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City of Bloomington Announces Recipients Of Annual Women Of The Year Awards
Updated February 17, 2015 6:45 AM
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Judge Valeri Haughton-Motley
Alycin Bektesh.jpg
Alycin Bektesh
dana walters.jpeg
Dana Walters

(BLOOMINGTON) - Mayor Mark Kruzan has announced that three local women will be honored during Women's History Month for their outstanding service to our community.

The recipients were selected by members of the Woman of the Year Subcommittee of the City of Bloomington's Commission on the Status of Women. Judge Valeri Haughton-Motley has been named Bloomington's Woman of the Year, Dana Watters has been named recipient of the Lifetime Contribution Award and Alycin Bektesh was chosen to receive the Emerging Leader Award.

Woman of the Year and Lifetime Contribution Award recipients will be honored at the Women's History Month Lunch. The theme for this year's lunch is "Weaving the Stories of Women's Lives." Jennie Vaughan, the Chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College in Bloomington, will be the keynote speaker at the luncheon. The luncheon will be held on Wednesday, March 25, at 12:15 p.m. at the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center, 302 S. College Ave. Seats must be purchased in advance before March 20. In addition, organizations for women and women-owned businesses will exhibit at the history luncheon. The exhibit reservation form is available at Doors will open at 11:15 a.m. for viewing of women's exhibits.

The Emerging Leader recipient will be honored at the Women's Leadership Development event, held on Tuesday, March 3 at 5 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St. The Women's Leadership Development Event is free and open to the public.

"Women's History Month serves as an opportunity to recognize individual and collective accomplishments of women in our community," said Cathi Crabtree, Bloomington Commission on the Status of Women chair. "These women serve as great role models for women everywhere."

Woman of the Year, Valeri Haughton-Motley, has been the presiding judge of Monroe Circuit Court VIII for six years. Haughton-Motley currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Community Kitchen and the Community Justice and Mediation Center. She also serves on the Commission on the Status of Black Males and the Bloomington Human Rights Commission and is a member of the NAACP, Benevolent Order of Elks and the American Civil Liberties Union. Additionally, she actively supports Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Lifetime Contribution Award winner, Dana Watters, is a nurse that has been dedicated to the needs of women for over three decades. She currently serves as the Executive Director for Women's and Children's services at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. Watters leads a team of 160 people who provide care to women and their families. Her unwavering passion and commitment to this mission is evident in her active involvement in organizational, regional and national issues related to the care of women.

Over the years, Watters has chaired and served on several committees, including the Indiana State Department of Health, the Monroe County Post-Partum Depression Task Force and the IU School of Nursing Advisory Board. In addition to reproductive health, Watters also has been a strong advocate of preventing heart disease in women and is currently a co-chair of the planning committee for the annual Go Red for Women event.

Tickets for the event are $20 per lunch and may be purchased through the mail or in-person. Checks payable to "City of Bloomington - Women's History Month Lunch," along with the names of attendees for the guest list, may be sent to: Women's History Month Lunch, Commission on the Status of Women, P.O. Box 100, Bloomington, IN, 47402. Seats may also be purchased at the Community and Family Resources Department at City Hall, 401 N. Morton St., Suite 260. The deadline for purchasing a seat is Friday, March 20. Scholarships are available for individuals that need assistance purchasing a seat to attend the lunch.

For more information about the Lunch or the Commission on the Status of Women, please contact Sue Owens at 812-349-3468 or

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