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BLOOMINGTON — Six women have won the annual Women of Distinction awards from the YWCA, a national initiative recognizing professional and personal achievements of women.

Twenty-six women were nominated in six categories. Each winner received a framed certificate and a sterling silver pin. By category, winners were:

Business: Kelly Anne Mathy, Bloomington, owner of Kelly’s Bakery and Café and an assistant principal and fourth-grade teacher at Washington Elementary School, Bloomington.

Creative arts and entertainment: Susan Morse Cortesi, Bloomington, a speech, theater and English teacher at Bloomington High School and drama director for both BHS and Normal Parks and Recreation.

Education: Ann Harding, Normal, director of alumni relations at Illinois Wesleyan University.

Professions: Laura Furlong, Bloomington, chief operating officer at Marcfirst.

Social services: Deborah Halperin, Bloomington, Action Research Center coordinator, Illinois Wesleyan University.

Harriett F. Rust Volunteer Service: Valerie Dumser, Bloomington, board president, West Bloomington Revitalization Project.

The 2011 Wings Award recipients were Kimberly Ewald and Elizabeth German of Bloomington and Starla Southward of Normal. The award, now its 12th year, encourages professional and personal development through mentoring and financial support.

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