Women's Wall of Honor 2011Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women
2011 Wall of Honor
Jan Bishop, Shirley Bow, Nancy Church, Charla Cotton, Anne “Amy” McBride, PA, Donna G. Miller, Nancy L. Mitchell, Janet Mosier, Patricia P. Perri, Shirley Pope, Michelle Wright.
(Individual descriptions were written at the time of nomination and have not been updated since. Most of these women have gone on to do even more amazing things for their community and their neighbors.)
Jan has been involved in many community endeavors. She and her husband Don are major supporters of the USO at Northwest Florida Airport. They were major supporters of Honor Flights for WWII veterans. Fisher House and animal rescue are two more of her passions. Her attitude is “It’s not about me.” We are blessed and privileged to have her in our community.
Nominated by Helen Hunt-Rigdon
Shirley is a woman of many talents and has graciously shared them with her church, the community and beyond. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church has been blessed to have her serve on the church council in several roles, including that of President. Within the church, she is well known for her flower arranging, decorating talents, singing in the choir, working with the Mission Gift Fair and serving with the women’s group as President and chairing Mother-Daughter events. In the community, she has served in several positions, including President of the Panhandle Conference of Lutheran Women and President of the Northgate Estates Garden Club. She is very deserving and always there to say “yes” whenever needed.
Nominated by Jean Dutton
Nancy Church was raised in New Orleans, then moved to Florida, where she wanted to encourage young men and women to learn traditional ballroom dances and social etiquette. She founded the Senior Cotillion in 1986 and later added the Junior Cotillion serving over 1,500 students in Ft Walton Beach, Niceville and Destin until 2010. Nancy wanted students from all the local schools, so they would have a healthy social experience in their community. She dedicated her time and talents to incorporate professional dancers and volunteers and hosted at least two formal events annually to give students the chance to dance.
Nominated by Mitzi Henley
Charla Cotton has devoted her career to providing a better education and educational environment for children. She has taught preschool, junior high, high school and college. After leaving the classroom, she became an extension agent for Okaloosa County. Always wanting to improve schools for children, she served 10 years on the Okaloosa County School Board. Charla was a familiar presence in the schools and classrooms – always asking questions and working toward solutions. Perhaps her most daunting challenge and crowning achievement was founding the Collegiate High School, where the students always come first!
Nominated by Shelby McCurdy and Lynda Wambles
Anne “Amy” McBride, PA
Amy joined the ABWA Emerald Coast Chapter in June 2007, was Historian for several years and currently serves as Secretary. A graduate of Cumberland School of Law and member of the Florida Bar Association, her specialties include dependency, criminal and civil litigation, family law, guardianship and real estate law. A certified family mediator, she founded Mediations of Northwest Florida. Amy has also worked with the Department of Children and Families and the State Attorney’s office. Amy volunteers as an attorney ad litem and is a board member for the Emerald Coast Marine Institute, Second Winds, Kenwood’s School Advisory Board and AMI Kids.
Nominated by Emerald Coast Chapter American Business Woman’s Association
Donna G. Miller
Donna Gunn Miller recently retired after 27 years in public service to the people of Florida. Donna began her career in 1984 in the Florida Keys and has worked for Putnam, St. Lucie and Okaloosa Counties. Most recently, Donna worked as Okaloosa’s Assistant County Administrator. Mrs. Miller has always been generous with her time, serving on the board of the United Way and the Okaloosa County Fair Association; as liaison to the Library Cooperative; and as a mentor in the Take Stock program. She is always pleasant and kind and is a true mentor to everyone in Okaloosa County.
Nominated by Board of County Commissioners
Nancy L. Mitchell
Nancy Langham Mitchell earned a B.A. in education from Southeastern Louisiana State University and a master’s in counseling from Troy State. A first grade teacher for 30 years, she was involved in many First Presbyterian Church of Fort Walton Beach programs, and served her community through the League of Women Voters as president and secretary of her local chapter. She was also a member of the Florida League’s board and the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women, and helped implement the first-ever democratic election processes in the Balkans as an elections supervisor and observer in the former Yugoslavia.
Nominated by League of Women Voters of Okaloosa County
The quintessential volunteer, Janet Mosier can be found on any given day volunteering throughout Okaloosa County. She singlehandedly organized all the Emerald Coast Hospice patient records and brought them into seven-day compliance with Medicare. She also directs a children’s choir at Trinity United Methodist Church. A resident of the Air Force Enlisted Village, Janet is most at home when spreading cheer to her military family. Janet Mosier is a remarkable woman who puts the needs of others before her own, volunteers with her whole heart and always with a smile on her face. She is involved in everything good.
Nominated by Jim Binnicker
Patricia P. Perri
Patricia is a member of the Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated, serving as Treasurer for seven years prior to assuming her current position as First Vice President. She also served as State Treasurer for the Florida Federation of Republican Women. Patricia has been active in numerous civic organizations, served on the Board of Directors for the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and the Junior League, and was Queen of Bowlegs XLII. She volunteers her time to the ACS, the YMCA and the William Augustus Bowles Museum. Patricia was the owner of the landmark Perri’s Italian Restaurant. Combining her expert culinary skills and fundraising ability, Patricia often hosts dinner parties to benefit her church, St. Mary’s.
Nominated by Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated
Shirley Pope graduated from Choctawhatchee High School, and then earned a BS in Psychology and an MS in Counseling. She was a housemother for mentally challenged adults in Wisconsin before returning to work at the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Department in forensics, retiring after 27 years. At Trinity United Methodist Church, she was president of UM Women and helped create a sack lunch program for the hungry. She directed Angel Food Ministries for three years. Her handcrafts have benefitted the Methodist Children’s Home, Children in Crisis and United Methodist Committee on Relief worldwide. Shirley sponsors children in Africa and India.
Nominated by Trinity Methodist Church
Michelle Wright came to the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast fourteen years ago, and is currently Vice President of Operations. She played a major role in the growth of the organization from one club serving 40 children to 9 clubs serving over 2,000 children, who now have a safe place after school to do their homework, improve their grades, and try new programs. Michelle also leads our community’s Day for Kids, serving an additional 1,400 youth. Michelle received the Boys and Girls Clubs of America National Service Award, because she positively changes the lives of children every day.
Nominated by Bear Henley and the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Emerald Coast