Rockhurst University’s Rashford-Lyon Award Honors Five Generations of Female Leadership

Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Bell tower inscription. Learning, leadership, and service in the Jesuit tradition

Recognizing five decades since the institution went co-ed and the contributions of women throughout its history, Rockhurst University will award its Rashford-Lyon Award for Leadership and Ethics during the 2020 Rockhurst University Leadership Series at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower, 1213 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Missouri.

Each year, Rockhurst University honors an outstanding member of the University or Kansas City community with its Rashford-Lyon Award, named for two influential leaders in Rockhurst University’s Helzberg School of Management ­—­­ the late Tom Lyon, Ph.D., and the Rev. Nick Rashford, S.J. — and established in 2014.

These 2020 recipients will represent the generations of female leadership at Rockhurst:

Jean Dunn raised five sons who, like her husband of more than 70 years, Bill Dunn Sr., were all Rockhurst graduates and have run JE Dunn Construction Co. for generations. Though not a Rockhurst graduate herself (the University became coed in 1969), she represents the women whose hard work and support were the foundation of so many of Kansas City’s leaders.




Marny Sherman, a 1975 Rockhurst graduate, is a steadfast leader not only at Rockhurst University, but also in the Kansas City philanthropic community alongside her husband, John. Through volunteer and financial contributions, the couple has for years supported bedrock local institutions such as Cristo Rey High School, Operation Breakthrough and MOCSA, among many others.




Lisa Ginter, part of the class of 1987, joined CommunityAmerica Credit Union in 1995, working in a variety of positions, currently as CEO. She has regularly been listed among the most powerful and influential leaders in Kansas City, including by the Kansas City Business Journal and Ingram’s magazine. She and CommunityAmerica have also been recognized for outstanding leadership in philanthropic efforts.




Wendy Doyle, a 1994 Rockhurst graduate, is the current president and CEO of Women’s Foundation, serving to advance all women’s economic and civic leadership with research and policy with the goal to make meaningful change in the Midwest. A longtime nonprofit leader in the Kansas City area, Doyle currently serves on the Missouri Women’s Health Council, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce Executive Women’s Leadership Council and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Starr Education Committee.



Ama Karikari, M.D., earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from Rockhurst University in 2007. In 2015, she helped organize the first of what has become an annual medical mission trip to Kobonal, Haiti. She is currently an assistant professor in the department of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine and a pediatric hospitalist at the Children’s Hospital at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma.


Bridgette Williams, who completed an executive MBA degree in 2016, is the executive director of the Heavy Constructors Association of Greater Kansas City. Starting as a receptionist for the Greater Kansas City AFL-CIO, Williams served in various roles throughout the labor organization until becoming its president, the first female and the first African-American in the nation to hold the position.




The award will be given during the March 5 luncheon featuring keynote speaker, onetime Hewlett Packard Co. CEO and former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina. Previous recipients of the Rashford-Lyon Award include Jane Chu, ’05 EMBA, former chairwoman of the National Endowment for the Arts and current arts advisor for PBS; Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James, ’80; Rockhurst University professor emerita of English Patricia Cleary Miller, Ph.D.; and Tom McDonnell, ’66, and Tom McCullough, ’64, retired leaders at Kansas City’s DST Systems.

The 2020 Rockhurst University Leadership Series is scheduled for Thursday, March 5, at the Marriott Muehlebach Tower, 1213 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, Missouri. Individual tickets and sponsorships are available now. For more information, contact Amy Reardon, assistant director of foundations and corporate relations, at 816-501-5474 or at