Award recipient to be announced during virtual AOPA National Assembly.

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

Award Details and Selection ProcessPast WinnersSelection CommitteeMake A Nomination


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 during the virtual AOPA event on Wednesday, Sept. 9. More details coming soon!

“We hope to not only highlight existing leaders, but also inspire action and mentorship to grow the O&P architects of tomorrow,” Eagen adds. 

Sound like someone you know?


Nomination period closes July 15.


past winners


Lisa Guichet, 2019

Karen Edwards, 2018

JoAnne Kanas, 2017


Selection Committee


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

Dr. Kaufman is a W. Hall Wendel Jr. Musculoskeletal research professor, director of the Motion Analysis Laboratory, professor of bioengineering, and consultant in the departments of orthopedic surgery, physiology, and biomedical engineering at Mayo Clinic. He has published more than 265 papers and holds eight patents. Dr. Kaufman is a registered professional engineer and 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. He currently serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Prosthetics 2020 for the American Orthotic and Prosthetic Association and is leading an effort to develop a national limb loss and preservation registry.

Karen Edwards

Karen Edwards is the founder and director of the Össur Women’s Leadership Initiative as well as a senior area manager for prosthetics for Össur 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, Arizona.

Nicole Ver Kuilen

Nicole Ver Kuilen lost her left leg below the knee to cancer at age ten and has made it her life’s goal to expand access to prosthetic technology for all amputees.

She has completed a 1,500-mile triathlon down the west coast to raise awareness for amputee rights, lobbied members of Congress in Washington, D.C., and summited Ecuador’s 19,347 ft. Cotopaxi with the Range of Motion Project. Her documentary film, “1500 Miles,” is currently touring the country and has been honored by twelve international film festivals, including a “Best Documentary” award. She also races triathlons competitively and was recently crowned National Champion at the 2019 Paratriathlon National Championships.

Nicole is the founder of the non-profit advocacy organization, Forrest Stump (www.ForrestStump.org), with the mission of promoting equitable access to physical activity for individuals with disabilities. She is now embarking on an impact tour across the country to share her film and to advocate for disability rights.

Michael A. Sotak

Michael A. 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. Mike 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 and general manager at Invacare where he was responsible for six businesses within the Outcomes Management Group.



MAKE A NOMINATION By Filling Out the Form Below

Nomination period closes July 15. Any nominations received after the deadline will not be accepted. Nominate a deserving leader within the O&P profession by filling out the form below: