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2018 Oklahoma Women's Hall of Fame
From left to right: Dr.Susan Chambers, Jane Jayroe Gamble, Joan Gilmore, Willa Johnson, and Kay Rhoads.
Inductees and Bios
Dr. Susan Chambers
Susan Chambers is an OB/GYN doctor who has delivered almost 8000 babies. She is the founding partner of Lakeside Women’s Hospital in Oklahoma City, and a staff member of Baptist Medical Center in OKC. In her spare time, she does volunteer work for non-profits. Susan has served on the Institute for Economic Empowerment of Women’s Board of Directors for almost eight years. She also supports World Neighbors, an international nonprofit organization, and has participated in many Journey Trips and medical missions across the globe. She is a member of Leadership Oklahoma Class 29
Jane Jayroe Gamble
A former Miss America, Jane Jayroe has been a television personality and news anchor in Oklahoma City and the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. She enjoyed a 16-year career in television journalism. Most recently, Jayroe served as Oklahoma Cabinet secretary for Tourism and executive director of the Oklahoma Tourism and Recreation Department. Jayroe received a number of prestigious journalism awards, including being the first female named “Outstanding News Personality” in the Dallas television market. She also was the recipient of Oklahoma’s Paragon Award for the creation of the television partnership “Volunteer Connection.” Jayroe is the author of several articles including publications in McCall’s magazine and books such as Out of the Blue, Delight Comes in Your Life and Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul.
Joan Gilmore has been a mentor to hundreds of young women over the years of her very public and outstanding career. Now in her early 90s, the doyenne of Oklahoma still goes to work every day and is the only journalist at the Journal Record who writes a daily column. She was a founding board member of Leadership Oklahoma City, and Children’s Medical Research (now Children’s Hospital Foundation). Joan has earned many honors including the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma City University Woman of Excellence Award. Honored by her peers, she is the only Oklahoman to twice win the Byliner Award by the Association for Women in Communications.
Willa Johnson was the first African American woman elected to serve on the Oklahoma City Council. After serving 14 years representing Ward 7, Willa Johnson was elected Oklahoma County Commissioner for District One in 2007 and re-elected in November 2010 and 2014. Commissioner Johnson is actively involved in a number of professional and community organizations including the Girl Scouts of Western Oklahoma, The Oklahoma Women’s Coalition, The Urban League, and Rotary Club 29. She is a 2017 recipient of the Oklahoma Commission on the Status of Women’s Kate Barnard Award, In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame,
Principal Chief Kay Rhoads is serving her second term as the Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation. She was founder and President of Medicine Creek Tribal College in Tacoma, Washington. Her experiences have focused on education, Indian Affairs, economic development for her Nation and an advocate to stop Violence against Women. Chief Rhoads has a strong background in working with disability programs, Indian Health programs, and leadership training. She has served on several National, regional, State boards and committees, and is a strong advocate for Indian rights. For the past 20 years, Ms. Rhoads has conducted training in the area of leadership and business management for various organizations.