Six Honored at 2022 Alumni Awards
(Photo - l. to r.) Opal Ellyse Tomashevska, President Andrew P. Manion, Ami (Peterson) Myrland, Dr. Jeff Pothof, Corinda Rainey-Moore, Christina (McKeon) Bell, and Betty Banks.
Madison, Wis. (October 19, 2022) –Each fall, Edgewood College recognizes extraordinary alumni with three awards. This year’s group was honored during a lovely September evening on campus.
Distinguished Alumni Award recipients are Betty Banks ’74, Christina (McKeon) Bell ’84, MS ’06, DNP ’17, and Dr. Jeff Pothof ‘01. This award acknowledges the accomplishments of an alum who has achieved excellence in their professional career and has demonstrated a commitment to ethical leadership, service, and search for truth.
Our Promise Award recipient is Ami (Peterson) Myrland ‘08. The Promise Award recognizes an alum, 40 years of age or younger, who is an emerging leader and has achieved a high level of success through professional accomplishments and service to the College, or to their community.
The Dominican Mission Award recipients are Corinda Rainey-Moore, Ed.D. ‘21, and Opal Ellyse Tomashevska, MS ‘18. The Dominican Mission Award recognizes an alum who has shown a commitment to social justice or a history of extraordinary volunteer service in the community, country or the world.
Betty Banks was born and raised in Madison and graduated from Old Central High School. Betty is retired from a career f supporting families that began when she became an advocate for her son, Alan. Her work as the Director of Family Enhancement’s Early Childhood Family Resource Center was fulfilling and rewarding as she provided opportunities for parents to strengthen their parenting. After retirement, she continued her volunteer work with her own non-profit, Today Not Tomorrow, Inc., that was co-founded with the late Gaddi Ben Dan. Together for nearly 40 years they blended their skills and abilities and went on to publish newspapers, produce concerts, television and radio shows, honor community treasures with the ‘Water Bearer Awards,’ and serve as mentors to many in the younger generation.
Currently Betty is a co-founder and advisor to The Harambee Birth and Family Center, a collaboration of four organizations who have come together to support and strengthen families, and address the maternal child health disparities that plague our community.
Christina (McKeon) Bell has been actively serving in healthcare since 1984 when she earned her undergraduate degree. She has been a key faculty member at her alma mater, beginning teaching undergraduate courses at Edgewood College in the fall of 2005.
Chris has volunteered at the Community Connections Free Clinic in Dodgeville, Wisconsin for more than 10 years. Chris is blessed to be married to an amazing man (Paul) of 35 years. She has two sons (Kyle and Ryan), a daughter-in-law (Kayla) and a very 2-year-old grandson (Brooks) and a new granddaughter (Reagan) - all of who are dearly loved.
Jeff Pothof, M.D. is the Chief Quality Officer for UW-Health. After completing his undergraduate degree at Edgewood College, Jeff obtained his medical degree from the University of Wisconsin and residency training in emergency medicine at the University of Michigan. While at Michigan he completed a graduate medical education scholars program in healthcare administration.
Dr. Pothoff’s passion in healthcare is in patient safety and the delivery of high-quality care. He currently sits on the board of the Wisconsin chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and has held numerous other leadership roles over his career. The American College of Emergency Physicians recognized his contributions in 2022 with the Distinguished Service Award.
More recently he’s been a key leader in UW-Health’s preparation, planning, and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He served as Medical Branch Officer in the incident command center making countless impactful decisions to ensure the delivery of high-quality medical care while preserving the safety of both patients and staff.
Ami (Peterson) Myrland serves as the Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Capitol Bank in Madison. Ami is responsible for the IT, Human Resources and Finance areas of the Bank. Prior to joining Capitol Bank, Ami held a variety of roles from Auditor to Controller to CFO and had experience in a variety of projects and initiatives. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance. She is a member of the Council for CATCH (Community Around the Children’s Hospital), the Vice Chair for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Board, a member of the Executive Committee for Madison’s Light the Night Walk for LLS, and serves on the Board for the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation. In 2022, Ami received the ICBA (Independent Community Bankers of America) 40 Under 40 award. She was also recognized as one of InBusiness Magazine’s 40 Under 40 in Dane County in 2019 and was an Athena Young Professional Award Nominee in 2020.
Corinda Rainey-Moore presently serves as the Community Engagement Manager at UnityPoint Health Meriter. As a mental health professional and advocate for more than 25 years, Corinda was the first and only African-American to lead two community support programs for adults with severe and persistent mental health issues in Dane County. Through her leadership, her programs utilized Peer Support efforts to help empower individuals suffering from mental illness. Corinda was also the first and only African-American to serve as Chair of the National Alliance on Mental Illness Dane County, Safe Communities Dane County, and Leadership Wisconsin.
Corinda continues to volunteer for numerous organizations. A mentor, leader, and a voice for the underserved, Corinda’s contributions have been recognized by communities and organizations she has served including Madison 365’s Most Influential African-Americans, Brava Magazine’s Women to Watch, and numerous others. Corinda has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, and two advanced degrees in Community Mental Health and Communications. She is married to Bobby Moore, and they have two children, Kenyatta and Kionna, and 8 grandchildren.
Opal Ellyse Tomashevska currently serves as Director of Multicultural Business Strategy at CUNA Mutual Group. In this role, Opal is dedicated to leading and advancing the efforts of the Multicultural Center of Expertise (MCOE). The MCOE exists to help CUNA Mutual Group understand multicultural consumers, identify business opportunities, develop action plans, and execute those plans to better serve underserved consumers and generate substantial business growth. In 2020 she was named as one of Wisconsin’s 51 most influential Black Leaders by Madison 365 Media. Opal received her bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside and a Master of Science in Organizational Development from Edgewood College.
Opal is also a spoken word artist, emcee, and author. She has been performing poetry nationally since 2016, and released a full-length studio spoken word album called “My Name Is Opal” in 2019. She has since released a book by the same name, which made Amazon bestseller lists shortly after its release. Opal is also a co-host of Black Currency, a financial literacy podcast available on all platforms. She serves on the board of directors for UCAN (Urban Community Arts Network), the Midwest chapter for the African American Credit Union Coalition, and on the advisory council for the Melanin Project.