2017 Recipients

Our alumnae make a remarkable difference for our organization, their communities, their professions and more. Join us in applauding the accomplishments and contributions of our 2017 alumnae award winners, our sisters.


Award of Achievement

Dr. Susan Fiorito (Beta Eta, Florida State University) 

Dr. Susan S. Fiorito is the director of the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, Jim Moran Professor of Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Florida State University. Dr. Fiorito has been a faculty member at FSU since 1990. She was an owner of four apparel, leather-goods and turquoise-jewelry stores in Atlanta, Georgia, and owner of a wholesale leather goods company until 1980. In addition to teaching at FSU, she also has taught and conducted research at the University of Iowa, Florida International University and the University of Stirling in Scotland.

Dr. Fiorito’s research focuses on retailing, small-business management and buying and has been featured in a variety of academic journals, including International Journal of Research and Distribution Management, the Journal of Retailing and Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice. She has received research grants totaling nearly $170,000.

In addition, Dr. Fiorito has taught summer study-abroad courses in Milan, Paris and London for six years, and she spent one year on sabbatical at the University of Stirling in Scotland. She has received three university teaching awards and was selected to be one of three inaugural Jim Moran Institute Faculty Fellows in 2010. Dr. Fiorito was the first female president (1992-94) of the American Collegiate Retailing Association, which was established in 1949. She is currently the treasurer, and also the first woman to hold the treasurer position for two consecutive terms. She was appointed to the board for the Florida Retail Federation in 2003 and has served faithfully since that time. Dr. Fiorito contributes to several university, college and department committees.



Joanna Tabit (Gamma Omicron, Marshall University)

Judge Joanna Tabit began her career in 1986 as personal law clerk to former Supreme Court Justice Thomas McHugh. She became assistant and then deputy attorney general of the appellate division in the Office of the Attorney General from 1989 to 1992. From there, she went into private practice in the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson PLLC until 2014, when she was appointed to the Kanawha County bench. Judge Tabit also has worked as an adjunct lecturer for the WVU College of Law. Most recently, she was appointed to the State of West Virginia’s Business Court Division in March 2016.

Judge Tabit is active in professional and civic organizations such as the Juvenile Justice Commission, the Multiple Sclerosis Society of WV, Literacy Volunteers of America and Daymark, Inc. She volunteers for the Salvation Army, the Kanawha County Read-Aloud Program, Project Teach and the Lawyer Information Service. She also served as a commissioner on the City of Charleston Human Rights Commission and as the co-chairman of the Campaign for Legal Aid of WV.

Judge Tabit exemplifies the four key benefits of Alpha Chi Omega: friendship, leadership, learning and service, and she actively lives out the Symphony of Alpha Chi Omega. 

Alumna Appreciation AWARD 

Nina (DaneshvAr) Ries (Epsilon Psi, University of California - Irvine)

Nina has been an involved Alpha Chi Omega volunteer for many years. She has served as president of the Alpha Kappa Alpha alumnae chapter since 2015. She also serves as an alumnae liaison to several collegiate chapters in Southern California and as a pro bono legal advisor, as well as working with a local house corporation board. There are not many local volunteer roles Nina has not held.
Through her volunteer work, Nina also has successfully engaged volunteers to fully staff recruitment at the local collegiate chapters. Recognizing that there were sisters who wanted to help but could not due to timing, distance or other factors, she also took the initiative to create an online Amazon wish list to help chapters stock up on healthy snacks, floss and mints, plus a few extras to spruce up the house.
Nina ensures that events simultaneously meet several requirements: local support, strengthening of sisterhood and networking. If she is in a position to help an Alpha Chi Omega, she doesn't hesitate. She co-launched an online support network for women (including many Alpha Chi Omegas) to create a place for quality referrals, job or career advice, and motivation. Members of the online community have seen this virtual support translate into jobs, promotions, clients, referrals and even partnerships.
She also has organized events, such as a Founders’ Day brunch at the Epsilon chapter house at which alumnae reconnected with their collegiate chapter, with opportunities for networking, mentorship and support.
Nina did the same for her own chapter, Epsilon Psi, as it celebrated its 40th anniversary. Even the hikes, fitness events and cooking classes she coordinates for all local Alpha Chi Omegas, regardless of alumnae group affiliation, are designed with multiple benefits in mind. She's proud to have re-engaged many Alpha Chi Omegas with an alumnae group or collegiate chapter.

Outstanding Dedication

Kimberly (Baldwin) McClure (Gamma Omicron, Marshall University)

Most recently, Kim coordinated the start of a virtual alumnae chapter for alumnae of the Gamma Omicron chapter. She spent countless hours securing the needed initial membership and officers. She also took on the role of alumnae chapter president, despite being chosen as the province collegiate chair for Ohio. Kim understood the importance of maintaining the bond sisters built as collegians, but she also acknowledged the struggle alumnae face when balancing family commitments and alumna responsibilities. At the time of the new chapter petition, there were 58 alumnae who had joined the chapter.

Without Kim, Gamma Omicron alumnae would not have been able to coordinate this effort. Kim knew the benefits of staying connected as sisters, as well as the encouragement they could provide one another.

This is not Kim’s first time giving her time and talents to Alpha Chi Omega. She served Gamma Omicron as recruitment advisor for two years and as chapter advisor for two years in the ‘90s. 

Young Alumna Award

Kelly Kilgour (Kappa Nu, Carnegie Mellon University)

Kelly joined Alpha Chi Omega in spring 2006 when she was a member of the selection group that chose Alpha Chi Omega for Carnegie Mellon University. 

Upon her graduation in 2008, Kelly moved to Dallas and quickly became involved with Beta Kappa Beta and as an advisory board member for the Iota Sigma Chapter. Although her time in Dallas was short lived, Kelly quickly became involved with the Chi Chi alumnae chapter when she returned home to Pittsburgh. In spring 2009, Kelly was elected alumnae chapter president and served until 2013. 

During her time as Chi Chi chapter president, Kelly was responsible for revitalizing the alumnae chapter, recruiting new board officers and encouraging new graduates to join Chi Chi. 

Kelly is also a member of both the Delta and Kappa Nu chapter advisory boards and has served as the finance advisor since 2009. Kelly has continued to work with both chapters, helping them with the implementation of Billhighway and ongoing budgeting obstacles. Kelly has been instrumental teaching both chapters about the importance of fiscal health and planning. 

Kelly’s solid and sustaining support has been extremely valuable in recent years as she worked with other local alumnae to train new advisors and assisted both chapters with challenges. Kelly’s devotion to Alpha Chi Omega doesn’t stop at the local level, as she also serves the lifetime engagement volunteer team as the lead technology specialist, a role she originally served in when it was established in 2012. Kelly is a welcome resource for alumnae chapter presidents and PACs, recently alerting teams to phishing scams and even making a video to make it easier for alumna volunteers to navigate the IRS 990 process. Kelly has served Alpha Chi Omega while working full time and pursuing a Master of Science in business intelligence. 

Simply put, when Alpha Chi Omega calls, Kelly Kilgour answers. She is a member of Life Loyal and is a Foundation donor, and she was a member of the Scarlet Ribbon Club as a collegian. She gave to the For Now/Forever campaign and is a member of Leadership Circle.
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