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CHL Awards Slider

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners Announced

Published On: 2013-02-19

First presented in 1991, the Crest Award honors Ohio Alpha Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, who served the Fraternity as Grand President from 1985 to 1991. The following eight distinguished alumnae have positively impacted their communities through their professional success and dedicated volunteer experience.

“Pi Beta Phi is privileged to be able to recognize our remarkable alumnae,” said Grand President Mary Loy Tatum, Oklahoma Beta. “Our Crest Award winners model Pi Phi’s core values in their everyday work. It is with great joy and pride that we honor their steadfast dedication to the betterment of society.”  
Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners for Community Service  

Becky Foster Crane, Iowa Zeta
For more than 30 years, Becky Foster Crane has dedicated her time and energy to causes she feels passionate about in the Houston area. In addition to the service she has given to the Houston Alumnae Club, Becky is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Nehemiah Center, a support center for at-risk children and their families. The Nehemiah Center features a preschool, middle school and an after-school program as well as a library. Becky is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Texas Institute for Research and Rehabilitation (TIRR) Foundation. The foundation seeks to improve the recovery, health and quality of life for people with spinal cord or brain injuries. Additionally, she is a member of the Executive Committee of TIRR Family, a branch of the TIRR Foundation that generates support and increases community awareness through fundraising events. In past years, Becky has also given of her time to the National Charity League, The Center for Hearing and Speech and The Women’s Home.

Mae Marie Malm Blackmore, North Dakota Alpha
Mae Marie Malm Blackmore’s love of children inspired her lifelong advocacy for them, beginning with her career as Director of the University Children’s Center at the University of North Dakota (UND). She has served on the Board of Directors for the Midwest Association for the Education of Young Children and the National Coalition for Campus Children’s Care. She also served as a faculty member of the UND Department of Teaching and Learning, where she trained student and beginning teachers. Additionally, Mae Marie has served the North Dakota Alpha Chapter for more than 60 years in various roles, such as Alumnae Advisory Committee member and Chapter House Corporation member. Mae Marie has been Chairman of the Grand Forks Alumnae Panhellenic and Co-chairman of that organization’s Fraternity Sorority Endowment Fund. She has also been awarded the title of Outstanding Greek Alumnus of UND on three separate occasions. The UND Office of Women’s Programs also presented her with the Dedicated Effort on Behalf of Women Award. Mae Marie is a true role model for women of all ages.

Margaret Milam McDermott, Texas Alpha
Margaret Milam McDermott’s philanthropic work has helped turn Dallas into a great place to live and work. From her involvement in higher education programs to civic organizations, Margaret has focused her talents on optimizing the potential of Dallas. For example, Margaret oversaw the design of UT Southwestern Medical Center’s new research and education building. She selected the furniture, wall paneling, carpets and artwork, making it second to none among academic medical facilities. During the past 10 years she has received honors from 10 different organizations for which Margaret volunteers her time, talents and treasures. These honors include, but are not limited to: Honorary Membership to The American Institute of Architects; the Linz Award, recognizing Dallas citizens for their civic or humanitarian efforts; and The Santa Rita Award, the highest honor bestowed by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas. The city of Dallas also named the Margaret McDermott Bridge in her honor. Margaret turned 101 years old this past February and continues to give 100 percent of her efforts to each and every organization she serves.

Joan Edington Wallace, Tennessee Gamma
For Joan Edington Wallace, the value of enriching lives through community service is near and dear to her heart. Joan, a charter member of the Tennessee Gamma Chapter, served her chapter as Treasurer and President. Her senior year of college, Joan was named a Torchbearer by the University of Tennessee to honor her academic excellence and service to the University and surrounding community. But Joan’s love of giving did not end with graduation. She has served as a Pi Phi volunteer continually throughout her life, and her love of fraternity and sorority life extends far beyond just Pi Phi. Joan served on a board persuading the University of Tennessee to build a Panhellenic building on its campus. This building continues to house organizations today. Joan also served as a Tennessee Gamma Chapter House Corporation member and as Alumnae Panhellenic representative of Pi Beta Phi in Knoxville. In recent years, she has worked with other sisters to raise money for a new Tennessee Gamma Chapter house. No matter the organization, Joan gives willingly, generously and without expectation of reward.

Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award Winners for Professional Achievement

Malinda Berry Fischer, Oklahoma Beta
Malinda’s organizational expertise has made her a valuable leader for many community organizations, including the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Foundation. Malinda’s wide range of interests comes from the influence of her parents. Her father was a businessman, a founder and past president of Thomas N. Berry & Company, a family-owned oil and a gas business. Her mother’s true passion was the arts. After graduating from OSU with her bachelor’s degree, Malinda attended the Harvard-Radcliffe Program in Business Administration. She worked as an organizational management and development consultant for more than 30 years, and became president and CEO of Thomas N. Berry & Company in 1995. Malinda dedicates much of her time to her alma mater and has served on the OSU Foundation board of trustees as well as a leader for the University Club at OSU. Because of her continued service to her community, Malinda has been named an OSU Leadership Legacy in 2002; a gallery in the new OSU Foundation building was named in Malinda’s honor in 2005; and OSU listed her as a Distinguished Alumna in 2006.

Savannah Guthrie, Arizona Alpha
Savannah Guthrie was told to “think big” by one of her college professors — and think big she did. Savannah is the Co-host of NBC News’ “Today” show alongside Matt Lauer, and she worked hard to earn that title. Savannah wanted to study business at the University of Arizona, but after a few journalism classes she realized she had found her niche. Savannah worked as a freelance reporter at the NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., before returning to school for her Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. Upon graduating and receiving the top score on the Arizona Bar Exam in 2002, Savannah practiced white-collar litigation for two years. She then took her career in another direction by moving back toward television journalism as a Legal Affairs Correspondent for Court TV and then as an NBC News White House Correspondent. She moved into NBC News’ “Today” as a third hour Co-host in 2011 and then transitioned to Co-host in July 2012. As part of the entire “Today” show staff, Savannah won the 2011 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Morning Program. Savannah also received a 2012 Gracie Award from the Alliance of Women in Media honoring her exemplary contributions to the industry.

Cindi Arnett Hemm, Missouri Gamma
Cindi Arnett Hemm’s professional accomplishments are influenced by her desire to educate others. The Tulsa, Oklahoma, public schools are the lucky recipients of her 30 years of hard work and dedication. Cindi’s career has given her the opportunity to work in many different roles. She began as a speech pathologist and teacher, transitioned into a building administrator and then became Principal of Eugene Field Elementary School. During her time as Principal, Cindi transformed the low-income school and its struggling academic scores into a successful, A+ School as well as a Positive Behavior Support School. Thanks to Cindi, Eugene Field Elementary is also the birthplace of “Global Gardens,” a program allowing students and families to plant, harvest, sell and enjoy fresh produce. Though Cindi has retired as Principal at Eugene Field Elementary, she still shares her talents by working as an educational consultant for many low-performing schools across the country. Cindi shares her journey of transforming Eugene Field Elementary in her book “Miracle on Southwest Boulevard.”

Mimi Nettrour, Colorado Beta
Mimi Nettrour is a role model for women in business. As a collegian, Mimi took on a heavy course load, majoring in psychology, sociology and French, and still managed to find time to study abroad for one year. She then attended graduate school and earned a master’s degree in international management and business administration. Only 10 years after graduation, Mimi had worked her way up the corporate ladder to become a partner at the investment banking firm Boettcher and Company. Using her strong education and determination, Mimi was able to grow her career path even further. For 25 years, Mary worked for Morgan Stanley, Smith Barney, a Fortune 100 global financial services firm. She held many titles during those 25 years including: Vice President Wealth Management; Municipal Bond Office Coordinator; Mutual Fund Office Coordinator; and Colorado School of Mines Foundation Financial Advisor. Along the way, Mimi helped found the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and the Women’s Bank, Denver. She also held the position of World Affairs Council Member on the YWCA’s Financial Board. Mimi’s extensive career proves women can make a difference in the corporate world.