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.
This year we were so pleased to present this award to Michelle Jankowski,
owner of Bella Cucina Catering at our Spring Fling Fundraiser on
Sunday, April 24, 2022. Michelle opened her catering business more than
16 years ago in Joliet's St. Pat's neighborhood because of her passion for
homemade dishes and her wonderful memories bonding with family in the
kitchen. Her passions extend beyond the kitchen with a strong desire to help
others. Her motto is: Keep being kind...it's working.
Michelle caters for many local non-profits with limited budgets and generously donates extra portions of food to those in need. During the height of the pandemic, Michelle offered free, curbside meals, no questions asked, until the food ran out. She has organized a Kindness Bag Drive for Morning Star Mission, has attended every Take Back The Night event, donating refreshments for attendees. Michelle sets an example of kindness and generosity and we are thrilled to be able to honor her for all that she has given back to our community.
"I am a better woman today because of my years served in Zonta."
- Carmela Castagna,
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
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"