TERRE HAUTE —
Wabash Valley citizens have a new opportunity to recognize women who have made a positive difference in the lives of their communities through a United Way of the Wabash Valley program.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2012 Wabash Valley Women of Influence, to be recognized during a breakfast event in April.
The program’s mission is to recognize female leaders active in the betterment of their communities while also developing personally, said Lisa Johnson, chair of the Women of Influence committee,
Nominations are being accepted for women in Clay, Parke, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo counties in Indiana and Clark County in Illinois.
A woman of influence, according to 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.”
Johnson said the committee feels that many women meet that definition in some way, and she expects high volume of nominations to be submitted by the Feb. 15 deadline.
The nominations receiving will be distilled down to 25 finalists, who will contacted and apprised of their acknowledgment by their peers. Phase two of the program begins with those 25 nominees submitting additional information about themselves. The committee will select five to seven women to honor as one of the inaugural Women of Influence.
“We will have way too many candidates to make it just one woman,” Johnson said.
An audience of 500 is aniticipated for the breakfast recogntion event on April 19 in O’Shaughnessy Hall at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College.
“We want the colleagues and families of the women being recognized to be present, and to support their special women of influence,” Johnson said.
The program is an offshoot of the Power of Purse event that began in 2004, and which has turned into a huge fundraiser for the United Way of the Wabash Valley. That event celebrates the economic power of women.
“The Power of the Purse has become a very successful event,” said Rick Burger, who was a UWWV campaign chair in 2004. “What amazes me so much is how this community is a giving community. People really step up and donate to help others.”
The first Power of the Purse event had about 50 people attending, Burger said, but it has grown during the past eight years to take over the floor at Hulman Center. About 550 women attended the 2011 event, which raised more than $50,000 for the United Way’s Success by Six program for early childhood development.
After seeing the growth of the Power of the Purse event, and the birth of the Women of Influence, Burger said he expects another great philanthropic project to be developed in a couple of years as a result of the women of influence program.
Nominations should be submitted on the forms available online at www.uwwv.org or at www.wabashvalleywoi.com. The form asks for brief identifying information about the nominee and the person making the nomination, and also requests a brief description of why the person is being nominated as a woman of influence.
Johnson of the Terre Haute Economic Development Corp. chairs the committee, whose members are 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 and Lori Smith with GE Aviation.
Presenting sponsors for the Women of Influence project are GE Aviation, St. Mary-of-the-Woods, Tribune-Star, Union Hospital and Vectren. Additional sponsors are Frontier Communications, Duke Energy and Jewitt Printing.
Lisa Trigg can be reached at (812) 231-4254 or email@example.com.