Women of Distinction awards ceremony set for friday

  • Shari Daugherty
  • Karen Murdock
  • Maria Kulikov
  • Representative Paul Seaton


outh Peninsula Haven House is holding its annual Women of Distinction awards ceremony and silent auction Friday. The event will be held at Second Star Lodge on Kachemak Drive beginning at 5 p.m.

Julia Person, a former Haven House employee and board member, is one of the volunteer coordinators for this year’s event. As a former board member, Person said that choosing recipients for the awards was always challenging, even if there were only a few nominations.

Recipients are selected by current Haven House Board members who think nominees meet such criteria as: accomplishments within their profession, leadership, mentoring, working well with others and giving back to the community.

If someone has been nominating the same person for years, and they haven’t been selected, Person said they should still keep nominating. As board members change and nominees change, there’s always the possibility of being selected. 

Sometimes a nomination will be submitted with a bunch of signatures, but only one description of the nominee. The best approach, says Person, would be to have people fill out individual forms, so that their different descriptions could give the board a fuller picture of just what that person does in the community.

This year’s event will be catered by Maura’s Kitchen. In addition to the awards presentation there will be a silent and a live auction to raise money for Haven House programs.  

There is something for everyone — and their budget — among the auction items, said Person. Adirondack chairs by Glenn Seaman and Jim Buncak, a painted table by Lee Post and Ed Tussey and a Peacock Bench by Deb Lowney are among the featured auction items. Dave Aplin will be the auctioneer and Haven House Board of Directors President Terry Thompson will be the master of ceremonies. 

There are 150 tickets available at $50 each, and Person advises getting them as soon as possible, as they have sold out in advance the past three years. Tickets may be purchased at the Homer Bookstore. For more information, call Haven House at 235-7712.

Shari Daugherty,

Woman of Distinction

Fun. Energetic. Well organized. That’s how Cinda Martin describes Shari Daugherty, who she nominated for this year’s Woman of Distinction award. 

Daugherty, who is currently employed by South Peninsula Hospital, has been a member of Emblem Club No. 350 for more than 30 years, is on the Homer Council on the Arts board of directors and was a founding member of Share the Spirit.

Daugherty writes that her personal Woman of Distinction would be her hard-working, volunteer-oriented mother, Marylin Child — as well as her friends from the Emblem Club, who, she says, are always trying to make a wonderful community even better.  

Daugherty strives to lead by example. She also tries to make a good decision, or do a good work, every day — and inspire others to do the same.

The personal successes she is most proud of? Raising her daughter. 

Martin, who has known Daugherty for 25 years, says that when there is a need, Daugherty is there with a hand to help.

Daugherty isn’t the type of person to just sit and think about things being better, Martin said. Rather, she’s the person who will take action to make things better.

“If she’s organizing something, you want to be involved in it because it’s going to be run well — and a success,” said Martin. “She’s the best.”


Karen Murdock

Woman of Wisdom

This year’s Woman of Wisdom is one of the founding members of Haven House, Karen Murdock. Nominated by Linda Munns, Murdock is a past recipient of the BP Teacher of Excellence Award and has a master’s degree in special education from the University of Alaska.

Murdock is an advocate for reproductive rights and petitioned the borough assembly in the 1980s for freedom of choice. She has also been involved with Kachemak Bay Family Planning and Homer Head Start. 

“I have a nature that I want to work for social change,” said Murdock. A Homer resident since 1979, Murdock said that this is a great community where you can take your ideas for social change and implement them.


Murdock says she tries to live life with integrity and intention, and to live her personal and professional lives in the same way. 

In her list of accomplishments, Murdock says that her single most incredible one was becoming a mother.

In her letter of nomination Munns wrote that Murdock has served the community both personally and professionally. 

“Karen doesn’t just talk about issues that she is passionate about, she works for change. She makes things happen,” wrote Munns.


Maria Kulikov

Young Woman of Distinction

“It was sort of a no-brainer,” says Homer Flex High School teacher, Alex Koplin, of his decision to nominate Maria Kulikov for the Young Woman of Distinction. 

“She’s just an exceptional young lady (who’s) seen a lot and is able to translate that into a positive message,” he said. 

Kulikov, a Voznesenka High School senior, was born in Canada and later moved to the lower Kenai Peninsula with her family. She has been a student at Homer High School and Flex High School, and credits Flex with helping her overcome difficulties with public speaking. 

Once shy, Kulikov is now involved with the suicide prevention program through Kachemak Bay Family Planning’s Youth R.E.C. Room (Resource and Enrichment Co-op). She is also the student representative on the Kenai Peninsula School Board and is a certified student lawyer and judge with the Youth Court program. She serves as a teacher’s aide in the third through fifth grades at Voznesenka School, and has won the Slam Jam poetry contest at Homer Council on the Arts for the past two years. 

As a senior, Kulikov is already preparing for college by taking classes in government and psychology at the Kenai Peninsula College’s Kachemak Bay Campus. She would like to be an educator, especially in the middle school grades.

In his nomination letter for Kulikov, Koplin wrote “I met Maria at Flex High School where she was a student. Right away I noticed her eagerness to learn. She challenges herself to learn beyond what is necessary. She carries an energy about her that is positive, compassionate and enlightened.”


Rep. Paul Seaton

Hero of the Heart

Homer Rep. Paul Seaton was selected by Haven House staff to receive this year’s Hero of the Heart award. Seaton was first elected to the Alaska Legislature in 2002 and has won re-election every year since. He is the chairperson of the Health and Social Services Committee. 


Women of Distinction Awards

When: Friday, 5 p.m.

Where: Second Star Lodge, 5260 Kachemak Drive

Cost: $50, tickets at the Homer Bookstore

Already thinking of the perfect person for next year’s award? Nomination forms are available online at havenhousealaska.org/women_of_distinction.html.

Current Haven House Board Members:
Terry Thompson, president
Sherry Stead, vice president
Janie Leask, secretary
Janna Davis, treasurer
Daniel Boone, director
Emily Springer, director

Previous Women of Distinction:

Elenore McMullen
Mary Malchoff
Donna Fenske
Diana Jeska
Bonnie Jason
Colleen James
Ginny Espenshade
Dana Stabenow
Jane Pascall
Linda Thompson
Carrie Thurman
Carol Swartz
Vickey Hodnik
Bonnie Betley
Ingrid Harrald
Martie Krohn

Previous Young Women of Distinction:
Thorey Munro
Corrine Ogle
Oceana Wills
Maddie Bowen
Kate Kerns
Katherine Dolma
Zoe Story

Previous Women
of Wisdom:
Clara Anderson
Juanita Cox
Susan Cushing
Amy Bollenbach
Mary Lou Kelsey



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