Extraordinary Rochester Women Award 2015: Five Inspiring Women

Five women have been selected to receive the Extraordinary Rochester Women Award 2015. Getting recognized and celebrating at a tea party makes being featured in Rochester Women magazine even that much more special. Coincidentally, two of our winners work together at Shorewood Senior Campus, Angela Budensiek and Sarah Ness. Judy O’Fallon and Jean Osman have long-deserved to be honored and featured in Rochester Women magazine. Thank you to winner Janet Johnson and Allegro School of Dance and Music for allowing us to take our cover photos at the Plummer House while it was decorated for the Sugar Plum Fairy Tea. 

We thank our amazing sponsors who provide monetary support and gifts for the Extraordinary Rochester Women Award 2015 winners. 

Extraordinary Businesswoman: Angela Budensiek

I am nominating Angela Budensiek, marketing director at Shorewood Senior Campus, for the Extraordinary Rochester Women Award. Angela has been a leader on the cutting edge for senior housing in the Rochester community. Angela partners with other local-area businesses to propel Shorewood and Rochester into the future. 

Angela fosters a creative, motivating and encouraging workplace environment and has been my personal mentor for the past three years. Angela strives for excellence in everything she does and pushes others around her to do the same. Angela brings others up around her so that Shorewood Senior Campus residents, staff and families are taking life to the next level. Angela always puts the needs of Shorewood’s 250 residents first and foremost. Angela is always willing to come in early, stay late, come in on the weekends and make calls from out of town on her personal phone to prospects, residents and families to make sure their needs are being exceeded. Angela has gone above and beyond her marketing role at Shorewood. 

Angela has put on goofy costumes to get a laugh out of Shorewood residents during theme dinners, participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness and brings her family to Shorewood events, so that her Shorewood family gets to know her immediate family. We are one big happy family here at Shorewood. Our residents’ friends and family are at ease knowing their loved ones are cared for and nurtured by such an outstanding individual. Angela is and will continue to be an Extraordinary Businesswoman, coworker, friend, innovator and leader in the Rochester area for many years to come. 

Judges’ Comments: “Angela is very dedicated to Shorewood both as a director of the organization and as an individual. She is a mentor to those she works with and involves herself in her business both personally and professionally.”

Nominated by Sarah Ness, marketing associate at Shorewood Senior Campus

Extraordinary Overall: Sarah Ness

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Sarah for 15 years. Now, as we enter even deeper into “adulthood,” I continue to watch her grow as an individual as well as a wife, mother, grad student, philanthropist and successful businesswoman in the community where we grew up. 

Sarah puts an incredible amount of passion into her responsibility as a marketing associate at Shorewood Senior Campus. Not only does she remain engaged in the lives of over 250 residents and their families and visitors, but she also puts a creative effort into increasing the campus’ profile and visibility. 

Outside of her commitment to Shorewood, Sarah spends time giving back to the community and immerses herself as a positive role model in the lives of young Rochester female athletes. For five years, Sarah coached the Rochester Mayo Varsity Dance Team. In her tenure, she not only brought the team to success both in and out of competition, but was also nominated for AAA Coach of the Year in 2013. Sarah volunteers for The Reading Center’s Marketing Committee (since 2008), Walk to End Alzheimer’s Committee (since 2012) and the DMC Ambassadors (since 2014). 

As if volunteering, being a member of multiple committees and a full-time job wasn’t enough to juggle, this determined woman is also enrolled at Augsburg College-Rochester Campus in the MBA program, a full-time mother to a beautiful little girl and a wife to her high school sweetheart, Dan. ~ Jennifer Holubar

Sarah was born and raised in Rochester, where her heart and loyalty remain. Sarah eventually ended up full-circle back at Shorewood Senior Campus in her current position in January of 2012. She works long days, filling in for other departments if they are running short and goes above and beyond working with outside community groups to make sure her residents have the best opportunities available to them. 

She has been a leader in this community and gone above and beyond in many capacities. She volunteers much of her time through The Reading Center, DMC Ambassadors and coaching youth sports. Sarah is commended on her wonderful personality and caring nature that she offers to seniors going through a transition in their life.

On top of everything she does professionally, Sarah is a devoted wife and mother. Sarah comes from a very large extended family and is called on often to plan and execute large functions. She never complains and does a wonderful job.  Sarah is much loved and appreciated for who she is. ~ Jocelyne Klimek

Judges’ Comments: “Sarah is the quintessential overall nominee: She is a dedicated employee to her employer, a help to her colleagues and residents at Shorewood, a coach in the community, a mother and wife and an active volunteer.”

Nominated by Jennifer Holubar, director of partnerships at Communication & Development Spare Key, Plymouth, Minnesota and Jocelyne Klimek, Sarah’s aunt

Extraordinary Volunteer: Judy O’Fallon

Judy O’Fallon has the ability to see precious gifts within each person, not only helping them to see it too, but enabling them to share their talents. Upon retirement in 2003, she decided on three areas of endeavors in addition to family time—church, music and service.

Completing a lay ministry program, Judy is very involved in her churches—on the social justice commission since 2007, of which she’s the chairperson, and on the liturgy commission since 2006. For a couple of years, Judy and her husband shared their home each week for Holy Ground catholic Community (HGCC) gatherings. Judy has remained active in Senior Ambassadors and book studies. In her presence, one soon realizes how well-read and informed Judy is, always striving to educate herself and others to advocate the best for all. She humbly refers to herself as a collector of knowledge.

Music has remained an important part of Judy’s life, being in church choirs since she was 16, with a special talent for singing her faith through song. She shares her beautiful alto voice in the Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale. Judy combines her love of music, liturgy commission knowledge and lay ministry, volunteering and deciding weekly musical selections for HGCC.

A member of Rotary International, Judy has hosted an exchange student through their international programs. Advocating equal rights for all, she is thankful Rotary now realizes the benefits of women in their membership. Invited to join Rotary in 1989, she continued until 1995, when her career became too demanding. She rejoined in 2003 upon retirement, assisting her husband, Mike, as president. She’s branched off into involvement in World Community Service, writing grant applications and mentoring. She loves challenges, seeing this as an opportunity to “cross-pollinate,” spreading not only duties but knowledge.

Judy opened their home (and kitchen) to a couple in need from another country, as one received treatment at Mayo Clinic and the other appreciated the gentle nurturing spirit that Judy provides. Judy has personally acted as surrogate grandparent to my daughter and as mom to me, opening her home to us during holidays.

Judges’ Comments: “Judy O’Fallon does all this work during her retired years. The list of things she does for the community in her retirement is dizzyingly impressive.”

Nominated by Patty Eiler-Larson, member of the women’s choir at Holy Spirit Catholic Church

Extraordinary Artist/Musician: Janet Johnson

Janet Johnson is an incredible woman. This year, she is celebrating her 25th season as the owner and founder of Allegro School of Dance and Music. Throughout the years, she has inspired and encouraged countless students through the fine arts of music and dance. Some of these students have gone on to pursue professional careers in the arts, but her greatest accomplishment is that hundreds have gone on to fulfill Allegro’s mission of creating a “lifelong love of the art forms.” 

Janet also has a heart for community. A few of the many ways Allegro gives back to the community are through PossAbilities, the Eagle’s Cancer Telethon, local performances for numerous senior and assisted living centers and her support of local schools and nonprofit organizations. 

In addition to Janet’s 25 years of success in her ownership of Allegro, she is an inspiration because of her amazing perseverance. In 2009, she lost her beloved son, Axel, to cancer. Through it all, she has been a model of faith and resilience to the entire Allegro family. Her passion for educating and inspiring young people in the arts has continued, and her 25th-anniversary season is already proving to be one of the best yet. I am so proud of Janet Johnson for all that she has achieved in the past and for all that the future holds for this Extraordinary Rochester Woman.

Judges’ Comments: “Her commitment to the art of dance and her 25 years helping dancers develop indicates an extraordinary commitment to the arts.”

Nominated by Katie Cook, instructor and choreographer at Allegro School of Dance and Music