In celebration of Women’s History Month, North Gwinnett Voice staff member Denise Rumbaugh reached out to women whose accomplishments have been influential and impactful in several areas, including education, politics, media and business. She asked each woman about other women throughout history they admire, the most influential women in their own lives, advice they would share with women and girls on achieving their own goals and dreams and the importance of celebrating women’s history. The NGV has compiled their responses in celebration of Women’s History Month and in honor of these incredible women leaving their marks.
DeAnna Emborski, a retired newspaper and magazine publisher, is Mrs. Elite Universe TCP 2022. A survivor of domestic violence, she works to end domestic partner violence and violence against children.
Denise Rumbaugh: Is there any particular woman or are there women in history you admire? What do you admire about her or them?
DeAnna Emborski: Yes. There are several women in history I admire. You can’t gauge where you’re going unless you know where you’ve been here are my TOP 4:
- Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
- Katharine Graham
- Anne Frank
- Malala Yousafzai
Each one I admire because of their leadership, strength, and perseverance in what they believe in and their resilience and resistance to conformity. These traits (and more) have been an influential part of the woman I have become.
Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth II personified the very image of what a woman with tremendous power, status and influence should be. She at the very young age of 26, took on a role she hadn’t been “born to do” but through monarchy changes was elevated to. She accepted this incredibly challenging role never wavering in her loyalty to country, or family and was not only the second longest ruling monarch in history but the longest ruling female monarch ever. She ruled over 70 years and 214 with grace, dignity, class, and strength. She also had a heart for service organizations and gave to over 5000 different organizations throughout the world.
Katharine Graham led The Washington Post from 1963-1991 and was the first 20th Century female publisher (for an American newspaper) and the first woman elected to the Board of the Associated Press. Her involvement in both journalism and community service led to many awards and recognitions throughout her life…just for doing what she loved and believed in.
Anne Frank was only 16 years old when she died at Bergen-Bergen concentration camp in Germany, but her eternal words have impacted generations through her most precious possession…her diary. She showed that age does not make a person great…integrity, intelligence, perception and impact have no beginning or end expiration date.
Malala Yousafzai (at 15) was shot by the Pakistani Taliban because of her activism in women’s education and human rights. Undeterred by their insistence to assassinate her and upon her recovery she has founded several organizations to further education and human rights for women, been awarded several Peace Prize recognitions, including the Nobel Peace Prize and has become an influential speaker and activist recognized worldwide.
DR: Who has been the most influential woman in your life and why?
DE: The most influential woman in my life was my Mother. Back in 1971 being a single Mom wasn’t the “accepted norm” but she never let anything anyone may have said, thought or did get in her way. She could do the job of both parents and did until she met my Dad when I was 3. She worked for a newspaper for over 25 years, got a college degree, got a realtors license, owned a successful construction company and always knew how to throw the greatest parties! She showed me that if you work hard, set your goals, and never take “NO” as an answer (even though I’m sure she regretted teaching me that one when I was younger LOL) and that the only limits you will have, are the ones you put on yourself.
DR: What advice would you share with women and girls on working to achieve their goals and dreams?
DE: KEEP A JOURNAL of goals, dreams, thoughts, and ideas! Find mentors and people you admire and learn all you can about how they got to where they are. TRY NEW THINGS … you never know what you might like! Don’t think you can’t … because you can! It may be something that hasn’t been done before … so what…someone has to be first, why not you?
DR: What do you think is the importance of celebrating women’s history?
DE: Like I started with … You can’t gauge where you are going unless you know where you have been.History (or HER-STORY) is a chance to look back at what worked, what didn’t work, where we’ve been, where we are now and a look at where we need to be. It is an opportunity for women to be inspired by those who came before us, those who faced very different obstacles, who lived in a world that is very different than the one we live in now. Wars, lack of technology, different (or non-existent) medical, educational, business, racial limitations … and yet they still found a way.