2015 Women's Hall of Fame Inductees
Congratulations to the seven women inducted in the Oklahoma Women’s Hall of Fame,Thursday, April 9, 2015. 1st row from left to right, Avis Scaramucci, Thelma Reece Parks, Patty Roloff and LaDonna Harris. 2nd row from left to right, Mary Mélon, Dr. Marion Paden, and Homer Paul (spouse of the late Dr. Ramona Paul)
Brief Biography of Inductees
Avis Scaramucci has been recognized statewide and nationally as an entrepreneur. She began in 1991 with a gift boutique, The Painted Door, in south Oklahoma City. In 2005, Scaramucci opened Nonna’s, which closed in 2104, and The Painted Door in the heart of the Bricktown district in Oklahoma City. Scaramucci also own and operate Cedar Springs Farms, an extensive greenhouse operation which provided fresh produce for Scaramucci’s restaurants year-round.
An Oklahoma resident for over ninety years, Thelma Reece Parks has spent her personal and professional life enhancing the lives of others as a dedicated educator, community leader, creative organizer, and philanthropist. She has been a consistent and outspoken advocate for civil rights, human rights and equal rights.
Patty Roloff, always at the forefront as a woman in a man’s world, Roloff was instrumental in keeping professional sports in Oklahoma City. In 1978, when the 89’ers were considering leaving Oklahoma, Roloff bought the club. She owned the club for eleven years, retiring the franchise in 1989. Roloff’s leadership kept professional baseball active in Oklahoma City, leading to the Oklahoma Redhawks and, now, the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
La Donna Harris is a nationally recognized leader among such notable organizations as the National Congress of American Indians, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Organization of Women. As a national Civil Rights leader, Harris has served U.S. Presidents since Lyndon B. Johnson, with appointments in the Nixon, Ford, Carter and Clinton administrations.
Mary Mélon spent her professional and personal life working to benefit Oklahomans, particularly its women and children. Currently, Mélon is President/CEO of The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools. Prior to joining the Foundation, Mélon had a nearly 20 -year career at The Journal Record Publishing Co., where she led efforts for the Journal Record’s Woman of the Year program.
Dr. Marion Paden, Vice President for Enrollment and Student Services at Oklahoma City Community College, is recognized for her accomplishments in the area of education. She designed and implemented innovative student success programs and services at colleges and universities in Oklahoma and Texas. She is Oklahoma’s longest serving chief student affairs officer at Oklahoma’s 4th largest higher education institution, where the majority (62%) of students are female.
Dr. Ramona Ware Emmons Paul, passed away on June 30, 2013. As assistant state superintendent at the Oklahoma Department of Education, Dr. Paul developed and implemented Oklahoma’s early childhood and family education program. This program is recognized as the premier early childhood education program in the nation. Through her work with this program, Dr. Paul touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of Oklahoma children, and benefited families statewide for decades to come. Paul also authored a series of 35 children’s books, titled “Your World.”