Paralympian skier and best-selling author Bonnie St. John will be the featured speaker at the 32nd Journal Record Woman of the Year awards gala set for Oct. 4 at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
For more than 15 years, St. John has circled the globe as a keynote speaker, consultant and leadership instructor for more than 500 companies, nonprofits and associations. St. John combines the lessons she has learned as an Olympic athlete, a Rhodes scholar, a successful author, a White House official and an entrepreneurial businesswoman to guide both businesses and individuals to identify and achieve peak performance goals. Her latest book, How Great Women Lead, she co-wrote with her teenage daughter, Darcy. The book talks about lessons learned by traveling the world interviewing fascinating women leaders including Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, the president of Liberia, movie stars, fashion designers, CEOs and many more.
Honoring female business and community leaders is what the Woman of the Year program is all about.
"The Journal Record Woman of the Year event is such important recognition for the many women who do so much to make their organizations and communities better," said Mary Melon, president and publisher of The Journal Record. "The diverse representation from across the state proves that women are making significant contributions to Oklahoma. We are proud to have the opportunity to honor them in a public way. Our speaker this year, Bonnie St. John, has a wonderful message about women as leaders. Her book How Great Women Lead is timely and relevant to our Woman of the Year program."
Eight women will be named this year to the Circle of Excellence - an honor reserved for those being selected for The Journal Record's 50 Making a Difference for the third time. They include Janet Cunningham, Deena Fisher, Kim Henry, Janet Levit, Cristy Morrison, Marion Paden, Pat Potts and Robyn Sunday-Allen.
In addition, Lou Kerr will receive the program's fifth lifetime achievement award at this year's event. As president and chairman of The Kerr Foundation Inc., Kerr is involved in many activities, boards and philanthropic endeavors.
Each year hundreds of nominations are received from across the state for this program. Fifty honorees are recognized at the event and in the publication Fifty Making a Difference. The Woman of the Year will be announced during the evening program. Dana Weber, president, CEO and vice chairwoman of Webco Industries, was the 2011 overall winner.
Check it out
* From 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 4, Bank of Oklahoma, Integris Health, Oklahoma Natural Gas and the Public Service Company of Oklahoma will sponsor a forum for all past and present honorees of the program at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. The forum includes panel discussions and breakout sessions.
* A reception begins at 6 p.m., with the awards gala and dinner starting at 7 p.m.
* Individual tickets are $150, and corporate table sponsorships are available.
* Reservations for the banquet can be made by calling Ashley Fitzpatrick at (405) 278-2820 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Event corporate sponsors
* Chickasaw Nation.
* Cox Business.
* Crowe & Dunlevy.
* Coppermark Bank.
* Eide Bailly.
* OGE Energy Corp. …