2023 Women’s Hall of Fame Inductees

Congrats to the 2023 Hall of Fame Inductees!

2023 Women's Hall of Fame Inductees

Okaloosa County Women’s Hall of Fame 2023

Front row: Five Hall of Fame Inductees: Bonnie Barlow, Col. Teresa Ryan, Lt. Betty Jo Hunter, Cindy Frakes, Judge Patricia Grinsted and Sabina Zanzuge, chair of the OCCW.

Back row: Members of the Okaloosa County Commission on the Status of Women: Michelle Wright, Erin Landman, Jeanne Rief, Glenda Licorwic, Beth Madrigal, Karen Lauer, Trisha Graham, Mitzi Henley and Christie Pratt.

Honorable Patricia Grinsted

Honorable Patricia Grinsted

Professional Leader Inductee

Honorable Judge Patricia Grinsted is the first woman to serve on the bench in Okaloosa County. She was an appointed County Judge from 2004-2021, when she retired. She is currently a Senior Judge appointed by the Florida Supreme Court to sit in all Florida courts.

Patricia Grinsted graduated Cum Laude from Florida State University with a degree in music therapy and earned her Juris Doctorate with high honors from Florida State College of Law. She began her legal career in private practice and was Board certified in Marital and Family Law.

Patricia was actively involved with Okaloosa-Walton Child Care Services, promoting safety and education for vulnerable children. She was president of the Zonta Club, a service organization with the mission of building a better world for women, served on the Board of Directors for the Okaloosa Guidance Clinic (now Bridgeway Center), was a Child Support Hearing Officer, a member of the Mental Health Association of Okaloosa County and later served as presiding Judge over Okaloosa County Mental Health Court.

Patricia Grinsted served on the First Judicial Circuit Bench & Bar Professionalism Committee. She was Chair of the Canvassing Board of Okaloosa County overseeing local, state and national elections and an active member of the Florida Bar and Okaloosa Florida Association for Women Lawyers

Col. Teresa W. Ryan

Col. Teresa W. Ryan

Military Inducte

Colonel (Retired) Teresa Ryan DNS served our nation with distinction as an obstetrics nurse, flight nurse, research team nurse, Staff Development Officer, Assistant Chief Nurse, Sexual Assault Responder, and Chief Nurse. Her service spanned from Langley AFB to Operation Desert Storm, Duke Field Eglin AFB, to Medical Education and Combat Casualty Reserve during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She left active duty and joined the Air Force Reserve’s 919th Medical Squadron at Duke Field and served as the OIC of the Immunizations Clinic.

Dr. Ryan is currently Assistant Professor, School of Nursing at NWFSC. She served as an Intelligence Specialist in the United States Navy Reserve from 1983 to 1987, holding a TOP SECRET Security Clearance. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Texas Christian University, then receiving her Doctorate from LSU, Dr. Ryan advanced to an impressive career of leadership and counsel to groups like Healthy Start Coalition, preparing the Pathway for Military Combat Medics legislation, and designing curriculum for NWFSC Nursing Program.

She is a published author in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing and received many awards including the Military Order of the Purple Heart Special Recognition Award and Meritorious Service Medals with the USAF Nurse Corps.

Bonnie Barlow

Bonnie Barlow

Carolyn Spencer Humanitarian Inductee

Positivity is a perfect description of Bonnie Barlow – She is never without a smile and she radiates sincerity. Bonnie has been with Bridgeway Center for 38 years. Bonnie has led Bridgeway since 2018. Florida Trend Magazine has recognized Bridgeway as one of the Best Companies to work for in 2023.

Bonnie’s history includes serving as the alcohol Center Secretary and she also taught Driver Improvement and managed the DUI school. Bonnie leads her team with the, “HOW CAN WE SAY YES,” to make something work in our community. Bonnie takes great pride in the Bridgeway staff that is comprised 83% of women serving the clientele of Bridgeway that is 54% female. Bonnie believes that if the women serving our community via Bridgeway Center are empowered, the entire community benefits.

Bonnie lends her expertise to several local boards including pportunity Place and the Ft. Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce. She is also an honorary commander for Eglin’s 33 fighter wing. Bonnie put the people in place to oversee One Hopeful Place, a shelter for disadvantaged men and women. OHP is now thriving.

Cindy Frakes

Cindy Frakes

Community Service Inductee

“There is no greater trailblazer or advocate in lifting women up than Cindy Frakes. She has dedicated her adult life to eliminating barriers that prevent women from reaching levels of achievement.” This quote is from the endorsement letter of Kay Rasmussen, associate director of One Okaloosa.

As a military spouse, Cindy has supported endless women new to that challenging lifestyle. As an accomplished advocate, family has always come first for Cindy, she is committed to serving others.

A list of her significant contributions includes: an Okaloosa resident and professional real estate agent for over 40 years; Okaloosa County School Board elected position for 16 years; Guardian ad litem volunteer representing abused and neglected children; Northwest Florida State College Foundation member raising scholarship funds; Opportunity Place past chair providing housing for homeless families; Taylor Haugen Foundation board member promoting sports safety and protection; Honorary Commander of the 505th Command & Control; former active member of the Junior League; member Daughters of the American Revolution Choctawhatchee Bay Chapter and Past Chair Economic Development Council of Okaloosa County (One Okaloosa).

Lt. Betty Jo Hunter

Lt. Betty Jo Hunter

Pioneer Inductee

Lt. Betty Jo Hunter was known as Momma Jo at the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Eric Aden nominated her for the Okaloosa Women’s Hall of Fame as a Pioneer. Betty Jo was the wife of an active military person and had one son. She worked in the administration of five Sheriffs. She began her career as the first lady law enforcement officer for the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s office in 1967.

She broke boundaries as she was promoted through the ranks becoming the first woman investigator, sergeant, and lieutenant. In the mid 1980’s Lt. Hunter became a regional expert on the investigation of crimes against women and children. She spearheaded efforts to bring justice to victims of sexual violence. She was constantly called upon to travel and assist with sex crimes investigations throughout the area.

Her 27-year career left a legacy of service and leadership and made her an encouragement to women considering a career in law enforcement. Lt. Hunter said that she loved going to work each day. The Sheriff’s Office team was like her extended family, and she kept them all in line. She was very proud of her work creating teams across our law enforcement community, where women officers were trained in handling sexual violence cases with kindness, compassion and expertise.