Girl Scouts of Otahki Council honor area women with Impact Awards

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Women's Impact Awards Breakfast, held Saturday at Dempster Hall on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, honored five outstanding women for their volunteer and professional efforts, serving as role models for all women and girls.

The Girl Scouts of Otahki Council presented the event; corporate sponsors were The Bank of Missouri; event sponsors were Southeast Missouri State University and Chartwell's Catering.

Recipients included Nancy Bray, Nancy Jernigan, Patsy Johnson, Dr. Georganne Syler and Judy Wilferth.

The featured speaker was Elizabeth Wilson. She is a native of Sikeston, Mo., and is the president of Marico Inc. and Continental Homes. Wilson is on the board of directors for several organizations and is a graduate of Leadership America and vice regent of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Bray has been the director of marketing and communications at Southeast Missouri Hospital since 1980. Early in her career as assistant professor at Southeast Missouri State University she developed a proposal that was approved for an interdisciplinary major in communications. The nationally accredited communication department that began with three majors now has almost 600. She serves on the board of directors for several organizations and her various memberships in community groups help to support local organizations.

Jernigan, executive director of the United Way of Southeast Missouri for a decade, has been instrumental in increasing the United Way's annual funds raised to more than $1 million for critical health and human service needs for the Southeast Missouri area. She serves on the board of directors for several organizations and her various memberships in community groups help to support local organizations.

Patsy Johnson began teaching in Arkansas and moved on to Jackson, where she taught physical education and health for 37 years, sponsored the pep squad and cheerleading and coached boys' tennis. Johnson contributed to Boy and Girl Scout troops as a leader and a trainer for youth and adult volunteers. She was a Missouri hunter education instructor who administered training for more than 3,000 Scouts. Johnson was awarded the Boy Scouts' Silver Beaver Award for distinguished service to young people, and the highest award for an adult member in Girl Scouting, the Thanks Badge.

Syler, a registered dietitian and professor at Southeast Missouri State University, teaches dietetics and hospitality management majors. She has received several awards meriting her achievements in teaching, has chaired several thesis committees and has presented at many national and international meetings. She has served as faculty athletic representative and received the SEMO alumni merit award. She serves on the board of directors for several organizations and is the host of Cafe Concerto at Schnucks with Dr. Tom Harte to raise funds for KRCU.

Wilferth, a longtime resident of Cape Girardeau, has owned children and women's clothing stores and a retail/office commercial center in the area. Her memberships, service on the board of directors and as chairman of the board for several organizations helping to conduct capital campaigns resulted in construction of the Robert A. Dempster building and Osage and Shawnee Parks. She has received awards from the university, the Saint Francis Womancare Award, the Rush H. Limbaugh Award and Woman of the Year from Zonta International.

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