Blue Ribbon

Women Making a Difference

The Nineteenth Annual Women Making A Difference Recognition Award Luncheon

Three Notre Dame alumnae will be honored at the annual Women Making A Difference award luncheon, scheduled for Thursday, March 5, 2020. The Women Making A Difference honorees for this year’s event are: Connie Kaelin Roenker ‘68, Peggy Murphy Barker ‘84, and Holly Graziani Danneman ’92. In addition, Mike and Beth Schuh '77 Dempsey will be presented the Sister Mary Reina Arlinghaus Award.

The ceremony, to be held at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, will begin at 11:00 a.m., followed by the luncheon at 12:00 p.m.

The Women Making A Difference award program, now in its nineteenth year, recognizes Notre Dame Alumnae who have made significant contributions to their families and their communities through service, professional, and philanthropic efforts. It honors these women for living out NDA’s proud heritage and for the difference they continue to make in the world. The luncheon also provides much-needed funds for the Notre Academy Student Tuition Assistance Program. Reservation information will be forthcoming.

2020 Women Making a Difference Recipients

 

Connie Kaelin Roenker, graduate of 1968, has played a significant role in the life and education of Notre Dame Academy students for over thirty-five years. Throughout her renowned career, Connie has embodied what it means to be a master teacher. She is a true educator and has worked hard to uphold and keep Notre Dame Academy true to itself.  She believes in the power of a Notre Dame education and has worked tirelessly to get this message across to students and co-workers alike. Throughout the years, Connie has been actively involved and supportive of the NDA Outreach Service Program, planning service retreats for the faculty, organizing school-wide drives and collections, and chaperoning students on yearly mission trips to Harlan, KY. In the classroom, Connie was completely dedicated to her students. She effectively taught them all, and treated them all, with the dignity they deserved. She selflessly worked with students before, during, and after school until they “got it”. Over the years, Connie has dealt with many challenges, including the sudden death of her parents, her own health issues, and recently the death of her husband, Jerry. Throughout all this, her faith has been at the center of her life, making it possible for her to survive, and even thrive. Connie now continues her service to others through her substitute teaching at NDA, as well as being an active volunteer at Anderson Mercy Hospital. Connie truly deserves to be called a Woman Making A Difference. 



 

Peggy Murphy Barker, class of 1984, has distinguished herself as one of the region’s finest attorneys, litigator, and business lawyer. After having successfully passed both the Kentucky and Ohio Bar Exams, scoring in the 100th percentile on a portion of the Ohio Bar Exam, she excelled in her work at the expanded role as Partner at Kohnen & Patton. There she successfully built a clientele and served them with distinction.  After several years, Peggy then challenged herself to take the newly formed Vice President of Human Resources for over 3,000 employees at Maxim Crane Works. Her servant leadership style enables her to be accessible to all employees, believing that her role is to serve. When called upon to serve outside of her work environment, Peggy eagerly accepts. She is a true champion for children. For the past ten years, she has supported the Northern KY Children’s Advocacy Center, which provides services for abused children. She has also served on the Make-A-Wish Foundation board, caring deeply about children with cancer and other serious and terminal illnesses. She also served with 4C For Children, a non-profit that provides support and education for less fortunate caregivers of children so they can excel in school and have promising futures. Peggy can also be found volunteering in her son’s classrooms at Summit Country Day, or chairing various Parent Association fundraisers. Peggy goes over and beyond for these and other causes that are special to her and her family.  She finds great joy in connecting people to each other professionally and personally. She continues to make a difference in our local community and beyond. 


 

Dr. Holly Graziani Danneman, class of 1992, truly embodies what it means to be a woman making a difference. Following her graduation from NDA, Holly graduated magna cum laude from Xavier University and then received her medical degree from the University of Kentucky of College of Medicine in 2000. As a physician, Holly has served the Northern Kentucky community in a variety of roles: family practice physician, emergency room doctor, and hospitalist. She has been recognized the past two years by Cincinnati Magazine as a Top Doctor in our region. Most recently she has transitioned to academic medicine as the Assistant Director of the St. Elizabeth Family Medicine Residency, as well as accepting the position as an Adjunct Professor in helping to establish the UK College of Medicine Northern-Kentucky campus. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Holly has always found time to serve and give back to the community, whether it be as a mentor and resource for medical students, serving on the board for Go Pantry, or helping at NDA or other schools which her children attend.  As a dedicated mother of six children, she prioritizes her family first, often having to work long hours or weekends to get more time with her family. She and her husband, Jim, have taught their children to be Christian leaders with servant hearts. With any project she decides to tackle, she involves her children and emphasizes to each of them the importance of service. Holly is truly a woman making a difference.



Our Distinguished Past Honorees:

2002
Mary Lee Stegman Aldemeyer '35
Ann McCabe Buenger '44
Trinette Foote '72
Judy Webster Gerding '58
Lisa Cooney Henderson '82
Judy Fisk Schneider '63

2003
Fran Harden Carlisle '58
Virginia “Tep” Witemyre McCafferty '48
Denise Gehring Schickling '65

2004

Sister Mary Laurence Budde, SND '47
Sally McGinnis Monahan '75
Patricia M. Summe '71

2005
Deborah Ann Borchers '75
Patricia Rust Kovacs '71
Jean Schmidt Longshore '50

2006
Mary Theis Bunning '50
Sister Jean Marie Hoffman '65
Jean Ann Glenn VonHandorf '44

2007
Catherine (Kay) Laske '34
Amy McGrath-Henderson '93
Elizabeth Riche Read '39

2008
Janet Annear Chambers '77
Michelle Dixon Eckerle '94
Carol Schmidt Mullen '53

2009
Ruth Appel Averdick '69
Sister Georgia Marie Messingschlager 56
Mary Kay Woodruff Sommerkamp '81

2010
Amy Quinn '90
Lynn Dietz Schworer '74
Carol Steltenkamp '79

2011
Sister Ann Rene McConn '56
Amy Brake Thomas '92
Marilyn Willenbrink '60

2012
Cathy Toebbe Ficke '69
Sr. Sebastien Schmidt, SND '45
Deb Moore Shaner '79

2013
Kara Middendorf '96
Janet Von Handorf Schmidt '81
Kathy Talbert Thamann '69

2014
Marcia Adick Klaene '61
Joan Kluemper, DMD '69
Mary Ann Blewett Robinson '55
Gabrielle Summe, Esq. '84

2015
Julia B. Meister '87
Meghan Scherder Olson '91
Wendy Vonderhaar '86

2016
Lisa Davis Louden '97
Sister Mary Ethel Parrott, SND '64

Gina Tuemler Wulfeck '76

2017
Linda Scully Bricking ‘65
Katrina Wagner Brown ‘86
Penelope Bayless Rogers ‘60

2018
Barb Fritz '68
Jan Steffen Hanser '76
Amy Wurtenberger Beck '78
Martha Wurtenberger Barnes '78

2019
Rosa Hollis-Bird '62
Julie Prewitt Schneider '84
Karen Bieger Finan '77
Julie Mullen Bruns '87

Sr. Mary Reina Arlinghaus Award Recipients
Mr. Robert Stevens - 2010 Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Jeanne-Marie Tapke - 2013
Mr. and Mrs. William and Sue Butler- 2016
Sr. Mary Rita Geoppinger, SND- 2017
Mrs. Mary Brown- 2018