The Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women held the 2013 Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception Aug. 26 at the Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College’s Niceville Campus. During the ceremony, the following women, selected by the OCCSW, were inducted into the Hall of Fame:
Destin Mayor Sarah “Sam” Seevers, who prior to becoming mayor served on the Destin City Council, also served as chair of the city’s Community Redevelopment Agencies, president of the Northwest Florida League of Cities, and an executive board member for the Florida League of Cities. She attended the 56th Annual National Security Forum through Air War College at Maxwell Air Force Base and served as Honorary Commander for the 68th Electronic Warfare Squadron on Eglin Air Force Base.
DeFuniak Springs native, Mary E. Burnette, was the first African-American teacher in the current Okaloosa County School System. She lobbied for and directed the local Head Start Program for 22 years. She also provided property for the Burnette-Harmon-Wood Community Resource Center that now operates within the Sylvania Heights Front Porch community in Fort Walton Beach. She passed away in March 2013.
Niceville native Rogene Anchors Hasty served as Crestview’s first Newcomer Greeting hostess and is a former executive director of the Crestview Chamber of Commerce. She was appointed by former Governor Bob Graham to a regional education committee. She was then appointed by school president J.E. McCracken to a board that helped secure a nursing program that resulted in one of the first four-year degrees available at Northwest Florida State College.
“These inspiring women are all assets to our community,” said Shirley Pigott, chair of the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women. “Each of these role models has made tremendous contributions to improve the lives of citizens living in our county and should be recognized for the impact they have had on our community.”