Cindy Anderson named Counterpart's Woman of the Year

Cindy Anderson thought she was going to give a speech at Wednesday's Counterpart meeting. Instead of talking, she was tearing up - after Counterpart members surprised her with the organization's Woman of Year award. "It never crossed my mind,' Anderson said after receiving the prestigious award that was launched in 1980. "I had a great speech ready that I thought I was going to give. I'm honored beyond anything I could imagine.'
Marie Havenga
May 5, 2011


Anderson’s family members, some from as far away as Phoenix, attended the ceremony. Her “biggest fan” — her 3-year-old grandson, Colson — sat on her lap, laughing out loud at the roasting jokes presented by Counterpart President Bobbi Jones Sabine.

Anderson, is a retired speech therapist from Grand Haven Area Public Schools.

“Cindy’s professional skills were considered ‘top notch,’ and she made an effort to keep current with the latest studies and teaching techniques in order to offer the highest quality instruction for her students,” Sabine told the audience. “She believed she had to be good so her students could be better. This commitment earned her the highest respect from colleagues, parents and students, and led to her receiving the district’s Excellence in Service award in 1987.”

Anderson is also a key cog in C3 Exchange’s inclusive vision and values, according to Sabine.

“She’s earned a reputation as the person you go to, to get things done,” said Sabine, who won the Counterpart award in 2005.

Anderson was nominated by her friend, Wendy Creason, and was voted this year’s recipient by a Counterpart committee.

Creason and Anderson partnered to create a local chapter of 100 or More Women Who Care. The group enlists more than 300 local women who each contribute $100 quarterly, and they have contributed more than $80,000 to area nonprofit groups since September 2010.

According to Sabine, Counterpart’s Woman of the Year is recognized for her professionalism and ethics, innovative problem-solving and leadership skills, professional accomplishments, volunteerism at a policy-making level, and for working to improve the quality of life for her community. It also recognizes candidates’ efforts to support, mentor and encourage other women to reach their potential.

Counterpart was formed in 1974 as a woman’s equivalent to Rotary, which only allowed male members at that time. The group is devoted to supporting women in the Tri-Cities community, including organizations such as Women in Transition and The People Center.


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