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To “imprint” is to make a lasting mark.

It also describes when one person comes to recognize another as a source of trust and support. An “imprint” is defined as a mark or depression made by pressure and an indelible distinguishing effect or influence.

Professional Dimensions’ Imprint award, formerly known as the Sacagawea Award, was originally established in 1982 to  honor career women for their accomplishments as business leaders and trailblazers within the Milwaukee region. Rebranded in 2021, we've expanded this vision to recognize two women who are making a lasting mark in their career, community and collaborations. Like the definitions of “imprint,” they are both successful and supportive. They truly embody the well-rounded character trait, and Professional Dimensions is honored to celebrate their lasting impacts.


The 2023 Imprint Awards Committee has been busy collecting nominations and reviewing the incredible nominees. We received several this year and the decision was not an easy one. Through much review, we have selected two incredible women that have left a huge imprint in Milwaukee. They are trailblazers in their respective industries and continue to advocate for women.
We are proud to announce the 2023 Imprint Award Winners are JoAnne Sabir and Dr. Kristina Ropella!

The selection committee noted that the two winners are shown to be great representation of the Imprint Award for their overall commitment to the community.

Both deserving recipients were selected for their ability to leave a lasting imprint in their professional and community roles. These highly successful women are making the community better and mentoring and inspiring the next generation of leaders!

JoAnne Sabir is a community development leader in Milwaukee and a serial founder/ co-founder including ventures such as Sherman Phoenix, Shindig LLC juice company, and Freedom Endeavors Business Coaching and Real Estate. JoAnne is a champion for the community through various initiatives and businesses that support the underserved and create safe spaces, entrepreneurial prospects, and employment for members of diverse districts. Beyond her entrepreneurial endeavors, Sabir also serves as a Community & Social Impact Manager for American Family Insurance where she continues to impact lives.

JoAnne received her Bachelor degree from Clark Atlanta University and went on to earn her Masters of Social Work degree at UW-Milwaukee.

Dr. Kristina Ropella is a higher education leader, dedicated educator, biomedical engineering researcher, board member and currently serves as the Opus Dean of Marquette’s Opus College of Engineering. As a trailblazer in the engineering and higher education spaces, Ropella was the first female engineering Dean at Marquette University. Her personal mission is to change the face of engineering which she is striving for by opening doors for diverse representation and promoting servant leadership. Her initiatives such as the Excellence in Leadership (E-Lead) program, a leadership development program, and her research and publications have already left a meaningful impact on the engineering industry and community.

She received her Master’s degree and Ph.D. from Northwestern University but has a history with the Milwaukee area having received her Bachelor’s degree from Marquette.


Lynda Sommers-Herzog is a professional artist, an associate professor of art and the director/curator of the Art & Cultures Gallery, Kellogg Photography Gallery and the IMPRINT Gallery and Public Spaces Artcurator at Alverno College. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture with an emphasis in Foundry and a Bachelor of Arts Ceramics and currently teaches numerous art courses. She is a trailblazer in the sculpture field by providing opportunity for more women to learn non-traditional mechanical skills such as casting and welding, areas traditionally dominated by men. Sommers-Herzog gains inspiration for her art from nature, with pieces such as her Heritage Tree, a 14 x 20 ft wall sculpture created for Aurora-Mt Sinai, among the beautiful artwork that can be seen throughout our Milwaukee community.

About Professional Dimensions

Professional Dimensions is the leading women’s professional association in the Milwaukee area whose mission is to unite women leaders in the relentless pursuit of better. We create opportunities for our members to network, collaborate, learn, and lead, inspiring women to reach for more in all aspects of their lives. Our organization is intentionally inclusive across career experiences and personal identities, maximizing our ability to innovate and elevate those around us. Professional Dimensions challenges leaders to blaze trails in their companies and communities. Our driving ambition is to expand what is possible for women and the world they influence.

Professional Dimensions’ Imprint award was created in 2021 to recognize two women who are making a lasting mark in their career, community, and collaborations, following a year-long reimagining of PD’s longstanding Sacajawea award. These women are both successful and supportive. They are truly well-rounded, virtuous women, and Professional Dimensions is honored to celebrate their lasting impacts.

2023 Imprint Awards Subcommittees


(414) 374-3570
759 North Milwaukee Street, Suite 404
Milwaukee, WI 53202


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