O&P Woman of the Year

OPGA is Proud to Announce its 6th Annual O&P Woman of the Year Award

Award Recipient To Be Announced During the AOPA National Assembly

Open to all women in the profession, the O&P Woman of the Year Award will be presented to someone who has made significant contributions to her patients, community, business, and the O&P profession throughout her career.

Award Details and Selection ProcessPAST WINNERSSELECTION COMMITTEE


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Award Details and Selection Process

OPGA is organizing the Woman of the Year award campaign, and a selection committee made up of O&P professionals will be tasked to select the winner. The award will be presented at the AOPA National Assembly from September 28 - October 1 in San Antonio, Texas. More details coming soon!

Past Winners

Ashlie White, 2021Kathleen DeLawrence, 2020 Lisa Guichet, 2019 Karen Edwards, 2018 JoAnne Kansas, 2017

Selection Committee

Dr Kenton Kaufman

Kenton R. Kaufman, Ph.D., P.E.

Dr. Kenton Kaufman is the W Hall Wendel Jr Musculoskeletal Research Professor, Director-Motion Analysis Laboratory, Professor of Bioengineering, and Consultant in the Departments of Orthopedic Surgery, Physiology and Biomedical Engineering at Mayo Clinic. He is a registered professional engineer. He has published over 265 papers and holds 8 patents. He is a Fellow in the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, American Society of Biomechanics, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and International Society of Biomechanics. Dr. Kaufman currently serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Prosthetics 2020 for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association. He is leading an effort to develop a national Limb Loss and Preservation Registry.

Karen Edwards

Karen Edwards

Karen Edwards is the founder and Director of the Ossur Women’s Leadership Initiative, as well as a Sr. Area Manager for Prosthetics for Ossur in Arizona and Utah. Karen has 14 years of experience in the orthotic and prosthetic field, as well as extensive experience in advertising. Karen has written articles for the OPGA Connection, O&P Almanac, and O&P Edge, has been featured on The Change Makers Podcast, and was awarded the 2018 OPGA Woman of the Year Award. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and lives in Phoenix, AZ.

Mike Sotak

Michael A. Sotak

Michael Sotak is a senior executive and corporate officer with extensive domestic and international experience in manufacturing, distribution, service, and retail. He has more than 30 years of experience in the medical industry including pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and orthotics and prosthetics. Michael is consistently recognized for his ability to articulate a vision and drive business solutions within complex and challenging environments to yield both top and bottom line growth. He is a business strategist with a unique ability to reposition businesses resulting in significant increases to both scale and efficiency.

Mike is currently President and CEO at PEL, LLC, a leading distributor of O&P solutions. Prior to joining PEL, he was Group VP & General Manager at Invacare where he was responsible for six businesses within the Outcomes Management Group.

Nicole Ver Kuilen

Nicole Ver Kuilen

Nicole lost her left leg to osteosarcoma at age 10 and has made it her life’s goal to raise the standard of care for all amputees. She is the founder of the nonprofit advocacy organization, Forrest Stump, with the mission to promote equitable access to physical activity for individuals with disabilities. In 2021, she joined the nonprofit, the Range of Motion Project (ROMP), as Associate Director of Development, bringing her extensive experience in nonprofit leadership and focus on advocacy, sport and recreation to help broaden ROMP’s mobility mission: to provide high quality prosthetic care in underserved populations. Prior to ROMP and Forrest Stump, Nicole pursued a career in sustainability, working for Clean Energy Coalition, a nonprofit consulting firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan and serving as Assistant Director for the University of Michigan’s School for Environment and Sustainability $40-million Victors for Michigan fundraising campaign. Nicole graduated from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business with a bachelors in business administration with a focus on strategy and marketing. In her free time, Nicole enjoys racing triathlon, hiking in the PNW, and serving as a peer mentor to other amputees around the globe.