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Inspiring Women

by Laural Porter

Posted on March 9, 2006 at 7:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:34 PM

March is Women's History Month.

In that spirit, Clark College and the YWCA Clark County honored 16 women and young women for their volunteerism and leadership at the 22nd Women of Achievement Celebration.

I had the honor of serving as M-C for the event and because it was so inspiring, I want to share some thoughts about it with you here on Blog 8.

Meeting the women I'll introduce here later made me feel fortunate to live in a community with so many people committed to making our community a better place to live.

The luncheon, attended by more than 600-people at the new Vancouver Convention Center at the Hilton, had an additional benefit.
It made many of us in attendance feel inspired to try to make more of a difference in our neighborhoods.

These are the eight women who were honored this year by YWCA Clark County and Clark College.

2006 Women of Achievement

Jan Asai
Asai is the co-founder and volunteer executive director of "Columbia Dance". She has been involved in nearly every art venue in Vancouver, most recently the Friends of the Arts and the Southwest Center for the Arts.

Judi Brenes
Brenes has been a nurse, a teacher of health education at Clark College and a member of Kaiser's Member Advisory Board. She has also served on the board of the YWCA and is a current member of the Southwest Washington Medical Center Board.

Jeanne Kojis
Kojis is the founder and volunteer executive director of the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington. She focuses on issues affecting all nonprofits, including training and networking opportunites.

Elise Menashe
Menashe served as the volunteer executive director of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington for more than two years,and now serves as its permanent director. Following her leadership, the Club's Board of Directors and staff have taken the organization to a new level with a new building, strong financial base, and plans for expansion.

Ginger Metcalf
Metcalf has been the executive director of "Identity Clark County" since its inception more than 12-years ago. She has been instrumental in the renovation of "Esther Short Park" and in bringing the Convention Center to Vancouver.

Donna Roberge
Roberge is a mentor for the "I Have a Dream Fondation" and established the "Donna Roberge Young Woman of Achievement Scholarship", awarded to Megan Bower of Camas High School this year.

Peggy Sheehan
Sheehan has spent much of her life reaching out to people who are homeless and have a mental illness.
She has worked for "Columbia River Mental Health Services, and manages the City of Vancouver Community Development Block Grant Program.
She has served on the SHARE board, Memorial Hospital West Side Advisory Committee, and the Veteran's Resource Committee Board.

Jan Truttman

Truttman is a former elementary school teacher and is currently a Red Cross volunteer. She has traveled throughout the country as a volunteer, including to New York after Nine-Eleven, and to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina.

2006 Young Women of Achievement

Young women honored include; the 2006 Young woman of achievement-Camas High School's Megan Bower.

Other honorees

Thea Baker from Battle Ground High School;Natalie Grattan of Vancouver School of Arts and Academics; Miram Hacker from Battle Ground High;Erin Hall of Heritage High School;Elizabeth Moreno from Ridgefield High; Alisha Pedron of Columbia River High School; and Rebecca Tortorello of Skyview High School.

It does take a Village

Many of the women honored talked about being a part of a village and that it takes us all to make it a better place. Ginger Metcalf challenged us all to ask what can we do for our village today?

March is also the Northwest Newschannel 8 Great Food Drive

I have one idea that is easy and can really make a difference in our community. KGW Northwest Newschannel 8 is in the middle of its Great Food Drive.
We are trying to collect one-million pounds of food for the Oregon Food Bank, which benefits Oregon and Southwest Washington.
You can make a donation at any Albertson's, U-S Bank, check your Northwest Natural statement, or donate right here on this website
Together, we can make sure no one in our village is hungry.

Thanks to all the "2006 Women and Young women of Achievement". You are truly inspiring to me and everyone who comes in contact with you.

Happy March! Think Spring!!

Laural Porter