Sat, Jan. 18

Sisterhood Connection, Diane Joens announce 2018 Women of the Year Awards

Diane Joens

Diane Joens

The Sisterhood Connection is planning a luncheon on Sept. 22 to recognize and honor 14 accomplished women in the Verde Valley and Sedona who have made significant contributions as leaders, mentors and advocates. The women will be recognized by former Mayor Diane Joens at the 2018 Women of the Year luncheon. “Their generous efforts have made a significant, lasting impact on the quality of life in our community,” said Joens.

The luncheon and awards ceremony will be held at Main Stage, 1 S. Main St. in Cottonwood, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The public is invited to support the awardees. The cost is $40 per person and arrangements can be made through Cindi Kerber-Battisti at or (602) 430-6740. Seating is limited. A portion of the proceeds will go to Northern Arizona Hospice’s Promise Foundation.

The special recognition for service and devotion to the Verde Valley Sedona community this year goes to Camp Verde’s Jane Davie, Cornville’s Jet Foley and Kim Moore, Cottonwood’s Kim Demoney, Ruth Ellen Elinski, Diane Huntsbarger, and Annabel Sclippa, Clarkdale’s Dennise Rosen and Amber Russell-Godina, Jerome’s Nikki Check, Sedona’s Shondra Jepperson, Barbara Quayle and Michelle Grimm, and Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Jane Russell-Winiecki. The Diane Joens Heart of Community Award will be presented to one of the Women of the Year recipients.

“These women volunteer their time, care for and nurture families, friends, businesses and communities. They work selflessly and without a need to be noticed,” said Kerber-Battisti, of the Sisterhood Connection. Also serving are Maureen Carlson, Ginny Rench, Rebecca Riffel, Eileen Riffel, Sheila Van Rixel, Jack Van Rixel, Peggy Manley-Sing and Rosie Treacy. “When women gather there is a collective power to heal, find our voice, rise up and make a difference,” Kerber-Battisti added.

The mission of the Sisterhood Connection is simple—to raise funds and form partnerships with identified nonprofit community organizations and bring public awareness of these recipients to continue expanding upon community support. The vision is to inspire human kindness and enhance the quality of life in Verde Valley and Sedona communities.

Honored Verde Valley and Sedona Women of the Year for 2016-2017 were Susan Beach, Elaine Bremner, Anne Browning, Kami Dowling, Cindy Emmett, Terrie Frankel, Brenda Hauser, Linda Heidenreich, Joanne Johnson, Michelle Jurisin, Barbara Litrell, Bernadette Meyers, Lindsay Oxendale, Robyn Prud’homme Bauer, Stephanie Purinton, Rebecca Riffel, Penny Smith, Penny Spillman, Jeri Strande, Pam Van Winkle and Krys Vogler. Frankel received the CC Porter Award of Compassion for her work with veterans and their causes.

Also serving on the 2018 committee are members of Northern Arizona Hospice, Lyndsey Adams, Carol Durkalec, Debbie Maggard and Claudia Schwisow.

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