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Williams wins business honor

Peri Williams poses with Mark O'Connor of KCUE/KWNG after he announced the Republican Eagle employee is the 2013 Business and Professional Woman of the Year.1 / 2
Comedian C. Willi Myles said he appreciates that women run the world. "I should know. I have nine sisters. Each with six friends. You do the math."2 / 2

Peri Williams is used to being on stage, but only when all eyes are on one of her best-in-show toy Australian shepherds. That's how she likes it.

On Wednesday, she admitted feeling a little uncomfortable as she and four others waited for the emcee to announce the 2013 Business and Professional Woman of the Year. That feeling changed to "stunned" when her name was called.

"I was so honored to be nominated. I never expected to win. Ever," said Williams, who is the public notice coordinator at the Red Wing Republican Eagle.

The other nominees were Mistie Hove of Domino's Pizza, Jayne Grupe of Winona Occupational Rehabilitation Center, Michelle Westberg of Treasure Island Resort & Casino and Sharon McCord of McCord Executive Search.

"I thought for sure it would be one of these accomplished women," Williams said.

The news industry is in a state of flux, requiring every operation to adapt, innovate and change, her nomination letter said. If they are to survive and grow, media companies need employees who see this transition as an opportunity, not a burden.

That's Williams, her coworkers said.

"With dedicated, committed employees like Peri, Red Wing's 155-year-old institution will continue to serve the community -- online and in print -- for decades to come," letter concluded.

@Sub heads:Love life

@Normal1: The award is part of the Business and Professional Women's Colloquium held at Treasure Island Resort & Casino. The day was heavy on fun and high on energy, including a peppy fashion show set to music.

Women laughed and until many of them cried listening to stand-up comedian C. Willi Myles.

Woven into humorous stories about women (he has nine older sisters) and work and the weather -- especially Minnesota weather, he offered little nuggets about living a life of laughter.

He specializes in what he calls observational humor. Everywhere you go, funny things are happening if you just look for them.

"Love what you do. Have fun with it," he said.

Anne Jacobson

Anne Jacobson has been editor of the Republican Eagle since December 2003. 

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