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The Sacagawea Award was created in 1982. This years recipients are 2 trail-blazing women chosen for their career accomplishments, commitment to community, and support of the advancement of women.  Please join us when we honor the winners at

our annual Sacagawea Event, Thursday March 10, 2016, at the Pfister Hotel.  For additional

information, please call us at 414-374-3570.  


2016 Award Recipients  Sandy Botcher and Katherine Gehl


PROFESSIONAL EXCELLENCE … INSPIRING ACHIEVEMENTS … PASSIONATE HEARTS … TRAILBLAZERS … There are no better words to describe Professional Dimensions 2016 Sacagawea Award recipients – Sandy Botcher and Katherine Gehl.





Sandy Botcher is a trailblazer who has made a tremendous impact. Through her leadership at Northwestern Mutual and in the community, she uses her diverse skills – wisdom of the law, dogged determination, and a can-do attitude -- to make a difference. Currently, as NM’s Vice President of Facility Operations she is leading the team that is transforming Milwaukee’s skyline … and community.  She is a woman in a male dominated field, literally breaking new ground. She has set the bar high and leapt over it. Sandy is also a trailblazer for diversity and equality, giving small businesses and previously unemployed or underemployed residents an opportunity to play an integral role in bringing the Tower and Commons to life and build skills for the future. Sandy is a mentor and role model for women, balancing a demanding career and giving back with an active family.






Katherine Gehl is an entrepreneur and business leader who has had an enormous impact in our community and on a national level. She embodies the spirit of tenacity and leadership of the award’s namesake. As a fourth-generation President and CEO of Gehl Foods, Katherine led an aggressive growth strategy, driving transformation across the company. Her leadership and integrity during this time righted the company and expanded its profitability leading to an acquisition by a private-equity firm. Realizing that the company’s success was because of its workers, she made sure that all employees benefited from the sale. Since leaving the company, Katherine has focused on developing Wisconsin and national political innovations to bring new and thoughtful solutions to challenging problems.

This year’s winners represent the best of women in leadership positions whose impact makes a difference in the lives of others.  



2015 Award Recipients





Nan Gardetto and Mary Lou Young. 


Read more about the 2015 recipients... 


Watch the videos below to learn more about our recipients.





Click here to see more videos from the 2015 Sacagawea Event       


Choice of Sacagawea      

2016 Nomination Form/resource/resmgr/Docs/2016_PD_Saci_Nomination_Form.doc

The award was named after Sacagawea because she epitomized the qualities we sought in the award recipients. A woman of many dimensions, Sacagawea distinguished herself throughout her life by her foresight, leadership, intelligence, common sense, and adaptability. She was a mother, and the only woman on the 1803-1806 Lewis and Clark expedition to find the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean.


Her presence was initially resented by many of the men of the expedition, but Sacagawea proved herself to be a capable leader, interpreter, and guide. She was able to lead the expedition through hostile territory, because her presence provided a shield of protection for the entire party. Sacagawea and her infant child were regarded as a symbol of peace to the many native peoples the expedition encountered. In spite of her crucial role in the Lewis and Clark expedition, Sacagawea's contribution went virtually unrecognized in the history books until the 1990s.


Spelling and pronunciation of Sacagawea's name have evolved over the years as historians have sought greater cultural accuracy. Today's preferred pronunciation is: Suh CAH guh WAY uh.



The Sacagawea Award Dinner was created to celebrate and honor professional women. Fundraising is not its primary goal. Proceeds of the event are used to support the charitable efforts of Professional Dimensions. The dinner's goals, in priority order, are to:

  1. Celebrate and honor professional women
  2. Raise funds for the Professional Dimensions Charitable Fund
  3. Showcase the Professional Dimensions organization
  4. Provide a not-to-be-missed social event


Read more about the 2015 Sacagawea artist...


Selection of Award Recipients

The award selection committee is comprised of community leaders at least half of whom are not members of Professional Dimensions. Award candidates are solicited from Professional Dimensions members and the general public. Many nominees are members of Professional Dimensions. Award recipients are chosen for their significant career accomplishments, commitment to community, support for the advancement of women, and embodiment of the trail blazing spirit of Sacagawea.


Member Support

Professional Dimensions members support the event by attending, encouraging others to attend, serving on the Sacagawea Committee and/or by assisting in obtaining corporate sponsorship and underwriting.


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Our Mission

Professional Dimensions is a membership organization that promotes the professional and personal growth of women through social and business exchange and through community participation.

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