The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) honored its 2019 Most Influential Women (MIW) and 2019 scholarship recipients on the evening of Tuesday, May 7.
The annual MIW and Scholarship Awards Ceremony and Gala took place during WIN’s 2019 Educational Conference, held at the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.
After the group enjoyed a cocktail reception before the ceremony, Cheryl Boswell, incoming chair, welcomed attendees. Boswell acknowledged the 20th anniversary of the MIW program and told attendees, “It’s about you too. This is a time to celebrate all of us. These are the change-makers who have paved the way for all of us.”
Bev Rook-Twibell and Debbie Menz, co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee, welcomed the 2019 scholarship winners to the stage. Together, they introduced WIN’s largest scholarship class to date: Jennifer Evon (Tennessee College of Applied Technology), Nicole Gutierrez (Washburn Tech), Heather Hawkins (Lake Technical College), Tamara Meyers (Lake Technical College), Cheyenne Purchase (Metropolitan Community College), Hannah Quinteros (Washburn Institute of Technology), Lilian Reed (College of Southern Idaho), and Jennifer Watson (TX State Technical College).
Watson took on the role of a spokesperson and said to WIN attendees: “We are overwhelmed and inspired. One day, we would love to be up on this stage again, receiving the MIW award. Thank you for giving us this opportunity and believing in us.”
Marie Peevy and Petra Schroeder, 2018 MIW honorees, then took the stage to introduce this year’s MIWs, who each received a standing ovation.
Yen Hoang of UYL Color was “honored to be considered among these amazing women. What I envision for every woman in this room is that you’ll know your worth and be able to articulate it.”
Kathy Mello of TGIF Body Shop in Fremont, CA would have never chosen the collision repair industry, but she feels fortunate to have been involved with the birth of WIN, she said. Recalling WIN’s first conference, she shared, “What you see today is the result of showing up. I’m so grateful to have a front row seat to all of this.”
After expressing her gratitude to her parents, husband and children, FCA’s Erica Schaefer’s witty speech concluded with a “challenge to all of us together—let’s change the world!”
Judy Folk of Sherwin-Williams modestly thanked her family and the industry for supporting her career.
As attendees raised their glasses, Gerry Kottschade, one of WIN’s founders, toasted to the 2019 MIWs. “This makes 20 years of celebrating the amazing women in this industry. Here’s to the class of 2019!”
Attendees enjoyed a delicious dinner and an evening of networking as WIN members and guests honored and celebrated the 2019 MIWs and scholarship recipients. During the conference, the 2019 scholarship recipients thanked Rook-Twibell for everything she has done for them, gifting her with a signed surfboard.
WIN’s Annual Scholarship Walk took place on Tuesday, May 7 to raise funds for next year’s scholarships. On Wednesday, May 8, Michelle Sullivan, outgoing chair, honored the 2019 Cornerstone Award recipients: Schroeder and Boswell.