Six of Oklahoma’s ‘leading ladies’ garner Byliner Awards from Association for Women in Communications

The Oklahoma City Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications honored six of Oklahoma’s “leading ladies” for their contributions to the state and community at the recent 58th Annual Byliner Awards Luncheon in Oklahoma City. Always one of the hottest tickets in town, proceeds from the Byliner Awards each year raise scholarship funds for those pursuing degrees in communications disciplines at Oklahoma colleges and universities.

This year’s awards luncheon, held at the downtown Petroleum Club on March 31, also introduced attendees to the recipients of the 2016 AWC Scholarship winners.

A special Byliner Award went to Lou Kerr for Lifetime Achievement. She is President and Chair of the Kerr Foundation, making numerous contributions to civic and community advancement. The lifetime achievement award had only been bestowed once before, to journalist Joan Gilmore at the 2013 Byliner Awards.

Other honorees, and the category for which they were recognized:

  • Arts & Culture: Donna Rinehart-Keever, Executive Director, Oklahoma Contemporary

  • Business: Jill Castilla, President, Citizens Bank of Edmond

  • Civic Involvement: Edie Roodman, CEO, Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma City

  • Communications: Paula Burkes, Business Writer, The Oklahoman

  • Nonprofit: Jan Peery, CEO, YWCA Oklahoma City

This year’s scholarship winners included Aubree Hughes from Oklahoma Christian, Caylie Patton from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and Maleyia Vaughn from Oklahoma City University. Questions about AWC schoalrhsips can be directed to Kimberly Cope: or 405-225-5754.

The 2016 Byliner Event was Co-chaired by Brooke Haneborg and Jana Gridley. M.C. for the program was Amanda Taylor, an anchor for News9, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City. Oklahoma state Supreme Court Justice Yvonne Kauger and national Byliner winner Brenda Jones Barwick, of Jones PR in Oklahoma City, were among those attending the AWIC event.