Current Honorees

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Celeste Mergens,
Women of Charity »

Celeste Mergens founded the organization Days for Girls, which provides reusable sanitary supplies for girls and women around the world, allowing them more freedom to pursue their education. She was also named Mother of the Year in Washington state in 2014.
Emmeline B. Wells,
Women of Letters » Religion

Emmeline B. Wells (1828-1921) was born in Massachusetts, the second of nine children. She was the only member of her family to receive a private education. She earned a teaching certificate, which she relied on through much of her life to help support her family. She was a leader in the women’s suffrage movement in the state of Utah as well as nationally. In her diary she stated, “I desire to do all in my power to help elevate the condition of my own people, especially women.” In 1899 she attended and spoke at the International Council of Women in London. She was the editor of the Women’s Exponent , a newspaper written for the benefit of Latter-day Saint Women and wrote a book of poetry entitled, Musings and Memories . Emmeline became the first Utah woman to receive an honorary degree in literature from Brigham Young University. At the age of 82, she was called to serve as the fifth general president of the LDS Relief Society. She served in this position until three weeks before her death at the age of 93.
Belinda Han,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Belinda Han grew up in San Diego, California as the oldest of seven children. When her family moved to Lehi, she graduated from Lehi High School. She is a first generation college graduate with degrees in behavioral science, organizational leadership, and is currently working on a PhD in interdisciplinary studies at Creighton University. She currently serves as the director of UVU’s Center for Leadership. She is passionate about helping students to rise above their circumstances, gain confidence in their abilities, and succeed in their educational and leadership goals.

Cheryl Hanewicz,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Cheryl Hanewicz grew up in Michigan surrounded by a strong and loving immediate and extended family. She received her Bachelor of Science, Master of Liberal Studies in Technology, and Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership with a concentration in Technology Management. She began her teaching career at Eastern Michigan State, but is currently an Associate Professor and Department Chair in the Technology Management Department at Utah Valley University. She has also served as senior director of Student Success and Retention, chair for the University Planning Advisory Committee, and has spearheaded efforts at UVU to attract more women to technology-related fields.
Jeanette Herbert,
Women in Public Service » Business

Jeanette Herbert is the wife of Governor Gary Herbert and the devoted mother of six children. Prior to becoming the First Lady of Utah, she ran a commercial child care and preschool, the Kids Connection, for 23 years. In 2003 she was named Businesswoman of the Year by the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce. She has a strong desire to strengthen families through her Uplift Families Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to promote good parenting skills, strengthen families, and offer resources to parents throughout the state. She has served on many boards and committees, including chair of the Partners in Education Committee, the Governor’s Artist Series Board, and is involved with the Leadership to Keep Children Alcohol Free Foundation. She was the recipient of a Utah Women’s Leadership award in 2014.
Kathy Headlee-Miner,
Women of Charity »

Kathy Headlee-Miner’s compassion for suffering children led her to found the charitable organization Mothers Without Borders. Their mission is to “offer hope to the orphaned and vulnerable children of the world by nurturing and caring for them, as if they were our own.” She teaches that women are powerful agents for social change and that “love works; it’s the only thing that does.”
LaRae Savage,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

LaRae Savage grew up in American Fork, Utah. She enjoyed being involved in many high school activities, including dancing with the Cavettes, being the yearbook editor, and serving as secretary of her senior class. She is a devoted mother of four children. LaRae served in the PTA at her children’s schools and helped to raise money for desks and books for the school library. While raising her children she earned a degree in nursing. The Savage family founded the trucking company C.A. Savage & Son, which has now grown to become Savage Services. Along with her husband, she served as assistant director of the LDS Cove Fort Monument Mission.
Leticia Archuleta,
Women in Science » Science/Medicine

Leticia Archuleta earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s in public health, and a doctorate degree in medicine. Her career has focused on aviation medicine. She has served on many local and national boards and committees, while also placing strong emphasis on family and making connections with others to help “pull them up” and “propel them forward.”
Margaret Dayton,
Women in Public Service » Politics

Margaret Dayton has been recognized as the longest serving woman in the history of the Utah Legislature, but she does not promote that as her greatest contribution to society. She is first a wife and mother. She reflects on her time working as a registered nurse for several years, and when she had children, she was grateful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mom. Her priorities as a senator are supporting the US Constitution and supporting the family as the fundamental unit of society.
Michelle Holbrook,
Women in Education/Business » Education

Michelle Holbrook has blessed the lives of many students during her career as an elementary school and a secondary special education teacher. She is the founder of Just For Kids of Utah County, which was begun to provide greater opportunities for her son, Curtis, who has Prader-Willi Syndrome. The mission of Just for Kids is to promote independent life skills and opportunities to build self-determination in a safe environment for people with disabilities. This non-profit organization includes the HIVEs program, which is a unique, community based, educational activity program. Her greatest desire is to be compassionate and to make the world a better place for people with disabilities.
Sandra Covey,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Sandra Covey grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah as one of six children. Music has always played a large role in her life. At the age of seventeen, she participated in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s tour through Europe. While on that trip, she met her husband, Stephen R. Covey, and together they raised nine children. Covey earned a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Child Development and finds great joy in being a mother and grandmother. As a lifelong supporter of the arts, Sandra was the driving force behind the building of the Covey Arts Center, which hosts over 200 community events each year.
Shauna Russell,
Women in Education/Business » Business

Shauna Russell credits much of her success to the values her mother taught her as a child, especially to work hard and to never give up when things get hard. She has been married to her husband for 41 years and is the mother of four children. Shauna has been a real-estate agent for thirty-two years and finds it very rewarding to help people sell and purchase real estate. She is also passionate about serving the community through her involvement in The Cure Starts Now, Days for Girls, Habitat for Humanity, and the UVU Women’s Success Center.
Emily Wright,
Women in Education/Business » Business

Emily Wright is one of the founding executives of doTERRA Essential Oils. She currently serves as vice-president of leadership development. Emily is passionate about empowering women around the world through her work with the doTERRA Healing Hands Foundation, which seeks to bring healing and hope by helping people around the world to live lives free of disease and poverty and empowering impoverished communities to become self-reliant. She has a strong work ethic and she and her husband strive to pass that characteristic on to their four children.
Donna Smith Packer,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Donna Packer met her husband, President Boyd K. Packer, when they were students at Weber College. They were married in July of 1947 and are the parents of 10 children. She is a strong supporter of education and family history work.
Suzanne P. Osmond,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Suzanne Pinegar is the third child of seven (7) from Spanish Fork, Utah. She attended Brigham Young University and studied Early Childhood Education. In 1974, she married Alan Osmond in the Provo Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has eight sons and 27 grandchildren.
Suzanne loves to learn, to teach, and plays the piano and violin. She was also trained as a leader in in the Cub Scout and Boy Scout organizations and has served for many years. During her leadership in the Boy Scout, all eight of her sons received their Eagle Scout Awards. She has been a leader in several Church callings, a business woman and heavily involved with One Heart Foundation – A Charity for Orphans.
Suzanne has always lived the values and principles of the LDS Church in her youth. Later, she taught those principles to her eight sons and now her grandchildren through example and real life situations. She has reached out to others by teaching children and women of all ages. Suzanne is a full-time wife, mother, and grandmother and has traveled with her husband, Alan, and her sons around the world several times. She and Alan have written children’s books and have spoken to many groups about their values and beliefs, and experience in raising children and family life, and living with a positive attitude while dealing with life’s challenges successfully.
Kathleen Larsen,
Common Roles/Uncommon Lives »

Kathleen Larsen was born and raised in California. From a young age, she was immersed in music. She spent evenings singing with her father while cleaning dinner dishes and was inspired by an elementary music teacher to play the cello and sing in the school chorus. She began directing a church choir at 16 years and has continued to bless many lives as she has shares her love of music with her church and the community. She is a mother of 5 children and grandmother to 14 grandchildren. Music played a large role in their family as she sought to inspire each of the children to appreciate all types of music and to share their talents by singing and playing instruments. She now finds joy in sharing her love of music through piano lessons with her grandchildren. Creating memories and close relationships with her family brings her great happiness.
Linda P. Walton,
Women in Education/Business » Religion

Linda Walton earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and public relations from Utah State University. She is the founder and president of The Walton Group, which is a full service marketing and media relations agency. Linda is the chaplain for Utah Valley University and is passionate about her involvement in the Utah Valley Interfaith Association, a group of nearly forty faith groups that work to support religious liberty and charity within the community. She has worked as a volunteer and board member for the Utah Food and Care Coalition and the Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce. She explains that tolerance is something for medicine and brussel sprouts and that we should seek instead for love and understanding amongst people of all faiths.
Karen Hahne,
Women in Education/Business » Humanitarian Service

Karen Hahne is the founder of the organization, Kids on the Move, which provides support and help for thousands of families of children with special needs in Utah County. Her degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as her experience with adopting a son with Down syndrome, have made her uniquely qualified to provide this service that has blessed many lives. She wants parents to understand that "ALL children should expect a bright future". Her inspiration for this view came from Rud Turnbull, an expert in the field, who said, “Close your eyes. Close your eyes. Now take the highest thing. The highest dream you have for your child with Down syndrome. Think about that for a minute. Just think what that is.” And then he said, “Double it and then you will be getting close to their potential.”
Mikki O'Connor,
Women in Education/Business » Business

Mikki O'Connor currently serves as the assistant dean of the Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees in management and is passionate about education. She feels that "education is the cornerstone." The difficulties she had in her young adult life have made her passionate about mentoring other young women and empowering them to have the confidence and resources needed to succeed in their education and career choices.
Paige Holland,

​Paige Holland, wife of Utah Valley University President Matthew Holland, was raised in Provo, Utah. She is the mother of four children. She strives to teach them, and others within her sphere of influence, about the importance of getting an education. She feels that she uses the knowledge and skills she learned while obtaining her college degree on a daily basis, and she hopes to inspire other women to see how a college education will bless their lives in many ways as well. In her role at UVU, she has been instrumental in addressing the issues that make it difficult for women to graduate from college. To this end, she has helped to raise funds for more scholarships for women and expand the day care center so that young mothers can continue their education knowing that their children are well cared for.
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