In conjunction with the WNBA's Inspiring Women platform, the WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx are launching a similar program for the upcoming season to celebrate women in the state of Minnesota who inspire, motivate, and encourage others through personal and professional leadership. The Lynx will honor one woman per month beginning in June during the season. Each winner will be awarded a team-autographed basketball and receive recognition on lynxbasketball.com in hopes that her story will inspire others.
2014 Inspiring Women Winners
August Winner | Shirley Dotten Westline In August, the Lynx honored World War II veteran Shirley Dotten Westline. During World War II, Shirley served as Flight Orderly attached to Naval Air Transport. As a seaman first class she transported returning GIs that had been wounded or had been prisoners of war to veteran’s hospitals throughout the United States. Shirley received the American Theater Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
July Winner | Sarah Caruso Sarah R. Caruso has more than 30 years of combined business and non-profit leadership experience. Ms. Caruso joined Greater Twin Cities United Way as President and Chief Executive Officer in November of 2009. Greater Twin Cities United Way is the second largest among 1,200 local chapters in a worldwide network. Raising and investing over $90 million annually, the organization supports 338 Twin Cities programs at more than 180 nonprofits. United Way seeks to build community strength through supporting education, job training, health and safety net programs for the most vulnerable.
Ms. Caruso has extensive business experience. At General Mills, her responsibilities included managing large established brands such as Cheerios and Wheaties, as well as new business efforts in both retail and foodservice channels. She has received national industry awards and citations for marketing excellence.
June Winner | Val Aarsvold As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Val Aarsvold, Executive Director of the Minnesota FFA Foundation. Val Aarsvold works to support the education of the more than 25,000 young people enrolled in agricultural education, each year since 2001. Dedicated to helping young people grow their leadership and community service skills, she works to find partners who understand the value of investing in young people. Having been a classroom teacher prior to her current role with the Minnesota FFA Foundation, she has a love of students and an appreciation for the important work of teachers.
During her time with the Minnesota FFA Foundation, Val along with the dedication of board members, has grown the Foundation budget annually. The budget has grown more than 500% since 2001. When asked about her role with the Minnesota FFA Foundation, Val shares, I feel very passionate about what I do. Young people are inspiring to be around. I am confident that they will take this country in a positive direction.
May Winner | Dorwatha Woods As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Dorwatha Woods, Principal of Ascension Catholic School since 1987 finishing her 27th year this school year. Under her tenacious leadership, her vision is being realized. She recently was awarded the 2014 WEM Outstanding Educator Award from the WEM Foundation and Synergy & Leadership Exchange in recognition of superior contributions of educators whose leadership and dedication inspire a spirit of learning in students of all backgrounds and abilities outside the traditional education system and classroom.
2013 Inspiring Women Winners
September Winner | Dorothy McIntyre As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Dorothy McIntyre, an educator who has spent her entire professional career working toward advancing girls' and women's athletics in the state of Minnesota. She also recently co-authored a book titled "Daughters of the Game," which chronicles the history of girls basketball in Minnesota from 1891-1942.
August Winner | Capt. Tara Robertson As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Capt. Tara Robertson, an officer in the Minnesota National Guard who has participated in 280 missions overseas while deployed in Afghanistan. Robertson is a Combat Action Badge recipient and has spent eight years in the military.
July Winner | Dr. Nicole LaVoi As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Dr. Nicole LaVoi. LaVoi, a senior lecturer in the University of Minnesota's School of Kinesiology. She is also the Associate Director of the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport at the U of M, which is an interdisciplinary research center leading to the pioneering effort examining how sport and physical activity affects the lives of girls and women, their families and their communities. LaVoi is a co-founder of the Minnesota Youth Sport Research Consortium, which helps parents, coaches and administrators understand their role in creating healthy, fan-friendly environments for youth sport opportunities.
June Winner | Natalie Ginter
As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Natalie Ginter. Ginter is the Community Engagement Manager for the South Region of Allina Health where she is responsible for managing the hospitals philanthropy activities, as well as partnering with area communities and residents to support their vision for health that focuses on environmental changes, policies and more that promote healthy, active living. In her spare time she serves as Vice President of United Way of Faribault and as a board member for So How Are the Children.
2012 Inspiring Women Winners
June Winner | Alicia Frosch
As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Alicia Frosch. Alicia is passionate about issues surrounding childhood education, disability rights, and empowering women. Alicia is the Racial Justice and Public Policy Program Coordinator at the YWCA where she works tirelessly to eliminate racism and empower women. Alicia strives for change through political action and community organization especially helping women of color run for office. Alicia was presented with a Minnesota Lynx team autographed basketball by Minnesota Lynx President Chris Wright. Congratulations Alicia and thanks for all you do!
July Winner | Deborah Montgomery
As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Deborah Montgomery. Deborah has paved the way for police women by being the first woman to work patrol in the St. Paul. She has played a significant role for the International Association of Women Police as well as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Deborah was a Civil Rights leader and participated with Dr. King in the march in 1963 & 1965. Deborah became the first African American female elected into the St. Paul City Council and focused on issues of economic development, housing, and opportunities for youth and seniors.
August Winner | Lutricia Vincent
As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Lutricia Vincent. Lutricia is a survivor. Not only did she beat breast cancer a year ago, but she did it without needing to miss out on the things that mean a great deal to herin particular, leading her sixth grade class at St. Paul Music Academy and attending Minnesota Lynx games as a season ticket member.
September Winner | Sona Mehring | View Sona's Website
As part of our Inspiring Women platform, the Minnesota Lynx would like to honor Sona Mehring. It began out of personal need. With a pair of friends going through a high-risk pregnancy, Sona decided to develop a website that could connect with their friends to let people know what was going on in their health journey. Out of that personal need,CaringBridge.org was born.
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