President’s Message: Congratulations to the Woman of the Year Finalists and Their Nominators

Information may educate us, but stories change us.  They are powerful. They connect us to each other and they call us to do more, love better, innovate creatively and serve sacrificially. Both the finalists and the nominators who told their stories are to be congratulated. The storytelling of the nominators convinced six independent judges that these five women should be in the spotlight, not to impress others but to inspire and encourage us.

These judges are not Women’s Roundtable members. They are respected and diverse women who considered, evaluated and found the gem in each one of these stories, found the passion and the service to the community that has transformed it in ways that many of us may not have ever known about had the nominators not informed us.

And these are only five. There are many more. Every year we only get to tell five stories, but in 29 years that’s 145 women whose stories have inspired others to make a positive impact on their world.

Why do hundreds of people come from all around the region to the Woman of the Year Banquet? It’s because when you hear how Sonya, Safia, Amanda, Mary Jo, & Carolyn have been role models to other women, have accomplished what seemed impossible when they began their journeys, and how they have contributed countless hours to make their visions reality you will leave encouraged and perhaps empowered to do the same.

Some may think that the Woman of the Year event is just a popularity contest but if you join us you will find that it is a transforming time of celebration, inspiration, and challenge. There’s only one woman who will receive the Diane DeLuca-Thompson Woman of the Year trophy but there are five powerful, life changing stories to be told. Don’t miss it.

But that’s not where it ends. How about you? We each get one turn at this wild and precious life. What will you do with yours?