Girl Scouts of Central Texas Honor 2012 Women of Distinction


Six women and one business were honored by the Girl Scouts for being good role models and a being a workplace that supports women in the area.  A luncheon was held to honor the recipients and to celebrate 100 years of Girl Scout history at Howard Payne’s Mabee Center on Wednesday.  Pictured top are 2012 recipients:  (left to right) Kimberly Wilson, Jan Cate, Vella Rae Pallette, Lynn Humeniuk, Jeannette Chesser, and Christine Oliver representing The Chatfield.

Girl Scouts of Central Texas celebrates these women who have distinguished themselves as outstanding members of their community through individual excellence and high levels of achievement.

This year’s honorees include Jan Cate, Lynn Humeniuk, Jeanette Chesser, Vella Rae Pallette, and Kimberly Park Wilson.  These women were nominated and selected because they are persons of importance and influence who have made significant contributions to their communities, have a direct and powerful impact on those with whom they have been associated, and are current or former residents of the counties served by Girl Scouts of Central Texas in the Brownwood Area (which includes Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Erath, Hamilton, Lampasas, McCulloch, Mills and San Saba Counties).

In addition, the Chatfield was honored this year as the Business of Distinction for being workplace that supports women in the area.

All 2012 Women of Distinction and the Business of Distinction were also honored with a congratulatory letter from US Congressman K. Michael Conaway.

Past recipients have included women honored for excellence in the areas of business, education, government, communications, health care, sports, volunteer services, multicultural activities, and Girl Scouting.  To honor women throughout its 46-county jurisdiction, Girl Scouts of Central Texas hosts four Women of Distinction events, including the one in Brownwood.

Short biographies of the Women and Business of Distinction are below.


Jan Cate

Jan Cate was born and raised in San Angelo.  She graduated from Central High School and attended Angelo State University.  Jan, former CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of Texas Council Legacy, now proudly spends her time assisting her husband on the family ranch.

A professional Girl Scout, Jan is known for her years of volunteerism.  She currently serves on the board of directors for the Brownwood Woman’s Club and Carnegie Library.  Jan also served on the board of directors for CPS-Rainbow Room, Early Chamber of Commerce, Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce, and Brownwood Kiwanis Club.  Keen to helping her community’s youth, Jan devotes her time to the Community Action Council and Family Service Center.

Jan is the proud recipient of the Girl Scout Thanks Badge and is widely known for living out the Girl Scout Law-“honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong.”  Jan is the true representation of a Girl Scout and a role model for all young people alike.  (Cate is pictured left with Etta Moore, CEO, Girl Scouts of Central Texas.)




Lynn Humeniuk

Lynn Humeniuk was born in Hale Center and grew up in Del Rio.  She graduated from Del Rio High School and attended Southwest Texas State University earning her Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice.  Lynn continued her education at Corpus Christi State University where she earned her Masters of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies in criminal justice, sociology and psychology.  She currently serves as the director of the Criminal Justice Program at Howard Payne University.

A trailblazer in her own right, Lynn started the criminal justice program at Howard Payne University, which has grown to be recognized as the fastest growing major at the university.  She was honored as the “Most Outstanding Faculty Member” in recognition of 14 dedicated years as a professor at the university.

A grown-up Girl Scout, Lynn is a member of Coggin Avenue Baptist Church, Brownwood Lions Mothers Club, Brownwood Independent School District Nutrition Council and secretary for the Brown County A&M Mothers Club.  Lynn’s dedication to her faith, family and community are apparent in all her endeavors.  (Humeniuk is pictured center with Moore and Billhardt.)



Jeannette Chesser

A native of Brownwood, Jeannette Chesser was raised in the area and furthered her education at Howard Payne University to receive a Bachelor of Science in education.  She went on to teach in the Odessa public school system, where she devoted many years to her students.

An exemplified volunteer, Jeannette stepped up and took over several of the responsibilities such as campaigning for additional funding when Brownwood Meals on Wheels program was on the brink of extinction.  Due to her efforts, the program was able to continue and today, she serves as their president.  She also serves time as a Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteer and as the Central United Methodist Church treasurer.

Jeannette is an active member of the Retired Teachers Association and recently earned an award from them for her extensive volunteer work.  The Pecan Valley Red Cross thanked her as “Volunteer of the Year” in 2009 and in 2011, for Outstanding Field and Volunteer Service. (Chesser is pictured center with Moore and Billhardt.)



Vella Rae Pallette

Vella Rae Pallette was born in Brownwood and raised in May, Texas.  She graduated from May High School and attended Howard Payne University earning her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Arts in Education.  A retired public school teacher, Vella taught at May Independent School District for nearly 40 years.

For her community service with the May Neighborhood Watch, Vella was awarded the May Masonic Lodge Award.  Commonly known for lending a helping hand, Vella is a positive influence who inspires, motivates and helps all those around her.  (Pallette is pictured center with Moore and Billhardt.)



Kimberly Pack Wilson

Kimberly Pack Wilson was born in Manchester, Connecticut.  She graduated from Stephenville High School and attended Tarleton State University where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English and graduated Summa Cum Laude.  Kimberly continued her education and received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas School of Law.  Today, Kimberly is an attorney specializing in bankruptcy, business law, family law, oil and gas and real estate at Fraser, Wilson and Bryan, P.C.

Kimberly is a member of the Erath County Bar Association where she served as president and is a board member of the Stephenville Chamber of Commerce, Cross Timbers Family Services, Inc. and the Harris Methodist Erath County Hospital.  (Wilson is pictured center with Moore and Billhardt.)



The Chatfield

Chatfield Premier Assisted Living is known for their high quality in nursing care.  Whether a patient is staying long term or for a short while, founder Gary Blake proclaims that every resident is their highest priority.  Chatfield employees believe that a life lived for others is a life worthwhile and all employees become a part of a team once they are hired.  It is with this team mentality that the staff is able to hold true to their values of providing excellence in care and they receive the same gratitude back from their residents.  (Representing the Chatfield and pictured center is Executive Director Christine Oliver with Moore and Billhardt.)

Girl Scouts Celebrate their 100th Year as an organization from humble beginnings of its founding by Juliette Gordon Low with 18 members in the United States to its now 3.7 million members worldwide.