Women of Achievement Awards Virtual Event 6/21/24

VIRTUAL CELEBRATION: JUNE 17-21

The Gazette’s HER Women of Achievement is an annual program that recognizes individuals who are leading, inspiring and creating positive change in Eastern Iowa. Join us on this website for the virtual celebration June 17-21 as we share the stories of these incredible women!

A word from our Presenting Sponsor

Learn more about our sponsors:  FSB, Iowa Women’s Wrestling

Learn more about our Venue Sponsor:  DoubleTree by Hilton

Today's Honoree Spotlights

Zeinab Osman

Zeinab Osman

College Community Schools

Zeinab Osman serves College Community Schools as a community engagement specialist. Her primary responsibility is to support students with various barriers to enroll in activities and athletics, pursue their interests in academics and volunteerism, and best prepare them for their options after high school.

Osman establishes strong connections with students and their families and supports them through unimaginable adversities, such as mental health crises; loss of family members, friends and school staff; community violence; and access to basic needs like housing, food and transportation. She is fluent in English, Arabic and Spanish, and works extensively with the area’s population of English Language Learners by partnering with a variety of community agencies, including Kirkwood Community College, the Catherine McAuley Center and Linn County Public Health.

Osman is very active with the Muslim community through her work at the Islamic Center of Cedar Rapids. There, she has worked with youth in the Salaam School, a Sunday program that teaches Arabic and Islamic studies, that helps young people connect and feel welcome in their new community.

Osman emigrated to the United States with her parents and seven siblings from Sudan, North Africa when she was 10 years old. She learned English from watching television and the support she received from the ELL community. She has a bachelor’s in international relations, a minor in economics, a master’s in conflict analysis and is currently working on earning a second master’s in special education. She’s been married to her husband for 17 years and has four beautiful children.

Honoree Interview

Erin Erickson

Erin Erickson

Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority

Erin Erickson has worked as the watershed coordinator for the Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority (MR WMA) since July 2021. Her extensive background in conservation began while growing up in Missouri, where she explored every wilderness area and limestone rimmed waterway she could.

Erickson has worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado and the Bureau of Land Management in Oregon. Most recently, she worked for a land trust in Northern California, where she oversaw the annual monitoring of 145 conservation easements by volunteers and staff.

In her current role, Erickson has successfully written and been awarded over $295,000 in grants to install watershed signs, support stream sensors and offer a cost share to farmers in the nine counties the MR WMA covers for planting cover crops to reduce runoff. She also serves as the primary point of contact for MR WMA to foster positive working relationships with state and community leaders.

Clean water in Iowa is not something that comes easy, and neither is watershed management – yet she hopes to keep working for the benefit of future generations.

Honoree Interview

Dr. Sarah Hemming-Meyer

Dr. Sarah Hemming-Meyer

East Central Iowa Acute Care and UnityPoint Hospitals

Dr. Sarah Hemming-Meyer is an Iowa native and a Coe College alumna, where she graduated cum laude in 2005 with a bachelor’s in nursing. In 2013, she graduated from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her emergency medicine residency at Indiana University in 2016 and returned to Iowa.

Hemming-Meyer is a partner at East Central Iowa Acute Care and has been working at UnityPoint St. Luke’s as an emergency room physician since 2016. In 2018, she was named ECAIC’s educational clerkship coordinator and resident liaison. She is responsible for arranging medical student rotations at St. Luke’s and assists in the residency training and application process. In 2021, Hemming-Meyer was named Des Moines University Clinical Adjunct Faculty of the Year Award for Excellence in Teaching. Teaching the next generation of physicians is a personal mission. Being a physician that serves her community is her calling.

Hemming-Meyer has served on the Coe College Board of Trustees since 2020. She is also actively involved in Coe’s Center for Health and Society Advisory Council. In 2021, she joined the EMS Advisory Council for Iowa Valley Continuing Education. Hemming-Meyer has served as the medical and trauma director for the UnityPoint Marshalltown Emergency Department since 2022. She is also an active member of Wellington Heights Community Church.

She resides in Cedar Rapids with her husband Dan and their children Tyler and Kyley Jo.

Honoree Interview

2024 Keynote Speaker

Clarrisa Chun

Clarissa Chun

University of Iowa – Women’s Wrestling Head Coach

Sponsored by:   Iowa Women's Wrestling Club

Clarissa Chun is the head coach of the University of Iowa women’s wrestling team, the first in the program’s history. In 2021, Iowa became the first NCAA Division 1 Power Five conference institution to offer women’s wrestling.  

Chun joins the Iowa women’s wrestling program from USA Wrestling, where she was an assistant coach on the women’s national team from 2017-21. Chun helped lead the United States to 17 World medals, including seven gold, four silver and six bronzes, as well as an Olympic gold, Olympic silver and two Olympic bronzes. 

Chun is a two-time Olympian, competing at 48 kg in the 2008 Beijing Games and 2012 London Games. Chun wrestled at five Senior World Championships, including a gold-medal performance at the 2008 Worlds in Tokyo.  

During her career, Chun won five U.S. Open titles; a 2011 Pan American Games silver medal; four gold medals at the Pan American Championships; and was a runner-up at four U.S. World Team Trials and three U.S. Opens. Chun competed for Missouri Valley College, where she was a star on one of the pioneer women’s college wrestling team programs.  

Chun has coaching experience at both the international and college levels. She was a member of the men’s wrestling staff at West Virginia University, serving as the program’s operations assistant while also training at the Regional Training Center. 

Chun was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as a Distinguished Member in June 2022. She is one of only four females bestowed Distinguished Member honors. In 2018, Chun was inducted into the Missouri Valley College Hall of Fame, Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, and Roosevelt High School Hall of Fame.

2024 Women of Achievement Honorees

Lynette Voss

Lynette Voss

Eastern Iowa Honor Flight

Outstanding Community Leadership Award Recipient

Angie Charipar

Angie Charipar

City of Cedar Rapids

Cecilia Roudabush

Cecilia Roudabush

New Harmony Line

Betsy Harrison

Betsy Harrison

Betsy Boos

Jess Novotny

Jess Novotny

Prestige Dance Studio

Felicite Wolfe

Felicite Wolfe

African American Museum of Iowa

Dr. Jean Littlejohn

Dr. Jean Littlejohn

Family Folk Machine

Jamie Toledo

Jamie Toledo

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance

Freda Sojka

Freda Sojka

Cedar River Haven

Holly Reeder

Holly Reeder

CRCSD – Hiawatha Elementary School

Zeinab Osman

Zeinab Osman

College Community Schools

Erin Erickson

Erin Erickson

Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority

Dr. Sarah Hemming-Meyer

Dr. Sarah Hemming-Meyer

East Central Iowa Acute Care & UnityPoint Hospital

Previous Honoree Spotlights

Erin Erickson

Maquoketa River Watershed Management Authority Erin Erickson has worked as the watershed coordinator...

Read More >

Zeinab Osman

College Community Schools Zeinab Osman serves College Community Schools as a community engagement...

Read More >

Holly Reeder

Cedar Rapids Community Schools Holly Reeder is the instructional coach at Hiawatha Elementary...

Read More >

Jamie Toledo

Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Jamie Toledo is the economic development relationship manager...

Read More >

Lynette Voss

Eastern Iowa Honor Flight Outstanding Community Leadership Award Recipient Lynette Voss is the...

Read More >

Congratulate an Honoree!

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Check out the next issue of
HER Magazine: Women in Business
coming to The Gazette this fall.

HER Magazine Fall 2023

Stories of women throughout Eastern Iowa.

In each issue of HER magazine, discover the stories of women that inspire and motivate through a variety of roles and industries.