OCCSW Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

2005 Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame Honorees

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Virginia Glynn Barr - Humanitarian Award

Virginia Glynn Barr was presented The Carolyn Spencer Humanitarian Award. She has devoted her professional life to helping the needy, the mentally ill, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the homeless and the working poor. Her service goes beyond her role as Executive Director of the Mental Health Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties. She stands out as a caring, involved community leader, volunteer and consummate professional.

Peggy May - Pioneer Award

Peggy May, who is a professional journalist, editor and community champion, was recognized as a pioneer inductee. For over 40 years she has dedicated her professional and personal life to the community by resolutely publicizing and supporting women, as well as civic, artistic and religious organizations. Her contributions are documented in newsprint and are in the first drafts of our local history.

Gayle Melich - Pioneer Award

Gayle Melich (1937-2005) was recognized posthumously as one of the "Founding Mothers" of the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women and the Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame. A longtime activist for women's rights, she served in leadership positions in several national organizations, including the role of executive director of the National Women's Political Caucus. Melich was also actively involved in local organizations that helped all people in need. She was a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida, and the board of directors of Okaloosa-Walton Child Care Services.

Judy Riley - Contemporary Award

Judy Byrne Riley — the contemporary inductee — is an active member and leader of the community. She is currently a member of the Workforce Development Board as well as the boards of the Air Force Museum and the University of West Florida and President of MAXIMUM Management and Leasing. Her many past local leadership roles include that of serving as the Chair of United Way, Chair of the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women, President of the Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County, Vice President of Valparaiso Realty Co., President of the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber or Commerce and many more. She has also received several state appointments and served on state boards and is a former Chair of the National Association of Workforce Board Chairs. She is a role model for women in business, unselfishly giving generously of her time, knowledge, skill, enthusiasm, talents and expertise to the education, business and civic arena.

2005 Honorees

Virginia Glynn Barr
Humanitarian Award

Peggy May
Pioneer Award

Gayle Melich
Pioneer Award

Judy Riley
Contemporary Award

2005 Nominees

Sylvia Loretta Bass

Elaine Courtney

M. Susan Kneller

Loretta Scheffer

Bernadette Clements Sims


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