Merrillville resident Nicole Woods is one of 50 women to receive the 2013 Women of Excellence Award presented by the "Chicago Defender" newspaper.
The award honors African-American women who inspire others through leadership, exceptional achievements and community service participation in the Chicago area.
A 1995 graduate of Purdue University Calumet, Woods received her accounting degree and has been employed for nine years as a Senior Regulatory Analyst at Northern Indiana Public Service Company.
She serves as secretary for the company’s Women’s Affinity Group, Developing and Advancing Women at NiSource, and represented the company in 2012 as a loaned executive for Porter County United Way.
In her free time, she instructs Zumba fitness classes in Chicago at Salem Baptist Church.
“Through connections there, I have done several demonstrations and classes to expose others to exercise and I hosted a ZUMBAthon to raise money for breast cancer awareness,” she said.
“It’s a great feeling to be recognized for something that I enjoy doing,” she said of the award.
“I like helping others in living a more healthy life and mentoring other women in growing their Zumba fitness business.”
A mother of five children ranging in age from 4 to 24, Woods is married to Anthony Woods and is a member of Christ Temple Church of Christ Holiness in Gary.
She serves on the church’s usher board and finance committee and is a Sunday School teacher and president of a Women’s Ministry.