Making Democracy Work

Women's History Month Luncheon


Supporting Women in Crises

Women's History Luncheon 2018

Honorees at the March 17 luncheon, who were selected by their respective service organizations, are shown left to right in the photo: Jeanine Tillman, Allen Community Outreach; Rosy Kintzinger, Genesis Women's Shelter & Support; Lori Conley, Emily's Place and Tulsi Naik, CHETNA.

Susan Hoff, Chief Strategy, Impact & Operations Officer with United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, provided background information about the clients served by these organizations, saying that one out of three women will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. She talked of earlier days when domestic violence was a whispered topic that people avoided if possible. Even though it is dealt with more openly today, 39 percent of women seeking shelter are turned away because of lack of room. She said that attitude changes are needed, so that abused women never have to ask themselves, "What did I do wrong?"

Several honorees described how their early life experiences had contributed to their understanding of and compassion for other persons in need, and had motivated them to help other women transform their lives. They recalled memorable experiences in their service organizations where women were able to overcome drug abuse, remove themselves and their children from abusive situations under trying circumstances, testify against their spouses, grow vegetables in the back yard to have something to eat, and finally become self-supporting.

The organizations provide temporary shelter and services to help their clients break the cycle of abuse. Needs for their clients include counseling, child care, transportation, jobs, affordable housing and pro bono legal services.

Click HERE for a slide show.
Click HERE for bios of the honorees.


Women Leaders in Emergency Response

Women's History Luncheon 2017

Honorees at the March 18 luncheon, shown left to right, are: Christa Weisinger, Allen Police and Student Resource Officer; Ursula Watson, McKinney Detective; Susan Carr, Plano Director of Public Safety Communications; Marty Nevil, Prosper Firefighter Medic; Leslie Girdner, Frisco Community Education Coordinator, and Katy Willoughby, Wylie Fire Department Captain.

Several of the honorees were the first female hired in their respective departments. They said that female officers are often able to play a more nurturing and comforting role than male officers when a victim is female. In addition to being first responders, they help educate the community, and especially children, in how to prevent or cope with emergency situations.

Todd Eubanks, Director of the Law Enforcement Academy of Collin College, stressed the need for more women in public safety careers, noting that in 1970 only 2% of public safety personnel were women and that has increased only to 12% today. Collin College offers training in police, fire, paramedic and other areas of public safety.

Click HERE for a slide show.
Click HERE for bios of the honorees.


Women in Politics:

What inspires women to run for public office?

Women's History Luncheon 2016

On March 19, six women who have run for office in Collin County shared their stories.
Left to right: Gilda Garza, Missy Bender, Anne McCausland, Brooke Lopez, Cheryl Williams, Tonya Holt.

Click HERE for a slide show.
Click HERE for a Plano Profile article about the event.


Celebration of Collin County Women in Public Administration

More than 100 LWV members, mayors, council members, commissioners, city managers, and other city and county staff celebrated the leadership of eight Collin County women in public administration at a luncheon on March 14. The honorees, as shown in the photo, are:

Left to right, Phyllis M. Jarrell, Director of Special Projects, City of Plano; Major Pam Palmisano, Sheriff's Office, Collin County; Renae' Ollie, Director of Development Services, City of Wylie; Nell Lange, Assistant City Manager, City of Frisco; Linda Truitt, Finance Director, City of Murphy; Shelli Siemer, Assistant City Manager, City of Allen; Robyn Battle, Town Secretary, Town of Prosper; and Sandy Hart, City Secretary, City of McKinney.

Here is the 'Summary Timeline of the Woman Suffrage Movement in the United States with a Focus on Texas' that was displayed at the luncheon.

Here is a slide show of photos from the event.

Luncheon History

2017 - Women Leaders in Emergency Response

  • Susan Carr, Director of Public Safety Communications, Plano
  • Leslie Girdner, Community Education Coordinator, Frisco
  • Marty Nevil, Firefighter Medic, Prosper
  • Ursula Watson, Detective, McKinney
  • Christa Weisinger, Police and Student Resource Officer, Allen
  • Katy Willoughby, Fire Department Captain, Wylie

2016 - Women in Politics: What inspires women to run for public office?

  • Missy Bender, Plano ISD School Board
  • Gilda Garza, McKinney City Council past
  • Tonya Holt, ran for Justice, 5th Court of Appeals
  • Brooke Lopez, ran for Wylie City Council
  • Anne McCausland, Frisco ISD School Board
  • Cheryl Williams, Collin County Commissioner

2015 - Celebration of Collin County Women in Public Administration

  • Shelli Seimer, Assistant City Manager, Allen
  • Major Pam Palmisano, Sheriff's Office, Collin County
  • Nell Lange, Assistant City Manager, Frisco
  • Sandy Hart, City Secretary, McKinney
  • Linda Truitt, Finance Director, Murphy
  • Phyllis Jarrell, Director of Special Projects, Plano
  • Robyn Battle, Town Secretary, Prosper
  • Renae' Ollie, Director of Development Services, Wylie

2014 - Spirit of Community Leadership Award

  • Rebecca Egelston Caso, Esq, The Junior League of Collin County
  • Regina Neal Holder, Esq, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
  • Hind Jarrah, PhD, The Texas Muslim Women's Foundation
  • Kathryn Jasper, The Samaritan Inn
  • Jeanne S. Rubin, Gay & Lesbian Alliance of North Texas
  • The Honorable Florence Shapiro, The Assistance Center of Collin County

2013 - What Inspires Women to Run for Public Office

  • Andre Davidson, Plano City Council
  • Pat Evans, former Plano Mayor
  • Carol Kent, former Texas State Representative
  • Penny Phillips, ran for Justice, 5th Court of Appeals
  • Andrea Stroh Thompson, Collin County District Clerk
  • Angela Tucker, Collin County District Court Judge
  • Kathy Ward, former Collin County Commissioner

2012 - Cordial tasting

2010 - Readers Theater production of "Carrie Chapman Catt, Founder, League of Women Voters"

  • Award was presented to Susan Schuler, Executive Director of Plano Children's Medical Clinic

2009 - Readers Theater production of The First Women's Rights Convention in 1850 in Worcester, Massachusetts