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.
Renee Unterman was the first female mayor of the city of Loganville. With 32 years of experience as an elected government official, she served on the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and has served as a state representative and state senator representing Gwinnett County and surrounding counties.
Denise Rumbaugh: Is there any particular woman or are there women in history you admire? What do you admire about her or them?
Renee Unterman: Golda Meir, Prime Minister of Israel. Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. I admire their tenacity and accomplishments living, working and becoming elected leaders in a global male dominated profession. Both were enormously regaled as world leaders proving women were equally qualified and competent to lead major countries as heads of state. They created new pathways for future women of the world.
DR: Who has been the most influential woman in your life and why?
RU: Because I was one of very few, if any, women in my career as an elected official, my Mother (Bernice Stovall) was my inspiration and foundation. I never worked with many women to learn nor follow. My Mom was a simple country woman with a sixth grade education but became a voracious reader, self educating herself. Combined with her tenacious desire to succeed in life, she passed down to her children the love of country, passion for helping people and community, and a very hard work ethic. Her domineering spirit became my inspiration for a successful career in politics.
DR: What advice would you share with women and girls on working to achieve their goals and dreams?
RU: Stay focused, set goals. Take risks in career moves. Don’t let failures hold you back, learn from them.
DR: What do you think is the importance of celebrating women’s history?
RU: “You don’t know where you’re going, if you don’t know where you have been.”
“There is no such thing as a glass ceiling, the sky is your limit in your heart.”