Listee Features — December 2021

Patricia Sproul


Patricia D. Sproul is a certified medical assistant and business management expert who has dedicated her career to helping companies across sectors streamline their processes and maximize growth through operational oversight. Since 1999, she has worked with HealthForce, a manufacturer and distributor of herbal and nutritional supplements. Inspired by her lifelong interest in health and wellness, she joined the company as a customer service manager, rising to become general manager of onsite operations before the company relocated its headquarters from Southern California to Arizona in 2013. When she began working with HealthForce, Ms. Sproul recalls that company staff was limited to just her and the production crew, and she began by handling accounting, management and human resources concerns. Ms. Sproul

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Lynne Barron


Lynne Barron is a jewelry designer, creator and entrepreneur who has successfully run Creations by Lynne B, an Etsy shop, for more than 12 years. As a child, she hoped to grow up to care for others as a full-time parent, teacher or nurse, though she began her career by enlisting in the United States Navy. She served proudly in the Wave Corps through the Vietnam War and remained in the Individual Readiness Reserves until 1992, serving through Operation Desert Storm. After leaving the military, she became a mother to two children, and homeschooled them, which fulfilled her childhood dream of teaching. Her family has since grown to include three grandchildren. Once her children completed their homeschool education, Ms. Barron

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Kenya Mills


Kenya M. Mills is an accomplished and upcoming social worker and finance professional. Graduating from Pomona High School in California, she began her postsecondary education with an associate degree in liberal arts from Mount San Antonio College in 1998 and embarked on a career in a variety of retail management positions. From 2007 to 2008, she was an assistant manager for Lady Foot Locker in the Charlotte, North Carolina, area and held the same role with Citi Trends in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, from 2009 to 2010. During this early portion of her career, Ms. Mills witnessed her children get overlooked by their school system and denied resources, services and advocacy because they were perceived as Black children with issues. Feeling

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With over three decades of experience in behavior interventions and programming along with sensory motor information, Joanie Armstrong began her studies at the University of Central Missouri, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in education and a lifetime teaching certificate. She went on to obtain a Master of Science in guidance counseling and psychology at Missouri State University in 1987, and subsequently joined their staff. She is also licensed as a professional counselor and by the National Board for Certified Counselors. Starting out as a teacher in the psychology department at Missouri State University, Ms. Armstrong came to her current work in 1990, at which time she was teaching an introduction to psychology course. Project Access, a program funded

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Born in Latvia to father Evalds Kaufert and mother Lize Planics, Ilona Kaufet Klasons immigrated to Canada in 1951 before coming to the United States in 1960. She had initially thought to pursue a career in nursing, but once she had started in nursing school, she realized that the field wasn’t right for her. Changing her trajectory, she got married to her now late husband, Visvaldis Klasons, in April 1960 and moved to Baltimore, where their son, Eric, was born in 1963. When her husband got sick, Ms. Klasons decided it was time for her to start looking for work again, which led to her returning to school, first through night school and community college courses. Finding that she had

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Margit Edelson


Margit Nass Edelson, PhD, graduated from high school with the highest level of education possible in the 1950s. During the course of her high school career, she achieved enough college level science credits to complete her bachelor’s degree in only two years. As she was pursuing her undergraduate degree, she was inspired by one of her professors to pursue a career in the sciences and, at the same time, realized her own desire to work in education. Graduating with her Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, followed by her Master of Arts, Dr. Edelson concluded her formal studies at Columbia University, where she achieved a Doctor of Philosophy in 1961. Two postdoctoral fellowship awards from the National Science Foundation and

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Andrea Cooper


Inspired to a career in the airline industry because of her father, who was a pilot, Andrea Joy Cooper was further driven by her desire for a career that would challenge her. Having held her private pilot license since 2011, she earned an Associate of Science in air traffic control at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, and her airline dispatcher certification from Jeppesen Academy in 2013. From there, Ms. Cooper was hired by Trans States Airlines as a crew scheduler in 2013, rising to airline dispatcher and dispatch manager from 2014 to 2017. During this time, she found she enjoyed the greater responsibility that a management position brought, being involved in flight cancellations, delays, swaps and other duties that required

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Inspired to a career as a writer and editor due to her early excellence in her English classes, Claire Knopf first studied at Michigan State University from 1957 to 1959 before transferring to the University of California Berkeley, where she completed coursework from 1960 to 1961. Subsequently, she embarked on her career as a freelance copy editor, working with various magazines and other publications, including Travel + Leisure, SmartMoney and Glamour. From 1970 to 1979, she worked in Israel as a freelance copy editor for the Massada Publishing Co., Magnes Press and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and as a writer for Edrei-Sharon Publications. Becoming a copy editor for Time magazine and Time Warner Inc. in 1980, Ms. Knopf held

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Harriet McDonald


Attributing much of her success to her visionary goals, dedicated advocacy and extraordinary tenacity against all odds, Harriet McDonald holds considerable expertise in fundraising and designing and implementing solutions to homelessness. Starting out as an actress and screenwriter in Hollywood, California, she was commissioned to write about a young girl named April, who was homeless, battling addiction and living in Grand Central Station. Despite the help Ms. McDonald tried to provide, April ended up taking her own life, which impacted Ms. McDonald deeply and spurred her into action. At April’s funeral, she was further inspired by the man who had given the eulogy, an advocate for the homeless community named George McDonald. Embarking on a project together, they were married

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Connie Dunn


Connie D. Dunn, PhD, holds considerable expertise in biology, analytical chemistry, microbiology, quality assurance, and environmental and clinical work. First earning a Bachelor of Science in biology from Texas Tech University, she went on to obtain a master’s degree in microbiology from Abilene Christian University. During this time, she was also active with the United States Air Force, where she served for 15 years to the rank of major. The Air Force sent her to study medical technology at the Wilford Hall Medical Facility at Lackland Air Force Base, where she obtained medical technology certification, and she took her education even further with a master’s degree in analytical chemistry and a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from Texas Tech University.

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