As the lights dimmed, the spotlights shined, and the trumpets sounded, mistress of ceremonies Carol Daniels, KMOX Radio, asked the audience of more than 800 friends, family and colleagues to join her in welcoming the 2015 Women of Achievement. Unlike previous years, the honorees emerged from back stage and took their places to a thunderous ovation.

The annual awards luncheon, held at the Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, recognized this year’s group for their unselfish, impressive volunteer efforts, which have influenced so positively the well-being and welfare of the St. Louis region and those who live here. Equally significant, the event celebrated the Women of Achievement’s 60th Anniversary.

This 2014 Class of Honorees included these 10 exemplary volunteers from the St. Louis metropolitan region: Carol Bartle – Community Betterment, Lise Bernstein – Social Justice, Sara Burke – Cultural Enrichment, Maxine Clark – Educational Leadership, Betsy Douglass – Educational Empowerment, Ghazala Hayat, M.D. – Multicultural Leadership, Lee Etta Hoskins – Youth Enrichment, Carol B. Loeb – Educational Philanthropy, Sheri Sherman – Humanitarian Concerns, and Pamela Talley – Community Advocacy.

“Volunteering remains a vital part of the community,” asserted Women of Achievement President Nanci A. Bobrow, Ph.D. “For the past 60 years Women of Achievement has been recognizing the indelible impact and value of these volunteer leaders by honoring and thanking them publicly for their selfless contributions of energy, leadership and time. The honorees’ service has impacted thousands of lives, and changed the cultural and social landscape of the St. Louis region. The health, functioning and survival of a community rely on volunteer donations of services, time and resources, which represent an incredible economic savings and value to our community.”

“This year’s luncheon represented a very special and unique one,” emphasized Karen Castellano, chair of the 2015 Luncheon. “We had a truly extraordinary class of honorees whose volunteer service ranges from civic work to educational equality to the arts, and the luncheon showcased the honorees’ diversity of volunteer experience in a video highlighting their work. It also was Women of Achievement’s 60th anniversary; so some of our oldest honorees attended to support the new class of honorees.”

Women of Achievement honorees are selected from nominations from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career. Women of Achievement considers nominees with significant volunteer impact in areas
such as, but not limited to, education, arts, health and human services, youth and family, philanthropy, social justice and advocacy.

In 1955, the St. Louis-Globe Democrat newspaper created an awards program, that became known as the Women of Achievement Award, to recognize and honor the achievements of women who, through their volunteer efforts, have demonstrated their dedication and commitment to improving the quality of life in the St. Louis community. The St. Louis Women of Achievement organization, a 501c3, not-for-profit organization, was established in 1993 by former Women of Achievement who wanted to ensure the longevity of the award for future generations of St. Louis area women.

The organization’s Board of Directors, comprised of past recipients of the award, continue to plan and implement the nomination, selection, and presentation process. They intend to guarantee that this award will perpetuate and acknowledge the women volunteers in the St. Louis metropolitan region, who positively impact the community, for many years to come.