YWCA Madison’s 38th Annual Women of
Making Distinct Impacts on the
|(L-R) Frances Bicknell, Fabu Phillis Carter, Naomi Carter, Naomi Carter
|talented and dedicated individuals,” says Ann Tieman, YWCA Madison board chair.
The 38th annual YWCA Women of Distinction Awards luncheon will be held on Thursday, May 24, 2012, at the Concourse Hotel. For more
information or to purchase tickets, please contact Kristy at (608) 257-1436 option 2 or visit www.ywcamadison.org.
The YWCA Women of Distinction awards were established to increase community awareness and appreciation of the diverse
contributions of women in the work force and in the community. A luncheon is held every spring at the Concourse Hotel, with an average
attendance of about 700.
About the Honorees
Frances Bicknell - Fran Bicknell has worked tirelessly and with distinction for justice in housing, education, and disabilities. A
respected participant on social service boards and commissions, Fran created and leads organizations fighting for our most vulnerable.
She was the first co-chair of Madison Citizens for Fair Housing, a founder of the Portal Foster Center, and a lay author of the Guardianship
Reform Act and Mandatory Education Act. She has served numerous community organizations.
Fabu Phillis Carter - Fabu is an extraordinary person who is one of the most talented and outstanding artists and educators in Madison.
Her loving service to people is personal, private, community-wide and even global. She helps families privately by giving them time,
sharing her personal finances and connecting them to community resources. She has been a foster parent for 11 years, offering a save,
loving home to over 24 children. She has served Madison and the entire state of Wisconsin as Madison’s Poet Laureate. Her book, In
Our Own Tongues, is taught in the Literature Department at the University of Nairobi which gives her words global influence.
Naomi Carter - Naomi Carter has had a long and active involvement with the Madison community, both in her professional career and
as a volunteer. As Madison's first African American nurse, she provided an example and inspiration to black women at a time when few
professional opportunities or role models were available. After retirement, she embarked on a second career as cultural diversity
coordinator for Madison's senior coalitions and advocate for African American and other seniors. She gained a reputation as someone
who could get things done and has been sought after to start programs and serve on the boards of many community organizations.
Karen Christianson - Karen is impactful, a leader, a respected community partner and a philanthropist. Her fundraising abilities are
unmatched. Her long term efforts and contributions as past executive chair and chair of the board for the YMCA speak volumes. Her
involvement in helping shape and shift the YMCA into new areas of our community especially as it relates to healthcare partners are the
types of strategies she brings to every not for profit to ensure long term sustainability.
Nan Cnare - Nan's life work has been to help make others' lives better. During her 42-year career she was a caseworker, supervisor,
and later Deputy Director for Dane County Human Services. As Vice President of Community Initiatives she transformed the United Way of
Dane County to a Community Impact organization focusing on making real change in people's lives. In the last ten years, her leadership in
reducing family homelessness shifted the conversation in our community from providing shelter to permanent housing solutions for
families. Collaboration, inclusiveness, and innovation are three words that sum up Nan's blueprint for problem solving.
Sarah Gillmore - When it comes to serving the homeless population, Sarah clearly has an energetic passion. During her tenure at The
Salvation Army of Dane County, Sarah went from staff member in the Single Women's Shelter to Director of Social Services, overseeing
and directing three homeless shelters and seven case management programs. Sarah's responsibility was vast, as the Salvation Army is
the gate keeper for all publicly funded family shelters in Dane County, also providing the community with the only publicly funded single
women's shelter and housing two family shelters.
The YWCA is grateful to American Family Insurance, Diane Endres Ballweg on behalf of Endres Mfg. Company, American Printing
Company, The Capital Times, Madison Magazine and many other generous area businesses and individual contributors for making this
event possible. With the financial assistance of corporate sponsors, the YWCA will continue to provide vital services to women and
families in Dane County, empowering them to build a better a brighter future.
About the YWCA
The YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. The YWCA
fulfills this mission by providing: safe, affordable housing, and emergency shelter; Racial & Restorative Justice programming to create a
more just and inclusive community; education and training for finding, changing or maintaining a job; safe transportation solutions, and
after-school empowerment programs for girls. As a result of these programs, hundreds of women, children, and families have
discovered their collective self-worth and been supported as they build brighter futures.
|(L-R) Karen Christianson, Nan Cnare, Sarah Gillmore
From YWCA Madison
MADISON – On May 24, 2012, the YWCA
Madison will present the 38th annual Women of
Distinction Awards at the Concourse Hotel. We
are pleased to announce that this year’s
awards will honor Frances Bicknell, Naomi
Carter, Karen Christianson, Nan Cnare, Fabu
Carter, and Sarah Gillmore for exemplifying our
mission: empowering women and eliminating
The YWCA is proud to have recognized 190
women since the first Woman of Distinction
bestowed the honor in 1974. Their community
service, professional achievement, integrity,
leadership, and dedication to the lives of others
and to the quality of life for all stand as a
reflection of the YWCA’s historic mission and
values. “We are thrilled to honor six women
who embody the mission of the YWCA. We
continued to be overwhelmed with the quantity
of committed and accomplished women who
are nominated each year. It speaks volumes
about our community and the achievements of
women in Madison. We appreciate the many
people who took the time to nominate such