Editor's Note: This year is the 100-year anniversary of Zonta International, a nonprofit organization that fights for women's equality while providing a plethora of services to communities in dozens of countries. To commemorate this milestone, the Jefferson City Chapter of Zonta and the News Tribune partnered to highlight seven local women each day this week who have been inspired by women at all levels, from well-known international figures to Capital City mentors. These local women have gone on to inspire community members and make a difference in Jefferson City or beyond.
Following the destructive EF-3 tornado that swept through Jefferson City on May 22, Mayor Carrie Tergin sprung into action to help the community heal, something Dr. Lenora Adams said has inspired her since.
Adams works as a physician advisor at SSM Health St. Mary's Hospital, where she educates physicians to improve the quality of case management, clinical utilization and clinical documentation, and acts as a resource to physicians regarding federal and state utilization and quality regulations.
Smiling shyly, the three-year Zonta member said Tergin has been her inspiration since the tornado damaged several areas of Jefferson City.
"She's such a humble person, too, that I think she's going to be shocked about being nominated as the person that I'm looking up to, but she deserves it," Adams added with a chuckle.
In the early hours after the tornado, Tergin was surveying the damage in Jefferson City and checking on business owners, as well as displaced property owners and tenants. In the days and weeks following the tornado and historic flooding, she was a source of communication and helped organize relief efforts, Adams said.
Adams added she is proud Tergin is Jefferson City's mayor.
"She's always shown herself to be passionate about Jefferson City," she said. "She's always supported us and loved our community. During the recent devastation and hard times our community went through, she really demonstrated the depth of her commitment and passion for the success of Jefferson City."
Tergin is in her second term as mayor after voters re-elected her in April. Tergin was first elected as mayor in April 2015 after serving six years on the Jefferson City Council.
Tergin's constituents "have no doubt that she's fully invested and cares about them," Adams said, adding Tergin is available when others need her and she takes actionable steps toward her goals.
"I would like the people I work with to be as confident that I feel that way about them, supporting them in my role," Adams said.
The Jefferson City chapter of Zonta will host its annual 5K Superhero Stride at 8:30 a.m. Oct. 26 at Memorial Park, 111 Memorial Drive. Check-in will begin at 7:30 a.m.
Pre-registration costs $25, while registration the day of the event is $30. Members of the Jefferson City Roadrunners can register for $20, and a team of five participants can register for $100.
Participants can register by visiting zontajcmo.org or by downloading a form to mail to the local Zonta chapter at 1030 Westwood Drive.
Zonta members encouraged participants to register by Monday to receive a shirt for the 5K Superhero Stride.
The proceeds will go to the Zonta International Foundation so the foundation can continue its global equality efforts, such as reducing the risk of HIV/AIDS through health education and increasing educational opportunities and vocational skills training for women.