Women's Wall of HonorOkaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women
Maryl Bednar; Nora Doss; Carol Evans, CPA; Patricia Franklin; Mary Gourlie; Dr. Diane Hodgins; Shareen Ketchem; Sara Roose de Monbrun; Almut Flentge-Parker; Antika Payne; Catherine “Cissy” Bass Wyninegar; Pamela Woodall.
(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.)
Maryl Bednar‘s career has been helping others. First with her nursing career, and then with her community involvement. As a member of Republican Women of Okaloosa Federated, she has quietly and efficiently assisted presidents and committees with tasks at hand… from baking cookies for veterans, to campaigning for candidates, to fundraising and manning Republican Headquarters. Maryl has served as a poll worker, as president of the Okaloosa Island Leaseholders Association and a member of the Okaloosa Parks Advisory Board. Currently she chairs the OILA MSBU committee. Maryl is active in her church and is the Assistant Manager at St Mary’s Thrift Shop where she volunteers weekly. She is the proud mother of two practicing attorneys and the wife of a retired engineer.
A military assignment brought Nora Doss and her family to Fort Walton Beach in 1967. The same love and compassion that made Nora an excellent wife and mother carried into her commitment to Trinity United Methodist Church. She faithfully supports United Methodist women and their missions to women and children. Her promotion to Heifer Project has helped families around the world with encouraging words and her comforting potato soup. She has spent hours behind the wheel–church van and her own vehicle –making sure everyone gets to their appointments and events. Trinity United Methodist Women nominate Nora Doss to the Okaloosa Women’s Wall of Honor in recognition of her 40 years of loving service.
Carol E. Evans
Carol Evans, CPA, has been in public practice in the local area since 1984 and is currently self-employed. Carol became a member of the American Business Women’s Associations in 1986 and has served in many roles for the chapter. Carol was selected as the Woman of the Year in 1992. Her dedication to the local community is evident by her various volunteer roles. She has been a member of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce for 32 years, where she has held many leadership positions to include Treasurer in 2000, as well as being selected as Member of the Year in 1994. Other volunteer activities include the United Way as their Treasurer, and President of the Sugar Beach Sertoma Club where she was recognized as their Sertoman of the Year in 1994. Carol inspires everyone around her with her professionalism and grace.
Pat has been involved with Okaloosa County for over 30 years. She is the Operation Manager for Department of Children and Families for Circuit 1. Pat has served on many boards throughout the years. She was instrumental in bringing The Children’s Advocacy Center to the Emerald Coast. Pat is also active in the Domestic Violence Coordination Council for Okaloosa and Walton Counties. She is a true leader and inspiration.
Mary Gourlie has given of her time and talents to Holy Trinity Lutheran Church and our community in many ways over the years, including serving as an elected member and Committee Chair of our Congregation Council, Coordinator of our Shepherding (care group) ministry, leader of our prayer chain ministry, teacher of an adult Sunday school class for many years. She is serving as an after-service Coffee coordinator and was also the Church librarian. She also currently volunteers at Sharing and Caring, volunteers for our community Cold Night Shelter program, and leads our congregation’s Cold Night Shelter Committee.
Dr. Diane Hodgins
Dr. Diane Hodgins is the Director of Institutional Research at Northwest Florida State College, Niceville Campus as well as an inveterate community booster and volunteer. She is a member and former Treasurer of the League of Women Voters of Okaloosa County, and served from 2013-2015 on the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women as a Representative for the American Association for Women in the Community Colleges, NWFSC Chapter. During her tenure she helped plan the annual Women’s History Month event hosted at the college. Diane is treasured by her friends and colleagues as well as her husband and parents.
After retiring as a Property, Casualty, Life and Health Insurance Agent, Shareen started her own business, SRK –Fine Jewelry. Shareen became a member of the American Business Women’s Association in 1988. She has served in many roles, one being the chair of the annual fundraiser, the ABWA Boat Poker Run, from which the proceeds go to help local women and high school girls attend college. For all her dedication, Shareen was selected as the chapter’s Woman of the Year in 1995. Shareen is currently a member of the Fort Walton Beach Lions Club and serving as the President, Treasurer, and Chairperson of the Sight Committee, she was awarded the Lion of the Year Award in 2008, and the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award for Dedicated Humanitarian Services Lions Clubs International 2007. Shareen has been involved with the FWB Lions Club Golf Tournaments, serves on the Finance Committee at St. Peter Catholic Church as well as the Garden Beautification, Greeter and Minister of Holy Communion as well as a Loaned Executive for United Way . Shareen is a true blessing to all those associated with her.
Sara Roose DeMonbrun
In 1991 Sara DeMonbrun founded Save Our Cats and Kittens, known locally as SOCKS, after seeing the no kill shelter for abandoned cats in Okaloosa County. At considerable personal expense and sacrifice, she not only established and staffed the shelter, but acquired the seed money to make the down payment on the permanent home for SOCKS. Today SOCKS is a vibrant and necessary part of our community, a living legacy of caring for companion animals that inspires others to pursue Sara’s vision- that no cat or kitten in Okaloosa County should go without food ,shelter, and a place to call home.
Almut Flentge Parker
Almut has contributed immeasurably to the local area through her selfless community involvement and acts of kindness over the past 45 years. Almut is instrumental in the success of the Animal Protection League (APL), a not-for-profit organization whose primary focus is to help people sterilize and care for their pets, and pay veterinarian bills. Under her leadership as board chair and president, APL has collected and dispersed over $1 million for this worthy effort. She has mentored and tutored students in German and sponsored numerous exchange students. She nurtures the elderly by taking residents grocery shopping each week. She spends hours caring for abandoned animals at PAWS, while personally feeding feral cats throughout the local area.
Antika Payne was an integral member of the original staff who opened the Okaloosa County Vet Center in 2011. She continues to be both a foundation and creative force in the service of Veterans and active Duty Military in need of readjustment services. Ms. Payne’s title of office manager is totally deficient in capturing her contributions to the Vet Center staff, clients and military community. She manages the operational requirements of keeping our doors open. Ms. Payne also supports a diverse group of clinicians enhancing our ability to provide services. She performs her duties with exceptional professional integrity. Ms. Payne improves every aspect of the Vet Center
Catherine “Cissy” Bass Wyninegar
Cissy is a native of Fort Walton Beach, and is a descendent of the Bass and Gerlach families, who were instrumental in the early development of Fort Walton Beach. Cissy followed in her father’s footsteps of community service by serving on the FWB City Council, 1989-1997. Her vision and keen sense of community are hallmarks of her tenure as the President of the GFWC Fort Walton Beach Woman’s Club. Her idea to honor a Vietnam War hero became the Bud and Dorie Day Patriots’ Trail, which was dedicated in May 2015. She continues to lead in our community with grace and determination.
Pam Woodall has a mortgage career of over 30 years. Under her leadership at Beach Community Mortgage, she has risen to the rank of President. Pam’s professional affiliations include the Mortgage Bankers Association MBA, Honorary Commander Program for Eglin Air Force Base, volunteered with Horizons of Okaloosa County, the Emerald Coast Foundation, the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society. She is an active member of the Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Military Affairs Committee and the FWB Kiwanis Club as Chairman of the Aktion Club, Emerald Coast Chapter of the American Business Women Association, Impact 100. She is an advocate for women who need both professional mentoring.