Listee Features — August 2019

MIRTA MARTIN

Acting as a strategist and agent for change, Mirta Martin, PhD, immigrated to the Unites States as a teenager with her grandmother from Cuba. She always had an inner desire to help others, and the process of leaving behind her family and entering a country with a language she didn’t speak made the journey to the Unites States one that shaped her for life. Her grandmother pushed her to go to college, saying it was critical. Since Dr. Martin was unaware of how to get there, she sought out individuals who showed her how to apply for scholarships and get loans. Despite the fact that she had been accepted to Duke University, she wasn’t sure about attending because of her

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LORI WHITNEY

Accruing 28 years of professional experience in her field, Lori Whitney began her career as a messenger for the Wisconsin State Assembly in Madison in 1991, remaining in this role for four years before moving up the ranks to postal clerk from 1995 to 2003 and postmistress since 2003. In congruence with her primary trade, she has also contributed much of her time to several civic endeavors. Ms. Whitney served as a campaign volunteer for numerous political candidates between 1992 and 2014, including Al Gore and Barack Obama. Additionally, she was a fundraiser and volunteer with the American Diabetes Association from 1993 to 2004, a member of Amnesty International from 1991 to 2005 and the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Hoop Troop

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Lynn Wurth

LYNN R. WURTH

Using her leadership, organizational and people skills, Lynn R. Wurth became involved in her profession through her faith; she prayed for guidance, and was led in the right direction. She began her professional life as the president of Newman Auto Glass in Phoenix in 1958, remaining in this position for 18 years before becoming the Phoenix branch manager of National Auto Glass from 1976 to 1978. She then served the Data Corporation as an account representative from 1978 to 1981 and Computer Graphics as an account/sales representative from 1981 to 1985. Most recently, Ms. Wurth was the advertising and business manager for The Catholic Sun from 1985 to 2004. Prior to the start of her career, Ms. Wurth pursued a

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NORMA JANE RICHARDS

Growing up in a family that faced many medical problems that required her care, Norma Jane Richards, RN, thought that nursing was the right career path for her. She was inspired by a local nurse, Ruth Carter, RN, who she would speak to frequently about her profession. Ms. Richards began her profession 45-year career as a staff nurse in the LSU female surgery unit of Charity Hospital in New Orleans. She later worked in the intensive care unit at Howard Memorial Hospital in Biloxi, Mississippi. Most recently, she was an instructor of medical-surgical nursing at the Jefferson Davis campus of Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College (MGCCC) in Gulfport, Mississippi, for 35 years. Prior to pursuing a professional career, Ms. Richards

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Robin DeMark

ROBIN K. DEMARK

Distributing her time between consulting, public speaking, event planning and beekeeping, Robin K. DeMark started her profession as an event planner and DJ to help support herself through college. Throughout the years, this grew and became a woman-owned business offering wedding event planning, hosting corporate events/promotions, singing at state fairs and festivals, and providing music and MC services for nonprofit organizations. For the next 25 years, her professional career blossomed in federal service with leadership roles in library, marketing and public affairs. Upon retirement, a friend introduced her to the world of beekeeping, which soon became a hobby that led to other leadership roles in local bee clubs. Today, Ms. DeMark continues expanding her company and utilizing her talents as

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JANICE LYNN BENNETT

Motivated by creativity and a deep appreciation for aesthetics, Janice Lynn Bennett has dedicated her life to making beautiful things. She had always loved drawing, so she decided to channel her talent into a career as a graphic artist. She proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Arts in graphic design with a minor in journalism from Northern Illinois University in 1973, and started as a graphic artist at Montgomery Ward in Illinois later that year. Ms. Bennett advanced rapidly; after giving birth to her son Scott in 1974, she became the assistant production manager and art director of Crow Publications in 1977, and the owner, graphic artist and typographer of several Colorado-based companies between 1980 and 1989. Around this time,

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Nancy Conrad

NANCY R. CONRAD

Never doubting her career choices, Nancy R. Conrad became involved in her profession after winning a full scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) in the second grade. From that point on, she followed through with art until high school. A practiced artist, Ms. Conrad was a digital photography workshop instructor and oil painting workshop instructor at the Mountain Brook School Historical Foundation in Alabama in 2003 and 2004, respectively. Additionally, Ms. Conrad served as an art teacher at MFAH and the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, as well as a volunteer art consultant within the Spring Branch Independent School District in Hedwig Village, Texas, and private studio art teacher. When Ms. Conrad started out, her kids were very

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Shirley Klein-Kleppe

SHIRLEY R. KLEIN-KLEPPE

Coming from a very supportive family, Shirley R. Klein-Kleppe has flourished as an artist. She has fond memories of her mother taking her to the craft store to get supplies, and of her parents teaching her to appreciate art. This inspired Ms. Klein-Kleppe to pursue her passion professionally. She earned a Bachelor of Science in art and biology education from the University of Central Missouri in 1967, and became an art teacher in the Benton County R-1 School District that same year. Her aptitude for the field led her to advance to roles like art teacher in the Turner Unified School District, graphic designer for the Menorah Medical Center, freelance graphic designer and illustrator, and advertising director of Gorges Wholesale

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BERNICE BELL JORDAN

Originally a musician, Bernice Bell Jordan decided to switch courses and become an educator so she could provide a better life for her daughter. She wanted to lead by example and show her the value of academia. Ms. Jordan proceeded to join the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District as an elementary teacher in 1959. She quickly garnered a reputation for her passion and dedication to her work, and became a beloved member of the community. She remained at the school until her retirement in 1999. Outside of the classroom, Ms. Jordan enjoyed connecting with her peers. She is affiliated with organizations like the National Education Association, the California Elementary Education Association, the California Reading Association until 1997 and the

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CAROLYN GROSSÉ GAWARECKI

Renowned watercolorist Carolyn Grossé Gawarecki is proud of the mark she has left on others. Her dream of pursuing art began in high school, when a teacher noticed her talent. Ms. Grossé Gawarecki was excited by the idea, so she earned a Bachelor of Education from Douglass College of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey and completed graduate coursework at the University of Colorado and at the University of California Berkeley. This propelled her to her first professional positions as teacher at Highland Park High School and first woman exhibiting artist for the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Ms. Grossé Gawarecki’s work earned her much acclaim, so much so that she decided to step out on her own as

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