YWCA Elgin Announces 2019 Women Leader Nominees

YWCA Elgin Announces 2019 Women Leader Nominees

The YWCA Elgin has announced the nominees for its 36th Annual Leader Luncheon Awards to be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 9, 2019, at The Seville in Streamwood. The Leader Luncheon is attended by hundreds of community leaders, business and community representatives and volunteers.

“Our YWCA Leader Luncheon continues to be a highly recognized and time-honored community event and tradition to acknowledge women from Elgin and the surrounding communities,” said Rebecca Hardekopf, this year’s Leader Luncheon chair.

All nominations are reviewed and judged by community members.

One woman from each category will be selected and announced at the Leader Luncheon. The following women community leaders have been nominated by their colleagues and peers:

  • Margaret Hillis Award for the Arts: Jane Erlandson, Madeline Franklin and Ursula Borodzinska.
  • Beatrice Dorsey Award for Business & Professions: Aimee Novelli, Mary Martini and Mary Pierce.
  • Marguerite Henry Award for Communications & Technology: Margarita Mendoza and Natalie Kiburg.
  • Harriet Gifford & Hattie Griffin Award for Education: Abigail Bailey, PhD., Andrea Gaitan-Bustos and Dr. Ushma Shah.
  • Myrtle Spiegler Gerberding Award for Public Service: Sgt. Katy Potts and Kim Wascher.
  • Betty Brown Award for Racial Justice: Paola Velasquez.
  • Marie Grolich Award for Social Services: Lea Conrad and Mary Jo Imperato.
  • Marjorie Leonard Award for Volunteer & Community Service: Carri Laird, Patty Aroyo, Nancy Gerner and Wendy Covich.


“In addition to acknowledging our Leader Luncheon recipients,” adds Hardekopf, “we are very pleased to announce that business leader Jane Blain Gilbertson, president, CEO, and sole owner of 41 Blain’s Farm & Fleet stores, will be our keynote speaker.”

Blain Gilbertson leads stores located throughout Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, and Michigan and Blain Supply, Inc., headquartered in Janesville, Wisconsin. The family owned companies were founded in 1955 and currently employ 4,400 associates.

Her recognitions include: Janesville Gazette’s “50 Who Matter”, 2005; Forward Janesville’s “Athena” award recipient, 2006; Craig High School Graduates’ Honor Wall of Fame, 2006; YWCA of Rock County’s Woman of Distinction Award recipient, 2007; Forward Janesville’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient 2017; Rock County Historical Society Phoenix Award, 2017.

Call the YWCA Elgin at 847-742-7930 or visit ywcaelgin.ywca.org/LL19 for more information, to purchase tickets, or become a sponsor of this prestigious event.

SOURCE: YWCA Elgin news release