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Woman of the Year

Each year, the Zonta Club of the Joliet Area recognizes one of their members for making a significant contribution in the advancement and operation of the Club. Sometimes the efforts are very visible and other times the good work takes place behind the scenes. Joliet Area Zontians thoughtfully nominate one of their own who has utilized creativity, time and effort to help make a positive difference. This can be through active participation in support of meetings, service projects, publications/websites, fundraising, communications, recruitment; or other significant activities such as representing our Club at district and national meetings.

2023 Honoree

On Tuesday, April 11, 2023, the Zonta Club of the Joliet Area named Lisa Pappas as ZCJA's Woman of the Year.

Ms. Pappas joined the Zonta Club of the Joliet Area in 2017 at the urging of Dr. Patricia L. Miller, a founding member of the Joliet club, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall. Ms. Pappas has served on the Executive Board of ZCJA since 2018 as a director and as Corresponding Secretary, whose role is to disseminate all club correspondence and create a monthly newsletter for the club members. She has been an active member of the PR Committee and the LUNAFEST film festival event planning committee for the past four years.


In addition to executive board and committee duties, Ms. Pappas took on the responsibility of re-designing the Club's website and is responsible for all updates and maintenance of the site.


In 2022, the PR Committee, chaired by Bonnie Winfrey, and long-time member Pat Perrier, created the Zonta on the Move podcast, which can be found on all the major podcasting platforms including Spotify, Google and Apple.

Ms. Pappas, director of the Plainfield Area Library, has worked in public libraries in the Chicago area for almost 30 years. She has been serving the community of Plainfield in different capacities for 20 years, spending the last six years as library director.

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Woman of the Year Past Honorees

2004 Kathy Giegerich

2005 Beth Ann May 

2006 Mary Baudino 

2007 Pat Perrier

2008 Dinah Archambeault

2009 Yolanda Reyes

2010 Bonnie Horne 

2011 Rita Weiss

2012 Beth Colvin

2013 Mary Lancaster 

2014 Peggy Field

2015 Cathy Lowery

2016 Helen Hester Ross 

2017 Kristine Schlismann 

2018 Catherine Adamowski

2019 Pam Hunte

2020 Donna Zanzola

2021 Terri King

1995 Pam Davis Gorcowski

1996 Helen Sarsfield 

1997 Emita Ostrem

1998 Ta Wilson 

1999 Jan Larsen

2000 Lora McGuire

2001 Bonnie McElroy

2002 Dianne Harmon

2003 Karen Lega

1986 Helen Harshbarger 

1987 Dorothy Cryder 

1988 Carmela Castagna

1989 Dianna Gliwa

1990 Wanda Onstad

1991 Charlotte Baker

1992 Mohra Gavankar

1993 Jane DeWitt 

1994 Judith Freund Vavrus 

2022 Karen Pastell

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