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Quad Cities YWCA hosts first-ever 'Champions of Change' awards ceremony

The awards were part of the YWCA's "Yes She Can Series" which highlights leaders and mentors who empower women throughout the Quad Cities.

BETTENDORF, Iowa — Community leaders and mentors known for empowering women were recognized for their efforts in the first-ever Quad Cities YWCA "Champions of Change" awards hosted by News 8's Angie Sharp on Jan. 20.

The inaugural ceremony featured six finalists: three men and three women who were nominated by community members for listening, learning and leading while actively making the QC area a better place to live.

"Those finalists were then tasked with writing an essay on why mentorship and empowering women is important now more than ever," said Deanna Woodall, Vice President of Development of Growth at YWCA Quad Cities. "That was how the winner of today, the male champion, and the female champion for 2022 was determined. Based on their essays."

Lifelong QC resident LuAnn Haydon was one of Thursday's winners. She's a retired John Deere worker with over 42 years of service, becoming the first female to receive honors in the company's Junior Achievement's Project Business Hall of Fame.

Haydon currently serves on the on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success, Family Resources, Living Proof Exhibit and Lead(her).

Her advocacy involves helping women and children in need while supporting programs that assist people and families affected by cancer.

The award ceremony's other winner was Rob L. Woodall, president of Global Rolled Products.

Woodall has held numerous volunteer roles in the local area including former board member and chair positions for Family Resources and the Quad-Cities Chamber of Commerce.

He's currently a Genesis Philanthropy board member, a YWCA Capital Campaign co-chair, and board member of the EICC Downtown campus project.