OCSW Names 2023 Women's Hall of Fame Inductees
OKLAHOMA CITY (April 5, 2023) – The Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women (OCSW) has selected seven women to be inducted into the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame (OWHOF). The women will be honored at the induction ceremony on Friday, April 28, 2023, at 5:30 pm in the Omni Hotel Five Moons Ballroom located at 100 Oklahoma City Blvd.
“Whether positively elevating the status of women and girls, opening new frontiers for women, or achievements in her professional work the 2023 class of OWHOF is special. We are honored to recognize these women with such a high honor for women of our great state,” said Commissioner and 2023 OWHOF Chair Emmalee Barresi. To be eligible for the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame, nominees must live in Oklahoma or be a former resident of Oklahoma. Inductees were nominated because they have made enduring contributions to women in the state of Oklahoma and beyond.
The 2023 inductees of the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame are:
Her integrity and unending drive are touchstones that have made Mo Anderson, President, and CEO of Keller Williams, one of the most sought-after business leaders in the world. Her local community, charitable organizations, and ministries have been richly blessed by her belief that a higher purpose of business is to give, care, and share. Her recent contributions to the Oklahoma Women’s Health Center at Mercy will provide additional rooms for labor and delivery and postpartum services, increasing the capacity for deliveries by 40%.
As Founder & Former CEO of the Latino Community Development Agency (LCDA) in Oklahoma City, Fennell has impacted the lives of countless Oklahomans. It began when the United Way saw the need to create an agency to serve the needs of the growing Hispanic population in Oklahoma. Under her leadership, she grew the agency to include 23 programs for the community and an annual budget of close to $3 million. Among the programs are high quality Pre-K, assistance to women and families experiencing domestic violence with youth programs and health services.
Kim Garrett Funk
Recognizing the need to create a systemic change for services of victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, elder abuse, child abuse, bullying and stalking, Funk created Palomar in 2016 through an extensive strategic planning process, bringing together 47 federal, state, county, city and non-profit service agencies. DHS reported prior to Palomar that 90 percent of domestic violence cases led to children being placed in state care to determine the safe parent and after two years of working inside Palomar the number dropped below 10 percent.
Ann Felton Gilliland
In 2002, Gilliland became Chairman and CEO of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit ecumenical Christian ministry which provides affordable housing to limited-income families. After 35 years of empowering limited-income families to build brighter futures through affordable homeownership, the fruits of the organizations labor are visible in 18 communities, Habitat volunteers, staff and families have built more than 1,074 homes. Homeowners make their mortgage payments directly to Habitat, and those payments are then recycled to help build more homes for families in need.
Lifelong advocate for women, individuals and families, Grabow inspires through action, and her values include inspiration and determination. Forever the entrepreneur and teacher, in 1990 she opened Safenet Services, a state-of-the-art facility with 35 beds and space for counselors, advocates and visitation that serves survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Her drive to seek resources has provided services for over 4,000 Oklahomans. Safenet serves women in both Rogers and Mayes counties.
A fourth-generation Oklahoman, Keating has focused much of her life in the non-profit community. While serving as First Lady of Oklahoma, she conceived and implemented a grounds management program for female inmates to learn a marketable job skill. She is a source of strength for Oklahoma and has a spirit of commitment in being involved with organizations providing social growth, and education towards shaping the lives of women, girls, and families in Oklahoma.
Representative Freddy Harper Williams (posthumously)
Elected in 1980 to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for District 99, Representative Williams served the people of greater Oklahoma City for five terms. Her most notable legislative accomplishment as author was passage of the state law that granted every Oklahoma woman over the age of 35 the opportunity for no-cost, annual mammogram screening. She also authored a bill allowing women to be recognized as 'head of household' in Oklahoma.
The 2023 inductees will add to the current 134 women who have been inducted into the OWHOF since 1983, after being established in 1982 by then Gov. George Nigh.
Commissioner Carol Hefner, who is serving as 2023 Co-Chair with Commissioner Barresi, added, “The ceremony will include the presentation of the Guardian Award to an Oklahoma elected official, and the Kate Barnard Award to a woman who exemplifies excellence in public service. Also being recognized, is Lou Kerr, who will receive the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
“The Commission looks forward to honoring these state officials, as well as welcoming multiple elected and appointed state officials at the event. It will be a special time to celebrate Oklahomans making a difference in the lives of women!”
Information on sponsorship benefits for the OWHOF can be found Sponsorship Levels or at www.oklahoma.gov/ocsw.