YWCA names Women of Distinction winners

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Gazette staff
Thursday, January 16, 2014

JANESVILLE--The YWCA of Rock County announced its 2014 Women of Distinction award winners this week.

The awards recognize individuals and organizations who serve as outstanding role models, who have shown strong achievement in their work and personal lives and who have given back to their communities in the spirit of the advancement of other women.

They are:

-- Barbara Boyd of Milton established Boyd Consulting Group in 1995 with her husband, Bill. She has served the YWCA as a volunteer, board member and board president. She also served on the boards of the Rock River Charter School and the Janesville Conservation Club.

-- Fran Brien of Janesville has volunteered for ECHO for 40 years, has served as board president and now is the volunteer coordinator. She also has served on the CAMDEN playground board, was the first female chair of the Democratic Party in Janesville, works the polls with the League of Women Voters and is the vice president on the Thrivent Community Cares Board.

-- Kim Hesgard of Edgerton is Mercy Health System's marketing director. She volunteers at about 50 events per year and took on the role of caregiver after her husband was paralyzed about six years ago.

-- Stephanie Klett of Beloit is the Secretary of Wisconsin's Department of Tourism. In the early 1990s, she earned the Miss Wisconsin title. Klett hosted Discover Wisconsin TV and radio shows for 20 years and has earned an Emmy. Her non-profit work includes benefits for Stateline-area children, founding a worldwide speaking program for teens.

-- Jean Randles of Janesville is the executive director of HealthNet of Rock County. She is a tireless advocate for affordable health care and serves on the boards of the League of Women Voters and the Leadership Development Academy. She is a campaign cabinet member for United Way Blackhawk Region, a member of the Transform Rock County Coalition and a Forward Janesville Ambassador.

-- Mollie Myers of Janesville is a fourth-grade student at Milton's Northside Intermediate School. At 9 years old, she has taken on multiple fundraising projects, including collecting quarters for the Milton Food Pantry, ringing bells for the Salvation Army, and she is a 4-H member. She raised $500 for the YWCA's 2012 Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, then raised more than $2,100 for the YWCA's domestic violence programs in 2013. She is the Young Woman of Distinction award winner.

--W.W. Grainger was named the YWCA's Corporate Award of Merit for its contributions to Rock County, including its community grants program and a matching gift program that triples the amount of an employee donation. Many staff members also serve on local non-profit boards, volunteer and are members of local clubs. The company provides an award-winning employee wellness programs and competitive benefit offerings.

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