Women’s Center for Advancement: Extraordinary Women to be Recognized at Annual WCA Luncheon

By 
Scott Stewart
The Daily Record

The Women’s Center for Advancement will recognize 10 area women at its upcoming Tribute to Women fundraising luncheon, scheduled for June 13 in Omaha.

Elizabeth Powers, the WCA’s director of marketing and public relations, said the women who are selected for recognition are doing amazing things to help women in the community be safe and strong.

“They are breaking glass ceil­ings,” Powers said. “They’re trail­blazers. They’re fearless.”

Honorees are selected by a com­mittee, made up primarily by for­mer recipients, based on nomina­tions submitted by the community. Nominations for 2020 honorees begin July 1 and close at the end of this year, Powers said.

The 2019 honorees are:

Susan Courtney, executive vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska.

Deborah R. Gilg, founder of Fearless, Fierce and Forward and retired U.S. Attorney for the District of Nebraska.

Cynthia Gonzalez, reporter at the Omaha World-Herald.

Gail Graeve, vice president of community affairs and corporate events at Mutual of Omaha.

Anne Hindrey, CEO of the Nonprofit Association of the Midlands.

Andrea Kathol, owner of Field Day Development.

Jamalia L. Parker, director of family engagement services at the Learning Community of Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

Jessica Pate, community vol­unteer and The Force co-founder.

Denise Powell, partner at Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture and co-founder of Women Who Run – Nebraska.

Athena Ramos, assistant professor of the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

The Tribute to Women event is a tradition that began when the organization was an affiliate of the YMCA, Powers said. This is the 32nd annual awards luncheon.

The WCA serves anyone, regard­less of gender or economic status, impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking and stalking, Powers said. 

The nonprofit provides therapists who offer crisis counseling, and advocates help connect clients to the support and services they need to get out of crisis. The WCA also teaches about healthy relationships, assists with career training and ad­dresses housing and immigration concerns.

“We really focus on long-term self sufficiency,” Powers said.

The WCA also has attorneys on staff that can help with family law, protection orders and immigration issues. The nonprofit also has a le­gal clinic where clients are given assistance on how to represent themselves for simple legal matters when they are in the place to do so effectively, Power said. 

Powers said that agencies that can offer legal support are more likely to be successful in helping people leave abuse relationships.

“We’re really unique, not only in our community but within our na­tion, to be able to have a legal team on staff for our clients,” Powers said. “Our legal team has grown tremendously.”

Find more information about the WCA at wcaomaha.org. Limited tickets for Thursday luncheon may still be available for purchase at wcaomaha.org/events. Tickets cost $100 per person.

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