Women of Distinction (WOD)

Congratulations to AWARE’s 2018 Women of Distinction Honorees (from left to right): June Degnan, Kolene James, Lauree Morton, and Kueni Ma’aki.  Congratulations, ladies!!  We had a great time celebrating these women on March 3rd as we honored them and their great accomplishments.   

AWARE’s Twenty-second Annual Women of Distinction Dinner and Silent Auction was a magnificent success! It was a privilege to recognize this year’s honorees June Degnan, Kolene James, Lauree Morton, and Kueni Ma’ake.  Their unique contributions to our community and their words of wisdom and inspiration made the evening a wonderful celebration.

AWARE extends gratitude and appreciation to our Juneau community for your overwhelming support. This annual fundraising event was made possible by numerous people offering generous gifts of expertise, energy, and heart. Our thanks to Kris Sell for her joyful hosting; to Tom Locher, Clay Good, and Ceann Murphy for graciously providing opening music; to Noatak Post for his beautiful rendition of “Pachelbel’s Canon in D.”  We thank Amy Carroll for designing the printed program, Jeanette St. George for producing bid sheets and table names, Rie Munoz for her beautiful artwork, Scott & Donna Johnson for videotaping the evening, and Rachel Gearhart for photographing the event.

AWARE would also like to publicly thank our Women of Distinction Corporate Sponsors and Precious Gems. Their generous financial support helps make this event all that it is. Special thanks to our Platinum Corporate Sponsor contributing $5000 First Bank and to Silver Corporate Sponsors contributing $1000 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union and American Seafoods Company.  We thank our precious gems- Diamonds: Alaska Communications System, Sealaska, and Wellspring; Emeralds; Rubies: Amy Dressel, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Holly Handler, and IBEW Local 1547.  We offer a special thank you to KTOO Public Radio and KINY Juneau Radio Center for their generous in-kind contributions.

Thank you to our gracious auction donors—both businesses and individuals—for making our dinner a financial success and loads of fun!  Thanks to: Above & Beyond Alaska, Alaska Airlines, Alaska Dames, Alaska Downtown Dames, Alaska Robotics, Alaskan Brewing Co., Aleph Designs, Alexia Pieri, Allen Marine, Amalga Distillery, Amy Dressel, Amy Kesten, Amy Paige, Andrea Cesar,
Angela Wendel, Annie Kaills, Anonymous, April & Allison Hoy, Arlo & Ellie Davis, Art Sutch Photography & Digital Imaging, AWARE Board of Directors, Betsy Brenneman, Bev Ingram, Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast at Glacier Bay, Bonnie Berg, Bret Connel, Bronze Betty Finery (Sarah Ritter), Bustin’ Out Boutique, Candie’s Confections, Caribou Crossings, Carol Ackerson, Carol Van Horn, Chiropractic First, Christine Kleinhenz, Kristy Kraft, Chuck Guthrie, Coppa, Cycle Alaska, Deb & Jon Tillinghast, Deborah Riddle, Denali Schijvens & Honey Hemengway, Denise Grant,  Devil’s Hideaway, Diana Paul, Donna Johnson, Estela Holst, Fancy Cakes, Foggy Mountain Shop, Freda Westman, Frenchie’s Floral Studio, Freya Romance Boutique, Gastineau Guiding, Glacier Bay Sea Kayaks, Goldbelt, Inc., Goldtown Nickelodeon, Gross Alaska, Harbor Tea & Spice, Hearthside Books, Heritage Coffee Roasting Co., High Tide Tattoo, Imagination Station, Isabel Lee, Jack Beedle, JAHC, Jenny Smith, Jessica Leeah, Jessica Sperry, Joanna Barker, Juneau Pizza, Juneau Pro-Choice Coalition, Kari Quinto, Katie Erickson, Katy Jordan, Kindred Post, Lauri Jemison,  Lela Stevenson, Leona M. Santiago, Linda Vallie (Bird Nest Pottery), Loren & LaRae Jones, Love & Matters, Magil Pratt, Malou Peabody, Mandy Cole, Mark Kelley, Marta Lastufka for Sweet Song Martha Moore, Mary Szcepanski, Melissa Griffiths, Michael Stark, Michele Masuda, MK McNaughton, Ms. Pisel-Davis’ class, Myrna Ivette Lugo Ramirez, Natalee Rothaus, Natalie Watson, Neil Slotnick, Nell McConahey (Spiral Studios), NorthStar Trekking, Oceana, Out-of-Paper Designs (Mandi Canady), Picture This, Pretty Please, Rachel Phelps, Rachel Schweissing, Rebecca Hattan,
Rie Munoz Gallery, Rose Khamis, Salon Cedar, Sandpiper, Saralyn Tabachnick, Scott Johnson, Shannon Harris, Shelly Deering, Sherrie Myers, Sue Baxter, Susan McDonough, Tahir McInnis (Melanin Auntie), Tanielle Waggoner, Tanya McAllister (Homeworld Jewelry), Tease Salon, Temsco Helicopters, Teri Rasmussen, The Bear’s Lair, The Northern Tea House, The Ugly Cupcake,  Thyes Shaub, Trickster Company, Trove, Tyler Rental, Urban Haven Skincare, Valley Lumber, V’s Cellar Door, Wings Airways/Taku Glacier Lodge, Zane Jones, Zerelda’s, and Zoobooks.

Thanks to the hundreds of people who attended the dinner, our new members and those who made a financial contribution or bought an advertisement in the Women of Distinction program book.  The proceeds from the Women of Distinction event further AWARE’s work with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and child abuse. It is a wonderful opportunity to honor women who have made a difference while supporting work to end violence in our community.

Finally, I would like to thank the dedicated Board of Directors; Co-Chairs Martha Moore and Mary A. Schlosser, Secretary Libby Bakalar, Treasurer Michele Masuda, and members Amy Dressel, Katie Erickson, Robin Gilcrist, Norton Gregory, Diana Paul, and Elizabeth Pisel-Davis, the staff at AWARE, and Mandi Canady, Event Coordinator, who worked tirelessly to bring the details of the event to life. Thanks for your commitment to AWARE and our mission.

AWARE’s ability to work with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault is greatly enhanced by Juneau’s community support. Together we are working towards a community of respect for ourselves and others, where we can all live in peace and freedom.  Thank you for your support.


To see photos from the evening, please see below!

You can see more photos at: http://juneauempire.com/slideshow/2018-03-06/women-distinction-2018#slide-1


The objective of the Women of Distinction Event is to:

  • Celebrate women of distinction in our community;
  • Recognize women whose work (paid and/or volunteer) has benefited the lives of women and children in Juneau;
  • Honor unsung heroes of the community, as well as those with publicly recognized achievement;
  • Support and encourage community members and groups to recognize women of distinction within their organizations; and
  • Raise funds to support AWARE’s work with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.


  • Demonstrated Commitment: Candidate has demonstrated a commitment to improving the quality of life for women and children in Juneau.
  • Integrity, Dedication, Motivation: Candidate has demonstrated qualities of integrity, dedication, motivation and leadership in the community.
  • Willingness to Share Skills & Knowledge: Candidate has demonstrated the willingness to share her skills and knowledge.
  • Role Model: Candidate has demonstrated qualities of a role model.
  • Supports Diversity: Candidate’s work has represented and/or supported diverse groups within our community.

For additional information, call Mandi Canady at AWARE or email her at WOD@awareak.org.

P.O. Box 20809
Juneau, AK 99802
(907) 586-6623 (business)
(907) 586-2479 (fax)
(907) 586-1090 (crisis)
1 (800) 478-1090 (toll free in AK)