SIFE honors three Plainview women at annual banquet

Release Date: April 9, 2008

PLAINVIEW – The Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team at Wayland Baptist University honored three local women Tuesday at its annual Women in Business Awards banquet held in the McClung Center.

Carolyn Baker, Nancy Kernell and Mary Anna Self were presented with Women in Business awards in the third annual event, which featured Hale County State Bank vice president Linda Morris as keynote speaker.

“There are choices we make everyday, especially as women in business. We often ask, ‘Can we have it all?’ The key is discovering what your ‘all’ is,” Morris said. “Being successful means making a commitment to anything you do and doing it to the best of your ability. It means setting high standards and achieving them. And it means discovering your ‘all’ and being realistic about it.”

Morris said having a good sense of humility is also key as women realize and appreciate their mentors and those around them who help them balance a successful work life with family and home life.

“We’ve all had people set examples for us,” she said. “What about the examples we set? What will women say about us one day, that it was all about the money or that it was about our character and doing good things?”

In presenting the Women in Business Awards, WBU President Dr. Paul Armes thanked the honorees for their service to the community.

“You are part of the reason that Plainview is a special place. It is Wayland’s, and SIFE’s, honor to give you just a small token of our appreciation,” Armes said.

Baker is executive vice president and cashier at Hale County State Bank in Plainview, a graduate of West Texas A&M University who started her banking career with the Federal Reserve Bank. After working as a CPA in Tulia for several years, Baker returned to Plainview and began working for HCSB in 1987, moving into her current position in 1994. She is active in the community, serving on the United Way budget committee and various professional organizations for CPAs.

Kernell is co-owner of Area Community Hospice, which she founded with business partner Becky Steffens in 2004. A registered nurse, Kernell is also a certified hospice and palliative care nurse and has an associate’s degree from South Plains College. She worked for hospice agencies for eight years as a nurse before starting her own agency in Plainview. She also founded the Area Community Hospice Foundation. She is a member of the Lions Club.

Self has been executive director of the Plainview Area United Way since 2002 after working for various retail businesses and her husband’s law firm. Prior to joining PAUW, she worked as a real estate agent and office manager at Billington Real Estate, earning the Realtor of the Year Award in 1998. She serves on the board of the Plainview Chamber of Commerce and is a member of Soroptimist International of Plainview, serving twice as its president.

President Dr. Paul Armes presented the awards to the recipients at the sold-out banquet, which is funded in part by a SIFE grant from HSBC. Previous banquets have honored local residents Jan Alford, Sandra Aven, Nell Hardage, Evalene McDonald, Dr. Ruth Rector-Wright and Peggy Wall.

Besides the banquet, the SIFE team also conducts projects aimed at educating the community on issues of entrepreneurship, financial planning and management. They also partner with the Small Business Administration to host monthly sessions for small business leaders in the area. SIFE is made up of Wayland students from all disciplines, and they compete annually in a regional competition pitting their projects against other universities. Sam Van Hoose, assistant professor at Wayland, and Dr. Bobby Hall, provost, serve as sponsors for the organization.