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Women’s group to honor community leaders, award scholarships

Special to The Dallas Examiner | 4/24/2017, 8:54 a.m.
On Saturday, the South Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club Inc. will honor 14 Dallas-area citizens who have distinguished themselves ...
District Attorney Faith Johnson Official photo

Special to The Dallas Examiner

On Saturday, the South Dallas Business & Professional Women’s Club Inc. will honor 14 Dallas-area citizens who have distinguished themselves as leaders, community volunteers, athletes and business men and women. Also, eight outstanding high school seniors who will be awarded scholarships to assist in their pursuit of higher education.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor such a dynamic group of leaders and scholars,” said Dr. June Johnson, the group’s president.

Founded as a charter of the national organization during the fall of 1954, Sarah J. Holbert-Sears became a charter member and the club’s first president. She and 15 other prominent women in the community became charter members. The club was formally introduced Jan. 1, 1956, at its first Yuletide Reception.

Some of the most notable trailblazer honorees include:

• DA Faith Johnson, appointed in 2016 as the first African American female to serve as district attorney of Dallas County. She also has the distinction of being the first African American female district criminal judge elected in Texas, serving as a presiding judge for 17 years, and was also the first African American female to attain the highly-regarded status of chief felony prosecutor during her time in the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office.

• Michelle Carter is the first American woman to win the Olympic Gold Medal in Shot Put during the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. She is the current American record holder in the event with a distance of 20.63 m (67 ft. 8 in.) set in the 2016 Olympic Games. A graduate of Red Oak High School, she set a high school record for shot put in 2003 – like her father and brother – and won the Texas state championship. She received a full track scholarship to The University of Texas and graduated in 2007 with a degree in Youth and Communities Studies and a minor in Kinesiology.

• Dr. Dudley McFarquhar is the first African American owner of a building enclosure engineering consulting firm in Dallas, along with being the first in nine additional civil engineering extents of his profession.

• Tia N. Locke-Simmons is not only the first African American female executive principal in the 81-year history of Duncanville High School, she is the first female executive principal for the campus.

• Lt. Terri Thomas became the first female command staff officer in the history of the Dallas Independent School District Police Department Oct. 20, 2016. She began her career in the Dallas ISD as a truancy officer in 1994. By 2000, her role within the force was elevated to police officer. Today, she is charged with the department’s Support Division, which oversees the Criminal Investigation Unit, the Property Room and the Gang Unit.

Other awards and recipients include: the Honorable Curtistene McCowan, Mayor of Desoto; journalist Cheryl Lynn Smith; Lola Faye Barree; Cedric Donnell Ford; Mary Delores White; Larry D. Daniels; Tracy L. German; Roz Davis-Grimes; and Keith YaDonn Abney II, a 12-year-old champion inline speed skater.

More information about the event can be found at http://www.southdallasbpwc.org.