City recorder Shirley Durham was recognized with the Standard’s prestigious Woman of Achievement Award during the annual banquet held Tuesday at Falcon Rest.
With the city since 1988, Durham was lauded for her work in overseeing McMinnville’s $17 million budget. She serves as the director over administration with a staff of 12 employees.
Twenty women were honored at the banquet for their contributions to the community. The women knew in advance they were nominated for the Woman of Achievement Award, but it was not revealed until the banquet Durham was the recipient. She was clearly moved by the announcement and said afterwards it was a great surprise.
There was a woman in attendance who was not expecting to be honored. Standard publisher Patricia Zechman had refused to have her name on the list, but newspaper staff members went behind her back to ensure she would be included this year without her knowing about it.
Former county executive Carol Hamblen was among the women recognized at the banquet. She told an amusing story about her time as county executive from 1998 to 2002.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but I was a teacher for two years,” said Hamblen. “One of my students was Billy Wood. Back when I was county executive, Billy was serving as the city’s vice mayor. I tell people we were probably the only county where the county executive had paddled the vice mayor.”
The Standard has published a special section to honor these Women of Achievement. That section is inside today’s edition.