A craft beer enthusiast with passion for living life to the fullest, Karen Hertz was thrilled when Holidaily Brewing Company first opened its doors in 2015. The business was the culmination of years of hard work and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, and fulfilled a dream she had long held. The idea for the brewery initially came after Ms. Hertz beat cancer (twice) and was required to go on a gluten-free diet. She was frustrated by the lack of quality gluten-free beer options and, after a lot of research, decided to create her own.
Now, the Holidaily Brewing Company is one of only five breweries in the country to produce only gluten-free beer, is the only one owned by a woman, and is the only one in Colorado. Not a single gluten-containing ingredient is allowed in their facility, meaning there is never a chance of cross-contamination and that it is 100 percent safe for everyone, whether gluten allergic or intolerant or just passionate about delicious beer. In her role as the owner and chief brewista, Ms. Hertz is really focused on distribution; her main goal is help people who weren’t previously able to drink, and she finds that being able to help others enjoy life is very rewarding. She knows firsthand how hard it can be to be the only one not able to have a beer at a tailgate or a party, and is proud to be making a difference in that niche. Another responsibility Ms. Hertz has is coming up with innovative beer styles, so that her customers have a wide variety of options. Looking to the future, she intends to let the company grow as big as it can.
Education | Writing | Military
Writer, poet, educator, artist, activist, and soldier: Kenyette Adrine-Robinson has worn many hats over the course of her prestigious career. She joined the Women’s Army Corps in 1969 when she was just 18 years old, and served them until 1971. She returned to the Army in 1981 as the public information specialist for morale support activities in Wiesbaden and, in 1983, progressed to be the writer and editor of the public information office in Mainz, both in the Federal Republic of Germany. From there, she became a teacher intern in the Positive Education Program in Cleveland, Ohio, and a member of the residential team and a case management therapist at the Murtis H. Taylor Multi Services Center. In 1986, Ms. Adrine-Robinson joined Cleveland Metropolitan Schools, where she served until her retirement in 2010. During that time, she also worked as a resident photographer and teacher at the Ann Arbor Art Association, a teacher at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Detention Center through the Cleveland Board of Education, an instructor in the department of Pan-African studies at Kent State University, and a teacher in the Child Management Program. Today, she continues to run Kenyette Productions, formed in 1976.
Notably, outside of her profession, Ms. Adrine-Robinson was a trustee of the Community Christian Church in Euclid from 2001 to 2005. She received a goodwill ambassador status from the Aruba Tourism Authority for more than 30 years of patronage, and from the African American Travel Conference after joining the Progressive Family Reunions group in 2010.
As a United States’ Diplomat in the field of civil nuclear energy and nonproliferation, Janet Marie Gorn is a Senior Foreign Affairs Officer in the U.S. Department of State. She has traveled to 37 countries in every region of the world, where she actively represents the U.S. Government, including as the U.S. Representative and Head of Delegation, in bilateral and multilateral fora, international conferences and meetings, and on international task forces, for such organizations as the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development UN/CSD, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD); and the OECD/Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA).
A recognized expert, Ms. Gorn frequently gives presentations at domestic and international conferences and symposia, is a published author, and is an Adjunct Professor at a local college. She is currently the Co-Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of two U.S. Interagency Steering Committees. She served for five years on the White House Sub-Interagency Policy Committee on Civil Nuclear Energy Policy, representing the State Department Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation and on the Sub-IPC on Nuclear Energy Investment and Finance. Ms. Gorn has also served in special duty assignments in the Department’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs; the Senior Coordinator’s Office for Russian and Eastern European Affairs; the OES/Office of Nuclear Technology and Safeguards; the Deputy Assistant Secretary’s Office, and as a Special Assistant to two Ambassadors.
Drawing on her expertise in art, Nelda S. Lee has been thriving as a self-employed art appraiser since 1967. She initially began pursuing her passions at Texas Woman’s University and Tarleton State University, and ultimately earned a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts from the University of North Texas in 1963. She then spent five years working at Ector High School as the head of the art department before settling into her private business. Ms. Lee enhanced her knowledge by completing postgraduate studies at Texas Tech University and San Miguel de Allende Art Institute in Mexico, and coursework at The University of Southern California. She became a certified personal property appraiser through the American Society of Appraisers in 1972.
Outside of academia and her business, Ms. Lee enjoys showcasing her own art too. She participated in group exhibitions across the United States, notably in El Paso, Texas, and New Orleans, as well as in Mexico. Additionally, she contributed to the collection of the Permian Basin Presidential Museum in Odessa, and wrote articles for professional journals.
The guiding principles of Ada Burnette’s life have been to lead with integrity and to consistently provide effective and efficient service. She was exposed to strong role models, including her successful parents, for as long as she can remember, and from them garnered an inquisitive nature and a desire to always do the right thing. Later on in life, she has striven to be that same kind of role model to her peers, colleagues, and everyone else she encounters. Dr. Burnette is currently utilizing her assets at Valdosta State University, where she works as an associate professor and as the coordinator of off-campus programs, and at Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University. She is proud that, after more than six decades of professional service, her career continues to be replete with loyalty and high productivity; she is devoted to promoting quality education and services among diverse populations in innovative programs that cross college, school and community boundaries.
During Dr. Burnette’s long career, she has held a number of positions as a teacher and administrator at schools of all levels. She started her journey as a high school mathematics teacher in Winston-Salem, N.C., in 1953, and in 1954, became an elementary teacher within the Chicago Public Schools. Four years later, she transitioned to higher education, joining the staff of the University of Chicago as a reading clinician. That set off an era of increasing professional responsibilities with institutions like Norfolk State University, Tuskegee University, and Fisk University, as well as with the Florida Department of Education, for whom she served as the first African-American administrator in the state since the Reconstruction era. Dr. Burnette then spent a few years with Bethune-Cookman University before transferring to Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University, where she spent decades, culminating in distinguished titles like professor emerita, chairperson of the Department of Educational Leadership, president of the faculty senate, and coordinator of the Masters Level Education Program.
Passionate about literature, Lucinda D. Conger has always felt at home in the library. That’s why, when it came time to choose a career, she felt library science would be the perfect fit. Ms. Conger proceeded to earn a Bachelor of Arts at Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard College in 1963 and a Master of Library Science at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1964. The degrees propelled her immediately into her first job as a reference librarian with the University of California, Davis, where she stayed for a year. In 1965, Ms. Conger transferred to the Library of Congress as a cataloguer, and in 1966, she was promoted to the role of reference librarian with the institution. She then returned to academia, serving as a compact storage librarian at Princeton University, the director of reclassification and the serials librarian at Albion College, and the reference librarian at Yale University. From 1976 to 2000, Ms. Conger worked as a reference librarian for the U.S. Department of State, and from 1994 to 2000, she worked as the chief of the Reader Services Branch. She retired in 2000.
In addition to her professional endeavors, Ms. Conger dedicated a lot of time to her community. She was a columnist for Database Magazine from 1980 to 1990, and the author of “Online Command Chart,” published in 1977 and rereleased in 1981. She also contributed articles to professional journals, volunteered with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History from 2001 to 2012, and maintained affiliation with the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.
Facing many challenge early in life, Hilda Hellums Baker turned to God to help her get through. She was inspired by her journey, and sought to use her story to help others. Thus, in 1996, she founded Cross Roads Retreat and Conference Center, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people get away from the city and remove distractions so they can reconnect with God. Although the original mission was to focus on teenagers and youth groups, they now cater to more adult groups.
As the founder and chairman of the board, Ms. Baker is responsible for overseeing all operations. She specializes in giving people direction and guidance, and maintaining and improving the intended culture of the camp. Located in the remote Texas town of Caldwell, Cross Roads can accommodate up to 96 visitors and is, according to their webpage, “committed to providing a sacred place for learning, inspiration, and transformation.”
Known amongst her peers for her expertise in fashion, retail and merchandising, Antoinette Piesche is thriving as the owner of La Bella Moda, LLC. She first opened the store in 2011 in Clinton, Mass., after realizing that there was a lack of plus-size women’s clothing in the fashion industry. Desiring to fill the niche, Ms. Piesche has made it her mission to create pieces for women of all sizes. Some of her responsibilities at the boutique have come to include managing all operations and designing clothes. She is proud to have earned a reputation for being attentive to detail and committed to her customers.
Over the years, Ms. Piesche has presented her work to both fashion shows and magazines alike. Notably, she participated in PLITZS New York City Fashion Week in 2017 and Couture Fashion Week in New York City in 2014, among others. One of Ms. Piesche’s proudest accomplishments was being the first person to present a plus size model in a fashion show. She attributes her success to her hard work and dedication, as well as to her passion for what she does.
Research | EDUCATION
Trained in multiple fields, Lakshmi Pulakat has acquired a unique set of skills that has allowed her to take an interdisciplinary approach throughout her professional journey. Her background lies in biochemistry, molecular biology, chemistry, physiology, and medicine, which she feels helps the way she thinks. Dr. Pulakat enjoys developing novel approaches to cardiovascular diseases, and has played a key part in changing the attitude toward female participation in research or clinical trials. She is currently parlaying her knowledge into her roles as a professor of medicine, nutrition, and exercise physiology at the University of Missouri, which she’s held since 2009.
Dr. Pulakat prepared for her endeavors by earning a Bachelor of Science in chemistry at SNGS College at the University of Calicut in India in 1979, and a Master of Science in life sciences and a Master of Philosophy in molecular biology, specifically in the DST unit of genetic engineering, from Jawaharlal Nehru University in 1981 and 1984, respectively. She continued her education in Australia, where she obtained a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Melbourne in 1989.
Government | Business
Always looking to help others, Roberta Gibson Pevear embarked on a long career of community service. She was a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives from 1979 to 1988, and was instrumental in the development of an evacuation plan for the Seabrook Station nuclear power plant in New Hampshire, which she considers a professional highlight. While in the government, Ms. Pevear served as the Clerk of the Environment and Agricultural Committee. She also has experience as the Commissioner of the Rockingham Planning Commission and the New Hampshire Planning Commission, as well as the Chairman of Rockingham County Home and a Civil Defense Director for Hampton Falls, N.H.
Outside of her government service, Ms. Pevear was also very active in business. She was the Secretary to Owner of Wilner Wood Products, Export Secretary of Whitaker Cable, District Secretary of Anheuser-Busch, and Legal Secretary with an Officer of Johnson & Johnson. She went on to join Law Firm of St. John, Ronder & Bell, Kingston as the Secretary to Mr. St. John and Sears-Roebuck and Co., in Administration. While serving in the N.H. Legislature, Ms. Pevear was a Sales Agent for Avon products. She prepared for her endeavors by earning a diploma in commercial art from Gould Academy in 1947.