ENID — Six women from Enid and northwest Oklahoma were honored among this year’s 50 Making a Difference, part of the Journal Record’s annual Woman of the Year gala last week.

Two of them, Deena Fisher and Janet Cunningham, both of Northwestern Oklahoma State University, were among eight inducted into the Circle of Excellence, which recognizes sustained achievement of women who have been a Woman of the Year honoree three or more times.

Fisher, of NWOSU Woodward, said she is delighted to share that honor with the president of her university, whom she admires.
“I’m excited and honored to be included in the eight women included in the Circle of Excellence,” Fisher said. “It’s a huge recognition. You hear from incredible women all across the state, encouraging you and telling you that you are making a difference for people all across the state of Oklahoma. I think recognition from your peers and people you have admired all your life has special meaning.”

April Danahy, vice president of corporate communication and human resources for Security National Bank, said this is her first year to be nominated.
“It’s a wonderful experience,” Danahy said. “I’m very fortunate to live in a community that is open to new ideas.”

Ora Morgan, of Autry Technology Center, also was honored for the first time this year.
“It was humbling to be included among such an elite group of women,” Morgan said. “It’s something I never would have dreamed of, to be recognized for something I love to do.”

Deanna Atkinson, president of Oklahoma Environmental Services, said she also was a first-time honoree.
“It was a huge honor to be even considered in that group of women, and I’m so very honored to be included,” Atkinson said. “I love doing what I do and I believe in it.”

The area women honored were:

• Deanna Atkinson, president of Oklahoma Environmental Services, Enid. OES, with offices in Enid, Tulsa and Oklahoma City, began 10 years ago in Enid. The 25-employee company does soil and groundwater remediation and assists companies to stay in compliance with local, state and federal regulations. Atkinson said she loves and believes in what she does.

• Janet Cunningham, president of NWOSU. Cunningham began her career as an instructor of business at NWOSU, then spent time teaching at University of Oklahoma. She returned to NWOSU in 1998. She is active in numerous professional and volunteer organizations.

• April Danahy, vice president of corporate communication and human resources for Security National Bank, Enid. Danahy was a founding member of the Juliette Low Leadership Society of Enid. She is active on numerous boards and organizations. Danahy was the Enid News & Eagle’s Pillar of the Plains recipient in January 2011.

• Cheryl Evans, Northern Oklahoma College, Tonkawa, is a two-time honoree. The first female president of NOC, Evans has long been a familiar face in higher education in Enid. Prior to accepting the position at NOC, she worked 17 years with NWOSU, rising to the rank of dean of the Enid campus. She served as chair of the Enid Chamber of Commerce and remains a board member for the Ponca City and Tonkawa chambers of commerce, along with participating in numerous other community organizations.

• Deena Fisher, dean of NWOSU’s Woodward campus. Fisher, who also teaches history for the university, has spent 30 years in the education field. Active in many professional and civic organizations, Fisher was named the Woodward Chamber of Commerce 2009 Citizen of the Year.

• Ora Morgan, chief financial officer for Autry Technology Center, helped implement the first formal training program for other CareerTech center business managers statewide. That training program became the blueprint for the Oklahoma Center for School Business Management program sponsored by Oklahoma State University.

By Phyllis Zorn, Enid News & Eagle
Published: October 8, 2012