KENDALLVILLE — They’ve come from different backgrounds, work in different fields and are spread out among six different counties, but the 16 women of KPC Media Group’s inaugural class of influential women have all made big impacts on their communities.

In a new event for 2020, KPC Media Group is recognizing the Influential Women of Northeast Indiana, a planned annual program to highlight women in the region who are making big contributions.

While COVID-19 put the brakes on a planned luncheon event this year, the first class consisting of 16 representatives from across KPC’s coverage area in LaGrange, Steuben, Noble, DeKalb, Whitley and Allen counties will be taking part in online webinars to share their stories, experience and advice with residents from around the region.

“Recognizing these women is not just to honor their achievements, but also to hopefully inspire future generations of women and girls to accomplish great things in their careers, too,” KPC Media Group Executive Editor Steve Garbacz said.

This year’s honorees will be broken down into two virtual sessions on Wednesday afternoon.

Session 1 from 11 a.m. to noon will include: Marilyn Moran-Townsend, co-founder of Advancing Voices of Women; Patricia O’Connor, Superintendent of Columbia City Schools; Amanda Cope, Angola city engineer; Paula Hughes-Schuh, CEO of the YWCA of Northeast Indiana; Megan Butler, Riverfront Fort Wayne/Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation program and events manager; Sara Ayres, owner of Don Ayres Honda; Leslee Hill, program director at the Women’s Entrepreneurial Opportunity Center and Misti Meehan, Allen County Democratic Party chairwoman.

Session 2 from noon to 1 p.m. will include Alicia van Ee, Steuben County chief environmental health specialist; Jordi Disler, president of Parkview LaGrange Hospital; Jennifer Lutter, owner of Country Heritage Winery; Ashley Stoneburner, vice president and chief development officer for Fort Wayne Museum of Art; Barbara Johnson, owner SheeKriStyle Academy of Dance and former Women’s Enterprise program manager; Lisa Bowen-Slaven, LaGrange Superior Court judge; Liz Brown, Indiana State Senator District 15 and Margaret Malone, founder of The Farm Place Inc. and other LaGrange County nonprofits.

Registration for the webinar is free and can be done at online at https://bit.ly/35i5CgC.

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