Success Conference celebrates Coast Women of the Year

Women of Achievement across South Mississippi were honored for their accomplishments Thursday at IP Casino Resort and the Karen Sock Woman of the Year Winner was Cheryl Johnson, president of Regions Bank MS Gulf Coast.

Among the 37 nominees for 2017 were doctors, entrepreneurs, casino executives, presidents of companies and directors of area nonprofits. The awards were part of the Success Women’s Conference and were presented by Lighthouse Business & Professional Women.

The nominees shared their words of wisdom and the crowd applauded the words of Cindy Lamb, manager of client relations at the Pickering Firm in Biloxi.

“Do not take ‘no’ from someone who does not have the power to say yes,” she said.

The winners in each category were:

▪  Corporate — Johnson also was the winner in the corporate category

▪  Education — Bobbie Loveless, educator, health care and clinical services pathways, Biloxi Schools

▪  Medical — Suzi Bogard, CEO of Medical Analysis

▪  Entrepreneur — Cheli Strumila, owner/editor, Coast Observer and Coupon Concierge, co-owner Magnolia Leisure & Entertainment

▪  Military/Government — Lori Brown, program director, South Mississippi Regional Center

▪  Nonprofit — Geneva Dummer, administrator, Heritage Trails Partnership of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, operator of The Meeting Place

▪  Young Careerist — LeKeisha Taylor Cotten, singer, speaker, vocal coach and minister, LTC Ministries

Elaine Stevens, emcee of the event along with Carrie Duncan, compared the theme of the conference with the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

Stevens told the hundreds of women at the awards luncheon, “With all of these amazing women, what if all of you vanished? You have been responsible for amazing accomplishments.”