15th Anniversary Awards Presentation

15th Anniversary Awards

On July 15, 2021, the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women celebrated 15 years by recognizing individuals who have made a significant contribution or impact. Honorees were recognized at an event hosted by HoganTaylor LLC Oklahoma City, with proceeds benefiting IEEW and its PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program.

Those honored on July 15:

Marti Carlin | Legacy Sponsorship

As director of community affairs for the T. Boone Pickens Foundation in Dallas, Tx, since 2005, Ms. Carlin reviews and evaluates grant requests. These cover a spectrum of needs, from individual assistance to large organizations. The foundation has focused on core areas for improving lives through grants. Marty says of her late, great boss, “Boone was passionate about many things. Advancing America’s energy security. Advocating shareholder rights. Political engagement. And, certainly, active and targeted philanthropy. Boone sincerely enjoyed helping people through his philanthropy…” Marti has served on many boards and helped drive many projects. She has been a volunteer and an IEEW mentor since 2007. For this former Tulsa salon owner, strategy and wisdom came naturally and she wields her talents well. Her service on the Inspire Committee at Integrative Emergency Services of Dallas says it all. She IS an inspiration.

Margaret Ford | Woman of the Year

When the Oklahoma State Senate Session ends, Margaret Ford rolls up her sleeves and prepares to travel to Dallas in July, to run the Leadership Development Pop-up Shop for the incoming students. In Oklahoma City, for the week of in-person mentorship, she is usually hosting a student or two, driving them to appointments at bakeries, manufacturing facilities, and anywhere else they need to go, including shopping and Sunday church service. Many a student call her Mom. After mentorship week, she is back in Dallas for the Graduation ceremony. By the end, not only has she accumulated a dozen or so surrogate daughters, she has also made them several dollars in sales of their goods to take home with them. Margaret has been a loyal, monthly donor to IEEW and shares the work of IEEW wherever she can.

Photo Left: Dao Jensen, IEEW Board of Directors, presents the Woman of the Year award to Margaret Ford on July 15 at HoganTaylor LLC Oklahoma City.

Nancy Hyde | Outstanding Volunteer

Nancy Hyde has 40 years of experience in business tax and compensation planning, retirement plan design, and administration. A lifetime Oklahoma City resident, Nancy graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma and started Hyde & Company CPAs in 2002. Over the years, Nancy has served on many boards and been a vital part of the community through nonprofit organization like the YWCA, Sister Cities International OKC, and Rotary Club 29. She teaches financial literacy and has volunteered as a speaker and mentor since IEEW’s first year. In 2019, Nancy traveled to Kigali, Rwanda to work with PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS(r) alumnae on their loan packages and visited their businesses. Today, she serves on the board of directors doing what she does best. 

Photo Left: Nancy Hyde accepts the Outstanding Volunteer award in her office, Hyde & Company, PCs, Oklahoma City, July 2021.

Nuriat Kaka | Outstanding Alumna Rwanda

The outstanding Alumna Rwanda award went to Nuriat Kaka, Class of 2010. Nuriat started a company called Rwanda Chic – a farm raising chickens from hatchling to market. Within the Rwanda greater women’s business community, Nuriat is regarded as a mentor and team leader. A sought-after consultant, Nuriat trains others to start and grow their on businesses. Her natural enthusiasm enables her to quickly connect with people and impact them into action.

Photo Left: Nuriat Kaka proudly displays the Outstanding Alumna Rwanda award, July 2021, Rwanda.

Anne-Marie Kantengwa | Global Leader

Mrs Anne-Marie Kantengwa is Director and co-Owner of Hotel Chez Lando in Kigali, Rwanda, an urban hotel that has become an oasis for many who travel to this happy country. After losing her brother and other family members in the genocide, she vowed to keep his hotel going. Her idealistic field is to contribute to fighting poverty by increasing the welfare of families, especially in rural areas, through women’s empowerment. She believes that an organized Hotels and Tourism Industry should be one of the keys to economic growth, should generate more revenue, and be a major provider of employment. Her in-person mentor, Lisa Bracken, formerly co-owner of The Canebrake in Wagoner, OK, introduced Anne-Marie to new hospitality concepts that she immediately adopted upon returning home. After 8 years, Anne-Marie continues to give back to the PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program, as well as paying forward her knowledge in her own country.

Shelagh Kahonda Rwitare | Outstanding Volunteer

Shelagh Kahonda Rwitare is a wife and a mother to three children and lives in Kigali City, Rwanda. She is also a chartered, certified accountant. Shelagh is the Country Lead for the John Mazwell Leadership Foundation in Rwanda and serves on several boards. Often she dedicates time to training women entrepreneurs in financial management and accounting. For the past several years, she has supported Chantal Munanayire, In-country Facilitator Rwanda, in teaching the finance and accounting chapters during in-country classes, adding the nuances of Rwandan taxes to the details. Students have told us that Shelagh is always open to answer questions long after the course has ended. For her time and commitment, IEEW is forever grateful.

Charlene Lake | Hall of Fame Sponsorship

Charlene Lake is responsible for leading AT&T’s social innovation, philanthropic and volunteerism endeavors, driving stakeholder impact, and coordinating signature initiatives that connect social needs with business objectives. From the beginning, Charlene has helped lobby within AT&T for the work that IEEW does in Afghanistan and Rwanda, regardless of the company’s presence in Afghanistan and Rwanda. And each year, she is always available to speak with the women during Leadership Development, sharing her wisdom and spirit. Time and again, Charlene has created opportunity for IEEW to continue the mission, proclaiming, “it is simply the right thing to do.”

Photo Left: Charlene Lake accepts the Hall of Fame Sponsor Award from her Dallas office via Zoom, July 2021.

Sharin Nazari | Outstanding Alumna Afghanistan

Sharin Nazari operates Shaprake Production in Herat City. Returning to her homeland to help rebuild Afghanistan, Shaprake is the result of Sharin, a mountain climber both literally and figuratively, investing her life savings in tailoring and sewing equipment to begin designing and creating women’s fashions at home. Shaprake’s training and investment laid the foundation for a pivot during the COVID pandemic toward producing high quality uniforms for hospitals and schools. Securing these contracts has helped Sharin keep other women working through the most difficult months since graduating from PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS®.

Photo Right: Sharin Nazari at work in her tailoring and manufacturing shop, Herat City, Afghanistan, 2020.

Manizha Wafeq | World Visionary

A visionary is someone that is always thinking about or planning the future with great imagination and wisdom. Usually, thinking outside the box, different from what everyone else is thinking or envisioning. Someone ahead of the curve. Since attending the first class in 2007 – Manizha has adhered to the principle of paying it forward in her community and in her country. Her imagination allowed her to lead her fellow women business owners through an unimaginable process of self-empowerment that has resulted in a collective of over 2,400 members coordinating to prove their value in Afghanistan’s economy.

Photo Left: Manizha Wafeq accepts the World Visionary award from her family home in Afghanistan. Pictured is her daughter, parents, and colleague, Parwarish Oryakhail, via Teams.

Wow! Inspirational. Congratulations to all of our award winners and to every PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® alumnae and friend. So many stories to tell. Maybe you are wondering how you can help us. Consider volunteering, definitely dig into your pocketbook and see what you can give. And most important, talk about IEEW. We challenge you to tell just 3 friends about IEEW’s PEACE THROUGH BUSINESS® program. Share the website, social media pages, ask them to join the mailing list for the once monthly newsletter.  Sharing your story means liberating potential in women entrepreneurs.