Susan Balk, Debbie Caplin, Jennifer Hillman, Susan Katzman and Joan Lipkin Named 2020 Women of Achievement

Susan Balk, Debbie Caplin, Jennifer Hillman, Susan Katzman and Joan Lipkin have been named as 2020 Women of Achievement.

The St. Louis Women of Achievement Award, which was founded in 1955, is the oldest, ongoing program in the area whose sole mission is to honor and recognize the volunteer service and volunteer leadership of women.

The honorees were originally scheduled to be recognized at the 2020 Women of Achievement Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton on May 12, and later on September 15, but the luncheon was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the honorees are being recognized in an hour-long awards celebration broadcast on Nine PBS on September 14 at 7 p.m. A recording of the program will also go online on Women of Achievement’s website ( after the broadcast.

The 2020 Women of Achievement:
Susan Balk — Impactful Leadership
Debbie Caplin — Pet Therapy Advocacy
Carlene Davis — Lifetime Service
Susan Gobbo — Multicultural Enrichment
Jennifer Hillman — Creative Philanthropy
Susan Hockensmith — Compassionate Welfare
Sherrill Jackson — Health & Education
Toni Renee Jordan — Change Agent
Susan Katzman — Women’s Empowerment
Joan Lipkin — Arts & Social Justice

The 65th Women of Achievement Awards Celebration’s mistress of ceremonies is Carol Daniel of KMOX, and the celebration was filmed at the Fabulous Fox Theatre in advance of the September 14 broadcast. The celebration includes this year’s honorees walking the red carpet, receiving their awards, and presentations by Women of Achievement President Marian Nunn (Class of 2013), Luncheon Chair Joni Karandjeff (Class of 2008), and presenting sponsors KMOX, Ladue News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The awards celebration also includes additional segments highlighting the history of Women of Achievement, its role in the St. Louis area, and acknowledgement of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment. A heartwarming portion of the program is individual segments dedicated to each honoree. The segments include interviews with honorees’ volunteer colleagues and/or family members, and draw attention to each honoree’s years of volunteer service and the impact of that service and leadership.

Women of Achievement honorees are selected from nominations from the St. Louis metropolitan area, including Metro East Illinois, who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the betterment of the St. Louis region through voluntary contributions, volunteer leadership and a significant breadth of a volunteer career. Women of Achievement considers nominees with significant volunteer impact in areas such as, but not limited to, education, arts, health and human services, youth and family, philanthropy, social justice and advocacy.

The chair of the 2020 Women of Achievement Awards Celebration is Joni Karandjeff (Class of 2008) and the vice chair is Elizabeth Mannen (Class of 2017).

For more information about the broadcast on Nine PBS, please visit or call 314.896.4962.

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