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Rosemary Gardiner Receives YWCA 2018 Woman of Achievement Award

June, 2018

Congrats to Rosemary Gardiner, Family & Children Services CEO emerita, for receiving a coveted 2018 Woman of Achievement Award from YWCA Kalamazoo.

Rosemary was honored at the YWCA’s 34th annual awards program on May 10 at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Kalamazoo.

In its citation, the YWCA said Rosemary had “advocated for and embodied the mission” of the organization to support, strengthen, and preserve the safety, well-being, and dignity of children individuals, and families. “Her energy, enthusiasm and authenticity motivated colleagues to strive to do their very best work.”

Rosemary retired from Family & Children Services in October 2016 after a 44-year career. She started as a social worker in 1972 and later served as public relations director and development director before she took over the CEO post in 2008.

Shortly before her retirement, Communities in Schools Kalamazoo honored her with its 2016 Diether Haenicke Promise of Excellence Award. Named for the fifth president of Western Michigan University, the award recognizes a group or individual who makes a difference for youth in Kalamazoo schools.

“The event uniquely shines a light on women who have made a difference,” says Rosemary about receiving this award. “It is humbling to join leaders whose work I’ve admired for many years and a joy to accept the award on behalf of all women in Kalamazoo who ‘lead in place’ in a variety of settings. All of them make this community stronger and many of them are right here at Family & Children Services quietly serving!”

Six other local women community leaders were also honored by the YWCA. Ann Fergemann, Wendy Fields, the late Gulnar Husain, Donna Odom, and Jane Rooks Ross each also received a Woman of Achievement award, while Judy Jolliffe received a 2018 Lifetime Woman of Achievement Award.

Recipients of the Awards were selected by an independent committee chaired by YWCA Board member Cathy Wortham. The 2018 awards are sponsored by The Peterson Company, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, Chemical Bank, Greenleaf Trust, and Stryker Corp.

YWCA Kalamazoo was founded in 1885 and serves as the oldest association in Michigan. Originally establish to provide residence services for young women, today YWCA Kalamazoo serves as a primary resource for economic, gender, and racial justice for all women and girls in Kalamazoo.

Rosemary Gardiner

Rosemary Gardiner


YWCA Award Ceremony

YWCA Award Ceremony