Leading Ladies

Claremore Main Street and the Claremore Chamber recently honored “Leading Ladies” in business and the community.

By: Jessica Jackson | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: November 2015

Leading Ladies award recipients (L to R): Barbara Stafira, Angie Graves, Chantal Vidal, Dr. Melinda Steelmon, Rhonda Bear, Jill Donovan, presenter, Alyson Short and Celina Davis 
(accepting for Mendy Stone, who was out of the country).

Leading Ladies award recipients (L to R): Barbara Stafira, Angie Graves, Chantal Vidal, Dr. Melinda Steelmon, Rhonda Bear, Jill Donovan, presenter, Alyson Short and Celina Davis (accepting for Mendy Stone, who was out of the country).

Claremore Main Street and the Claremore Area Chamber of Commerce recently hosted the Ladies Lifestyle event. Attendees enjoyed shopping at a variety of vendor booths and exhibitors, sampling local cuisine, savoring area wines and even posing at the just for fun photo booth with Maximum Entertainment’s Max McGuirk.  
Hillcrest Hospital, the presenting sponsor, hosted the popular “Ask The Doctor” seminar. Doctors Kent, Steelmon, Bower and Karnama were the physicians on hand to answer questions from the audience. A wide variety of topics regarding women’s health issues were discussed. Northeast Technology Center’s cosmetology department students were present to offer free hand massages, and Natural Health and Wellness of Claremore featured chair massages. Free eye screenings were also available with Dr. Lacy Crissup.
One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Leading Ladies Awards. Nominations were received from throughout the community to recognize the leadership skills of ladies who make a difference through their service. Jill Donovan, founder of Rustic Cuff, served as the keynote speaker and presented the awards. Six women were honored during the evening. Recipients included Dr. Melinda Steelmon, Leading Lady in Health, for her compassion, service and sharing her professional knowledge with others. Barbara Starfira was named Leading Lady Behind the Scenes for hundreds of volunteer hours at the Claremore Museum of History. Angie Graves was honored for Community Supporter Leading Lady for her continued service to Rogers County Youth Services, William Barnes Advocacy Center, Salvation Army, Back for Kids and more. Jill Donovan had this to say as she was presenting the awards, “I am so excited about this evening, this is a wonderful opportunity to honor and recognize Women in Business and Community and super exciting to know that these ladies do not even know they are receiving an award.”  
Awarded the Non-Profit Leading Lady was Mendy Stone, who was unable to attend the evening’s ceremonies. She was caught by surprise when her fellow Volunteers for Youth co-workers used face time to share the moment with Mendy in Canada. Chantal Vidal, owner of El Maguey Restaurant, was honored as Business Leading Lady. In just a decade she has doubled the size of her restaurant, and she is known for her customer service, excellent food and her community spirit. The last award for the evening, per Jill, “summed up all the important characteristics already exemplified by the award recipients tonight.” The final award for the evening was presented to Rhonda Bear who per Jill knows “that true leadership is born out of the understanding of those who would be the most affected.” Rhonda oversees four non-profits while maintaining a full-time career. The non-profits are geared to transitioning formerly incarcerated women to living and working successfully in our community. To date, they have an 85% rate of success, with 25 children returned to their mothers, eight GEDs have been earned, 29 have received a driver’s license and 12 of those now have transportation for employment, and three are now earning degrees from RSU. None of the programs receive government funding – it is all private and corporate donations. Rhonda and 70+ volunteers promote and believe the She Brews Coffee House motto, “Serving success in every cup.”  
The presenting sponsor was Hillcrest Hospital Claremore. Major sponsors included RCB Bank, J & J Pharmacy & Gifts, Tulsa Federal Credit Union-Claremore, NTC Business and Industry Services and Media sponsor MoreClaremore.com. The Ladies Lifestyle was organized by the Claremore Chamber and Claremore Main Street.  
Mark your calendars for The Women in Business and Community Luncheon set for November 18 at NTC-Claremore Campus. Pam Bickford, founder and CEO of Cherokee Data Business Solutions, will be the guest speaker. Contact the Chamber at (918) 341-2818 for more information. The luncheon will serve as a great avenue to meet all the women leaders serving in our community and the opportunity for networking and growth, both professionally and personally. Lunch is presented by the Claremore Chamber and NTC Business & Industry Services and is only $10.

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Claremore Main Street/Claremore Chamber of Commerce

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Claremore Main Street

(918) 341-5881 | (918) 341-2818
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