Overdue recognition

by John Kenyon

CORRIDOR – With dozens of Corridor women recognized as Women of Influence over the past six years, it sometimes comes as a shock to realize that a particular woman hasn’t been recognized.

Such was the case with many of the women in the 2010 class. Surely these women already have been honored, right?

The confusion is understandable. While only a few women can be recognized with the award each year, there are many women leading in extraordinary ways in our area. As Four Oaks President and CEO James Ernst said in nominating Liz Mathis: “[S]he’s been deserving of the prestigious recognition that the Women of Influence Award engenders for many years, based on her outstanding track record and results.”

The same could be said for all nine women recognized this year.

As in the previous five years, the Women of Influence selection process began with reader-submitted nominations, which included supporting details, resumes and other materials to be considered. Packets for each of these women were forwarded to a selection committee made up of last year’s Women of Influence honorees, who made the final decision on the nine chosen for this year’s awards.

In addition to Ms. Mathis, chief information officer with Four Oaks, the 2010 honorees are Lois Bartelme, chair of the Kirkwood Community College board of trustees; Nancy Evans, a faculty member at Coe College; Robyn Hepker, designer with Benson & Hepker Design; Liz Hoskins, executive director of Waypoint; Nancy Kasparek, Cedar Rapids market president with U.S. Bank; Lynette Marshall, president and CEO of the University of Iowa Foundation; Mary Mascher, Iowa legislator; and Kate Minette, senior vice president of operations, scoring and quality with Pearson.

This year’s class draws more from the public sector, with six of the women working for nonprofit organizations. The geographic split was fairly balanced. Five of the women work in Linn County, four in Johnson County.

They will be honored at the annual Women of Influence awards banquet from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 11 at the Kirkwood Center for Continuing Education in Cedar Rapids.