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Woman of Distinction

Each year, Zonta Club of Joliet honors a community member who

actively works to support and improve the status of women and

girls and/or has a history of leadership and success in a non-traditional

role as a woman. Current Club members are not eligible.

At its 2023 Magnificent Mardi Gras fundraiser, the award was presented to Carolyn Kahn, MA, LCPC, CDVP. She is the Executive Director of Bridges to New Day, nfp. Mrs. Khan has a masters degree in counseling from Governors State University. She is a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) and a certified domestic violence professional (CDVP). She is a founding member of the organization. She has worked in the social service field for over 20 years. 



In her career, she developed and implemented a program that provided services to preschools and grade schools after a violent incident occurred in the community. As well, she trained staff and developed a parenting program that provided in-home visitation as well as parenting groups in both English and Spanish. In addition, she has provided counseling to adults, children, couples and families. Mrs. Khan is past president of the Illinois Certified Domestic Violence Professional Board. She is past president of the Illinois Mental Health Counselors Board, and is currently President-Elect of the Illinois Counseling Association and Strategic Planning Chair. Mrs. Khan has presented numerous presentations on a variety of issues throughout Illinois on a variety of topics including: effects of violence on children; domestic violence; interventions with children; adolescents and adults exposed to violence; helping children deal with loss; program development; and more. She is also a volunteer committee member on the Will County Take Back the Night Committee, bringing awareness of domestic violence to the community.

This year’s winner has made an incredible impact on the community through her work helping others to understand the effects of domestic violence and recognize how this epidemic adversely affects women and children.


Past Honorees

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"I am a better woman today because of my years served in Zonta."  

 - Carmela Castagna,

Founding Member

Zonta Club of Joliet

2012 Susan Pritz-Bornhofen                    Community Leader, Female-owned business

2014 Lynn Noel                                         Professor of Nursing

2015 Wanda Onstad                                Church ministry, Female-owned business 

2016 Veryl Boykin                                     Founder of Fearless Female Club at JTHS

2016 Ashley Samsa                                   Founder of Fearless Female Club at JTHS

2017 Kay Bolden                                       Warren Sharpe Community Center founder

2018 Judy Mitchell                                   Joliet Junior College President

2021 Denise Winfrey                                Will County Executive Board member

2022 Michelle Jankowski                         Owner, Bella Cucina Catering

2006 Linda Odom                                   Detective, Joliet Police

2007 Rose Mancuso                                First woman pharmacist in Joliet

2008 Dorothy Mavrich                             Historic preservationist

2009 Kathleen Kalan                                First female judge in Will County

2010 Margaret Hendrix                           First United Airlines female overseas pilot

2011 Angela DeCraene                           Founder "Building a Global Community"                   2011 Jennifer Fleming                             Founder "Building a Global Community"

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