Iowa Women's Hall of Fame inductees announced

Four remarkable women will be inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, at the State Historical Building in Des Moines. The event is free and open to the public. It is held in conjunction with Women's Equality Day, Aug. 26, which commemorates the day in 1920 when American women first obtained the right to vote.

“I am proud to announce that these four extraordinary women are going to be inducted into the Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame,” said Dr. Jill Olsen, chair of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. “They symbolize the diversity of Iowa, demonstrating outstanding achievements in the fields of banking, business, civic involvement, social justice, and education. Generations of Iowans can look to these remarkable individuals as role models.”

Highlights include:

•Hall of Fame awards to:

Nancy A. Dunkel, Dyersville

Jacqueline Easley McGhee, Des Moines

Charlotte Bowers Nelson, Des Moines

Dr. Mildred Hope Fisher Wood, Cedar Falls

•Governor Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds will present the Hall of Fame awards. The Governor's Proclamation honoring Women's Equality Day, Aug. 26, will also be read.

•The Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice will be awarded to Marti Anderson.

•A reception will be held for family and friends of the award recipients in the atrium of the State Historical Building.

The Iowa Women's Hall of Fame is sponsored by the Department of Human Rights’ Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW). Awards will be presented to the recipients by Governor Terry E. Branstad; Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds; Dr. Jill Olsen, ICSW chair; and Phyllis Peters, chair of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee. The building is accessible to persons with disabilities.

2011 Iowa Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

Nancy A. Dunkel

Nancy A. Dunkel of Dyersville, Iowa, is a respected leader in the banking industry and an inspirational role model for women in business. She has held many positions in bank leadership roles, including majority shareholder and President of a Bank Holding Company. Dunkel is a model of leadership and service. She has been a dedicated advocate of the banking industry and a mentor for other women to be successful in business, rise to higher positions and hold board seats. Dunkel was elected to be the first woman to Chair the Iowa Bankers Association. She has also served as President of the Iowa Chapter of Financial Women International, Inc. and chaired the board of directors of the Iowa Department of Economic Development. Her other leadership roles include serving as a member of the board of directors of the Iowa Targeted Small Business and past board member of the Iowa Department of Banking. Locally, she has served as Chair of the Dubuque Chamber of Commerce and also the Dyersville Area Chamber of Commerce. Presently, she is a board member of Stonehill Franciscan Services, Finley Hospital and the Principal Bank. Dunkel was born in Manchester in 1955.

Jacqueline Easley McGhee

Jacqueline Easley McGhee, a native of Des Moines, is a dynamo. Whether serving in the capacity of corporate executive, civic leader, or elected representative, McGhee’s passion, commitment and action toward making Iowa a better place for all, particularly women and minorities, are felt broad and wide. She was elected to the Des Moines School Board in 1990 and was the first African-American female to hold such a post. In 1994, she was elected by her fellow board members as president. McGhee’s vigilant commitment to diversity, as both a professional and community member have positively impacted central Iowa. McGhee has been appointed to serve on the national diversity committee of the American Heart Association, Central Iowa Workforce Investment Board, Terrace Hill Commission, Drake University Board of Trustees, and the City of Des Moines Planning and Zoning Commission. She is an active member and leader of many community organizations, including I’ll Make Me a World In Iowa, Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Diversity Council, and has served as president of YWCA of Greater Des Moines. She has been honored by numerous organizations with awards such as Des Moines Business Record Woman of Influence, YWCA Woman of Achievement, Des Moines Citizen of the Year and Iowa Junior Chamber of Commerce’s Iowan of the Year.

Charlotte Bowers Nelson

Charlotte Bowers Nelson has elevated the status of women and girls in Iowa through her leadership and advocacy for justice and equality for everyone. With her grace, dignity, intelligence, and perseverance, Nelson has addressed issues impacting women and girls. She was a YWCA teenage program director, Office Manager of the LWVIA, State Director of the LWVUS "Sex Equity in Vocational Education" project, and coordinated the first women’s studies course at Drake University. For 22 years, she served as the Governor-appointed executive director of the Iowa Commission on the Status of Women. With her knowledge of public policy, she represented women and girls with legislators, government, and the people of Iowa. From reforming Iowa’s welfare system, establishing gender balance on state boards, initiating equity-related legislation (including naming two state office buildings for women, supporting family planning , and combating domestic violence and sexual assault), Nelson led a compassionate, multi-faceted effort that made a difference. This soft-spoken radical continues her advocacy on boards like the Iowa CareGivers Association and Iowa Friends of Legal Services. Her degrees are a Duke B.A. (summa cum laude), a Columbia M.A., and a Drake M.P.A. Born in Bristol, Virginia, in 1931, and raised in Bristol, Tennessee, Nelson has lived in Des Moines since 1974.

Dr. Mildred Hope Fisher Wood

Dr. Mildred Hope Fisher Wood is a pioneer who brought special education for learning disabilities to the forefront in Iowa, empowering thousands of students each year to lead productive, respected lives. Born in Alta in 1920, Wood earned four degrees from the University of Northern Iowa, did postgraduate work at Syracuse University and the University of Oregon, and earned a doctorate at Indiana University – all to study learning disabilities in children and to develop practices to transform them into learners. She created and taught the first courses on learning disabilities to future teachers at the University of Northern Iowa and conducted hundreds of workshops for teachers, principals, parents, psychologists, and juvenile court officers. Not only is she an advocate for children, she is a mentor for parents and has bettered the lives of innumerable families – often through volunteer work in communities, the church, and throughout the state. Wood is a recognized leader and is a charter member of the National Association for Children with Learning Disabilities and the Iowa Association. She has also been the president of the Iowa Learning Disabilities Association. Wood is a published author, a co-author of a diagnostic test for pre-school children, and the recipient of many awards.

2011 Cristine Wilson Medal for Equality and Justice

Marti Anderson

Marti Anderson, a native of Des Moines, is committed to crime victim services and victim justice leadership and has developed pioneer services for victims. She helped establish 17 rape crisis centers in Iowa; the Polk County Coalition Against Domestic Abuse, which was the first Iowa domestic abuse shelter and services program; 34 Child Abuse Prevention Councils in local communities; and developed the state’s first three day training curriculum to address child sexual abuse. Anderson was appointed founding director of the Iowa Attorney General’s Crime Victim Assistance Division and under her direction, the division developed seven victim service programs. Although Anderson retired in June 2011, she continues to consult with national organizations regarding victim rights and service, organizational development, and management and is a nationally recognized crime victim advocate, trainer, and speaker. She has been a generous mentor to scores of Social Workers and crime victim advocates. She has received many awards and recognition for her work and volunteer service including Lifetime Achievement Award from the Iowa Organization for Victim Services and Des Moines Woman of Achievement from the YWCA. Anderson earned a bachelor degree in social work from the University of Northern Iowa, a MSW from the University of Iowa, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker (LISW).

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