Chapter Star Award

Chapter president Kara Kienzler with 2016 Chapter Star Award recipient, Dawn Pennington

The Chapter Star Award is presented annually to an AWC Springfield member for their outstanding involvement and participation in AWC.

Nomination Form & Instructions for Chapter Star Award

Deadline for submissions is April 15,  2018.

Previous award winners: (These summaries are excerpted from the nominations.)

Dawn Pennington, Illinois REALTORS®, 2016
Dawn Pennington, marketing specialist at the Illinois REALTORS received the 2016 Chapter Star Award.

Pennington has served as the webmaster for the AWC Springfield, IL Chapter for the past two years. While serving, Pennington transitioned the chapter website,, to a content management system. She also worked to launch an online payment method for members and non-members to register for monthly programs hosted by the chapter.

“Our chapter has benefited from Dawn’s knowledge of, and enthusiasm for, new technology,” said Kara Kienzler, AWC Springfield, IL president. “Her work has helped to improve how we make information and resources available to our members, and streamline our registration process.”

The award is presented annually to an AWC Springfield member or members for outstanding involvement and participation in AWC. A selection committee determines the award recipient or recipients based on nominations and verifiable data.

Kristin Fyans, Springfield Clinic and June Stricker, Hanson Professional Services, 2015
Kristin Fyans and June Stricker were nominated for their work as Co-Vice President of Communications for the chapter.  They were responsible for the chapter’s communications strategy, maintaining email distribution lists, preparing and sending program as well as preparing membership email communications.  The nomination said that Kristin and June made a great team, creating a very cohesive communications plan.  Their communications were accurate, well written and delivered with the most modern methods possible including email, social media and web postings.  The chapter benefitted from their passions – sharing their skills in organization, new media and photography, to name a few.

Karen Mollett, Illinois College (retired), 2014
Karen Mollett served two terms as the Student Liaison for the Springfield chapter and was nominated for her efforts to establish connections at local colleges and universities, particularly Benedictine University.  Karen helped guide Benedictine students through the process of starting a student chapter, keeping Springfield’s AWC board informed.  On several occasions she brought students as her guests to programs.  In 2014, Karen’s efforts paid off with Benedictine starting their own student AWC chapter. This probably would not have happened if it weren’t for the relationships Karen built as student liaison.  As students represent the profession’s future, her hard work was appreciated.

 Jessie Decker, Orthopedic Center of Illinois, 2013
Jessie Decker was recognized for her key leadership in the chapter, serving as Co-Vice President of Programs.  She was responsible for recruiting a range of top-notch speakers for monthly programs.  Jessie worked to continually raise the level of programming – from guest speakers to the topics and the event location.  Chapter members were queried about their programming interests and programs were then guided by the feedback, especially from senior communicators.  Jessie helped raised awareness of the local AWC chapter and membership as well as attendance at chapter events with her professional approach to all efforts.  She also served as chapter President (2013).

Lisa Rigoni, Association of Illinois Electric Cooperatives, 2012
Lisa Rigoni was honored for her outstanding service to the chapter, especially having served three consecutive terms as the Springfield chapter President (2008-10).  Working with active board members, she did much to facilitate the considerable growth in membership the chapter experienced.  Her nominator said she was the champion and cheerleader for many improvements by the chapter, including a new website and the reinvigoration of the awards program.  Projects such as these, ignited under her leadership, were a great asset to all the Springfield members.

Christy Broccardo, Springfield Clinic, 2011
Christy Broccardo was Webmaster and Jobs Chair when she was honored.  One nominator said “She led her team to create new text, new photos and a completely fresh layout for our Web site. Her willingness to take on tasks and wear multiple hats helped the chapter fill in gaps.”  From another – “She…received acclaim for her local presentation on email marketing which led to AWC asking her to make the presentation nationally.  She has a gift to take any issue or problem and turn it upside down and sideways to see the good and find a positive outcome.”   Christy had served as chapter President (1994).