By Nikki Velarde, The Belton Journal
The Girl Scouts of Central Texas celebrated the women who have distinguished themselves as outstanding members of the community through individual excellence and high levels of achievement. These women were presented awards at the Women of Distinction 2015 Banquet on Thursday.
Girl scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place. Through the Girl Scout Leadership Experience, girls discover their own potential, connect with others both locally and globally, and take action to improve their communities. From sports skills-building, to career mentoring, from world travel, to local community service projects, and from robotic programming, to financial literacy, the Girl Scout program enables girls to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Nearly 17,000 girls are served and take part in the activities and opportunities provided through Girl Scout of Central Texas.
Six women and one distinguished workplace for women were awarded at the banquet. Belton’s Mayor Marion Grayson was among those awarded for their achievements and being a role model for girls. Marion Grayson has been a business owner since she was 25 years old, has been a participant in the Belton Chamber of Commerce, a District Representative for the Texas Municipal League, and currently serves as the first female Mayor of the city of Belton.
Dr. Barbara Sias Chinn was the only female dentist within a large group of 2,000 men early on in her military career. After retiring from the U.S. Army Dental Corps as a Colonel, she opened private practice with Dr. Lavelle in in Harker Heights as the first African American dentist in the area. She is responsible for establishing several free dental clinics and continues to serve her community, even after her retirement.
Mi-Ok Doranski owns and runs the tri-city area’s only Korean language newspaper, which she uses to empower the Korean community and help keep them informed and connected. She has also served as Ambassador and member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Killeen Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Metroplex Foundation Board of Directors, as well as a board member of the local Association of the United States Army Chapter.
Alicia Winegar Dunn began her career working for former Texas State Representative Dianne White Delisi. She has previously served as the First Lady of Temple and Chief of Staff at Baylor Scott & White Health. She currently serves as the Chief of Staff to the President, COO and CMO of Baylor Scott & White Health, and shows her support for the Central Texas division operational leadership team.
Monica Hull plays a key role in developing and growing Copperas Cove through volunteer work with animal rescue, beautification projects, the Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce and the American Advertising Federation. She currently serves as the Marketing Director for the Copperas Cove Economic Development Corporation.
Catherine (Cathy) Williams is retired from the insurance business where she received numerous awards, including being qualified for Round Table Designation 18 out of 19 years in the insurance industry. She was awarded Best Agent as well as spoke to agents and agent managers at the annual Agents Conference on numerous occasions. She is currently involved in helping the McGregor community by raising funds for many organizations, performing as the emcee for events, as well as meeting weekly with HUGS, a support group of friends that she began following her mother’s passing.
Finally, the Distinguished Workplace for Women was awarded to Central Texas College (CTC). The school promotes an environment of service, growth and empowerment to its students, faculty, and staff. In addition, it provides comprehensive educational opportunities for special populations, to include disability support services, single parent or homemaker support services, as well as non-traditional career support services. 73% of department supervisors and managers at CTC are female, which shows a great deal of support and trust in the leadership capabilities of female employees. CTC also encourages female students to consider non-traditional degree plans such as welding, engineering, or computer science.
The Women of Distinction recipients are role models for all GSCTX members, both girls and adults alike, showing them that with hard work and perseverance, anything can be accomplished.
For more information on Girl Scouts of Central Texas, or how you can become involved as a volunteer and mentor, please visit gsctx.org or call (800) 688-2845.