Woman of the Year

2016 – 2017 SBW Woman of the Year
Mary Merritt
Congratulations!

Mary Merritt

Mary Merritt

Sedalia Business Women awarded the 2016-17 Woman of the Year to Mary Merritt. Last year’s winner, Carolyn Green, presented the coveted award during the club’s November public relations dinner held at Best Western State Fair Inn.

Merritt is active in the Pettis County League of Women Voters where she currently serves as co-president, and the Missouri League of Women Voters where she currently serves as vice-president. During this election year, she served as moderator of candidate forums hosted by the League to ensure hearing from all candidates who wished to participate. She encourages listening to all sides of an issue which helps voters make an informed decision.

In May of 2015, she received the Harriet Woods Community Service Award for outstanding service to Sedalia and Pettis County. She has chaired several community committees to help make Sedalia and Pettis County a better place to live, including Citizens for a Clean Sedalia where she made more than ten recommendations to the city council and all but one was approved. She serves on the Public Works board and was appointed to the Rental Inspection Committee. Most recently, the mayor appointed Merritt to fill the vacant city council seat in Ward 4.

She was an active member of American Business Women’s Association for over fifty-five years and served in many national positions. She was chosen as one of the top ten Women of the Year at the National Level. She has been an active member of Sedalia Business Women since 2012 following the demise of the ABWA Chapter in Sedalia.

Merritt graduated from Windsor High School as an honor student and received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Missouri. She began her career at Missouri Public Service and then worked as an Administrative Assistant to William R. Parkhurst, founder of Parkhurst Manufacturing, retiring in 1996 after thirty-nine years. She remains on the Board of Directors of Parkhurst Manufacturing.

Not being able to stay retired too long, she currently works as the office manager for Ragar Banners.  She celebrated her 85th birthday recently and is still going strong!

Congratulations, Mary Merritt, 2016-17 Woman of the Year!


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2015 – 2016 SBW Woman of the Year
Carolyn Green
Congratulations!

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green

Carolyn Green was chosen the Woman of the Year recipient for 2015 -2016.

She has been a member of SBW since 2001. During this time, she served one term as 2nd Vice President and two terms as Secretary of SBW. In addition to being an officer, she served on many of the committees often as chair.

Carolyn retired from the Missouri Department of Social Services in September of 2000 after working ten years with the Department of Mental Health and twenty-plus years with the Department of Social Services, with more than half of her positions being state level supervisory and administrative.

The very month Carolyn retired, she became the founding Executive Director of Child Safe of Central Missouri, Inc., a child advocacy center serving eleven Missouri counties.

During her tenure at Child Safe, her accomplishments have included:

  • Accreditation by the National Children’s Alliance
  • Member of Missouri Kids First, network of child advocacy centers in Missouri
  • Assisted in development of statewide database for Missouri’s child advocacy centers
  • Various fund-raising events, including the Annual Adult Egg Hunt, Annual Dessert Auction and others
  • Development of multidisciplinary teams in eleven counties served by Child Safe
  • Recipient of State and federal grants

In addition, Carolyn was appointed to serve on the Children’s Justice Task Force whose mission and responsibility is to assist the  State in developing, establishing, and operating programs designed to improve child welfare, in particular, the handling of child abuse and neglect cases, the handling of child abuse related fatalities, the prosecution of child abuse cases, particularly sexual abuse, and the handling of cases involving children with disabilities or serious health related problems.  The Task Force is also charged with the oversight and distribution of federal grant money and reformation of policy and State laws related to the improvement of the investigative response to child abuse and neglect and to reduce trauma to child victims.

Carolyn has always been a voice for children, and it is because of her tireless efforts, Child Safe is able to address the needs of abused children.

In addition to her two children, Brandon and Tasha, Carolyn has two grandchildren, Hadley and Riley.

The members of Sedalia Business Women are honored to have Carolyn Green as a member of our local Club and are pleased to present her with our Club’s highest honor, Woman of the Year.

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2014 – 2015 SBW Woman of the Year
Linda Alcorn
Congratulations!

LindaAlcorn

Linda Alcorn

Linda Alcorn was named Sedalia Business Women’s 2014-2015 Woman of the Year at the Public Relations Dinner Meeting November 6. Linda has been a member for 23 years and has served on most of SBW’s committees more than once. She is organized, dependable and completes everything asked of her in fine fashion. Simply put, she is that member that every organization wishes to have.

She has been a business woman most of her life, as she is the owner of Trans Central Suppliers. She and her husband, Norman, own and have operated Countryside Senior RV Park in Sedalia for over 22 years. She has three step-children and five grandchildren.

She has served on numerous boards, including President of the Missouri Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds for eight years and she served as Executive Director of MOARC for 10 years. She continues to serve as a member on the Board of MOARC, and has made numerous trips to Jefferson City and Washington, D.C. to lobby for MOARC and tourism in the State of Missouri.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Sedalia Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. The CVB is one of the boards that helped to promote the Fireball Run that came through Sedalia to bring awareness to missing children across the United States. Over the years she has volunteered as a Salvation Army Bell Ringer and at the Open Door Food Pantry.

SBW is honored to count Linda in our ranks of membership. Her contributions to our club and entire community are countless. On behalf of the entire organization, congratulations to Linda Alcorn for being named the 2014-2015 SBW Woman of the Year.

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2013 – 2014 SBW Woman of the Year
Laura Taylor
Congratulations!

Laura Taylor

Laura Taylor

Sedalia Business Women’s 2013-2014 Woman of the Year has been a face associated with State Fair Community College for forty-one years! We understand she may have started before that even, as a student employee. Laura Taylor has been a member of Sedalia Business Women since December, 2003, and we are happy to recognize her tonight as our Woman of the Year.

Laura worked as a part time teacher’s aide, then a part time instructor to a full time instructor for the business program. She was named Associated Dean of Academic Affairs in 2006, then Dean of Career & Technology Education in 2009. Laura was recognized as Instructor of the Year in 1992. Laura has since “retired,” but continues as an adjunct instructor at SFCC.

Laura started her education at SFCC and received both her bachelor’s and master’s in Business and Office Education at CMSU (now UCM) in Warrensburg.

Laura has also been active in the community. She has served as a Chamber Ambassador and on the Chamber Board of Directors, and has probably been involved in many more community organizations that we don’t know about. She has coordinated “Hire Attire” for SFCC for the past eight years.

Please join us as we recognize Laura Taylor as our Woman of the Year 2013-2014!

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2012 – 2013 SBW Woman of the Year
Dianne Simon
Congratulations!

Dianne Simon

Dianne Simon

Dianne Simon is Vice President and Property Manager for the Thompson Hills Investment Corporation in Sedalia, Missouri. Properties managed include the Thompson Hills Shopping Center; the Sylvia G. Thompson Residence Center, a skilled care nursing home; and several other commercial locations with retail tenants. She is excellent at marketing her employers business and following through with projects. Prior experience includes management of two radio stations and employment as a legal assistant.

A lifelong resident of Cole Camp, Missouri, Dianne is a daughter to Paul and Lillie Luebbering. She is married to Bill Barrick and has two children, Brandon, age 29, and Christina, age 23.

Community service is important to Dianne as evidenced by her own personal involvement. As a leader in the community she works hard in her endeavors and is excellent at getting others involved. She is a board member for the Base Community Council Board at Whiteman Air Force Base and Chair of the Sedalia Chamber Military Affairs Committee. In Dianne’s words “She believes in giving back to those who have given so much to protect our freedoms.” She is the current Chair and a founding member of the Sedalia Blue Ribbon Steering Committee. Dianne has also served as a Sedalia Chamber Ambassador and past Vice President of both the Sedalia and Cole Camp Chambers of Commerce. Diane is Vice President for the newly formed board of directors of Cole Camp Community Center. Dianne was awarded the Pink Flamingo award in February of this year in recognition of her contributions to the community

Dianne is a graduate of Cole Camp High School. She attended State Fair Community College and received her bachelor’s in Business Management from Central Methodist University. Diane finished her Bachelor’s degree while working full time, serving on multiple boards, volunteering her time for community events, caring for her family and to top it all off, in her last semester while studying for finals and getting ready for her graduation, she also squeezed in a wedding for her daughter.

We, at Sedalia Business Women’s organization, feel blessed to have Dianne in our organization. Dianne joined Sedalia local Business & Professional Women organization in 2003. She definitely didn’t sit idle on this endeavor. Dianne has served the Sedalia Business Women’s club in many different offices and has chaired many committees. In 2007 she served as our corresponding Secretary and continued to move through the offices to serve as our 2009-2010 President. During Dianne’s tenure as our local President, many changes occurred. We were faced with discourse between the National Business & Professional Women, State Business & Professional Women and our local club of Sedalia Business & Professional Women. In June of 2009, Missouri Business & Professional Women voted to break away from National. Many decisions needed to be made at our local level to decide where we wanted to be in the new structure. Dianne worked diligently getting all the information we as a local needed to determine where we wanted to be in the new structure. Her talents really shined as she collaborated to the state organization our local needs and wants. Dianne represented our club well and we feel fortunate to have had her talents during this time. Diane continues to serve on committees in our local organization and the state organization. She constantly strives to get others involved in the organization and graciously supports others through giving of her knowledge and time. She is a certified trainer of the Individual Development Program for Business and Professional Women/USA, and is the current Individual Growth Chairman for Business Women of Missouri.

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 2011 – 2012 SBW Woman of the Year
Nancy Grey
Congratulations!

Nancy Grey

Nancy Grey

The Woman of the Year for 2011-2012 is Nancy Grey. She was one of the leaders throughout our state’s transition from BPW to the vital organization we are today. She has been a force in our local club by serving as president, all the offices leading up to president, and chairing several committees. Whatever job she tackles, she constantly strives to do a great job and uses her enthusiasm to encourage other to participate. She freely gives credit to others for their part in any project.

Nancy was our 2007-2008 Sedalia local president. As president, she led our club well and constantly thought of ways to increase our visibility in the community. Throughout her term, she worked tirelessly to increase membership, promote individual development, and mentoring others within our organization and in our community.

Nancy is a great leader, but she will do any job that needs to be done whether it involves shivering while stuffing tissue into our Christmas float in an unheated building or perspiring while working in the hot kitchen at the chicken dinner. She didn’t let a little thing like major surgery slow her down either!

Business Women of Missouri was fortunate to have Nancy as membership chair during the struggle to continue our mission. As the liaison between the state and local clubs, she gathered and organized a multitude of suggestions and ideas. Her portion of the leadership conference was excellent and her great ideas have helped all Missouri locals build membership.

Sedalia Business Women showed confidence in Nancy by nominating her for state office with Business Women of Missouri. Her dedication to promoting Missouri women is demonstrated by her willingness to serve at the state level.

Nancy has embraced mentoring and goes above and beyond what most people would attempt. She conducted mock interviews for SFCC students so they would have a better chance of finding employment in the real world. She organized an individual development program for CASA and serves on CASA’s Board of Directors.

Of all Nancy’s accomplishments, the most compelling reason she deserves this award is the way she enjoys helping others succeed. Nancy wholeheartedly supports other women whether they are troubled and need CASA, are students with their future ahead of them, or women who are already established but need recognition and encouragement.

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2010 – 2011 SBW Woman of the Year
Donna Heembrock
Congratulations!

Donna Heembrock

Donna Heembrock

The Woman of the Year for 2010-2011 is Donna Heembrock.

She has been an active member of our organization since 1987. She is now serving her fourth term as Chair of the SBW Telephone Committee. While this is not an elected office it is one of the most important committees in our organization. Communication is essential to the operation of an effective organization and this lady and her callers do an excellent job of keeping everyone up-to-date with regular meetings and special events.

She served as an elected official (Assessor) for Pettis County for many years. This position was a responsible one that required attention to multiple details and employee supervision.

Following her retirement a few years ago, her new career turned into that of a community volunteer. Where there is something good and positive going on, you will find her helping out. While we are sure there are more, the following come to mind immediately:

  • Chairman of the Citizens’ Traffic Advisory Committee for the City of Sedalia.
  • Member of the Board of Directors for the Liberty Center Association of the Arts where she volunteers frequently
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Meals on Wheels
  • Member of the local Red Cross Advisory Board
  • United Way volunteer
  • RSVP volunteer, which covers a multitude of activities
  • Volunteers annually for the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival
  • Active member of her political party

Donna’s volunteerism, following a career requiring voter approval, illustrates the type of person she is. There are very few who are as willing as this lady to work for and promote activities in our community.

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2009 – 2010 SBW Woman of the Year
Rhoda Moore
Congratulations!

Rhoda Moore

Rhoda Moore

The Woman of the Year for 2009-2010 is Rhoda Moore. She is an independent, astute, local business woman who puts her heart and soul into giving and making the world a better place to live. She is family oriented while always making time for her friends and the community. She is always ready to help out and does not want to be in the spotlight. She is content to do whatever is necessary to get a job done, preferably from “not out front”. She is the person behind the scenes that will take charge and pull it together with a smile and a word of encouragement to all. She has a “Class” and “Style” all her own. She makes you happy to be around here her. She sets an example of exceptional service and caring and is a mentor to others.

Rhoda Moore is active on the Scholarship and Foundation committees and is so generous decorating our tables with appropriate decorations for our meetings and also works the chicken dinners.
She was raised in Morgan County Missouri. She was one of 8 children (5 girls and 3 boys) and she attended school in Florence Missouri graduating from Stover MO. She met her Husband and married right after high school. They have 3 children and six grandchildren.

Rhoda Moore lives at 2901 Skyline DR, Sedalia, MO. She and her husband Dave own Moore’s Green House, a local home owned flower shop at 3311 Green Ridge RD Sedalia. She is involved in BPW, PEO Chapter IP, Immanuel United Church of Christ, Sorosis, Society of American Florists to name a few; but she is a “behind the scenes” silent supporter of many, many organizations which she supports monetarily as well as donations or of flowers and plants.

Of all the qualifications for the award, the one that stands above the rest is her love and appreciation of people and her desire to go above and beyond to help and serve thru her business and personal expressions of caring. As Rhoda’s good friend Judy Holman says “every day she brightens lives with her gifts of flowers and personal notes. She and her husband take care of many areas in Sedalia thru their business but every day she is doing and doing for others – all things that go way beyond what would normally be expected.”

Rhonda sets a good example in the way she dresses – always festive, colorful and yet very classy looking. Her purses and accessories match the way she carries herself with that happy, self-assured and caring attitude that she has. She makes this a more beautiful place by the way she decorates and helps others. She is pure heart and soul with a great sense of purpose both for self, family, friends and the community.

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2008 – 2009 SBW Woman of the Year
Janice Cones
Congratulations!

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Janice Cones

On October 19, 2008 Janice Cones was recognized as Sedalia BPW woman of the year.

The lady we are honoring this morning as Woman of the Year joined our local June, 1997. Janice Cones says that BPW is “something I do for me.” Yes, she does it to gain friendships and to have mentoring and leadership opportunities. She has participated in many activities and conferences at the local, regional, and state levels as well as attended one National BPW conference.

Janice has given much back to the organization by co-chairing the Public Relations and Music committees and by being active on all committees on which she serves. She helped with the Mayor’s Civic Group activity at Katy Park, rings bells for the Salvation Army, helps with the chicken dinners, the Christmas floats and willingly serves when asked. She began on the executive committee as secretary and continued through the other offices and the respective chairmanship related to those positions and was president in 2006-2007 serving with the theme of Hearts and Hands Reaching Out.

Last year Janice served as MO/BPW Region 1 Director-Elect and currently serves as Region 1 Director. In this position she provides leadership to the 13 local organizations in the region by promoting the goals and objectives of BPW/USA and BPW/MO. She is the liaison between the local organizations and the State Federation.

Janice excels in being supportive and encouraging to new members. The year she was president she had a “sweet deal” for the new member and her sponsor. She presented each with her homemade fudge-what a deal that was! Somehow Randy Kirby got fudge, but his name isn’t on the membership list. Have to ask him how that happens.

Janice grew up in New Mexico and attended Eastern New Mexico University. She worked for EXCEL Corp in Texas first as a meat cutter and then went into their management program as a quality control technician. While she worked there, a number of United States Department of Agricultural (USDA) inspectors encouraged (she says pushed really hard) to take the civil service test to become a USDA inspector. After becoming an inspector, then spending four more years in Texas, she received a promotion in August 1996 that brought her to Sedalia. She currently is a Consumer Safety Inspector (better known as a USDA inspector). She is the inspector-in-charge of a plant at Warrensburg and another one in Clinton where she has to be on the “kill floor” to inspect all the animals when these plants process meat. Her boss, Dr. Hay, said he is very proud to hear of this honor we are presenting.

Janice is a single mother and is very proud of her twin daughters. She is very brave allowing her daughters to play on opposing soccer teams. She says that she is teaching them to remember they are part of a team and to practice good sportsmanship as opposed to “trying to beat your sister.” She supports her daughters, helping with Girl Scout activities and their involvement with piano and singing. They are active members of Broadway Baptist Church.

Her sister Judy Garcia and husband live in Grand Prairie, TX. Her brothers Roy and Mickey Cones live and work out of Fort Sumner, New Mexico. She has lost her parents and another brother.

Her sister Judy said “I think she is very deserving of the award and it”s nice to know that other people think so also”.

Yes, Sedalia BPW thinks Janice Cones is very deserving of being our 2008-2009 Woman of the Year.

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2007 – 2008 SBW Woman of the Year
Linda Fisher
Congratulations!

Linda Fisher

Linda Fisher

On October 14, 2007 Linda S. Fisher was recognized as Sedalia BPW woman of the year.

Linda Fisher, our choice for 2007 Woman of the Year has been a member of BPW since December of 2005. While that may not sound like a long time she has definitely developed a voice in our club. She is currently corresponding secretary. She serves on many committees and she serves our club as meticulously as she does with any organization she is a part of.

She actively participates in conferences and the committees she chairs and serves on. She is a member of the Red Purse Society, which supports Economic Equity for women. From this she has used her creative mind to come up with this years fundraiser for scholarships; the Mysterious Red Purse Raffle. This is a perfect association to what we hope to help our scholarship recipients achieve.

Linda is a graduate of Stover High School. She has also attended College of the Ozarks and
received an Associates Degree from State Fair Community College. She can be an inspiration to our scholarship recipients because she has received her Bachelors Degree
from the adult studies program through William Woods University. She managed to accomplish this while working full time and caring for her ill husband.

Linda worked for State Fair Community College in 1977. From 1978 to 1980 she worked for Walker Publishing which published the magazine Full Cry. In December of 1980 she started working for Central Missouri Electric Coop where she is currently Office Manager. She is a member of ACRE, which is an Action Committee for Rural Electrification, and of course she stays on top of any legislative issues facing Rural Electric Coops. She serves her office well, she understands the issues that face working women who are trying to raise children and care for their families. She is an inspiration to those who work closely with her, though she may not realize this.

She has been a member of the Alzheimer’s Association for approximately 10 years. She coordinated the Sedalia Memory Walk from 1999 to 2003. She managed to take the walk from a few people and few hundred dollars raised, to over 300 walkers and over twenty-five thousand dollars raised and she accomplished this in just one year. She co-coordinated the Annual Night to Remember Dances for five years. She served on the Alzheimer’s Mid-Missouri Chapter Board of Directors for six years. She co-facilitates the Sedalia Support Group, participates in Memory Day in Jefferson City, and is co-captain of “Jim’s Team” in the Sedalia Memory Walk. She wrote three articles for the Mid-Missouri Chapter newsletter.

She was nominated for the Maureen Reagan Outstanding Volunteer Award in 2006. She received a Proclamation Award on the floor of the Missouri House of Representatives in 2006 to recognize her volunteer work for the Alzheimer’s Association. She is an Alzheimer’s advocate who has traveled to Washington D. C. each year for the past seven
years to meet with Members of Congress and participate in the Public Policy Forum.

She is well traveled and likes to vacation with her family in Estes Park, Colorado. She has lived in Stover, Versailles, Sedalia, the Hughesville area and the states of Oregon and Kansas. She was married December of 1969 in Hawaii to her husband Jim who passed away in 2005. She has seven brothers and sisters, two sons, two daughter-in-laws and four grandchildren.

She also loves to write. She won first place in the 2006 Sedalia Book and Toy Short Story Contest, an honorable mention for flash fiction in Bylines and two honorable mentions for articles in the 74th Annual Writer’s Digest Contest. She has a short story in the Echoes of the Ozarks II and a short story and two essays in Well Versed 2007. She also did a guest column in the Rural Missouri and had an article printed in Full Cry magazine. In September at the 2007 Sedalia Memory walk she released her first publication Alzheimer’s Anthology of Unconditional Love. She collected and edited the true ‘slice of life stories’ of people who have been touched by Alzheimer’s disease and other similar forms of dementia.

She is also Membership Chair of the Missouri Writers’ Guild and a member of the Ozarks Writer’s League. She is currently working on a memoir.

As you can see our Woman of the Year is very active in the community and many organizations. She gives of her time and resources unselfishly and she is an asset to any organization she is a part of. She is very deserving of this honor.

We are very proud to present our 2007 BPW Woman of the Year Award to Linda Fisher.

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 Past Women of the Year

2006-07 Sue Parrish 2005-06 Nancy Gordon
2004-05 Ida Shephard 2003-04 Arlene Wischmeier
2002-03 Carla Young 2001-02 LaSondra Marsch
2000-01 Henri Etta Sanders 1999-00 Lynn Hatfield
1998-99 Debbie Ulmer 1997-98 Mary “Punky” McLaughlin
1996-97 Carolyn Chamley 1995-96 Cindy Weaver
1994-95 Irene Heck 1993-94 Neva Allen
1992-93 Dorothy Rialti 1991-92 Debbie Embry Fillinger
1990-91 Della Schnakenberg 1989-90 Donna Harrison
1988-89 Karen Steele 1987-88 Doris Tippie
1986-87 Peg Ferguson 1985-86 Mary Lalla
1984-85 Frances Summers 1983-84 Betty Blackwell
1982-83 Emma Lee Miller 1981-82 Anne Hamilton
1980-81 Lorraine Jackson 1979-80 Juanita Hood

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