Eight honorees were selected from nearly fifty nominations on April 15 for EmBe’s 48th Tribute to Women awards. The event was held virtually on EmBe’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Tribute to Women is the longest-standing award honoring the achievements of women in the region.
“Tribute lifts the good work being done in the community,” said Jennifer Smith Hoesing, EmBe’s Chief Development Officer. “It has never been more important to shine a light on the people who work to make our community strong and resilient.”
Firmly rooted in its foundation as the YWCA’s Leadership Luncheon, Tribute to Women has honored the best of our community for 48 years. This year’s winners are: Business Achievement: Nikkee Rhody – Central Payments; Community Service: Kira Kimball – Marsh & McLennan Agency; EmBeliever Award: Taneeza Islam, South Dakota Voices for Peace; Government & Law: Representative Erin Healy, South Dakota House of Representatives, Sanford Health; Healthcare & STEM: Andrea Polkinghorn, Sanford Health; Humanities & Education: Cindy Heidelberger Larson, Ground works/SD Agriculture in the Classroom; Young Woman of Achievement: Amy Moore, Lemonly; Sylvia Henkin Mentoring Award: Valerie Hearns, USD Sanford School of Medicine.
Cindy Heidelberger Larson, of Lennox, is the vice president of operations and co-founder of Ground Works/SD Ag in the Classroom. She is the mother of two teenage boys. Heidelberger Larson received a BA in Speech Communications Studies and Theatre and English Education. She spends her time coaching and judging high school speech and debate events across the state while serving on the Lennox High School Band Booster Board of Directors.
Heidelberger Larson also possesses a Masters of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling and has served as a part time chaplain at Sanford Hospital. With a focus on developing personal connections and relationships, she sees the unique creative genius that every person carries with them and is committed to celebrating that each day. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, directing theatre, singing musical theatre, and attending her son’s various activities.
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