The Women in Tyler Planning Committee honored “Women Who Care” today at a luncheon held at the Rose Garden Center as a way to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Women in Tyler was founded in 1999 to honor women who have contributed to the quality of life in the Tyler community. Each year, a diverse planning committee has gathered to select women who are then honored at a celebratory luncheon held each March. This year’s co-chairs are Sharon Brown and Christi Kennedy.
“This is the 15th year Women in Tyler has brought together people from different backgrounds, different professions and different social groups to celebrate those who have made a difference in our city,” said Ms. Brown. “I am so proud to be a part of it.”
The 2014 honorees are Beverly Beavers Brooks, Jennifer Carson, Jean Coleman, Verna Hall, Irma Rodriguez and Rebecca Taylor.
Beverly Beavers Brooks has spent her adult life working for the improvement of civil rights for women and minorities. For the last 14 years, she has served as the Regional Director of the Women’s Bureau of the Department of Labor which covers five states. She retired to her hometown of Tyler and helped found the “All White Party With A Purpose,” which raises money for local charities each Labor Day. Ms. Brooks is a graduate of Leadership Texas and has received many national and local awards for her many achievements.
Jennifer Carson moved to Tyler with her physician husband to lead the life of a wife and mother. The death of her infant baby in 1999 led her to start on a journey to create a place in Tyler where the lives of children would be celebrated. As word began to spread about plans for a Children’s Park, Ms. Carson’s friends, community leaders, church groups, clubs and other parents began to offer support for the project. By December 2002, the community raised enough money to purchase property on the corner of South Broadway Avenue and Dobbs Street, next to Hogg Middle School. The grand opening of The Children’s Park was held Sept. 19, 2004. Ms. Carson currently serves as the president of the nonprofit, Children are a Gift Foundation, whose purpose is to celebrate the lives of all children, increase awareness, educate others and provide ways that family and friends can remember and celebrate the lives of their children.
Jean Coleman is a life-long caregiver who spent her professional life in nursing. She retired as the Chief Nursing Officer for Trinity Mother Frances Health System and Vice President for Patient Care Services. Her goal in life is to increase the number of minority nurses in the East Texas area. She founded the Greater East Texas Black Nurses Association, which has been instrumental in recruiting black nurses into the field. She was the recipient of numerous awards during her career including the Helen Farabee Leadership Award and Nurse of the Year. Ms. Coleman is a Fellow in the Johnson & Johnson-Wharton Program in Management for Nurse Executives.
Verna Hall has supported, fundraised or served as a board member of almost every good cause in Tyler during the many years she has lived here. To name just a few, she is the president of the East Texas Food Bank and the Tyler Museum of Art, serves on the Bethesda Health Clinic Board and on the East Texas Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. Ms. Hall has raised money and supported Habitat for Humanity, the East Texas Crisis Center, Heart of Tyler/Main Street, United Way of Tyler/Smith County, the University of Texas at Tyler and Tyler Junior College.
Irma Rodriguez is the executive assistant at the East Texas Food Bank and has served the Tyler community in many ways. She has served as the vice president of the East Texas Hispanic Leadership Council, is currently the secretary of the Hispanic Education Alliance, the community representative with the Tyler Independent School District Planning Committee and the Andy Woods PTA Board. She is a graduate of Leadership Tyler Class 22 and is a volunteer for the Bethesda Health Clinic and Habitat for Humanity.
Rebecca Taylor is a native of the Philippines and her personal journey for prosperity and independence led her to Tyler and into nursing more than 40 years ago. She was a nurse for many years before moving into the human resource department at East Texas Medical Center. When Typhoon Hiyan hit the Philippines in November 2013, Ms. Taylor volunteered with MercyWorks and traveled to her homeland to render medical care to the thousands in need.
Saturday, July 26 2014 2:09 PM EDT2014-07-26 18:09:07 GMT
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