You are here

Announcing 2016 Women of Distinction Honorees

YWCA Mankato

The YWCA Mankato is proud to announce the 2016 Women of Distinction honorees to: Janice Hope Gorman, Carolyn Kanyusik and Mitzi Roberts and The Young Woman of Distinction to: Fardousa Jama for their significant impact on the Greater Mankato community. The YWCA will also be honoring Angie’s Boomchickapop with the Distinctive Difference Award. All of the honorees will be recognized on Tuesday, March 29, 2016 at the YWCA’s 44th Annual Women of Distinction Event. The reception and silent auction begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Center. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. with the program to follow. Tickets are available online at www.mankatoywca.org/womenofdistinction or by calling the YWCA Mankato at 507-345-4629. The deadline for ticket sales is Tuesday, March 22, 2016.


Janice Hope Gorman is the Founder and Director of the Hope Interfaith Center, a Spiritual Wellness Center in Mankato. The mission of the Hope Interfaith Center is to inspire all in Oneness to create a better world by empowering people to recognize and honor the Divine in self and all. She is truly grateful for the opportunity to live each and every day doing her life's work and she is deeply committed to continuing to do it with the same passion and dedication that she had when she first began.

Carolyn Kanyusik has been a Mankato resident since she moved from Minneapolis in 1975 with her husband John. Since that time, her love for the area has grown deeply and she has been involved in many causes, especially those that promote dignity and self-sufficiency. She feels that the community has given so much to her and her family and she feels a strong desire to give back where she can.

Mitzi Roberts is a native to Mankato Minnesota and attended Mankato State University. She opened Dance Express in 1992 with the help of her mother. Dance Express has seen over 7,000 area dancers come through its doors. She hopes to have instilled confidence, poise and self-assurance to the dancers that have graduated from her program. 

Fardousa Jama is the Founder of the Somali Community Barwaaqo Organization with a goal to advocate on behalf of immigrants and assist them to becoming productive members of society and achieve improved quality of life. She is a passionate woman who works tirelessly to care for the immediate needs of others while also inspiring and instigating policy changes to broaden opportunities for all people to follow their dreams.

It all started in 2001, when Angie Bastian, and her husband, Dan, took a kernel of an idea and popped it into one of the fastest growing brands of natural popcorn. Angie's BOOMCHICKAPOP® now employs over 200 people and is proudly sold in all 50 states in natural food, grocery, club and major retail outlets.


Since 1973, the YWCA has honored 135 women and 4 organizations for their leadership, their significant impact on the community and their dedication to the YWCA mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. To learn more about the Women of Distinction honorees visit the YWCA Mankato website at www.mankatoywca.org. For more information contact Sam Schirmers at 507-386-2183 or sam@ywcamankato.org.



The Greater Mankato Growth, Inc. Family: Visit Mankato City Center Partnership