Women To Watch recipients honored at Chamber Breakfast

Published 5:16 pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

Ten women named in the Women To Watch program were formally honored Thursday morning. From left Suzi Bonifay, Marlene Free, Maravlynn Carroll, Cile Warr, Emily Yent, Nan McIntosh, Nancy Grimsley, Lauren Harrell, and Letitia Austin received plaques from Bainbridge Living Magazine and Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. -- Ashley Johnson

Ten women named in the Women To Watch program were formally honored Thursday morning. From left Suzi Bonifay, Marlene Free, Maravlynn Carroll, Cile Warr, Emily Yent, Nan McIntosh, Nancy Grimsley, Lauren Harrell, and Letitia Austin received plaques from Bainbridge Living Magazine and Southwest Georgia Farm Credit. — Ashley Johnson

Ten women, who were named “Women To Watch” in the Winter 2013 edition of Bainbridge Living Magazine, received formal recognition with plaques and certificates at Thursday’s Chamber Breakfast.

Southwest Georgia Farm Credit and Bainbridge Living Magazine partner to spotlight women each year who are selected by a committee of community members.

This year Lauren Harrell, Marvalynn Carroll, Marlene Free, Suzi Bonifay, Letitia Austin, Cile Warr, Nan McIntosh, Emily Yent, Cheryl Carvajal and Nancy Grimsley were chosen as Women To Watch.

Hosted at Southwest Georgia Farm Credit each year, the November Chamber Breakfast is one many chamber members look forward to according to Ali Dowdy, membership director for the Bainbridge-Decatur County Chamber of Commerce.

“All of our chamber breakfasts are great, but this is one people look forward to going to hear about these women and what they do for the community,” Dowdy said.

The program started three years ago, and since then 30 women from the Bainbridge community have been featured for their work in business, volunteer work or both.

Southwest Georgia Farm Credit director of marketing and communications, Liz Nogowski, spearheaded the program, wanting to highlight these women for what they do in the community when it all too often goes unnoticed.

“I think all throughout the community there are so many organizations and businesses with women playing key roles,” Nogowski said. “Whether they are the CEO of a business or they are on the front lines, so often women who volunteers are overlooked. But they are the glue of the community.”

She said it just made sense for Southwest Georgia Farm Credit and Bainbridge Living to partner to spotlight the women — there were 10 this year.

She said every woman honored by the program exemplifies a spirit of optimism where when they, “see challenges, they believe that they can have an impact.”

“And that is what makes our community so special,” Nogowski said. “One thing that amazes me is that these women don’t just volunteer to volunteer — they do it because they think they can make a difference. When they do something they are wholly committed to it.”

Jeff Findley, publisher of Bainbridge Living Magazine presented the women Thursday with their plaques, which displayed each woman’s story from the magazine.

Findley said the most rewarding part of selecting the women and spotlighting them each year is getting to learn their stories.

“We get to learn stories of these women each year that you would have not learned otherwise,” Findley said. “You also get to really see what kind of impact they truly have on the community which is both humbling and inspiring.”

Nogowski said plans are already underway for the next selection of Women To Watch 2014. The committee is hoping to involve the community more in the process, she said, and a Facebook page will be created to aid them in the process.