Four women were honored last week for their professionalism in their careers and their contributions to the community.
Marcia Reynolds, Marisa Zaricor, Shelley Layton and Shawnna Robinson, all Mineral Area College alumnae, were recently honored during MAC Foundation’s annual Community Ladies Luncheon held Oct. 28.
The community college’s foundation bestows the honor on nominated alumnae every October.
Marisa Zaricor, of Farmington, originally from Perryville, has been with Centene Corporation for 10 years and is a senior human resources specialist. She graduated from MAC in 1998 with an Associate Degree in Communication. She transferred her studies to Southeast Missouri State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and advertising. She’s currently working on her master’s degree in business administration from SEMO.
At Centene, she’s raised tens of thousands of dollars for United Way of St. Francois County since she took over the drive in 2005, and has increased donations by 1,000 percent over that period. When she’s not busy raising money, volunteering, or coordinating extracurriculars with husband Dylan for son Josh and daughter Sydney, Marisa runs in 5Ks, triathlons and half-marathons.
“As the first recipient of the MAC Communications Department scholarship, I was given a great opportunity to obtain my education without financial barriers,” Zaricor said. “The security afforded by this honor helped me to better allocate my time towards meeting my educational goals which eventually led to a bachelor’s degree, job security with a Fortune 500 company, and now my MBA.”
Shawnna Robinson is the managing editor of the Farmington Press and has also had articles published on national websites and picked up by nationwide news services.
She said her MAC studies, from 1986 to 88, prepared her for her bachelor’s degree, which was in journalism/mass communications from SEMO, and her children are also carrying on the legacy of studying at MAC.
“MAC’s doing for my kids what it did for me,” she said. “I was not ready for a four-year university right away. MAC prepared me for what was expected of me as a college student, while serving as an economical way to complete two years of my education. As a parent, I see first-hand the impact MAC makes on our region today. My two oldest children have been able to get a jump start on their education with the dual credit courses offered at Farmington High School through MAC. Our family also benefited from the ‘College Now’ scholarship offered through a partnership with MAC and FHS. Mineral Area College has continued to grow through the variety of educational opportunities offered.”
Robinson and her husband, John, live in Farmington and have three children: John, Chloe and Evan.
Marcia Reynolds attended MAC from 1980 to 82 and earned her Associate Degree in Nursing then added her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Nursing — MSN, magna cum laude. Her 33 years in healthcare includes risk and quality management, regulatory compliance, long-term care and catastrophic case management. She is a self-employed business owner who offers procurement services and risk management consulting. Reynolds was the executive director of risk management for the health system that owned the Joplin hospital hit by the F5 tornado in 2011.
Reynolds recalls that she got her inspiration from her MAC instructors.
“Susie Kohn, Jodie Blair, Kay Nicholson, Jessie Williams and Linda Montgomery were the most influential instructors and provided a strong nursing foundation on which to build,” she said. “MAC is a gateway for future growth in regional business and opportunities for area students to achieve their dreams. Professionally, I am proud of others I have inspired to pursue nursing careers.”
She is also proud to be the mother of three children.
Shelley Layton, RN, MHA, FACHE, graduated with her Associate Degree in Nursing in 2001. She is Serenity HospiceCare’s chief executive director.
“I was inspired to do something great while at MAC,” said Layton. “Ellen Ketcherside and Teri Douglas really made a difference in my career by believing in me even when I was struggling to believe in myself. Because they noticed and cared, I turned a potentially bad situation around and it never affected my goal to be a nurse. Now, this experience helps me as a manager to encourage my young employees.”
Layton attended Lindenwood University, graduating summa cum laude with her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. In June 2014, she received her fellow status from the board of governors for the American College of Healthcare Executives. She also helped create two non-profits in support of children — the Nick Layton Foundation, named in memory of her late husband; and the organization Cupcakes for Kids.
“In 2014, Cupcakes for Kids funded a local school backpack food program and The Nick Layton Foundation funded a small mission trip to Peru, as well as a scholarship for a Bismarck student to attend trade school,” she said. “I try to merge my love of volunteer work with teaching my two daughters the importance of giving back. So, we do a family community service activity every month.”
Layton captured the sentiment of many at the luncheon when she observed that her tenure at MAC was a time of self-discovery.
“Still today, MAC impacts our area by allowing local, small town graduates to dream big,” she said. “Even if perceived roadblocks like finances stand in the way, MAC helps students understand their dreams can still be achieved.”
For more information about the Community Ladies Luncheon, the awards and other foundation opportunities, call 573-518-2114.