2013 Women of Distinction to be Honored at Celebration of Service and Survival | Community Spirit
From: Elizabeth Fitzgibbons, Interim Director of Communications, Center for Women and Families
The Center for Women and Families will honor five Women of Distinction at its 26th Anniversary Celebration of Service & Survival on February 13, 2013 at the Louisville Marriott Downtown. The contributions of these women work in unison to improve opportunity, education and quality of life for women and girls in our community.
The honorees are:
Madeline Abramson: Community Volunteer
Madeline Abramson’s passion for public service led her to membership on the Boards of the Kentucky Center for the Arts, Maryhurst, the Pritchard Committee for Academic Excellence, Jewish Hospital/St. Mary’s Foundation, and the American Red Cross Louisville Chapter. In 2010, she was recognized with the Family Scholar House Lucy Award for her commitment to post-secondary education and equality for women. Her efforts with the Red Cross, Governor’s School for the Arts and Maryhurst have allowed her to connect with men and women who share a commitment to enriching the lives of their communities and fellow Kentuckians.
Dr. Renee Campbell: President/CEO, Wesley House Services
Dr. Renee Campbell presently serves as the President/CEO of Wesley House Community Services. She is committed to eradicating violence and abuse by promoting services that influence the development of healthy families, education and issues of justice and fairness. She is a founding mother and part of the steering committee of the Louisville Clothesline Project that brings attention to the widespread abuse of women. A motivational speaker, Dr. Campbell presented a seminar on Prevention, Intervention and Assessment of Family Domestic Violence and Abuse at a National Summit in Washington DC.
Susan Ely: Jefferson County Attorney’s Office, Domestic Violence Unit
In her role as the Division Chief of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, Susan Ely makes it her business that the system is both fair and fast as the law allows. She has dedicated her professional life to protecting victims of intimate partner violence and holding perpetrators accountable. She was instrumental in the creation of the Domestic Violence Intake Center, was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Enhanced Supervision Docket, and is always supportive of new initiatives that enhance victim safety.
Tori Murden McClure: President, Spalding University
Tori Murden McClure has long been a role model for women and girls in Kentuckiana. She served as director of the Women’s Center of Volunteers of America, a residential center for homeless women. In her current role as President of Spalding University, she supports scholarships, especially for women who are underprivileged and marginalized. Spalding University joined Mayor Fischer’s administration in the 55,000 Degrees project and, under Tori’s leadership, has committed $1.8 million in scholarships toward the mission of graduating Louisvillians from college.
Mary Gwen Wheeler: Executive Director, 55,000 Degrees
Early in her career, Mary Gwen Wheeler recognized that for women, education correlates with access to opportunity. She worked for 10 years as Project Director for the National Center for Family Literacy. In 2003, Mayor Jerry Abramson called on Mary Gwen to serve as Secretary for the Cabinet of Health and Family Literacy. In 2010, Governor Steve Beshear appointed her to the Kentucky Board of Education. She currently serves as the Executive Director for 55,000 Degrees, an organization in Louisville dedicated to empowering individuals through education. She also served as an original board member for Women 4 Women and continues advocating for the advancement of women.
The Center will also honor Janene Shakir, winner of the 2nd annual Joan E. Thomas Lifetime Achievement award which recognizes the lifelong efforts of an individual whose work has made their community a more peaceful, compassionate and equitable place to live for women and families.
Funds raised through this event allow The Center for Women and Families to continue serving over 30,000 individuals who need our services annually. Without support from generous community members, we could not continue our vital work advocating, fostering hope, promoting self-sufficiency and rebuilding lives for survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault.