As an annual event in observance of Women’s History Month, Cook County presents the Unsung Heroine Award to 18 women, one from each district of Cook County and one county-wide, whose contributions to their communities, families and professional endeavors have been so vital, but seldom recognized. This award, consistent with the purpose of Women's History Month, is designed to recover and tell the story of the powerful impact women have had throughout history on the development of our social, cultural, economic and political institutions. In this spirit, the County honors these remarkable women as a way to bring their stories to light, to thank them and to celebrate the achievements of the many women through the history of Cook County whom they represent.


Peggy A. Montes serves as Chairperson of the Cook County Commission on Women’s Issues. An educator, fundraiser, leader, and champion of women’s issues and rights, Montes was the driving force behind the very first Unsung Heroine Award for the women of Cook County. On March 16, 2010, the Cook County Board of Commissioners and members of the Commission on Women’s Issues renamed the award in Montes’s honor as a way of recognizing her remarkable achievements on behalf of women and girls.


2016 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroines of Cook County

Sabrina Herrell, At-large

Annie Marie Ford, 1st District

Fran Bell, 2nd District

Paula Anglin, 3rd District

Christel D. Ward, 4th District

Lorez Davis, 5th District

Maurice Fitts Page, 6th District

Linda Coronado, 7th District

Beti Guevara, 8th District

Maureen Perez, 9th District

Jackie Taylor, 10th District

Rita Ryan, 11th District

Alexis Mansfield, 12th District

Gloria Iverson, 13th District

Henrietta Saunders, 14th District

Victoria Poklop, 15th District

Elizabeth Cabral-Arreola, 16th District

Maureen Reilly, 17th District


2015 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroines of Cook County

Aisha Chaudry, At-large

Cherita Logan, 1st District

Apostle Carolyn Vessel, 2nd District

Cassandra Melton, 3rd District

Rev. Lillie M. Cullar, 4th District

Angelia Smith, 5th District

Jean Bernstein, 6th District

Gina Gamboa Pacheco, 7th District

Laurie Jo Reynolds, 8th District

Kristy Capoccia-Caeti, 9th District

Mary Zeien, 10th District

Kerry Lynch, 11th District

Beth Valukas, 12th District

Lydia Vivas, 13th District

Pat Peterson, 14th District

VersAnnette Blackman, 15th District

Carrie Zalewski, 16th District

Cynthia Frymark, 17th District


2014 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroines of Cook County

Annamaria Joyce V. Leon, At-large

Dawn Ferencak, 1st District

Elizabeth Okey, 2nd District

Felicia Stanton, 3rd District

Katherine Wallace, 4th District

Jamell Meeks, 5th District

Beverly Beaty, 6th District

Dolores Castañeda, 7th District

Maria Teresa Roman, 8th District

Teresa Giannini, 9th District

Amanda Malsch, 10th District

Maureen Shields, 11th District

Elizabeth Mills, 12th District

Tricia Edwards, 13th District

Courtney Renwick, 14th District

Michelle Pilafas, 15th District

Tracey Rouso, 16th District

Terri O'Neill Borders, 17th District


2013 Peggy A. Montes Unsung Heroines of Cook County

Sara Shabaan, At-large

Edith Hidalgo, 1st District

Kimberlie J. Jackson, 2nd District

Connie Anderson, 3rd District

Shawna L. Brown, 4th District

Marsha J. Eaglin, 5th District

Hope Jovicin, 6th District

Tanya Cabrera, 7th District

Delia C. Ramirez, 8th District

Roseanne Dattalo-Eiternick, 9th District

Kelly Kleiman, 10th District

Shirley Madigan, 11th District

Lauren Mistretta, 12th District

Virginia Beckett, 13th District

Ruth Lynn Silver, 14th District

Cindy Rowland, 15th District

Sharon L. Flaim, 16th District

Carlolyn Lee Simmons, 17th District