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Womens Business Council honors local influential women


The Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce Women’s Business Council has honored seven local women as part of the 2017 Women of Excellence Awards celebration.

Nearly 100 people gathered Wednesday, May 2, at Elite Banquet & Conference Center in Kokomo to celebrate the many contributions of local professional women and to honor the women who are making a difference in the Howard County community. The event was sponsored by Liberty Financial Group, a longtime supporter of the Women of Excellence Awards.

"It is an honor to be able recognize and support these professional women of distinction in Howard County,” said Kimberly Pinkerton, manager of the Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce. “Their service and example to others is a true embodiment of the mission of the Women's Business Council. The Greater Kokomo Chamber of Commerce is grateful to have these truly dedicated women help us grow successful leaders by providing educational and networking resources to all business women in our Greater Kokomo area."

A highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Elizabeth Foster Award, an honor designated for a Howard County professional woman who helps other women in the community reach their full potential. Named for 19th century Kokomo founder Elizabeth Foster, the award was given to Karen McCoy of NIPSCO.

Other finalists for the award were Joni Delon of Primrose Retirement Community and Crista Tharp of Blissfully Simple Events.

Women of Excellence Awards were given to five professional women in Howard County, including:

• Brandi Christiansen of Mental Health America of Howard County received the Break-Through Professional Award, which recognizes a woman who has risen through the ranks of her profession.

• Jessica Green of Hoosier AM/FM Radio received the Volunteer Award, which recognizes a woman who has a passion for her Chamber and community.

• Deb Mumaw of Sam’s Club received the Connector Award, which recognizes a woman who connects others to build business relationships.

• Marla Miller of Courtyard by Marriott received the Leadership Award, which recognizes a woman who inspires others to achieve greatness.

• Tracy Martino of Family Service Association received the Maverick Award, which recognizes a woman who has affected positive change in her profession.

Also, Breanne Bennett of Farm Credit Mid-America was honored with the WBC Member of the Year Award.

"The women who serve on the Women's Business Council put a lot of heart and soul into their work to connect, mentor and secure growth opportunities for other business professionals,” Pinkerton said. “The Chamber sincerely thanks them for their commitment to that development of others and encourages all professional women to take advantage of the local educational opportunities presented by the Council."

Additional sponsors for the event include Blissfully Simple Events, Indiana University Kokomo, Security Federal Savings Bank, Solutions Day Spa and The Studio.

For more information on the Greater Kokomo Women’s Business Council and the Chamber of Commerce, visit