Women's Wall of Honor 2015

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

Women's Wall of Honor Ceremony, 2015

Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women

2015 Honorees

Valerie Bogar; Velma K. Conyers; Jean M. Hood; Sherry Marcolongo; Tammy McGaughy, CPA, CFE; Donna Pattison; Louan Rathke; Margaret Schwartz; Sherry Smith; Dood Wood.


(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.)

Valerie Bogar

Valerie Bogar is the Program Director at Youth Village, which is an after school program and summer camp. It is a safe place to provide various educational and recreational services to children ages 5-16, the majority of whom hail from single-parent, low-income households. She has initiated many new classes, including computer literacy, public speaking skills, mentoring, culture awareness, character building and bullying prevention techniques. During the summer several community performances are staged by youth in her performing arts classes. Valarie also hosts and coproduces the local Cox Cable TV show INSIGHT for Okaloosa and Escambia Counties.

Submitted by Patricia Payne

Velma K. Conyers

Velma K. Conyers

Velma K. Conyers was born in Bonifay FL in 1913, but moved to Crestview when she was three months old. Velma and her husband, Dr. James R.L. Conyers, raised five children and worked closely with the distressed, the sick and the elderly. She continues to serve and counsel young people with loyalty and respect. Velma labored in a variety of jobs and served in many civic and religious organizations. She is an Ordained Deaconess of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which named several Church and Fraternal organizations in her honor. Annually since 2003 the Mayors of Crestview have proclaimed March 14th as “Velma K. Conyers Day.”

Jean M. Hood

Jean Hood is a proud graduate of Auburn University. She taught for thirty years at Ocean City Elementary School. She was twice elected Teacher of the Year and was a finalist for Okaloosa County Teacher of the Year. Jean was an active member of the Okaloosa County Education Association serving for nine years as the OCEA Chief Negotiator. After her retirement, Jean worked as a School District consultant teaching workshops on teacher performance and assessment. Jean is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, Gulf Coast Retired, and Impact 100 of Northwest Florida. She currently serves as mayor of the Town of Cinco Bayou.

Submitted by Champee Kemp

Sherry Marcolongo

Sherry Marcolongo, Director of Corporate Communications at TSA Consulting Group, got involved with the American Business Women Association (ABWA) Emerald Coast Chapter in 1996. She served in many roles, including president 2002, and was ABWA Woman of the Year in 2003. Sherry helped organize the Krewe of Chameleons and is involved with many charitable organizations, including Children in Crisis, Shelter House, Destin Charity Wine Auction, White Wilson Community Foundation, the Emerald Coast Foundation and the ABWA Emerald Coast Chapter Boat Poker Run. Sherry always puts others first and is truly a blessing to all those associated with her.

Tammy McGaughy, CPA,CFE

Tammy McGaughy, CPA, CFE, combines her expertise as an accountant and auditor with a passion for her family, her pets and her community service projects. She served as Treasurer of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce from 2009 through 2014 and is the Chair Elect for 2016. As a dog lover, she has chaired Dog Daze for several years, and somehow finds the time to also serve on the boards of professional and charitable organizations such as the Florida Institute of Certified Professional Accountants and Okaloosa Community Development Corporation. Tammy inspires everyone with her professionalism and her grace.

Submitted by the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce

Donna Pattison

Donna Pattison has been active in Republican Women Okaloosa Federated (RWOF) for 20 years, holding various elected and appointed Board positions including President. She currently serves as Hospitality Chairman. Donna volunteers in other worthy organizations such as PEO, an organization enabling women to receive funds to further their education. She is a member of St. Simon’s Episcopal Church, where she has held various leadership roles and participates in church ministries. She is an avid reader and supporter of the Shalimar Library. RWOF is blessed to have such a dedicated, community-minded member and role model as Donna.

Submitted by Republican Women Okaloosa Federated

Louan Rathke

Louan Rathke, an active church member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church since 1967, helps hold together many congregational functions and activities. Currently Congregational and Church Council President, she has held numerous other leadership positions over the years. She sings in the choir, heads up our Altar Guild, actively supports our youth program, and has written youth puppet shows. She serves and trains Assisting Ministers and helps coordinate congregational anniversary celebrations. She has delivered the Sunday sermon and accompanies the Pastor on visits to hospitals and care centers. She is truly a blessing.

Submitted by the Church Women of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church

Margaret Schwartz

Margaret Schwartz reaches out to family, church and community with kindness and compassion through dedicated participation in the “Our Daily Bread” food ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church. Her hospitality through the bereavement ministry gives consolation and support to those grieving the loss of a loved one. Margaret has also volunteered many hours in the public school system and in the church’s “Disciple” Bible Study, and participates in many other group studies. Margaret sings in the choir and plays handbells, enhancing worship for all her church family. If you need help, Margaret is there with a smile, willing to make life a little smoother for those around her.

Submitted by Trinity United Methodist Women

Sherry Smith

Sherry Smith is the owner and operator of Visionary Technologies & Design Inc. Sherry has been a member of the American Business Women Association (ABWA) Emerald Coast Chapter for 16 years, and was selected as their 2005 Woman of the Year and 2008 Business Associate. Sherry has been in involved with many charitable organizations, including Children in Crisis, Shelter House, Destin Charity Wine Auction, White Wilson Community Foundation, and the ABWA Emerald Coast Chapter Boat Poker Run. Sherry is one of the most giving persons, and with her charitable sprit she has helped change many lives within our community.

Submitted by Tammy Magee

Dood Wood

Dood Wood

Dood Wood is retiring this year after 38 years as a teacher in Okaloosa County and is ending her career at Lewis School. Her impact on the field of education has been enormous. She is the “go-to” person if you want something done in the school, and she will give 200%. She has helped create a sense of family among her peers and inspires her fellow teachers to go the extra mile. She truly cares for her students and has changed students’ lives over the years because of her compassion and involvement. She has been a gift to the profession and she will be missed!

Submitted by Kathy Sellers