Women of Distinction


Thank you!

The 2018 Women of Distinction event was absolutely fabulous!  The night was filled with the inspirational life stories of three women who we are all lucky to have in our community: Wendy Dominique, Dr. Mishelle Nace and Barb Walters.  Our guests enjoyed a delicious dinner, a fantastic silent auction and shared many laughs along the way.  A very special thank you goes out to Alaska First Lady Donna Walker and Alaska Lt. Governor Byron Mallott who joined us for this lovely evening.  A big thank you to our Emcee, Randi Carnahan and our Storyteller, Cindy Schumaker.  And finally, thank you to everyone who made this event possible, you all help make Girl Scouting possible in northern Alaska.  

About the Women of Distinction Awards

Women have always been strong contributors to the state of Alaska and to the city of Fairbanks. While many women have worked in the spotlight to effect change and improve communities, many have contributed behind the scenes. The Farthest North Girl Scout Council designed an award two decades ago that honors women who have made highly visible as well as silent contributions to the Fairbanks community. Each May, the Girl Scout council recognizes three women, at a banquet in their honor, who make our city a better place to live and who are positive role models for young girls.

The Women of Distinction Event is an annual fundraiser presented in partnership with BP. The community of Fairbanks recognizes and awards three extraordinary women, while supporting a positive program for Alaska’s girls. Funds from previous events have helped hundreds of girls to enjoy the fun of Girl Scouts in troops and at camp, from all around the state.

About the 2018 Honorees

Wendy Dominique – Wendy grew up with a single-mother raising 4 children and through that, shaped her strength of character and drive to help others.  She now has 3 sons of her own and successfully balanced home-life with her job as a budget analyst for the Federal Government.  She also made time for the JP Jones Community Development Center, NAACP, and as a school board member for the FNSBSD for the past 13 years.  When her boys were young, she volunteered for the Youth Bowling League, Interior Youth Football League and the PTA.  As stated by the person nominating Wendy, “Wendy is definitely a role model for all young women and especially for young black women.  Her courage to ask the difficult question, her strength of character, her positive self-esteem, her honest and forthright speech, her fairness and acceptance of all people, and her willingness to give of herself to improve our community through her hard work and dedication” make her perfect selection as a Woman of Distinction.

Dr. Mishelle Nace – Mishelle was born and raised in Fairbanks.  She left the state for her education and returned to become a respected and loved pediatrician.  She has perfected her craft both as a doctor and as medical director, successfully juggling the two for decades.  Most recently, she helped with the transition of the local hospital ownership, which includes TVC.  Within her field, Mishelle has supported programs for behavioral health, residencies for students from outside Alaska to train in Fairbanks, reading programs like “Reach Out and Read” or learning to brush through “Cavity Free by Three.”  She has reached out to the community as she raised her 3 children to include volunteering with Chinook Elementary, West Valley High School, Running Club of the North and Fairbanks Youth Soccer.  As her nomination states, “Mishelle is one of these unique people with the ability to command a room with simple grace humility, kindness and a gentle sense of humor.”

Barb Walters  It is safe to say Barb Walters is the matriarch of Healy.  There isn’t a person, organization or project she hasn’t made better because of her involvement.  She made her way to Alaska in the 1970s and ended up in Healy as a teacher.  There she married and had 3 daughters.  And so began a 40 year journey of becoming involved in all that happens in Healy.  The list includes her church, the school, the cemetery, the library, service groups, camps for kids, her Girl Scout troop and helping individuals with a need.  When faced with her own health scare last year, she even approached that with grace and humor, comforting all those around her.  As her daughter writes, “My greatest role model would have to be my mother, Barbara Walters.  People often get a chuckle when I say my mom’s name.  They ask if she’s THE Barbara Walters, the famous one, and I say well, she is THE Barbara Walters to me.”

Previous Honorees

Martha Harrell, Brenda Holden, Effie Kokrine, and Ann Secrest

Rev. Shellie Brown, Poldine Carlo, Grace Berg Schaible, and Sue Wilken

Vallie Byrdsong, Deborah Honea, Ruth Lister, and Rev. Mable Rasmussen

Virgie M. King, Christine Smith, Coleen Turner, and June Ulz

Annie Bartley, Erma Belz, Ruth Burnett, and June Rogers

Nancy White Carlstrom, Edna Wilder Cryan, Emily Kemak, and Susan Redding

Gloria Fernandez, Nancy Hanson, Dorothy Jones, and Ginger Stock-McKenzie

Jyotsna “Jo” Heckman, Kyong Hollen, Susan Rainey, and Chelsea Walker

Barbara Hall, M. Chris Hayes, Althea St. Martin, and Jo Ryman Scott

Rosalind Kan, Patty Kastelic, Theresa Reed, and Marilyn Romano

Samantha Kirstein, Henrine Gray, Ann Shortt, and Niesje Steinkruger

Carol Brice, Lorena Hegdal, Annie Keep-Barnes, and Cheryl Kilgore

Pat Cook, Lottie Fleeks, Mary Ann Nickles, and Bonnie Roberts

Karen Parr, Wendy Redman, Jennifer Schmidt, and Barbara Schuhmann

Mary Binkley, Shirley Lee, Peggy Pollen, and Jeri Wigdahl

Bernice Joseph, Shelby Nelson, and Karen Perdue

Sue Hull, Patty Mongold, and Connie Parks-Karl

Mary Jane Fate, Jane Kauvar, and Sue White

Sherry Modrow, Ana Richards, and Lorna Shaw

Bonnie Johnson, Jennifer Jolis, Corlis Tayor

Betsy Merto Engle, Becky Zaverl, Michelle Katz Bartlett

Wendy Dominique, Dr. Mishelle Nace, Barb Walters

Honoring our 2018 Donors

Major Sponsor:


Corporate Sponsors:
Alaska Airlines
Cook & Haugeberg
Elizabeth Schok/Yukon Title
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Foundation Health Partners
Gayle Garrigues
Mt. McKinley Bank
Quality Sales Food Service
Usibelli Coal Mine

Table Sponsors:
Friends of Mishelle Nace
Hospital Foundation
Laura Brunner

Special Contributors:
Advance Printing
Chris Anderson
First Lady Donna Walker
Randi Carnahan
Clear Channel Radio
Gayle Garrigues
Margaret Hernandez
IHeart Media
KATN, Channel 2
KTVF, Channel 11
TVTV, Channel 13
Last Frontier Mediactive
Wendy Lindskoog
Karen Lundquist
Jill Marshall/ Marshall Arts Design
Monique Musick
Claudia & Jeff Pierson
John Ringstad
Courtney Roberts
Cindy Schumaker
Margaret Soden
Gary & Chelsea Walker
The Turtle Club
Troop 29
Troop 31
Troop 77
Troop 260
Troop 124
The Aurora Service Unit
The Great North Star Service Unit
The Four-Get-Me-Not Service Unit