Honorees at the March 17 luncheon, who were selected by their respective service organizations, are shown left to right in the photo: Jeanine Tillman, Allen Community Outreach; Rosy Kintzinger, Genesis Women's Shelter & Support; Lori Conley, Emily's Place and Tulsi Naik, CHETNA.
Susan Hoff, Chief Strategy, Impact & Operations Officer with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, provided background information about the clients served by these organizations, saying that one out of three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. She talked of earlier days when domestic violence was a whispered topic that people avoided if possible. Even though it is dealt with more openly today, 39 percent of women seeking shelter are turned away because of lack of room. She said that attitude changes are needed, so that abused women never have to ask themselves, "What did I do wrong?"
Several honorees described how their early life experiences had contributed to their understanding of and compassion for other persons in need, and had motivated them to help other women transform their lives. They recalled memorable experiences in their service organizations where women were able to overcome drug abuse, remove themselves and their children from abusive situations under trying circumstances, testify against their spouses, grow vegetables in the back yard to have something to eat, and finally become self-supporting.
The organizations provide temporary shelter and services to help their clients break the cycle of abuse. Needs for their clients include counseling, child care, transportation, jobs, affordable housing and pro bono legal services.
Several of the honorees were the first female hired in their respective departments. They said that female officers are often able to play a more nurturing and comforting role than male officers when a victim is female. In addition to being first responders, they help educate the community, and especially children, in how to prevent or cope with emergency situations.
Todd Eubanks, Director of the Law Enforcement Academy of Collin College, stressed the need for more women in public safety careers, noting that in 1970 only 2% of public safety personnel were women and that has increased only to 12% today. Collin College offers training in police, fire, paramedic and other areas of public safety.
More than 100 LWV members, mayors, council members, commissioners, city managers, and other city and county staff celebrated the leadership of eight Collin County women in public administration at a luncheon on March 14. The honorees, as shown in the photo, are:
Left to right, Phyllis M. Jarrell, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano; Major Pam Palmisano, Sheriff's Office, Collin County; Renae' Ollie, Director of Development Services, City of Wylie; Nell Lange, Assistant City Manager, City of Frisco; Linda Truitt, Finance Director, City of Murphy; Shelli Siemer, Assistant City Manager, City of Allen; Robyn Battle, Town Secretary, Town of Prosper; and Sandy Hart, City Secretary, City of McKinney.
Here is the 'Summary Timeline of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States with a Focus on Texas' that was displayed at the luncheon.
Here is a slide show of photos from the event.