OCCSW Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

2006 Okaloosa County Women's Hall of Fame Honorees

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Dr. Jennifer Fortune - Humanitarian Award

Dr. Jennifer Fortune was presented The Carolyn Spencer Humanitarian Award. Having practiced veterinary medicine for 22 years, she has shepherded the practice to one of the largest in the south and last year rescued over 100 animals from the streets of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. For many years she devoted herself to a program called "Share Christmas with a Friend" held at Cayenne Café, which she and her husband own. Up to 200 people came to share dinner with others who were alone during the holiday. She is a mother of five but still has time to write, produce children’s films and work in the various businesses she has in our community.

Susan Kneller - Community Service Award

The Community Service Award was presented to Susan Kneller, who is currently an active volunteer and has been a leader and driving force in the arts and cultural communities of Okaloosa County for the past 13 years. She is currently the President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Philharmonic Society of Northwest Florida. Other activities include being a Commander, teacher and director of advanced powerboat piloting for the Fort Walton Sail and Power Squadron and volunteering more than 1,500 hours at Henderson Beach State Park. As a guest speaker at civic events, she extols the importance of volunteering to "Give Back to the Community".

Dr. Pamela Meadows - Education Award

Dr. Pamela Meadows, who has worked to improve the quality of life on many fronts, including healthcare, education and recreation, was presented The Educational Award. She has been the Federal Program Coordinator of the Okaloosa School District since 1976 where she established the state mandated Summer Voluntary Pre-K program and provided leadership on numerous School Advisory Committees. Other community involvements include chairperson to the Board of Trustees at North Okaloosa Medical Center, chairperson to the Women’s Advisory Board, member of the Crestview Chamber of Commerce and volunteer to numerous other organizations in our community.

Jeanne Rief - Contemporary Award

The Contemporary Award was presented to Jeanne Rief, an active member and leader of the community. She is currently the marketing director of the Northwest Florida Daily News. During her 26 years in Okaloosa County, Rief has established herself as a leader in advertising and marketing and is past president of the Emerald Coast Advertising Federation and received their highest award — The Silver Medal. She has also served as president of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, as chair of the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women and has held leading roles in several other organizations. She established the annual Focus on Women Expo held at the Santa Rosa Mall. She has been an inspirational mentor to many women.

Bernadette Sims - Cultural Arts Award

Bernadette Clements Sims, founder of the Northwest Florida Ballet in Fort Walton Beach, was recognized with The Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Award. She remains active in teaching and serving on the Board of Directors. She is also serving as Vice President of the Arts and Design Society and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Okaloosa Arts Alliance. She was recognized for her commitment to high standards and artistic achievement that has enriched many lives.

2006 Honorees

Dr. Jennifer Fortune
Humanitarian Award

Susan Kneller
Community Service Award

Dr. Pamela Meadows

Jeanne Rief
Contemporary Award

Bernadette Sims
Mattie Kelly Cultural Arts Award

2006 Nominees

Nan French

Shaun Lampron

Ida Fae Powell

Barbara Wall


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