air Guard, as the keynote speaker. Link is the Senior Advisor to the Adjutant General, and is responsible for coordinating joint military function as well as strategies designed to support the 2,300 airmen and women stationed in Missouri.

In addition to Link’s keynote address, the Women of Excellence luncheon will include recognition of leaders in the community. One award will be presented in each of the following categories:

  • Emerging Leader
  • Future Leader
  • Woman in Support Services
  • Woman in the Workplace
  • Woman in Volunteerism
  • Employer of Excellence

The YWCA will also recognize two women with Lifetime Achievement Awards, Dorothy Wenz and Julia Schneider. This award is given to women that have committed many hours over their lives to serving and improving the St. Joseph community and are role models for other women.

The Women of Excellence luncheon provides an opportunity to honor those women that have passed away, but leave a legacy of service for the women in the region. This year, the YWCA will honor five outstanding lives: Muriel Ann Guffey, Grace Day, Shirley Wyeth Bradley, Constance Marie Monroe and Geraldine Robinson.

Make plans now to join us at the luncheon. Not only will you enjoy a delicious meal, you’ll be inspired and encouraged as we celebrate the contributions of local women to the community. Make your reservation today!

Note: Don’t miss the YWCA Patron’s Party, held June 14 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Reservations are due to the YWCA at 232-4481 on or by June 9. Enjoy this wonderful St. Joseph residence and garden as we celebrate everything the Women of Excellence event means!

Can’t attend the Women of Excellence event? You can participate by donating to Steve’s Centerpiece Challenge, by bidding on a Punta Mita dream vacation or a designer purse! Visit the YWCA bidding page today.

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Women of Excellence Celebrates Women in the Community

Plan Now to Take Part in the Annual Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon

women of excellenceAt the YWCA St. Joseph, our work to fulfill our mission celebrates the impact women make each day of the year. One day each summer, however, is set aside as the YWCA pauses to officially honor and celebrate women who are leading the way in a variety of roles. We recognize women as business and community leaders, volunteers, leaders in support services and more at the annual Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon.

Make plans now to be part of this outstanding event held June 20, 2019, at the St. Joseph Civic Arena. This year’s keynote speaker is Monique Holland. Monique holds a master’s degree in sports administration and a Bachelor of Science in therapeutic recreation. In 2018, she became Senior Associate Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Experience at Auburn.

We will present nominees in designated categories:  Lifetime Achievement; Woman in the Workplace; Woman in Volunteerism; Woman in Support Services; Employer of Excellence; Emerging Leader and Future Leader. It is also a time to raise financial support for the critical services we provide in our community, and to hear a YWCA success story that inspires all of us to keep moving forward. Note: Each year, there are a few surprises…including very special cupcakes and a most memorable centerpiece table auction!

How You Can be a Part

You can nominate an outstanding woman by going to our website and clicking on the online nomination form. Printable nomination forms are also available online. You’ll have the opportunity to briefly tell us how the woman you know is making a positive difference and exhibiting excellence in her field or role. All nominations are due Friday, March 17, 2017.

Another way to be part of this great event is to act as a sponsor. We accept sponsorship’s on many different levels, and it’s a great way to support the YWCA mission while also presenting your business name in front of 1,200 guests.  If you would like to support the Women of Excellence event, sponsorship information is available on our website.

Come Join Us

A great way to be part of the Women of Excellence event is to come join us. In years past, we’ve hosted over 1,000 guests at luncheons. We hope to see even more attendees this year! Tables and tickets will be available soon. Mark your calendars, and share with your friends today!

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Women in Leadership Are Making a Difference in the Community

Women in Leadership Are Making a Difference in the Community

Three Common Traits Leaders Share

A leader doesn’t always wear a recognizable title. They do, however, wear a recognizable character. They are passionate and active. They take action in order to see community issues resolved. These leaders can be male or female, young or old, employed or volunteers. Women in leadership roles are making a difference in our community every day, and here are a few important keys about leadership as we approach the 15 anniversary event of the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon on June 16, 2016.

Leading Requires Action (not Perfection)
Some people may shy away from stepping forward because they feel inadequate to lead. Nonetheless, history is full of tales of those who took action because they cared, not because they felt prepared. You may not feel equally passionate about every issue, but there is probably some issue that evokes an emotional response inside you. That issue likely concerns others, too, but they are waiting for someone to spearhead a response. There are women in leadership positions on many issues who are considered leaders not because they started out as experts, but because they were dedicated to seeing a problem resolved.

Leading Requires Identifying Issues
You can lead from anywhere. You can be the one who identifies and articulates a concern and then builds a team to address that concern. That means school teachers can inspire parents and fellow-teachers. Volunteers can advocate and work for change. Mothers can ignite other moms to action. Employees can affect the workplace or how the company interacts with the community. Leadership often happens right where you are.

Leading Requires Learning as You go
Some people are natural leaders but many people learn to lead as they go. That means that you may not know much about it when you start out, and you may fumble a few things along the way. Don’t hesitate to do something because you don’t want to make mistakes. People are waiting for someone to help them make a difference. Women in leadership are women who acknowledge that problem-solving will require learning along the way.

Here in St. Joseph women are making a difference in every part of the community. Every year in June, the YWCA takes time to recognize and honor some of those women. The Women of Excellence Luncheon on June 16 at the Civic Arena is our way of saluting women in leadership and, hopefully, inspiring more women to step out and lead the way in their own unique sphere. We invite you to come and join us this year for this memorable event. Learn more at

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Have You Taken a Moment to Celebrate the Women of Excellence in Your Life?

Have You Taken a Moment to Celebrate the Women of Excellence in Your Life?

Inspiring Characteristics of Women of Excellence

It’s good to pause from time to time and think about the people who’ve been especially influential in your own life. It’s also important to take time to recognize those who positively impact a community across their role as volunteer, friend, coworker, parent and leader. As the YWCA St. Joseph celebrates 15 years of the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon program on June 16, 2016, it’s a good opportunity to consider the hallmarks of women with influence. Here are a few common traits found among women of excellence:

Since no life, goal or pursuit worth following can be had without some obstacles it frequently becomes a matter of persistence to make goals become reality. A woman of excellence is not a woman who never stumbles, but she is one who keeps pushing ahead and perseveres through challenges.

Pursuing a Passion
It’s easier to stay the course when your goal is something you truly believe in. Being a woman of influence and excellence comes naturally when you are focused on and pursuing your passion. Passion is inspiring and can be infectious, and many nominees across the Women of Excellence program share a passion for a cause – such as helping children and families or becoming a role model at their workplace.

Positive Attitude
Women of excellence know how to remain optimistic even in the face of setbacks. Positivity isn’t intentional blindness to problems, but it’s a determination to believe that problems have solutions.

Keeping it Real
Women who impact others are women who know how to keep things real. Sometimes this can be done with humor and sometimes it’s accomplished with a roll-up-your-sleeves and get the job done attitude. People are drawn to those who admit their errors, can laugh at themselves and deal with others honestly.

Sharing Confidence
Tapping into confidence is a powerful leadership tool. Women of excellence aren’t looking around for someone else to do what needs to be done. They step in and believe that they can do it. Leaders with influence believe in the power of a single person to make a difference – but they’re also willing to share this influence with those around them so that positive changes can be carried forward (even without their presence).

Who has been a woman of influence and excellence in your life? What have you learned from them? Women who are making a difference right here in St. Joseph and the surrounding areas will be honored at the annual YWCA Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon in June. Women in all kinds of roles will be recognized as making an impact and inspiring others. It’s good to recognize their contributions, and it’s even better to become inspired to make your own life one that impacts others in positive ways. If you’re looking for a place to make a difference, contact the YWCA and find out how your talents and passions can become even more impactful.

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