YWCA Madison

2017 Women of Distinction

YWCA Madison is pleased to announce the 2017 Women of Distinction Leadership Award recipients. A committee of YWCA volunteers selected these leaders from among many distinguished nominees. Awards will be presented during the 2017 Moxie Conference on May 23, 2017 at Monona Terrace.

Registration is now open for the Moxie Conference, featuring the Women of Distinction Leadership Awards.

2017 Award Recipients

  • Keetra Burnette, Senior Director of Stakeholder Engagement at United Way of Dane County 
  • Robin Dalton, Senior Immigration Attorney at Rise Law Center (End Domestic Abuse WI)
  • JoAnn Gruber-Hagen, Human Resources Director (Retired) at Division of Cooperative Extension, UW-Extension
  • Therese Gulbransen, Vice President of Sale & Marketing at American Printing Company
  • Dr. JoAnn Pritchett, Retired from UW-Madison School of Pharmacy
  • Angela Russell, Director, Diversity & Inclusion at CUNA Mutual Group

Keetra Burnette has held senior positions in both the public and private sector where she has demonstrated leadership, excellence, creativity and initiative. She works as a Senior Director of Community Impact for the United Way where she is the first African American to have held that role. She previously served as COO of the Urban League and prior to that spent ten years at UW Hospital and Clinics. Her extensive community leadership has included founding Madison Black Women Rock, serving as President of the Madison Network of Black Professionals, spearheading a Sickle Cell Awareness blood drive, and much more.


Robin Dalton is the Senior Immigration Attorney at the RISE Law Center of End Domestic Abuse WI, providing representation to immigrant victims of domestic and sexual abuse in immigration petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In addition, Robin is an active member and past president of the Asian Bar Association, a former member of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors, and a lead trainer throughout the State of WI in immigration remedies under VAWA. Robin is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and is a member of its VAWA, U and T Committee. 


JoAnn Gruber-Hagen is the founder of SlaveFree Madison, a coalition affiliated with the Zonta Club of Madison that raises awareness about human trafficking and mobilizes community actions to eliminate it. Her leadership on anti-human trafficking legislation has changed state policy and practice. As Zonta’s Advocacy Chair, she’s built strategic partnerships to address pressing women’s issues. She has empowered women and girls through advocacy training on issues related to women’s health, sexual assault, domestic violence and women’s economic security, and organized legislative visits at the Capitol. As a mentor and tireless advocate, JoAnn’s encore career volunteer contributions have made a significant difference.

Therese Gulbransen originally pursued nursing school and wanted to be in the medical field. From age 22–27 years, she worked as a chemical abuse counselor for heroin addicts at a women’s rehab facility. She worked in this field while raising a young daughter as a single mother.

As a women business owner of two different printing organizations before joining American Printing Company (APC), she was not afraid to take risks and is an excellent role model for women entrepreneurs. Her efforts are always directed to the development of people which includes: staff members, non-profit relationship building and customers/clients.

Dr. Joann Pritchett is really one the unsung heroes of our community. She goes beyond the call of duty to help anyone she can. Without overstating it, Dr. Pritchett is a tremendous force and unique asset within the Madison community. People working in the trenches of the Madison community know and appreciate her commitment to service. Evidence of these contributions can be found across the city—at fundraising sports events, at health screenings, in the neighborhoods where she canvasses, in homes helping people with small repairs, in grocery stores as she shops for the homebound, at schools where she shares personal civil rights history lessons, behind the scenes where she writes grants, serves on evaluation panels, etc.

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together." This Lilla Watson quote is often used by Angela Russell to open her discussions and presentations on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Angela has spent a majority of her adult life advocating for positive change as an effort to achieve a more equitable Community. This quote epitomizes Angela’s approach to this work. Her energy is consistently focused on creating the conditions necessary to enable people to feel welcomed, supported and valued. She is a model employee, community member and individual whose passion and commitment is anchored in collectively combatting racism and systemic oppression in the name of good for all.


About the Awards

YWCA Madison presents the Women of Distinction Leadership Awards to women who represent outstanding achievement in their field of endeavor. Women of Distinction’s achievements support YWCA’s work to close the gender leadership gap and support equity for all. Since the awards began in 1974, YWCA Madison has honored over 200 role models in our community.