History of the Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus

Women's Political Hall of Fame



Hon. Heather Ousley
Hakima Tafunzi Payne



Hon. Judy Morgan
Hon. Ponka-We Victors



Hon. Katheryn Shields
Gail James
Alice Kitchen



Hon. Jean Carnahan
Peggy Bowman



Hon. Marci Francisco
Hon. Yvonne Wilson



Hon. Joanne Collins
Hon. Geraldine Flaherty



Hon. Mamie Hughes
Kaye Cleaver



Hon. Mary Groves Bland
Norma Storms
Hon. Carol Marinovich
Hon. Patricia Pettey



Joan Berkley
Barbara Crist
Lali Garcia
Eleanor Lowe
Ruth Margolin
Hon. Carol Jean Mays
Hila “Dutch” Newman
Hon. Barbara Potts
Beth Smith
Marjorie Webb

Awards & Hall of Fame

Past Awards Given by the
Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus


The Torch Award

Awarded to a young woman of promise who has been involved with the Caucus and committed to its mission and plans to continue her career in public service.


Previous Awardees:
Emily Weber
Coletta Hummel
Nicole Giarratana
Alexis Martin
Lauren Gepford
Amber Versola
Monica Curls
Serena Hein
Lindsey Walker
Lisa Roush
Amy Sweeny Davis
Lisa Gruenloh
Donna Phelps
Lisa Sebree
Jessica Kerrigan
Alison Barnes Martin
Hon. Cathy Jolly
Hon. Beth Gottstein
Michelle Peltier
Kim Carlos
Hon. Beth Low Smith
Brook Balentine
Stephanie Guerin
Jill Jolicoeur
Diane Kander


The Erika S. Fox Pillar Award


Awarded to a remarkable role model of political accomplishment to the benefit of women and women's issues.  Erika S. Fox joined the GKCWPC in the early 1970’s when she became an organizer/lobbyist for the ERA, and a volunteer coordinator for the successful Caucus effort to elect the “Three D’s." Erika also served as Newsletter Editor, Political  and Legislative VP, President and Treasurer of the Caucus PAC that she helped establish; she chaired MO/WPC and was a delegate to NWPC.


Previous Awardees:
Sandy Querry
Jessica Podhola
Chere Chaney
Ursula Terrasi
Hon. Sandra Reeves
Hon. Jean Peters Baker
Hon. Karen Messerli
Erika S. Fox
Hon. Doris Quinn
Elizabeth Ossario
Rosemary Smithson
Linda McNicholas
Biddy Hurlbut
Sharon Kingsbury
Hon. Claire McCaskill
Hon. Karen McCarthy
Hon. Kathleen Sebelius
Hon. Carol Sader
Hon. Melba Curls
Hon. Crystal Williams
Hon. Kay Barnes
Mary O’Halloran
Dianne Cleaver


Mel Carnahan Good Guy Award

Given to a male community leader who has supported the Caucus' mission of promoting women and women's issues.


Previous Awardees:
Hon. Jalen Anderson
Hon. Greg Razer
Mayor Sly James
Hon. Stephen Webber
David Haley
Richard Rhyne
Stephen Bough
Paul Morrison
Hon. Alvin Brooks
Hon. Mel Carnahan
Hon. Scott Lakin
Hon. Ken Jacobs
Jack Swall
Hon. Dennis Moore
Robert Meneilly
James B. Nutter
Hon. Scott Burnett
Hon. Charles Wheeler
Hon. David Adkins
Rabbi Mark Levin
Hon. Emanuel Cleaver
Peter B. Brownlie


Chere Chaney Community Service Award

Awarded for outstanding accomplishment and representation of the power of women through community service.


Previous Awardees:

Hon. Barbara Anne Washington
Rosilyn Temple
Emily Riegel
Hillary Klofkorn Shields
Planned Parenthood Great Plains
Sarah Starnes
Mary Steeb
Hon. Theresa Garza Ruiz
Sandy Querry
Sr. Corita Bussanmmas
Sr. Berta Sailer
Annette Morgan
Ruth Shecter
Sharon Hoffman
Patty Brous
Martha Jane Starr
Audrey Langworthy
Angela Bennett
Maime Hughes
Vicki Noteis
Sr. Pat Kenoyer
Hon. Joanne Collins
Hon. Jan Marcason
Cyinthia Smith


Excellence in Media Award

Awarded to a journalist for outstanding reporting on issues important to women and families. All forms of media reporting may be considered including print, radio, TV, and online.


Previous Awardees:
CJ Janovy
Davis Hammet
Cheptoo Kositany-Buckner
Diana J. Reese
Sharon Lockhart
Sylvia Maria Gross
Mary Sanchez
Laura Scott
Rhonda C. Lokeman
Deborah Holmes
Pam Whiting
Merriam Pepper
Barbara Shelly
Laura Hockaday
Gloria V. Hickok


Harriet Woods "Guardian of the Flame" Award

In the memorial service eulogy for Governor Mel Carnahan, his daughter, former Secretary of State, Robin Carnahan, recalled her father's daily admonition of keeping wood on the fire on cold winter mornings on their family farm. "Dad, I promise we won't let the fire go out," she said holding back tears. This sentiment inspired the Caucus to create the "Guardian of the Flame" award, given to those who keep the fire of freedom and justice burning for women in the Greater Kansas City Area.


Previous Awardees:
Hon. Judy Morgan
Hon. Becky Fast
Mahnaz Shabbir
Hon. Valdenia Winn
Freda Mendez-Smith
Barbara Womack
Hon. Jolie Justus
Terry Satterlee
Hon. Jean Carnahan
Hon. Mary Groves Bland
Marilyn Shapiro
Hon. Yvonne Wilson


Betty Anne McCaskill "You Go Girl" Award


Named in Honor of Betty Anne McCaskill, the first woman elected to the Columbia City Council and long time Greater Kansas City Women's Political Caucus member.  Betty Anne McCaskill inspired and encouraged her daughter, Senator Claire McCaskill, without reserve and campaigned alongside her throughout Missouri.  This award is given to women who are firecrackers in their own right, and support other women tirelessly.


Previous Awardees:
Hon. Susan Ruiz
Constance Shidler, Esq.
Senator Claire McCaskill