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A message from YWCA of Kitsap Executive Director The YWCA congratulates its 2015 Women of Achievement honorees! Each and ever y one of these women have had an impact on our community, whether they’re 18 or 80 and despite the often over whelming challenges they’ve faced. They are artists, businesswomen, students, advocates, elected officials and leaders. They are our daughters, mothers, grandmothers, friends and colleagues — all of whom have been empowered to be the women they are. YWCAs across the countr y have a proud histor y of “eliminating racism and empowering women.” YWCA has and will continue to work for change – from ending child labor to pushing for a 40-hour work week, from civil rights to women’s rights, from advocacy for women’s health care to an end to violence

YWCA of Kitsap Director Denise Frye.


against women and girls. Here in Kitsap County, we are dedicated to ensuring the personal safety, rights, welfare and dignity of those who experience domestic abuse while building partnerships and increasing community awareness to create positive social change. As we celebrate our 26th Annual Women of Achievement event by recognizing local women who have made an impact in the community, I ask that you remember the work of the YWCA to empower those women who have been disempowered through domestic violence. In 2014, local law enforcement agencies received over 6,000 domestic violence-related calls. The YWCA is always there to provide safe shelter, legal advocacy and support for those caught in the cycle of domestic violence. We are honored to be our com-

munity’s “go-to” agency for domestic violence and rely on our community’s support to maintain these critical ser vices. I know that I join the YWCA’s Board of Directors, staff, volunteers and most of all the women and families we ser ve, when I say a hearty “Congratulations!” to the women honored at this year’s event. And to all of you who show the YWCA your support by volunteering, attending our fundraisers, donating food and clothing and making your financial contributions, we say “Thank You!” We couldn’t do what we do without you! Denise Frey, Executive Director of the YWCA of Kitsap

Honoring former YWCA Executive Director Linda Joyce By LESLIE KELLY


After ser ving the YWCA of Kitsap County for 20 years as its Executive Director, Linda Joyce stepped down a year ago this month. She arrived at the 2014 YWCA Women of Achievement luncheon in a wheelchair, straight from the hospital, telling the crowd that she wasn’t going to miss the event. And today, we know she’s with us in spirit. It was that day in April 2014 that Linda announced her retirement. It came as a surprise to ever yone, even her staff, who didn’t know beforehand that she planned to retire. Over two decades, Joyce, an Indiana native, took the YWCA of Kitsap County from a small office in a community center that ser ved about 2,500 people a year to a well-known county-wide nonprofit helping more than 6,000. Her years as the voice of the YWCA of Kitsap County brought

Leslie Kelly /Staff Photo

Former YWCA of Kitsap Executive Director Linda Joyce. great growth to the organization and made it one that just about ever ybody recognized. Joyce’s ability to

bring people along for the ride — to support the YWCA with time, talent and money — was one of her many talents. As Executive Director, Joyce led community conversations about domestic violence, speaking from her experience as a sur vivor herself. She wasn’t afraid to tell her stor y in hopes that other sur vivors could be helped. She believed that the community could solve problems by coming together, and she was the community’s agent of change when it came to domestic violence. “Linda leaves with us a legacy that will forever be in our hearts,” said Harriette Br yant, who worked alongside Joyce for 10 years while she was president of the YWCA Board of Directors. “Her work at the YWCA made her a champion of change.” About a year ago, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, recognized Joyce on the floor of the House, call-

ing her an “unyielding advocate for social justice.” “Ms. Joyce’s mission to ensure the welfare and dignity of domestic violence sur vivors as well as the empowerment of women has shaped our community for the better,” Kilmer said. And those who knew her well also remember her for her smile and her laugh. “That laugh,” said Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. “We’ll always hear her laugh in our hearts and minds.” Linda’s legacy will live on in the new era of the YWCA of Kitsap County. “It’s through our continued actions to ser ve our community that we honor her life, her spirit and her love,” said current YWCA Executive Director Denise Frey. Linda is being honored at this year’s Women of Achievement with the announcement of the creation of the Linda Joyce Legacy Endowment Fund.




APRIL 17, 2015

Blanche Wynne

Betty Skinner

Kate Carruthers

Blanche has given more than 50 years of service to the Bremerton Symphony Orchestra. A life-long resident of Kitsap County, she learned to play the violin from her father, who was a founding member of the symphony in 1942. She began playing at age 15 and slowly moved up as she became better, until she was sitting alongside her father, a principal violinist and concertmaster of the historic community symphony.

Betty is an inspiring business owner and community volunteer. She began in the insurance industry straight out of high school in Florida, as a policy typist on an old-fashioned typewriter. She’s been an Allstate Insurance owner and agent in Kitsap County for 15 years and is committed to providing great customer service to her clients. She is a long-time community volunteer with the Boys & Girls Club in Bremerton and helped raise funds to build the Boys & Girls Teen Center. Betty has been a committed volunteer with M.A.D.D., Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and is an advocate for families whom have lost a loved one to a drunk driving accident. She has helped to arrange victim’s impact panels to bring the word to teenage drivers not to drink and drive. She also has helped in getting the word out to teens to not use cell phones while driving.

Kate is an attorney and a former pro-tem judge in the Bainbridge Island Municipal Court. As a judge, she has been a strong supporter of the Domestic Violence Victims Advocacy program and worked hard to keep a municipal court on Bainbridge Island so that victims of domestic violence would have a resource in the community.

She has played with orchestra and ballet companies in Tacoma, Spokane, in Glendale, California and in Alaska. She’s led trios and quartets in chambers throughout the region and served in an outreach ensemble at many local schools because of her desire to share music with young potential musicians. As she said, “I’ve played with orchestras that are considered to be more professional and there, it’s kind of like a job. With this (Bremerton) orchestra, it’s different. It’s more like a family.” She retired from government service as a contract specialist. She has five children, eight grandchildren and eight greatgrandchildren with a ninth on the way. She is a founding member of the Four Seasons String Quartet and has played at weddings and other functions. Although she suffered a stroke in December 2014, she is on a path of recovery that has amazed her symphony family. She plans to return to play with the symphony in the fall.

“She is an amazing person and she is always striving to go the extra mile for her clients and friends,” said Sheree Reed, who nominated her. Betty says her “volunteering comes from the desire to strive to make Kitsap County a safer place to live and work.” One of her most proud moments was when she received the “Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC) Target Zero Award” for her community work with impaired driving.

According to Judge Jennifer Forbes, who was one of the people who nominated her for the award, “Kate understand how important it is for DV victims to have a court nearby so they can access protection orders when the window of opportunity presents itself. Kate is known for fair and well-researched decisions in complex cases.” She also is known for stepping aside from her role as a judge to participate and support community events on the island. She has been active in local theater and served as a judge and advisor to a county-wide competition for young screen writers. “Kate is a role model in her community,” said Forbes. “She is respected by residents of Bainbridge Island who also are her neighbors. Her award is well deserved.”

Kate Espy

Leila Mills

Tyna Ontko

Kate is a sexual assault nurse examiner at Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton and provides care to women and child survivors of sexual assault.

Leila was first elected a Kitsap County Superior Court Judge in 2000, and has handled some of the most complex cases seen in Superior Court. As her colleagues say, she does not shy away from making difficult decisions. She received the Nevins Award from the Washington Judges’ Foundation for her outstanding contribution to youth education and public understanding of the law. She was also honored with the Humanitarian Award by the Kitsap County Bar Association.

Tyna grew up in the Pacific Northwest and is a graduate of Bremerton High School, a 2009 graduate from Olympic College with an Associates of Arts degree through the Running Start program, and a 2013 graduate from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s in fine arts.

She has worked at Harrison for 31 years, 20 years in the emergency department and now in the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program. Kate is co-chair of the Kitsap Sexual Assault Investigations and Victims Services committee and often speaks to the community about sexual violence. Her department takes care of patients of all ages who have been sexually assaulted. The program was developed in 1997 and it is an important part of the hospital and the community. Kate does a lot of education in regard to sexual assault in the community and throughout the state. She is proud of the fact that they have a great working relationship with many agencies that work with victims of violence. She is currently president of Soroptimist International of Port Orchard and on the board of Girls On The Run. Both of these organizations work to better the lives of women and girls. Additionally, she is active with the Kitsap Tri-Babes, a group that performs triathlons.

Leila is dedicated to her community. She is a volunteer board member for Hospice of Kitsap County. She has hosted a volunteer weekly radio program broadcast statewide by the Evergreen Radio Reading Service for the Blind. She taught law to high school students and mentored students in the YMCA Mock Trial program. She volunteers with Washington Youth Academy which empower at-risk youth to improve their education and employment potential. She is involved in the education of other judges and has served as teaching faculty for the Washington Judicial College.

Congratulations to the Women of Achievement of 2015! We appreciate the contributions you all make to help our world become a better place!


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She has volunteered at the Bremerton Community Theater, West Sound Arts Council, Bremerton High School Performing Arts Center, Allied Arts of Whatcom County, the Whatcom Museum, Western Washington University Print Studio, Tacoma Musical Playhouse and Ghost Gallery in Seattle. Her activities include benefit auctions, art walk events, gallery attendant, backstage crew, theater set, art exhibition installation, printmaking studio technician/monitor, archive building, web presence and marketing, Allied Arts children’s art walk and organizing and fundraising for students to attend the annual Southern Graphics Council International Printmaking Conference in New Orleans and Milwaukee. She has worked at the Frye Art Museum and the Seattle Art Museum, with North Seattle College as a continuing education instructor focusing on printmaking, and short-term teaching and lecturing positions at artist residency sites including the Black Church Print Studio in Dublin, Ireland, Pyramid Atlantic Arts Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, and the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle. She received many grants and stipends for her travel including from Pratt Fine Arts Center Seattle, Artist Trust Seattle, the Western Washington University art department, where she earned the Outstanding Graduate award, Southern Graphics Council International through their Undergraduate Fellowship, as well as the Seattle Print Arts Larry Sommers Fellowship.

APRIL 17, 2015



Rosie Ludlow

Michelle Caldier

Alexus Richardson

Rosie is the co-founder of Scarlet Road, a non-profit organization in Kitsap County that provides services and referrals to survivors of sexual exploitation. She is the co-organizer of the Freedom 5K Run on Bainbridge Island, which raises awareness of human trafficking and helps raise funds for Scarlet Road and Coffee Oasis, another organization for homeless and at-risk youth in Kitsap County. Rosie has been on the steering committee for Break Free Kitsap, which is supported by Soroptimist International of Greater Bremerton. All of her work is performed as a volunteer while she also works for Youth For Christ’s Independent Living Skills Program helping those who age out of the foster care system.

Michelle is one of seven children from a blue collar family growing up in Kitsap County. After her parents divorced, and her mother remarried, her stepfather became abusive. At a young age she and her siblings spent years in foster care. At 17, she worked three jobs, lived on her own and supported her young siblings.

Alexus is a senior at South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard. She is currently the coordinator of the Associative Student Body, and has been on the varsity track team for four years. For the past two years, she has volunteered as a coach with the South Kitsap Pee Wee league and has helped in the concession stand. She volunteers as a youth helper at Emmanuel Apostolic Church and is currently a lead teacher. She has been instrumental in working with children with disabilities at the church, along with being an usher.

“Rosie is one of the most effective Kitsap County leaders in the fight against human trafficking and her expertise is sought out by others,” said Jessica Guidry, who nominated her. “She is an articulate public speaker who addresses tough and uncomfortable issues with facts and compassion.” Her talents include working with people from various fields including faith-based groups, law enforcement, social services and education. She is a graduate of Washington State University in economics and has a master’s degree in international relations from Webster University. She has taught at Olympic College and has worked with the United Nations helping survivors of sex trafficking in Thailand. She’s also volunteered with the British Red Cross, the United Nations Refugee and Works Program, OpenAid International and the Washington Anti-Trafficking Response Network.

Women of Achievement: How it all began This year, the YWCA of Kitsap County celebrates 26 years of honoring local women for their achievements. Amy Burnett was the first woman honored as a YWCA Woman of Achievement in 1989. Amy was recognized for her work in the community and for helping to support the future of the YWCA in Kitsap County. Amy Burnett’s “Time Circle of a Woman” is the artwork that brands every YWCA Women of Achievement event. Amy created this piece of art in 1988 and sold limited edition prints, the proceeds from which went directly to support the YWCA of Kitsap County. Since 1989, Kitsap community members have nominated and honored more than 300 extraordinary women for the YWCA

Women of Achievement Award. This is a day for celebrating women and what they bring to our community and to show our community’s support for the YWCA — just as Amy Burnett did more than 26 years ago.

Michelle was dedicated to her education and at 19, she graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in cellular and molecular biology. She went on to be selected as one of 50 from 1,400 applicants to be admitted to the University of Washington College on Dentistry. She received her doctorate in 2001. While in dental school, she worked in nursing homes providing dental care and became concerned with the lack of access to healthcare for many of the residents. After graduation, she began her business, Golden Age Dentistry, a mobile dental service providing care to elderly and debilitated in nursing homes around Puget Sound. She is a mother of three, her biological daughter and a foster mother to two girls. Michelle also serves as affiliate professor at the UW College of Dentistry and has served as the chair of the access to care committee of the Washington State Dental Association. Last year, Michelle was elected to the Washington State House of Representatives as a representative of the 26th Legislative District. She serves on the education committee as well as government and technology and health care and wellness.

Judy Eagleson Known as a generous giver to her community, Judy has served on a variety of boards including Harrison Medical Center’s Mathis Guild, the Kitsap County Home Builders Association, the Central Kitsap High School Alumni Association and the Kitsap Economic Development Alliance. Often times she takes on the leadership role and has run several successful fundraising campaigns. She began her career in hotel management but then went to law school and on a trip to Washington D.C. met her husband Jeff. After a long distance relationship they married and she worked in Washington D.C for the U.S. Senate Banking committee and

Alexus has competed in an engineering program called ROV which created underwater robotics for submarines. She has coached disadvantaged youth in track with the New Life Community Development Agency. She also is an exceptional student and always strives to do her best. Last summer she volunteered with the University of Washington Math Academy School as a tutor to students needing to improve their math skills. She has a 3.6 grade point average and has been on the principal’s academic list three times. “She has such a warm and caring way of connecting with children during community events,” said Marva Jones, who nominated her. “She is a responsible young lady who is always willing to help others and demonstrates a respect for her peers and adults. She is a quiet leader who leads by example.”

the Department of Justice before becoming a full-time mother. The family returned to the Pacific Northwest in 1996. She also has volunteered with Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, has been the registrar for the Tracyton Soccer Club and a board member of the Olympic College Foundation. Her volunteer work has included helping the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Downtown Poulsbo Association. She routinely donates to the ALIVE Shelter, Harrison Medical Center, Central Kitsap High School, Miss Silverdale Scholarship Group and many others. Judy is active in local politics and serves as a precinct committee officer. She does all this while running a family business. She is the CEO of The Mentor Company, a commercial and residential property management company, which she owns and manages with her siblings. She also owns J.J.’s Fish House in Poulsbo, with her husband Jeff. “Judy does all of this with joy in her heart,” said Wendy Miles, who nominated her. “Kitsap County is a better place because of her generosity and willingness to walk the talk.”

Congratulations to yWca’s Women of Achievement 2015

s n o i t a l u t a r g n o C

Kate Espy

Woman of Achievement 2015 Soroptimist International of Port Orchard

(360) 779-4567

“Building Relationships That Strengthen Our Community”

19917 Seventh Ave NE, Suite 101 Poulsbo, WA 98370 www.libertybaybank.com



APRIL 17, 2015

Former newspaper woman honored by YWCA By LESLIE KELLY


When it comes to women who broke the gender barrier, Adele Ferguson was certainly one of them. Longtime columnist for the Kitsap Sun, Adele Ferguson will be honored at the 2015 YWCA Women of Achievement event for her contributions to women in the news business. She will receive, posthumously, the Special Recognition award. Ferguson died March 2 at the age of 90. She was a resident of Hansville and had been a pioneer in Olympia political journalism. “She had an incredible impact on state government, probably more than any reporter ever in Olympia,” said former Secretary of State Ralph Munro. She was known for her brash personality and for being direct. She didn’t beat around the bush and her abrasive ways sometimes made her enemies. But she had an incredible knack for knowing the news and getting it in print long before other reporters. She entered journalism and newspaper reporting in the 1940s when it was mostly a “men only” career. In 1957, she took on the U.S. Navy for not letting her sail on a

Staff Photo

Adele Ferguson is being honored for her career as a reporter. twohour tour aboard a submarine. They told her she couldn’t go because there was no “ladies room” onboard. The column she wrote about that gained national attention, and later she was allowed to sail with the Navy, but was

still restricted to the upper deck. She never went to college and didn’t attend journalism school. She first set foot in a newsroom in 1943. She wrote for the Navy shipyard paper before going to work at the Sun. She broke gender barriers in Olympia when she joined the press corp there in 1961 reporting for the Sun. Bob Parloe, of The Olympian newspaper said of Ferguson, “She was a reporter’s reporter. She could drink with the boys, cuss with the boys and in every way hold her own with the boys. She came on the scene at a time when there weren’t many women in the press corps. It was tough being a capitol correspondent. She had to fight and claw into the male establishment and cut through the crap.” Ferguson had written for other newspapers in Kitsap County and left the Sun in 1993. She continued to write columns that ran in papers throughout the state up until the time of her death. Although she was at times a controversial figure and her views were not always in line with those of the YWCA, Executive Director Denise Frey said the YWCA is honoring her for her work in advancing women in the news

media. “Adele ruffled many feathers but when you balance everything out, she was an incredible force here in Kitsap and in Olympia, bringing important information to her readers, at a time when women were not accepted in the profession,” Frey said. Ferguson is sometimes remembered for being the first woman to go up in the Seattle Space Needle, something she arranged by knowing the manager of Century 21, sponsor of the Space Needle at the 1961 World’s Fair. When another woman, a friend of Howard S. Wright, who built the Space Needle, wanted to go up before her, Adele said she’d write that “the needle sways in the wind.” She got her way. As longtime Sun reporter Rachel Pritchett said, “If there had been no Adele Ferguson, there would be no Rachel Pritchett.” (Some material taken from the “Inimitable Adele Ferguson, Legacy Project.”)


We are Proud to support the YWCA. Congratulations to this year’s Women of Achievement!

Elaine Turso Photography Capt. Sandra Smith, retired Bremerton Kitsap Access Television


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Women in Business - Women of Achievement  


Women in Business - Women of Achievement