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State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka Honors Nelly Venecia

Nelly VeneciaChicago, IL – Illinois State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka and her Advisory Board for Women’s Issues presented the annual “Woman to Woman: Making a Difference” awards to 15 outstanding women on March 30 during a ceremony and reception held at Blue Cross Blue Shield in Chicago. Nelly Venecia of Venecia Group, Aurora, received the Community Volunteerism award.

Venecia came to the U.S. from Mexico 10 years ago and is an inspirational mentor, entrepreneur and community leader, volunteering with Girl Scouts, YWCA, AAUW and many other organizations. She has served on the Hispanic Advisory Board for the Beacon News and is active in many Hispanic organizations as well as her church.  She also volunteers with the Fox Valley Animal Welfare League and as an advocate against human trafficking.

Woman to Woman Award recipients have empowered others by serving as role models, raised social conscience, promoted diversity, fostered positive inter-group relations or established new programs or organizations to meet identified needs or enhance the quality of life in their communities.

 “Each year I look forward to the Making A Difference Awards because we are honoring those individuals who are community leaders,” Topinka said. “With more opportunities available than ever before, women should take advantage of their ability to lead in the community — volunteer, teach, and most importantly forge a new path for the women of tomorrow.”

Merri Dee, Director of Community Relations at WGN Television, served as emcee and Ray McCaskey, President & CEO of Blue Cross Blue Shield, provided remarks. Judy McCasky, who serves as the Chairman of the Advisory Board for Women’s Issues, offered congratulatory remarks and presented roses to all of the recipients.

Topinka’s office and her Advisory Board for Women’s Issues provide programming and resources for women business owners and those in need of financial management skills. The Treasurer’s Advisory Board has also published “The Financial Resource Guide for Illinois Women,” a free compendium of information for women of all ages. Copies can be obtained by calling 312-814-1700 or by visiting the website at