One of the great things BizTimes.biz, partnered with Her magazine, does each year is recognize outstanding women doing outstanding things for our community.
It’s a painstaking process, as there always are more incredible women nominated by their peers in the community than there are awards to go around. And what a year it has been, where women — as they so often do — have stepped up to meet each moment.
This year, we honor three Women of the Year.
Dereka Williams, Gwendolyn Fountain and Monique McCauley stand individually as mighty forces. Together, the trio of longtime girlfriends call themselves the Queens for Peace, striving to empower women and educate the public about discrimination and racial injustice, all while promoting peaceful gatherings as platforms for those marginalized to tell their story and have a voice.
Another recognized is Kelly Larson, a woman with a similar mission she has crafted into a career. Nominated as our Woman Who Makes A Difference, she is well-known and well-respected throughout the community for her longtime leadership as the director of the City of Dubuque’s Human Rights Department, which strives to uphold equality for Dubuque residents.
As this month’s featured cover story, Danielle Urbain is honored as our Woman of Innovation for her role at John Deere Dubuque Works and John Deere Davenport Works, leading the development and implementation of technology solutions to improve the company’s workflow.
And lastly, we always honor an up-and-comer in the community that stands out as someone on the cusp of doing tremendous things that we believe will only have more to come. Nicole Salazar fits the bill. As an officer with the Dubuque Police Department and avid volunteer, the Loras College graduate is driven by faith and a will to help others through community engagement and making a impact through positive dialogue and personal connections.