Women of Distinction

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.

2019 Women of Distinction

The 2019 Women of Distinction event was absolutely wonderful!  Everyone enjoyed a delicious dinner, a fantastic silent auction, laughs with friends, and most importantly, the life stories of three inspirational women in our community; Odette Butler, Billie Kassel & Teisha Simmons.

A very special thank you goes out to Alaska First Lady Rose Dunleavy for joining us and speaking at this event.  A big thank you goes out to our Emcee, Marilyn Romano and our Storyteller, Cindy Schumaker.  And finally, thank you to everyone who made this event possible, you help make Girl Scouting possible in Interior and Northern Alaska!

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

Odette Butler, Billie Kassel, Teisha Simmons

Dr. Rev. Anna Frank, Dorothy Laiti, Lisa Sundborg

Honoring Our 2019 Donors

Major Sponsor:


Corporate Sponsors:
Alaska Airlines
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Gayle Garrigues
Mt. McKinley Bank
Westmark Fairbanks

Table Sponsors:
Doyon, Lmt.
Kathy Mayo
The Landing Church

Special Contributors:
Alaska Coffee Roasting Co.
Alaska Feed Company
Alaska Goldpanners
Alaska Railroad
Alaska Salmon Bake
Animal House Veterinary Hospital
Arctic Harvest
Aurora Service Unit
Bad Mother Vintage
Beaver Sports
Big Ray’s
The Cinnamon Gang
Cold Spot Feeds
The Cookie Jar
Co-Op Market Deli & Grocery
The Crepery
The Diner
Denali Raft Adventures
Elements Salon and Day Spa
Expressions in Glass
Fairbanks Distilling Co.
Fairbanks Ice Dogs
Flower Pot Garden Center
Fly Trampoline Park Fairbanks
Four-Get-Me-Not Service Unit
Frank’s Menswear
Frontier Outfitters
Gayle Garrigues
Gavoras Fine Wine
Gold Dredge #8
Grassroots Guitar Company
Great North Star Service Unit
Great Alaskan Bowl Co.
Great Harvest Bread Co.
Leah M. Hill
Mimi Hill
Holm Town Nursery
HooDoo Brewing Company
Hot Licks Homemade Ice Cream
If Only… a fine store
In My Element
Judie Gumm Designs
Lavelle’s Bistro
Lavelle’s Taphouse
Little Owl Cafe
The Lodge at Black Rapids
McCafferty’s, A Coffee House, Etc.
Moose Mountain Ski Resort
Movement Barre
Northern Sparrow Boutique
Claudia Pierson
Pro Music
The Prospector
The Pumphouse
REI Fairbanks
Riverboat Discovery
Santa’s Smokehouse
Ski Land
Margaret Soden
Sourdough Fuel/Petro Star
SpringHill Suites
Stan Stephens Glacier and Wildlife Cruises
Althea St. Martin
Tanana Valley State Fair
Taylor’s Gold-n-Stones
Team Cutters
The Turtle Club
Ursa Major Distilling Co.
The Venue
Water Wagon
Westmark Fairbanks