They are noted for their leadership in business, education and athletics as well as their contributions to the community and the development of young women.
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Four Columbia-area women are being honored as this year’s Women of Distinction by the Girl Scouts of South Carolina-Mountains to Midlands council – Sarena Burch, Elizabeth A. (Beth) Dinndorf, Dawn Staley and Ann Marie Stieritz.
The distinction recognizes women for excellence in service, leadership, community and professionalism. The four women will be honored during the 21th Annual Women of Distinction Awards Dinner April 10 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center.
Sarena Burch Elizabeth A. (Beth) Dinndorf Dawn Staley Ann Marie Stieritz
“Our honorees are women whose professional and community accomplishments make them outstanding role models who inspire girls to always persevere to achieve their own goals and dreams,” said Kim Hutzell, president/chief executive officer, Girl Scouts of South Carolina – Mountains to Midlands. “They exemplify the Girl Scout promise and law through ethical leadership and a commitment to making a difference in the lives of their community members through generous volunteerism.”
A look at this year’s honorees:
Burch is senior vice president, fuel procurement, for SCANA Corp. She was formerly the deputy general counsel and assistant secretary for SCANA Corp. and its subsidiaries. She is a member of the Energy Bar Association, South Carolina Women’s Lawyers Association, American Coal Council and Women in Nuclear. She serves on the boards of the Southern Gas Association, ETV Endowment of South Carolina, United Way of the Midlands and Midlands Heart Walk.
Dinndorf is the 18th president of Columbia College. She formerly served as senior vice president and manager of student banking services at U.S. Bank in St. Paul, Minn. and as senior vice president and national sales manager of education financial services at Wells Fargo Bank. Dinndorf served on the College of Saint Benedict board, which she chaired from 2010 until accepting her appointment at Columbia College. She is a member of the Columbia Rotary Club and the Midlands Business Leadership Group in Columbia.
Staley is the women’s head basketball Coach at the University of South Carolina. The three-time Olympic gold medalist was selected to carry the United States flag at the opening ceremony of the 2004 Summer Olympics. She was named the Southeastern Conference’s 2014 Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year, and CNN.com listed her No. 20 on the list of the world’s 50 best leaders. She was named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
Staley directs a bulk of her community service commitments through The Dawn Staley Foundation, which seeks to give inner-city children positive input through an after-school program. Staley also formed the charity Innersole to collect new sneakers for deserving youngsters.
Stieritz is the deputy executive director of the University of South Carolina’s Office of Economic Engagement.
Stieritz serves on the United Way of the Midlands board, the executive committee of Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce board, American Red Cross–Central SC Region board. She led the 2012 American Heart Association’s Midlands Go Red for Women Movement and previously served two terms on the board of the Columbia Rotary Club. She also previously served as the vice president for economic development and workforce competitiveness for the state’s technical college system and was the system’s first associate vice president for strategic priorities and planning. She was the founding director of Apprenticeship Carolina.