Bordenkircher awarded Joyce M. Davis Distinguished Member award

| May 23, 2017

2017 BPW OH Distinguished Woman Tomma BordenkircherNEWARK – At the 97th Annual Business and Professional Women (BPW) Ohio State Conference at Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark, Ohio, Tomma Bordenkircher, a 28 year member of Coshocton BPW, was awarded the Joyce M. Davis Distinguished Member award.

Bordenkircher has served as president on the local and region levels and as Local Parliamentarian. She has been the Individual Development (ID) Chair, Bylaws Chair, Finance Chair, Young Careerist (YC) Chair, Legislative Chair, Cake Auction Chair, Meet the Candidates Chair, Working Woman Scholarship Chair, Woman of the Year Chair, and Cake Auction Chair on the local level. Enlisting the help of her husband Rodger, who helps with the back drop, she has helped put up the BPW Fair Booth for many years.

Bordenkircher was the chair for the Coshocton BPW’s 80th anniversary celebration in September 2013.  On the region level, she has also served as the ID Chair, Bylaws Chair and Legislative Chair. On the state level, she has served as ID Chair twice, Bylaws Chair three times, Education Chair, and Corporate Sponsorship Chair on the State Conference Committee. She won the 1996 BPW/OH ID award and represented BPW/OH at the national level in Washington, D.C. which was very meaningful and rewarding to her. As a result of this experience, she then began scheduling ID classes and mentoring other women, several who have won on the state level.

She met with the ID and YC participants and helped them prepare for the Region and State Competitions. In 2004, Tomma completed the ID Facilitator Training to enable her to personally teach the ID course. She has traveled to Cincinnati, Cambridge and Zanesville to teach the course and mentored two Coshocton BPW members who took over the ID classes. They recruit facilitators from the community to present several of the modules.

For ten years, she chaired the Meet the Candidates night and served as the emcee. Working with co-sponsor, the Coshocton County Farm Bureau, and Ken Smailes, news director for WTNS Radio, she made contact with candidates and lined up speakers for upcoming levies to keep the public informed. She mentored to two Coshocton BPW members who currently co-chair the local Meet the Candidates night.  She served as the Legislative Chair or the Co-Chair, and Equal Pay Day Chair for many years bringing attention to the issue with Equal Pay Bake Sales, passing out Payday candy bars with Equal Pay facts on them, asking local food vendors to give discounts to patrons who mentioned Pay Equity Day, and dinners with a key note speaker.

Bordenkircher has also been an advocate and raised visibility of women’s issues by appearing on the local radio station to explain Pay Equity issues along with creating a legacy for other leaders by recommending that some money left over from a fundraiser be used to start a Scholarship Fund in the name of Joan McNeely, another longtime BPW member who led efforts to raise the money for an Ohio BPW member to run as National BPW President. The first scholarship of $500 was awarded in 1995.  Since then, $34,000 in scholarships has been given out to women returning to education. Depending on how much money has been raised, at least two and sometimes three $1,000 scholarships are awarded each year in May.

She has served on a committee which helped start the YWCA/BPW Tribute to Women of Achievement (TWA). She served on the YWCA/BPW TWA committee for 10 years and served as the co-chair and emcee many times. For her efforts, she was awarded the Volunteer Award in 2003. Money generated from the event was designated for scholarships.

Volunteering at various types of events including golf, Bordenkircher played an integral part in supporting the Joan McNeely Working Woman Scholarship Golf Scramble which raised $2,300 its first year. After the golf scramble and TWA Banquets were retired, she continued moving forward by developing a new fundraiser, the annual Cake Auction, which raised $2,800 its first year. She chaired this fundraiser for several years, then mentored another member to take over as the chair.

After a 25 year absence, she was asked to re-establish the local Woman of the Year program. Bordenkircher, with the help of a few members, established key criteria for the award. The award is presented in October during National Business Woman’s Week. Serving almost every award ceremony as the emcee since it started in 2005, her “This is Your Life” script makes each winner feel special and relive accomplishments. In 2006, Tomma won the award herself.

In addition to a healthy professional life, she recognizes the power of health and suggested that Coshocton BPW help the local hospital with Breast Health Awareness Day in October 2004 and 2005. In 2005, USA Weekend recognized Coshocton BPW for these efforts on Make a Difference Day. Empowering good health has stretched beyond BPW initiatives to serving heart disease and diabetes support groups in the local community, and has been the program speaker for her local on heart disease.

She organized members to attend the NRA’s Women on Target, which helps develop self-confidence. Without hesitation, Bordenkircher has volunteered to give the sermonette at the state Ecumenical services, plus chair the event twice.  She also co-chaired the event last fall when the chair, Marilyn Lauvray passed away.  To honor BPW sisters who have passed away, Bordenkircher designed a funeral service which family members greatly appreciate.

Beyond BPW, community service is strong as she continues to serve on the First Step Family Violence Board of Directors, a position she has held for at least 12 years and for which she recruited two BPW members to serve with her. She served for three years on the Coshocton County Career Center (CCCC) English Department Advisory Board, and is active in her church. Three years ago, she started a Prayer Shaw Ministry where she serves as Lector and Eucharistic Minister and ministers to the home bound.  An only child, she makes sure her mother, who will celebrate 50 years in BPW in June, as well as turning 90 years old, is healthy by taking her to doctor appointments, and checking on her almost daily.  She transports her mom to all BPW meetings and activities and has applied for two grants through the state Women’s Retirement Foundation for her mom’s senior housing facility. One of the grants updated an inside community area, and the other was for a table, chairs and umbrella for the outside area. In an effort to pass the torch, Bordenkircher introduced her granddaughters to BPW by bringing them to installation ceremonies, Mayor Proclamations, and asking them to help decorate the fair booth.

After a slide presentation highlighting some of her BPW activities, through tears of joy, Bordenkircher stated at the Saturday banquet that she was honored to receive the award, which is named after Noble County BPW member Joyce M. Davis, because she knew and had been friends with Mrs. Davis for years, and who had mentored her.

Coshocton BPW President Carla Fowler, Treasurer Aimee Neighbor, Liz Herrell and Raine Hammond also attended the state conference. Carla Fowler will be the 2018 Conference Committee Chair, and the location for next year will be the Hotel Grande in Berlin. For more information, contact Membership Chair Samantha Vincent at [email protected] or call 740-610-4989.

Category: Clubs & Organizations

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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