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March 7, 2019

2018 Sacagawea Awards

Congratulations to Dr. Eve Hall and Paula Penebaker!

Nearly 600 people marked International Women’s Day Thursday night by celebrating two trailblazing women at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. 

Professional Dimensions, a membership organization of inclusive women leaders who use their power to help each other and advance the community, presented the 2018 Sacagawea Awards to Dr. Eve Hall, President and CEO of the Milwaukee Urban League and Paula Penebaker, President and CEO of YWCA of Southeastern Wisconsin. Hall and Penebaker were selected for their career accomplishments, commitment to community and support of the advancement of women. 

“Paula and Eve reflect the courage, tenacity and grit of Sacagawea, “ said Karen Vernal, President of Professional Dimensions and President and CEO of Vernal Management Consultants. “Like Sacagawea, they have each been guides for hundreds of people who have been in the rough, unchartered waters of life. We celebrate each of them and express our deep gratitude for all they have done for the people of Milwaukee and beyond.”  

In addition to honoring Milwaukee’s trailblazing women, proceeds from the 2018 Sacagawea Awards Dinner will increase the impact that Professional Dimensions’ Charitable Fund will have on their 2017-2019 project with Pathfinders' New Paths Program

Dr. Hall and Ms. Penebaker were presented with custom art pieces created by artist Kristin Thielking, Professor of Sculpture and Glass at the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. Thielking created three unique pieces of art for the event, one for each winner, and one that will reside in the Professional Dimensions Sacagawea collection at Alverno College. 

2018 Sacagawea Award Winners

Dr. Eve Hall, a native of Milwaukee, previously served as President and CEO of the African American Chamber of Commerce of Milwaukee. She has also served as Chief Innovation Officer for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and has held leadership roles in public affairs, Milwaukee Public Schools and Governor Tommy Thompson’s office.  Hall is the co-founder of the African American Women’s Project Fund, which was created and designed to provide funding to organizations supporting the well-being of women and girls. Additional affiliations include Rotary Club of Milwaukee, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and TEMPO Milwaukee. Passionate about education, Hall earned a B.S. degree in educational psychology from Florida A&M University, a M.S. in administrative leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University.


Paula Penebaker began her tenure at the YWCA as the Chief Human Resources and Facilities Officer in 1999. Previously, Penebaker worked at First Wisconsin Bank, and also spent 13 years at Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio.  She is a member, and past board director, of Professional Dimensions and was instrumental in the creation of the organization’s signature race and racism programming. Penebaker serves on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee, and is a member of the Milwaukee Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc. and Milwaukee Chapter of The Links Incorporated. She also serves on the board of directors of Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. and is a Trustee for the Public Policy Forum and the Milwaukee County Federated Library System. Penebaker earned a B.S. degree from Edgecliff College, which has since merged with Xavier University. She has received awards from the Milwaukee Business Journal, Community Brainstorming Conference, North Central Service Club, the Medical College of Wisconsin, BizTimes and the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.

2018 Sacagawea Artist
Kristin Theilking


Theilking is a Professor of Sculpture and Glass at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and has also taught at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Penland School of Crafts. After growing up in Long Island, NY, Theilking went on to receive a BA in Fine Art and Comparative Literature from Brown University and an MFA in Sculpture from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Theilking works in a wide range of materials, from paper to glass, bronze and steel. She has a special interest in working with language as a material and creating work that inspires dialogue, and the state of the environment.  Read more...


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