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March 24, 2010 > And the winner is...

And the winner is...

By Suzanne Ortt
Photos By Kathy Zubrod

The American Business Women's Association (ABWA) Pathfinder Chapter, chartered in October 1964 in Fremont, has elected a Chapter Woman of the Year each year since its inception. The mission of the ABWA is "to bring together women of diverse backgrounds, and to provide opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking support, and national recognition."

The Pathfinder Chapter chose its Woman of the Year on March 17 at the Fremont/Newark Hilton. And the winner is... Karen Nickell, as announced by Pathfinder President Kathy Zubrod.

Annually, a chapter member is awarded this honor, the highest bestowed by all chapters nationwide. Members are ranked upon chapter involvement. Consideration is given to offices held, committees chaired and/or worked on, number of national and western district ABWA conferences attended, and community service given. The top three are nominated followed by the voting, with the announcement of the winner occurring at the monthly meeting.

"I am so very honored to be voted by my Pathfinder Chapter to receive the prestigious Woman of the Year award," said Nickell. "I was very surprised and pleased."
The winning Woman of the Year serves from March to March of the following year. Nickell, web publisher for The Men's Wearhouse corporate office in Fremont, is eligible to attend the Women of the Year special luncheon and function at the National Conference. All local winners across the country also have the opportunity to qualify for the honor at the national level as American Business Women's Top Ten. From these ten, a National Woman of the Year is announced. This year's National Conference will be held in Chattanooga, Tennessee on October 28 - 31.

Last year's title holder, Barbara Jenkins, Comfort Specialist with Jockey Person to Person, represented the Pathfinder Chapter as Chapter Woman of the Year (WOY) at the National Conference in Kansas City, Missouri, in September 2009. Barbara described her year as Chapter Woman of the Year thus, "This is such an honor because you are chosen by your peers. I was humbled and proud to serve as our Chapter WOY."

Generally the outgoing WOY serves as Committee Chair. Jenkins handled the election and voting process for the 2010-11 Chapter Woman of the Year on March 17.

The 23-member Pathfinder Chapter has varied fundraisers each year. The money raised gives educational opportunities for local women, including members. So far, the Pathfinder Chapter has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships.

This year promises to be a busy one for Karen Nickell and all Pathfinder Chapter members.

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