The Tulsa Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications has a long-standing tradition of honoring outstanding women at our annual Newsmakers Awards Luncheon. Each spring, we recognize three Newsmakers for their significant, newsworthy contributions to the advancement of women and our community. We also honor one woman with the Saidie Lifetime Achievement Award, for substantial achievements in Oklahoma during her career in the communications field. 

Proceeds from the Newsmakers Awards Luncheon provide AWC Rising Star Communicator scholarships to students pursuing communications degrees, and books for each student at our adopted school, Anderson Elementary. 

The 47th Annual Newsmakers Awards Luncheon will be held Wednesday, April 29, 11:30 to 1:00 at Southern Hills Country Club. In observance of the 100th anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Newsmakers 2020 will have a special theme highlighting the suffragette newsmakers of the early 1900s.  

Please join us to honor these modern-day Newsmakers: 

Aliye Shimi, Executive Director of Tulsa Metropolitan Ministry

Shimi has been recognized by national and international organizations for her 20 years of leadership in the interfaith community and significant work to prevent crime and violence. Shimi is currently working with victims of human trafficking in Tulsa and leading the fundraising effort to build a facility to serve the needs of these survivors. 

Lisa Shotts, Executive Director, Gaining Ground and Union Public Schools Teacher of the Year 2019

Shotts is driven by her desire to ignite a passion for reading in students, especially those in underserved areas. That mission has led her from the classroom to literacy consulting and to a six-week teaching position in Uganda, Africa. That experience inspired her to establish the nonprofit Gaining Ground. Its mission is to bridge the literacy gap for students in poverty. Since its founding in 2017, Gaining Ground has provided more than 40,000 new books to 4,000 students in the Tulsa area.

Kim Teehee, Cherokee Nation Businesses Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Cherokee Nation Delegate to Congress 

In 2019, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. named Kim Teehee the tribe’s first delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives. This is far from Teehee’s first role on the national level. She previously served President Barack Obama as the first-ever Senior Policy Advisor for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Teehee is especially proud of her work toward the Administration’s support of proposed legislation to hold all perpetrators of domestic violence accountable for their crimes against Native American women, closing a jurisdictional gap in Indian country.

Joy Harjo, Poet Laureate of the United States 2019-2020

Harjo is the 23rd Poet Laureate of the United States, but the first Native American appointed to the consultancy position with the Library of Congress. A member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Harjo is the author of nine books of poetry and two children’s books. Harjo is also an accomplished musician and is currently working on a musical play. Her list of awards includes the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation, the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award and the PEN USA Literacy Award. In addition to serving as Poet Laureate, Harjo is chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, holds a Tulsa Artist Fellowship, directs For Girls Becoming, an arts mentorship program for young Mvskoke (Muscogee) women, and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation. 

Thank you to these sponsors: 

Cherokee Nation Businesses and Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

Click here to see complete sponsor benefits.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our 46th annual Newsmakers Luncheon. We had a wonderful time honoring these extraordinary women: Teresa Knox, Marina Metevelis and Mimi Tarrasch.

Also, a big thank you to our generous 2019 sponsors who helped make this event such a success: Cherokee Nation Businesses, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma, Quik Print of Tulsa, Tulsa Community College, Williams, OSU Medicine, Indian Health Care Resource Center, AARP, Commerce Bank, Public Service Company of Oklahoma (PSO), Langdon Publishing, Resolute PR, Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, M. Susan Savage, Freedom Electrical Services, Inc., GTR Newspapers and Oral Roberts University

We look forward to celebrating this event again in 2020!

Congratulations 2019 Newsmakers Award Winners: 
Teresa Knox, Marina Metevelis & Mimi Tarrasch 

AWC Tulsa Newsmakers at Southern Hills Country Club

Pictured Left: Mimi Tarrasch; Center: Marina Metevelis;
Right: Teresa Knox at 
Southern Hills Country Club, Tulsa, Oklahoma

AWC Tulsa Newsmakers Luncheon 2019 Video


Teresa Knox, Entrepreneur and Founder of Community HigherEd

Featured as one of 2017's Tulsans of the Year, Teresa Knox has continued to make press-worthy change in Tulsa throughout 2018. Her work has contributed to Tulsa’s music legacy and tourism through the revitalization of the historic Church Studio, the recording studio and home office to Leon Russell’s Shelter Records. Artists who recorded in Church Studio were award-winning talent such as Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tom Petty, among others. In 2017 Church Studio was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. She has also been involved in developing the area around it. 

In addition,Teresa has been featured in the news for her purchase and restoration of Harwelden Mansion and plans to reopen it in 2019 as a premier event location and bed and breakfast.

In 1995 while working as a dental assistant, Teresa founded Community Care College after noticing a need for additional training options for skilled professionals. This was followed by Clary Sage College in 2004, and Oklahoma Technical College in 2009. All three are focused on helping students become self sufficient through entry level job skills and since 1995 have helped almost 10,000 students obtain an education. In 2015 she converted the colleges from a for-profit corporation to a public charity, 501(c)(3) called Community HigherEd.

Marina Metevelis, Tulsa's own Rosie the Riveter, historian, and longest serving TCC employee

At 96-years-old, Marina Metevelis was selected as one of four veterans to lead the 2018 Tulsa Veteran’s Day parade, “100 Years of Honor and Service." She is a leader and pioneer in the true spirit of female leadership, as demonstrated when wintry weather forced the cancellation of the Tulsa veteran’s parade, she still showed up, despite frigid temperatures.

Metevelis has played an important role in our country’s history. She is Tulsa’s own "Rosie the Riveter,” who built warplanes during World War II and one of only three original still living. Metevelis was just 16 years old and a high school senior when Pearl Harbor was bombed in 1941, thrusting the nation into war and her into a Boeing aircraft plant in Wichita, Kansas making B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. As a rivet inspector, she wore off the fingerprints on her right index finger and thumb by repeatedly running her fingers over a plane’s rivets.

Tulsa is fortunate to be the beneficiary of her legacy and continued community involvement. She is one of the original employees of what is now Tulsa Community College, working there for more than 45 years. Plus, she’s been a favorite storyteller of Tulsa’s underground history as a tour guide of the downtown tunnels.

Mimi Tarrasch, Chief Program Officer for Family & Children's Services Women in Recovery

Mimi Tarrasch is Chief Program Officer for Family & Children’s Services Women in Recovery that provides an alternative to incarceration for women facing long-term prison sentences. Tarrasch, a family and child advocate, has more than 35 years of experience working for non-profits.

Tarrasch has been part of the senior management team at F&CS for over 20 years and has led the development of the agency’s early childhood division and managed numerous programs and special projects. In 2009 she was chosen to develop and operate the new Women in Recovery program, working closely with the program’s primary funder, the George Kaiser Family Foundation. As a national leader for incarceration alternatives, Tarrasch works with judges, district attorneys, public defenders and social agencies to create better solutions for women entangled in the criminal justice system.

Most recently, the state of Oklahoma and F&CS entered into an innovative funding model, Pay for Success, a public private partnership to transform chronic social issues. The only contract of it kind in the U.S., Pay for Success is aimed at reducing Oklahoma’s female incarceration rate by investing in WIR. In 2017, Tarrasch was honored with a Madam President Award from the League of Women Voters of Tulsa.

Past Newsmakers Honorees

2019 - Current

Teresa Knox
Marina Metevelis
Mimi Tarrasch

Anna America

Cindy Hulsey
Dr. Kayse Shrum

Dr. Deborah A. Gist
Michelle Hardesty
Tina Pena
Jill Donovan
Dr. Leigh Goodson
Katie L. Plohocky
Alison Anthony
Mary Bishop-Baldwin
Sharon Bishop-Baldwin
Meredith Siegfried-Madden

Eileen Bradshaw
Wendy Thomas
State Representative Jeannie McDaniel 

Nancy McDonald
Dr. Barbara Santee
Shirley Elliott

Mary Beth Babcock
Becky Frank
Susan Plank

Roxana Lorton
Karen Morgan
Carmelita Skeeter

Paula Marshall
Sen. Judy Eason McIntyre
Margarita Vega-Trevino
Teresa Valero

Phyllis Dotson
Peggy Helmerich
Sister M. Therese Gottschalk
Lee Anne Zeigler

Robin Ballenger
Nancy Day
Jami Fullerton

Mayor Kathy Taylor
Lynn Schusterman
Leslie Paris

Ginny Creveling
Susan Ellerbach
Susan Neal
Kelly Scott

Representative Jari Askins
Leslie Penrose
LeAnne Taylor

Rita Aragon
Teresa Miller
Angela Monson
Betty Price

Lauren “Lo” Detrich
Marcia Manhart
Fran Ringold

Dr. Cathy Burden
Rosalind Cook

Carolyn Crawford
Dana Tiger
Patti Johnson Wilson

Helen Jo Hardwick
Madeline Manning Mims
Mollie Williford
Eddie Faye Gates

Kathleen Coan
Billie Letts
Linda Morrissey
Sheryl Siddiqui

Mary Collins
Julie DelCour
Dianne Holmes-Jones
Judy MacLeod

Janice Nicklas
Janet Pearson
Sister Sylvia Schmidt

Gail Lapidus
Sharon King Davis
Barbara Gardner

Aubyn Howe
Elisabeth (Liddy) Doenges
Claudette Selph

Felicia Collins-Correia
Vicki Miles-LaGrange
Penny Painter

Ada Sipuel Fisher
Shannon Miller
Susan Savage

Anita Hill
Karen Keith
Susan Loving
Jill Zink Tarbel

Hanna Diggs Atkins
Sandy Garrett
Deborah Shallcross

Sally Dennison
Paulette Millichap
Angie Moore
Kara Gae Wilson

Mary Martin
Ann Williams
Pat Woodrum

Maxine Horner
Glenda Silvey
Montez Tjaden

Helen Gates
Nancy Kachel
Sister Jean Marie
Wilma Mankiller

Mary Caroline Cole
Beth Macklin
Aliene Murdock

Donna Nigh
Mother Grace Tucker
Alfre Woodard

Eleanor Hill

Julie Blakely
Wennette West Pegues
Penny Williams

Carrie Barefoot Dickerson
S. E. Hinton
Alma Bell Wilson 

Saidie Adwon
Helen Arnold
Katie Westby

Cleta Deatheridge Mitchell
Kitty Roberts
Stephanie Seymour

Dorothy Biery
Betty Boyd
Frances Leach

Angie Debo
Patty Eaton
Moscelyn Larkin

Jane Bloodgood
Nancy Lopez
Dale McNamara
Jane Wiseman

Cecile Bales
Norma Eagleton
Jane Self

Leta Chapman
Betsy Cullen
Phyllis Edmonds
Joan Flint
Paula Unruh

Harriet Barclay
Nancy Feldman
Fanny Hill
Allie Beth Martin