A longtime Simmons Hanly Conroy employee, Amy Bourland, was recently selected as one of the YWCA of Alton’s 2010 Distinguished Women. To be selected, a woman must demonstrate exemplary community service and advance the YWCA’s mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Knowing Amy, who is our Human Resource Director, she would probably tell you about all the other women who are more deserving of this award. Don’t let her fool you. Since 2004, when she was elected as a board member of the Simmons Employee Foundation, she has worked just as hard to organize golf fundraisers, build a Habitat 4 Humanity house, deliver food to four Madison County food banks, or decorate for the annual SEF dinner auction.

Amy is the type of person everyone – women and men – should aspire to be. She helps before she’s asked. She gives her time and her heart to help those less fortunate than her. When she smiles, you can’t help but smile back.

Amy and eight other area women were honored Thursday during the YWCA’s 20th annual Women of Distinction award luncheon at Lewis & Clark Community College. I was privileged to attend and watch a video interview Amy gave about herself.

From one Amy to another, congratulations. Because of people like you, the non-profits, charities or organizations that make Madison County a better place receive the long-term support they deserve.

I should mention that the YWCA also inducted four businesses, including Simmons Hanly Conroy, into its Circle of Distinction for consistent long-time support of the Y and its programs.  As future neighbors to the YWCA, we’re honored to be a part of this circle. In fact, as the Telegraph noted in its article last week, we’re committed to supporting our new neighbors as they begin renovations to their historic building in downtown Alton.

Hats off to Amy Bourland and the YWCA. Your work makes the firm a better place to work and our community a better place to live. Thank you.