Woman of Achievement
From among five nominees, Owatonna Business Women awarded Cheri Krejci the honor of the 2017 Women of achievement at their annual fundraiser.
Krejci, from Blooming Prairie, is well known for her efforts in the fight against cancer. As an active member of the Blooming Prairie Cancer Group, Krejci has been tireless in her efforts to raise funds for a cure. She also champions education as a founding board member of the Blooming Prairie Education Foundation.
When not doing community service, she can be found at Krejci Ford, where she has been the officer manager for over 30 years. Her work includes managing payroll, accounting, and inventory control. She’s won the customer satisfaction award 15 times.
When receiving the award, Krejci was clearly moved. In lieu of any big speech, she simply said, “I’m more honored than I can say.”
Such humility is not unusual, according to Katie Glazer, President of Owatonna Business Women. It’s her privilege to call the five nominees for the award to tell them they’re being honored. More often than not, she’s met with confusion. “you must mean someone else,” the nominees will respond.
Krejci’s fellow four nominees were no less impressive than herself. Each showed a dedication to her community and a special field to which she had dedicated her efforts.
Linda Hoffman is the manager of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute and Penny George Institute for Health and Healing in Owatonna. She is also a member of AUWW, a big sister for Big Brothers Big Sisters, and serves on the board for the county food shelf. She had the distinction of being nominated for the award by the entirety of her staff.
Kellyanna Moore is a physician and surgeon at Mayo Clinic in Owatonna, where she also serves as vice-chair for the Family Medicine Department. “You truly care about the health and well-being of your patients,” Glazer said when speaking to the reason for Moore’s nomination.
In her spare time, Moore has hosted exchange students and supported Young Life, as well as Junior Achievement. She is also an enthusiast for photography.
Amy LaDue is the Director of
Teaching and Learning for Owatonna Public Schools. She is currently working on her PhD for Education Policy and Leadership. She has been an inspiration to working mothers by not only working for better education for children, but also raising a family of her own along the way.
Kim Schaufenbuel is the Executive Director for the United Way of Steele County, as well as the Program Director of Steele County Safe and Drug Free Coalition. The arts have see considerable patronage from Schaufenbuel. She’s worked with the Little Theater of Owatonna, Merlin Players, The Owatonna Art Center, The Paradise Center for the Arts, and The Owatonna Community Chorus.
According to Glaser, Schaufenbuel is “paving the way for the women who come after [her].”
After being nominated, all of these women had to submit 10 to 16 pages explaining their impact on their community. Once being selected for the final five, each woman sat for a 30 minute interview with three out of town judges. The three women judges then selected the Woman of Achievement.
In addition to these women, three young careerists were also recognized. Ryan Gillespie, Kate Harthan, Janie Rolloff are still early in their careers, but they’re already impressing those who see them at work.
The youngest women honored were the recipients of the Graduating Senior Scholarship. Ashley Gilbertson and Britta Gantert are expected to do great things as they attend the University of Wisconsin-Stout and Northeastern University respectively. Vikki Ebenhoh and Michelle Miller were also awarded scholarships to continue their education.
Finally, author Mary Mickelson was honored as the 2017 Pioneer Woman for not just her writing but her extensive community service as well.
Leaving that evening, you felt a glow after seeing so many wonderful women recognized for the irreplaceable work they have done for their communities.
Kristin Haberman, the chair of the event, said it best when she said, “You just feel good when you leave.”