They are noted for their political service, their business expertise and their devotion to improving the communitys health.
Five Columbia-area women have been chosen as this years Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands. The council annually recognizes women who exemplify excellence in service, leadership, community and professionalism.
This years honorees are Cynthia Cindy Cooper, Sara B. Fisher, Elizabeth Liz McMillan, Elise Partin and Barbara D. Willm. The five will be recognized during the 20th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner and fundraiser April 11 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
This years competitive selection of the five honorees recognizes prominent women of unquestionable integrity, self-reliance and community leadership, said Kim Hutzell, president and CEO of the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands. And, although its never a requirement for selection, four of the five women were Girl Scouts.
Heres a look at this years honorees.
• Cooper is the vice president and government programs compliance officer for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, where she oversees the companys government programs subsidiaries compliance programs. She received her law and undergraduate degrees from the University of South Carolina and was a trial lawyer for five years before joining BlueCross.
Cooper is a member of the South Carolina and American Bar Association and has served on the TriCenturion Inc. board, as a member of Leadership South Carolina and on the Cultural Council for Richland and Lexington Counties.
• Fisher has been the senior executive vice president and chief operating officer of NBSC since 2003. She was named secretary of the board in 2008. Before that, she served in management roles with South Carolina Federal Savings Bank, University of South Carolina System Credit Union and First National Bank.
She serves on the Richland County Library Foundation board. She also is on the board of directors of the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities and is a member of Capital City Club Board of Governors. She was recognized as a 2009 Woman of Influence by Columbia Business Monthly.
• McMillan is the general manager of Gamecock IMG Sports Marketing at the USC, where she became the first female assistant athletic director for marketing and promotions.
She is an adjunct professor in USCs Sports and Entertainment Department and is an usher at Trenholm Road United Methodist Church. She has served on the board of Kappa Delta Alumni, Palmetto Health Childrens Hospital and the American Diabetes Association.
• Partin was elected Cayce mayor in November 2008. She serves on the Municipal Association of South Carolinas board of directors, Lexington Countys Joint Municipal Water and Sewer Commission, the Lexington County Development Corp. and the River Alliance.
Partin has a masters degree in public health and is an adjunct faculty member in USCs School of Public Health. She was named one of Columbia Business Monthlys 2011 Women of Influence.
• Willm is vice president of community relations for Lexington Medical Center and helped open the hospitals six community centers.
She is active on the Greater Irmo Chamber of Commerce Board and received the chambers Ambassador of the Year award in 2005. She is the immediate past chair of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce Board and the Leadership Lexington County Board. She has a bachelors of science in nursing from the University of South Carolina.
The keynote speaker for this years Women of Distinction Awards Dinner is former honoree Judy Davis, executive vice president and chief legal officer for BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina.