Chicago Defender to celebrate 2013 Women of Excellence

2013-04-24T13:38:00Z Chicago Defender to celebrate 2013 Women of ExcellencePatricia Andrews-Keenan | Contributor
April 24, 2013 1:38 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | The Chicago Defender will host its 2013 Women of Excellence Awards on April 25, at the Hyatt Chicago. Now in its seventh year the event aims to formalize and celebrate the dynamic community of 350 influential and accomplished women that has been built over the years.

The Chicago Defender Women of Excellence Awards honor African-American women who inspire others through their vision and leadership, exceptional achievements, and participation in community service. They are women who exemplify extraordinary stature, poise and grace. They do it all while maintaining the delicate balance of filling the roles of helpmate, mother, teacher and professional.

“There’s a power in womanhood,” Michael A. House, publisher of the Chicago Defender, said. “Our goal is to foster a community of women who can build upon their legacy of service by sharing advice, opportunities, and ideas with each other and the greater community.”

Nominated by their peers, the latest group of honorees represent different backgrounds and career paths. However, they all have one thing in common — they contribute greatly to the Chicago community. The women who are chosen for this award are champions of economic empowerment, the backbone of our religious and educational organizations, and driving forces in politics and community service. The 50 women inducted this year are corporate executives, entrepreneurs and women who serve in the public and non-profit sectors.

These women leaders will join an exclusive society of professional women who have previously received this distinction. Art Norman of NBC 5 Chicago will emcee the afternoon event. Entertainment will be provided by Senabella - The Bronzeville Diva.

The Chicago Defender will present a special recognition to their own Woman of Excellence, Theresa “Teesee” Fambro Hooks, who has been a columnist with the publication since 1961. “ Teesee is a true treasure, both to this publication and the City of Chicago and we’re pleased to honor her in this way,” House said.

The 2013 honorees are: Dr. Jorelle R. Alexander, DMD, MPH, Cook County Health & Hospitals; Torra Allen, M.D. Express Care Frankfort; Carol Ash, Kennedy King College; Ald. Carrie Austin, City of Chicago, 34th Ward; Brenetta Howell Barrett, Pathfinders Prevention Education Fund; Dr. Kimbra A. Bell, M.D. Northwestern Memorial Physicians Group; Tawanna Brown, Family Matters; Nichole M Butler, M.D. Women’s Health Care of Illinois; LaCherrie Calloway, Grace Amour Group, Inc.; Cheryl Cotton, Roche Diagnostics; Kelli Davenport, Davenport Insurance Services; Tammi Davis, Trinal, Inc.; Aries Davis, etiKid Academy; Shana Eastern, General Motors; Opella Ernest, M.D. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; Sylvia Fedrick, Fed Up Productions; Janice Fenn, Professional Resources Organization, Inc.; Camille Garret, State Farm; Michelle Griffith, Fifth Third Securities; Ald. Michelle Harris, City of Chicago 8th Ward; Donella Hughes, Northern Trust Bank; Pamela Jackson, Pepsico; Regina Kelly, L’Oreal/Soft Sheen; Rev. Katrese Kirk-Watson, Quinn Chapel; Wanda Lewis, Hensaal Management Group; Rena Livingston, Coalition for United Community Action; Yetta McCullom DDS., MS, Dental Dream team; Faith Morris, Merge Consumer Marketing; LaCael Palmer-Pratt, Chicago Public Schools; Brittany Payton, CLTV; Michelle Redd, Building Blocks Learning Academy; Tarae Simons, Chicago Public Schools; Jequeatta Upton Smith MPH, Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center; Dr. Kristian May Stewart PhD., Common Ground; Yvette Streeter, Social Security Administration; Dr. Frankie Swoope, Ed.D., Continuing Academic Training Children & Youth; Jackie Taylor, Black Ensemble Theater; Sharron Troupe, Urban Partnership Bank; Cynthia Tucker, AIDS Foundation of Chicago; Monica L. Walker, Holland Capital Management, LLC; Carrie Walker, ABC 7; Denise Weaver, Seaway Bank; Rashada N. Whitehead, Flowers Communications Group; Venisha White-Johnson, Chatham Theaters; Dionne Williams, D. Williams Public Relations Group; Billie Williams, Universal Management Services Inc.; Kathleen Wilson-Thompson, Walgreens Co.; Charisse Witherspoon, National Association of Women Business Owners; Nicole Whitehead Woods, Northern Indiana Public Service Company; Arlene Young, Macy’s.

The seventh annual Women of Excellence Awards 2013 begins at 3 p.m. Tickets are $55 and VIP tables of 10 are $650. For more information please call (312) 225-2400 or email

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