Congratulations Women of Distinction award winners from Savvy in the City! This event was held May 6, 2011; a day to shop, talk, learn and laugh. Each of the winners have given back more than they have received. The categories were Savvy Business Woman, Savvy Inspirational Woman, Savvy Humanitarian, and Savvy Survivor.
The Savvy Survivor was sponsored by Underneath it All. The winner, Cassie Stech of Chaska, is a mom on a mission. At just 15 months old, her son Gavin Gilbertson was diagnosed with a case of spinal muscular atrophy. SMA destroys the motor neurons that control voluntary muscle movement, making it difficult for children like Gavin, who has Type II SMA, to ever crawl or walk. The life expectancy for children with SMA is not good. Most do not live past age 2. SMA can devastate a family. However, less than a month after his diagnosis, Cassie was done with the crying and ready to take action. Determined to give Gavin the best life possible, Stech mobilized family and friends to raise money for the MDA's Stride and Ride event in November 2010. They ended up being the top fundraising team at the event, raising $6,300 toward research and a cure.
The Savvy Humanitarian Woman was sponsored by Encore Consignment Boutique. The winner, Maura Steblay of Eden Prairie, always gives of her time and talent to others, including to her church, area schools, art, sports and humanities organizations and business and health organizations. Her list of volunteer activities is a mile long and ranges from serving as the co-founder of the Business Women's Circle, board member of the Hennepin County Library Foundation, president of the Friends of the Eden Prairie Library, coach of girls basketball and volleyball, liturgical minister at St. Hubert Church and former board member of the West Suburban Teen Clinic.
The Savvy Inspirational Woman was sponsored by Moms on the Run. The winner, Keila Rector of Eden Prairie, has been inspiring southwest metro residents to lose weight through her Eden Prairie Community Weight Loss Challenge classes. So far, she has helped her students lose more than 30,000 pounds. She helps them not only loss weight, but gain knowledge of proper nutrition to help them keep it off. Keila is active in the community and is a member of the Eden Prairie Lioness Club. Keila has said, "My mission is to help people have faith and belief in themselves so they can accomplish more than they ever thought possible!"
The Savvy Business Woman was sponsored by Chicks for a Cause. The winner, Shelli Nelson, began her health and wellness career in 1985 when she became a registered nurse. In both her professional and private life, she observed that traditional medicine and treatments too often failed. This frustration launched a 25-year quest for integrative methods of improving health--for herself and her patients. Shelli became totally blind at age 24 due to diabetes. The absence of visual distraction has enabled her to access her innate gifts and develop a way of perceiving that is highly accurate and profound. Shelli is the founder, president and lead teacher of Rukhar Academy of Healing Arts & Science. Throughout her careers she has created the first cardiac after-care program for Fairview Health Services; conducted the first clinical research study on energy healing that was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Minnesota; created a stress management program for vascular patients at Fairview Southdale Hospital in Edina; and successfully implemented energy healing treatments into mainstream care at Fairview Southdale Hospital.
Congratulations, Savvy Women of Distinction winners!