By Patti Gartland, GSDC President
Last month (March) was Women’s History Month. Its origins as a national celebration date back to 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the president to proclaim the week of March 7, 1982 as “Women’s History Week”. For the next five years, Congress repeated the action. And in 1987, the celebration evolved to “Women’s History Month”.
And, this year marks the 100 year anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment giving women the right vote. These two occasions have resulted in the showcasing of a rich array of women in history.
One of my favorite reads of the women featured over the past month is Hedy Lamarr. Ms. Lamarr was a 1940’s vintage Hollywood actress regarded as “the Angelina Jolie of her day”. But she was also an inventor and entrepreneur. The wireless communication system she helped create in the 1940’s was ultimately used during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And tech companies eventually used it as a basis for inventions leading to today’s Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. Bravo, Hedy!
Because tomorrow’s history is being made today, I think it’s also an opportune time to recognize and celebrate extraordinary women leaders in our midst right now. And there are many. So today I wish to shine my light on six phenomenal women who are making an amazing difference in our community and in our organization through their service on the GSDC Board of Directors.
· Dr. Annesa Cheek – President, St. Cloud Technical & Community College; GSDC director
· Dr. Mary Hinton – President, College of Saint Benedict; GSDC director and Governance Committee
· Heather Pieper Olson – Associate Vice President, College of Saint Benedict; GSDC director and Marketing Committee Chair
· Joan Schatz – Co-President, Park Industries; GSDC director & Talent Team Co-Chair
· Caryl Turnow – Executive Director, Central MN Community Foundation; GSDC director
· Dr. Robbyn Wacker – President, St. Cloud State University; GSDC director
Our community is better for these leaders. It bears repeating. Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.