Listee Features — April 2022

Nanette Yabiku


With an early interest in both psychology and teaching, Nanette L. Yabiku earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Sonoma State University in 1984 and began her career as a teacher with the Bakersfield City School District in California, where she has excelled for over 35 years. First joining the John C. Fremont Elementary School, where she taught kindergarten, second and third grade, she went on to spend time teaching at the Ramon Garza Elementary School before accepting a position at the Dr. Juliet Thorner Elementary School. During this period, she began taking courses with the John Maxwell Team as a way to further develop her leadership skills, and achieved a certification in coaching. Finding success with these coaching

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Inspired by a deep love of helping others and serving God at the same time, Marisol Lardizabal Escobar strives to help people become the best versions of themselves through her roles as a nurse, interior designer, event planner and life coach. She first earned a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Saint Jude College in Manila, Philippines, in 1993, where she was recognized on the dean’s list and presented with the Loyalty Award. She then sought a master’s degree in psychology and maternal child nursing and is currently pursuing a doctorate in holistic medicine. For her excellence as a nurse, Ms. Escobar was presented with the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses by The DAISY Foundation, which seeks to recognize nurses,

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Mary Obetz


Mary Beth Ogden Obetz was inspired to a career in medicine by her father, who was a physician, as well as by an opportunity she had early on to tour a hospital laboratory. After earning a diploma from Central High School in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1973, she joined Tennessee Tech University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology in 1977. Achieving her license in medical technology in the state of Tennessee, she began her career as a medical technologist in 1976. From there, she served in a variety of roles, including supervisor, lead technologist and quality technologist before joining the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, as a medical laboratory scientist in 1993. With the Lebanon VA

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Lena Kopp


Lena D. Kopp is an accomplished Native American entrepreneur from the Choctaw Nation who has excelled in the construction and trade industry for over 20 years. Starting out in iron-working and moving her way up into welding, she joined AltairStrickland in 1999, where she excelled in welding and quality assurance and control until 2011. During this period, she achieved certification as a welding inspector and spent time with the Fluor Corporation from 2005 to 2012, where she contributed her skills as a welder, supervisor and NCCER instructor for welding, iron, core and rigging, and with AMECAMEC in 2006, serving as a boilermaker supervisor and welder. Having excelled in a very physically demanding field, Ms. Kopp credits much of her success

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Growing up surrounded by the entertainment industry, Sefanie Ryan-Manhim was greatly inspired by her mother, Ursula Ryan, who found success as a beauty queen in Germany and eventually rose in fame to sing alongside Elvis. Ms. Ryan-Manhim and her sister spent many hours as children at their mother’s shoots. Initially thinking to pursue a career in pediatric oncology out of a notion to avoid the family business, she realized in college that she did actually enjoy acting and achieved her first role as an actress with the television show “Wonderama” in 1976. As she furthered her career, she sought more specific education and earned a bachelor’s degree in theater arts from Pace University in Manhattan in 1992. In 1995, Ms.

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Shirley Bryant


Joining the U.S. Army to support her education, Shirley Boykins Bryant chose to pursue a career in behavior counseling and human resources after realizing that there was a need for people to take on that kind of work. Achieving a master’s degree in human resource management from Columbia Southern University, she then joined Touro University Worldwide, where she earned a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in human and organizational psychology, summa cum laude. She also holds a diploma in modern applied psychology and has been certified in diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace and inclusive and ethical leadership by the University of South Florida as well as in corporate training and professional education, as an

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Attributing much of her success to her work ethic and drive, Margo Allman first realized that she wanted to be an artist while studying at Smith College in 1951. Going on to complete coursework at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, the Moore College of Art & Design and the University of Delaware, she cites her most important influences as Leonard Nelson, a professor at Moore College of Art & Design, and her parents, Werner H. Hutz and Avis Newcomb. Beyond her formal studies, she considers the most important lesson she has learned over the years to be to find your way of doing things and to stick to it. Furthermore, Ms. Allman finds continued motivation through the natural

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Ruzanna Kirakosyan


Ruzanna Kirakosyan pursued a career in the cosmetics industry out of a love of makeup and other cosmetic products. Earning a cosmetology degree from the Marinello Beauty School in California, she cultivated significant expertise in chemistry and cosmetic formulas, as well as color cosmetology and preparing new and exciting product lines. Now an accomplished cosmetologist, she takes great joy in helping women to feel better about themselves through makeup and cosmetics and notes that she loves her work so much that it hardly feels like a job at all. In 2016, she founded Blooming Rose Cosmetics, where she pioneered the silver rose scalp mask, a 100% natural hair loss prevention and restoration aid. Serving as the chief executive officer of

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Sandra Badger


Sandra Rae Badger was involved in teaching from an early age, helping to teach swim lessons as a child. Earning a Bachelor of Science in physical education at the University of Southern Colorado, now Colorado State University Pueblo, in 1969, she began her career as the head women’s swimming coach for Mitchell High School and Doherty High School in Colorado Springs, Colorado, that same year, taking over from her teacher supervisor following her time student teaching. She remained in this role until 1990 and also taught in the department of health education at Doherty High School. Joining Colorado College to pursue a Master of Arts in arts and humanities, she served as a coach for one- and three-meter springboard diving

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Deborah Turner


Deborah Ann Turner was inspired to a career in medicine by her sister, who was a registered nurse and often brought her to visit the hospital where she worked. By the time Ms. Turner was in middle school, it had become her mission to attend medical school. Achieving her Bachelor of Science in zoology, chemistry and psychology at Iowa State University, she went on to complete a Doctor of Medicine and an obstetrics-gynecology residency at the University of Iowa and a fellowship in gynecologic oncology at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Ms. Turner then began her career as a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center in Iowa. Excelling in medical education and patient care, Ms. Turner spent 35

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