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Obermark named Centralia BPW’s Woman of the Year

Centralia Business and Professional Women’s Club Inc. named Kaskaskia College Vice President of Instructional Services Julie Obermark as its 2021 Woman of the Year, honoring her leadership, integrity, and commitment to education.

Centralia BPW has been awarding the Woman of the Year award since 1971, making Obermark the 50th recipient.

“I’m so very honored to be chosen as this year’s award recipient and grateful to the Centralia BPW for recognizing the work of professional women,” said Obermark (shown). “I am truly fortunate to be a part of the Kaskaskia College family and work alongside an amazing group of individuals every day.

Under Obermark’s leadership, Kaskaskia College has accomplished over 200 articulation agreements with four-year universities, allowing easy transfer for thousands of students continuing their education for a bachelor’s degree. She has served simultaneously in her roles as dean of Nursing and Health Sciences and vice president of Instructional Services, plus development of the COVID-19 taskforce to provide critical leadership for navigating the KC campus through the pandemic. Obermark has continuously promoted teamwork and fostered trust across college divisions to lead with can-do attitude to find creative solutions.

“To be a successful leader, a person must present the following four traits: honesty, integrity,
empathy and most importantly an individual must possess a strong moral compass,” stated KC President George Evans. “Julie represents all four of these characteristics and has done an amazing job of creating a team player environment within her division.”

In addition to increasing the number of articulation agreements and innovating new programs to the campus, she is passionate in helping others. From her time as a professional nurse and caring for patients to her time in helping students, Obermark is a role-model to all KC faculty, staff, and students. She is an energetic liaison between the college, higher level academia, and the community.

“Julie has been instrumental in aligning both groups [KC and SSM Health] interests together in the effort of having the college provide a quality pool of nursing allied health care workers to our hospital and surrounding communities,” said Damon Harbison, president of SSM Health – St. Mary’s Hospital. “She’s always responsive and creative in problem solving, easily identifying and proposing solutions to road bumps along the way.”

Obermark also actively supports college endeavors through community recruiting and fundraising all while sharing farm duties with her husband and raising two children.

“Julie sets an example of a woman in the workplace balancing roles as she often speaks with pride of her children and her very relatable experiences balancing her professional role and her role as a mother,” said Amy Troutt, KC Dean of Enrollment Services.

“Julie has shown, on continual accounts, what resembles a true leader. She’s patient, loyal,
hard-working, and empathetic to everyone around her,” said Megan Holtmann, KC dean of Health Sciences. “We’re happy she’s a part of the Kaskaskia College family.”

Founded in 1926, Centralia Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the professional, personal, economic, and educational outlook of women of all ages. Originating in 1971, the annual Woman of the Year award is presented to an outstanding, hardworking woman that shows commitment to the region. The recipient is nominated by her peers and they detail the contributions, successes, and achievements of the nominee before a selection committee.

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