Women's Wall of Honor 2012Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women
2012 Wall of Honor
Tammy McDaniel and Shirley Pigott
Patricia Payne and Mary Florence
Trecia Chedister, Carolyn M. Chesser, Fritz Creswell, Sandy Duh, Gloria K. Frazier, Lill Jennings, Hulda Mahlum, Gail Lynn Meyer, Kathie Mathews White Moody, Tina Nelson, Patricia Payne, Helen Hunt Rigdon, Kathleen Patricia Fleming, “Taty” Saunders, Katie Sharon, Edna Spivey Sherrow, Stacy Travis.
(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.)
Trecia Chedister was First Lady of Eglin AFB from October 2003 to February 2006. She and her husband, Major General Robert W. Chedister, hosted many distinguished visitors while at Eglin, including President George W. Bush. Trecia was one of several people instrumental in persuading the Fisher family to establish the Fisher House of the Emerald Coast at Eglin, and she served on the original Board of Directors. She is a Fisher House volunteer, active in fundraising events and helping military families by enlisting support from local community leaders. Trecia also volunteers with and supports Covenant Hospice and the American Red Cross.
Nominated by Helen Hunt Rigdon
Carolyn M. Chesser
Although she prefers avoiding the limelight, Carolyn Chesser has contributed significantly to making Okaloosa County a better place to live and raise a family. After her family, Carolyn’s two great loves are music and books. She was one of the founding members of both the Okaloosa Community Band and the Okaloosa/Walton Symphony Orchestra. She saw a need for a bookstore in the Niceville/Valparaiso area and started Bayou Book Company, which just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Carolyn has been honored as Twin Cities Mother of the Year and Business Person of the Year, and continues to be a successful mother, businessperson and community leader.
Nominated by Ladies of Bayou Books
Fritz Creswell has been a volunteer with friends and family her entire life. She was a Gray Lady with the Eglin Clinic. She volunteered for the American Red Cross and with Project Cheer for the Okaloosa Mental Health Association. She has worked for Sharing and Caring and serves meals for the homeless at First Presbyterian Church where she has held many leadership positions. She has a very special love for animals and cares for them at Pet Welfare at Eglin Air Force Base.
Nominated by P.E.O. Sisterhood, Chapter DH of Ft Walton Beach – Donna Pattison
An ABWA member since 1995, Sandy Duh has been an active volunteer and has held various leadership roles, including serving as chair for various committees. She is a past member and former treasurer of OCCSW, where she also helped with the “Suit Up to Move Up” Program. Sandy is an accomplished public speaker who has addressed UWF’s Senior Center for Lifelong Learning, among others, and has served as a Success Strategy speaker for ABWA. Sandy is a graduate of Choctawhatchee High School and currently works as an Office Manager/Legal Assistant at the Law Office of J. Mark Fisher.
Nominated by ABWA
Gloria K. Frazier
A graduate of Pepperdine College, California, Gloria Frazier has been broker/owner of ERA American Realty of Northwest Florida since 1981. Gloria’s civic interests include the Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Heart Association, United Way, Mental Health Association, Workforce Housing Board and the local Special Olympics. In addition to supporting numerous civic organizations, Gloria also serves on many local boards in the community, including Northwest Florida State College Foundation, Coastal Bank and Trust Board of Directors, Okaloosa Economic Development Council, Emerald Coast Association of Realtors, Building Industry Association of Okaloosa and Walton Counties and all area Chambers of Commerce.
Nominated by American Realty of Northwest Florida, Inc
Lill is a dedicated leader who routinely goes the extra mile. She is currently President of Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization and Vice President of Professional Development for Southern Public Relations Federation. She has been with Covenant Hospice for 15 years as the Development Specialist covering Okaloosa and Walton counties. Active in the community and the Niceville-Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce, she was Chair of the Ambassadors in 2010 and 2011, and served on many committees. A very important part of Lill’s life is her family, to which she has given her love, time and emotional support through some serious illnesses. Nominated by Emerald Coast Public Relations Organization
Hulda Mahlum brings energy and her “can-do, will-do” optimism to every task. Her outgoing personality and tremendous communication skills have been invaluable to the Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated as both 1st Vice President and then President of the organization. Most importantly, Hulda brings enthusiasm and harmony to the many tasks expected of her by Republicans at both the state and county level. She is well known and admired for her capacity to get a job done right the first time. She is an exemplary role model who willingly accepts responsibilities with ability and zeal found in very few other individuals.
Nominated by Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated
Gail Lynn Meyer
Fort Walton Beach native Gail Lynn Meyer learned about her community’s history at an early age. As manager of the Fort Walton Beach Heritage Park & Cultural Center—which includes the Indian Temple Mound Museum, Fort Walton Prehistoric Temple Mound, Camp Walton Schoolhouse Museum, Garnier Post Office Museum and Civil war Museum—Gail is dedicated to preserving and presenting the cultural past. She has touched the lives of residents, school children and tourists through programs and events that make learning about the past educational, fun and very inspiring.
Nominated by Friends of the Museum
Katie Mathews White Moody
Katie is remembered for her gift of money and property to the City of Niceville, to be used for annual scholarships and to establish a senior citizens park. What is not known is how Katie helped those in need. If she heard of a family in need because of a terminally ill member, she sent a cash donation anonymously. Extremely intelligent, Katie also had a photographic memory, and in serving her customers at “Katie’s House of Flowers,” she always remembered their preferences. She read constantly, continuously adding to her knowledge, and so enjoyed a lively discussion.
Nominated by Edna M. Tidwell-Reaves
Tina Nelson is an indefatigable volunteer who has worked tirelessly to improve our community. Tina has held every officer position in Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority, and is a past Chair of the Okaloosa County Crusade for the American Cancer Society, the Okaloosa County March of Dimes Walkathon, the American Heart Association Ball and Art Auction, and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Island Mardi Gras Parade. She is a past president of the local Auburn Club, served as both corresponding and recording secretary for the Fort Walton Women’s Club, and is a committee member and annual contributor to Children in Crisis.
Nominated by Bill Nelson
Patricia Payne is an amazing woman and extraordinary volunteer. She chaired the Cultural Awareness Committee at the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce for three years, creating awareness and fellowship among the various cultures in this community. She currently chairs the CoC’s Ambassador Committee, volunteers on Eglin AFB, is an active member of Shalimar United Methodist Church, and is caregiver for her sister. In 2011 she received two prestigious awards from the local and state chapters of the NAACP. Patricia Payne is retired from Chase Manhattan Bank and the US Army, where she attained the rank of Sergeant Major.
Nominated by Carol Stearns
Helen Hunt Rigdon
Helen Hunt Rigdon is Congressman Jeff Miller’s Field Representative. She accompanies him to events and serves as his assistant, acts on his behalf when he is unable to attend, and addresses his constituents’ legislative concerns. Helen was the Air Force Association’s 2011 Congressional Staffer of the year, and is active in the First Presbyterian Church, in the Friends Circle and Program Chair for the Presbyterian Women. She belongs to the Order of Eastern Star, Order of Amaranth, and is a former member of OCCSW. She continues to support OCCSW by honoring each Wall of Honor and Hall of Fame recipient.
Nominated by Michelle Ferreira and Shirley Pigott
Kathleen Patricia Fleming “Taty” Saunders
Kathleen Patricia Fleming “Taty” Saunders was a true friend of the arts in Okaloosa County. After tenure as president of the USAF Retired Officer’s Wives Club in the late 70s, she became an enthusiastic and tireless supporter for the arts, serving on the board of directors and as benefactress for programs of the Heritage Museum in Valparaiso. She diligently worked behind the scenes for NWF State College Fine Arts and the Docent program. As a board member of the Northwest Florida Symphony Guild, her generous donation established the Visionary Fund that provides long-term viability for the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Nominated by Delores Merrill/Mattie Kelly Arts Center, NWFSC
Katie Sharon inspires everyone who comes in contact with her dedication and caring. She has demonstrated extraordinary outreach and sacrifice for others in her devotion to community service. Working diligently as a commercial loan officer to change our community for the better, she is innovative in finding solutions for growing small businesses. The high value she places on improving our community has enriched lives in Okaloosa County and makes her a shining example of innovation and excellence. At a young age she already demonstrates extraordinary leadership and initiative and serves as an excellent role model.
Nominated by Martha Miller
Edna Spivey Sherrow
Edna Spivey Sherrow is devoted to her family, church and community. She has a long commitment of service to Scouting, Habitat for Humanity, Charity Bowling League and the youth and adult ministries of the Trinity United Methodist Church. Her involvement with the Wheelchair Foundation has taken her on two mission trips to Costa Rica. Edna also has a special commitment to United Methodist Women and their ministries with women and children. She generously uses her gifts of leadership, encouragement and enthusiasm to help others develop their own talents and to make positive changes in our world.
Nominated by United Methodist Women, Trinity United Methodist Church
Stacy Travis learned at an early age that she could help out where needed. In almost 19 years as a military spouse, she has spent countless hours in volunteer and charitable work. She was the co-commissioner for the Upward Basketball League in Crestview for two years. She mentors new military spouses in the local area. As President of the Eglin Spouses’ Club for two years, she successfully led the consolidation of two military spouse organizations into a single all-ranks club. Stacy sets an example for all women in her community with her willingness to serve wherever there is a need.
Nominated by Judy Wiseman