Republican Women’s club honors dentist |

Republican Women’s club honors dentist

by Tisa Coons
Special to The R-C
Celeste M. Eckerman, DDS (center) is honored as the Douglas County Republican Women's Entrepreneur of the Year Wednesday at the Carson Valley Inn. Pictured with Dr. Eckerman are President Janet Freixas (left) and Vice President Debbie Cutshaw.
Brad Coman |

Business and politics mixed on Wednesday when the Douglas County Republican Women announced their annual entrepreneur of the year award at Carson Valley Inn.

The recipient of this year’s award went to Dr. Celeste Eckerman, who runs her own dental practice in Minden for the last five years. She was acknowledged for her continued success and stellar dental service to the community.

The award ceremony was attended by 40 people including members and candidates running for local offices. Debbie Catshaw, vice president, introduced the recipient, and both she and Janet Frexias, current president, handed out the award. The speaker was Assemblyman Jim Wheeler.

When asked about the significance of this award, Frexias said the award recognizes female Republican women in the valley. Virginia Starrett, former President, further stated that this annual award focuses on dynamic Republican women business owners.

Eckerman, in her acceptance speech, said she was honored to be nominated and accepted in a room with people who share political and lifestyle values like her husband and her. She further highlighted how she loves being a small business owner and that promoting and investing in local communities is pivotal. When asked about her sentiments in receiving this award, Dr. Eckerman acknowledged she was thankful and honored to even be nominated, let alone winning. She said her patients who are members of DCRW nominated her.

Frexias said nominations from their members are sent to a committee which appraises all the nomination forms and then selects their winner. She noted that the award has been handed out as long as their group as been in existence which would make it close to 50 years. Virginia Starrett concluded that they are “never short of great candidates” each year.

Wheeler had only high praise for the award. When asked about the impact of the award, he stated that this award highlights the importance in “working in and with local communities”. Further he stated how pivotal it is to recognize valued members of the community.

He concluded by extolling the work achieved by women’s groups, he said “if you want things done in Nevada, go to ladies’ clubs.”

Many of the members attending the ceremony luncheon spoke of the knowledge they gained by attending DCRW’s monthly meetings. Denice Castro, current member, said that she finds being a member of this group quite informative, and that she has learned about the political process. Maxine Rodowicz, a new member, noted how she is kept abreast about the area and the Capital by the speakers at their monthly meetings. She concludes that the reason behind federated women’s groups is to educate the public. Cheryl Van Ocker, a 16-year member, praised the group as “absolutely the best group ever’, and that members were like “sisters, and very loving.”

Douglas County Republican Women’s group hosts monthly luncheon meetings where they learn about their community and plan outreach opportunities for local charitable organizations.