Women's Wall of Honor 2009

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women
Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

2009 Honorees

Sharilyn Darnell, Jeri M. Ghosh, Nancy Grigsby,  Martha Miller, Shirley Pigott, Kimberly Quartel, Lisa Jo Spencer, Carol Stearns, Joyce Stepp-Lathrop, Marijo Strauss, Marilyn Joan Young.


(Individual descriptions were written at the time of nomination and have not been updated.  Most of these women have gone on to do even more amazing things for their community and their neighbors.)

Sharilyn Darnell

Sharilyn’s life journey has involved teaching, loving, playing, counseling, and advocating for children of all ages. She has a special place in her heart for those less fortunate. As the Capital Campaign chair for both Children in Crisis, Inc. and the children’s Advocacy Center, this amazing woman has helped build two successful child-centered organizations. Sharilyn is excited to tell anyone about CIC and what they are doing.

Nominated by Children in Crisis, Inc., Ken Hair, Executive Director

Jeri Ghosh

Jeri Ghosh is the Technical Director of the 46th Range Group at Eglin AFB. She earned a BS in Physics and Optical Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MBA from Troy University. She served in many civic capacities, including President of the Junior League, Bowlegs Honor Guard, mentor to middle school children, and conducted Habitat for Humanity tennis tournaments.

Nominated by Michelle Ferreira, Junior League of the Emerald Coast

Nancy Grigsby

Nancy is a radiant Christian woman and many of her activities are through her church, the First Baptist Church of Niceville. Nancy has worked in or led the following: State of FL Southern Baptist Children’s Home, Missions Development Director, Junior League, Pastor Search Committee, Bible study leader, Council on Aging, Sunday school teacher, and First Baptist Mullet Festival booth.

Nominated by First Baptist Church of Niceville

Martha C. Miller

Martha has received numerous commendations from local business and charitable organizations.  In 2006, she was selected as a 33rd Honorary Commander.  Her list of community service over the past 20 years is endless.  Recent activities include 2006 President of the Niceville Chamber, President of the Heritage Museum Board, United Way volunteer, American Cancer Society Chairperson, and a member of the Niceville Planning Commission.

Nominated by Shirley Daniel

Shirley J. Pigott

Shirley served 31+ years in civil service mainly in the Office of Public Affairs at Eglin AFB as Chief of Community Relations. She was involved with six Chambers of Commerce and seven Military Affairs Councils in three counties, the EDC, plus city, county, state and federal elected officials serving as the liaison between Eglin and the communities. She was the 2007 Athena International Award recipient for her community service and leadership. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast, the AFA, the OCCSW, and the Director of Administration for the Emerald Coast MAC.


Nominated by Latus Pigott

Kimberly Quartel

After graduating from Florida State, Kimberly Quartel knew she wanted to dedicate her life to helping children and boarded over 80 foster children. She manages her work and parenting duties, providing love, support, patience and understanding. Because of Kimberly opening her door and heart, these children learned what it is like to be a family. In 2006, Kimberly was honored by the Florida Department of Children’s and Families with a Superior Service award for her foster care work.

Nominated by Cheryl Union

Lisa Jo Spencer

Lisa Jo is a member of the law firm of Fleet, Spencer & Kilpatrick, P.A.  She received her law degree from Stetson University and served as a USAF JAG officer.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees for FWB Medicl Center, a past president and 2009 Woman of the Year of American Business Women’s Association a member of the OCCSW, Board of Directors of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, where she chairs and sits on several committees.

Nominated by Emerald Coast Chapter of ABWA

Carol L. Stearns

Carol L. Stearns is the mother of two sons and is a grandmother. She is a retired LtCol in the USAF Reserve; married to LtCol Allan Stearns, USAF, retired. She holds a BA degree from Elon College and a MS degree from Troy University. Carol is the owner of Interiors By Decorating Den and was the top franchise owner in the company four times and was honored by the International Franchise Association with a Distinguished Achievement Award. She received numerous USAF awards for her distinguished military service.

Nominated by Allan Stearns

Joyce Stepp-Lathrop

Joyce Stepp-Lathrop has supported many worthwhile projects and functions for more than thirty years, including Sunday school teacher, Red Cross, Special Olympics, Democratic Committee, Diva Beach Red Hat, and Retired Officers Wives Heart Desire Chairperson. She has served on NVBA Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee, Host Committee Chairperson, FWB Chamber Ambassador, Sharing and Caring, Children Advocacy, Cancer drives and fund raisers.

Nominated by Robert O. Lathrop, LtCol USAF, Retired

Marijo Strauss

Marijo Strauss supports and volunteers with many organizations: Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated, Florida Federation of Republican Women, Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee, Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections office, Shalimar UMC, Church Council, Annual Craft Festival, Humane Society of the U.S., PAWS, Shalimar Library, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, FWB Yacht Club, Shalimar Pointe Golf Club and the Krewe of Bowlegs.

Nominated by Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated

Marilyn Joan Young

Joan is a inspiration to others and believes everyone should give back to their community. She was a Crisis Line volunteer for five years, a team member and scheduling person for the Sexual Trauma Team for approximately ten years and has assisted with presentations for Hospice and the Trauma Intervention Team. She is the founder of the Okaloosa County Chapter of Compassionate Friends and is still the facilitator after fifteen years. She was the Okaloosa/Walton mental Health Volunteer of the year in 1999.

Nominated anonymously