CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fonda Elliot is accustomed to working in the background, making life better for others.
However, on March 8, she will be among four women in the limelight to be honored at the 17th annual YWCA Women of Achievement Awards luncheon. The event is set for noon to 1:30 p.m. at Embassy Suites.
"I was very surprised and, of course, very honored," Elliot said of the award. "The women who have gone before were a great group of women. To be honored by an organization like the Y is very special."
The women selected as this year's honorees have been recognized for their respective talents and setting examples for future generations.
Elliot, a registered nurse, held an important role in launching a health care business that now includes 11 long-term care and rehabilitation nursing centers throughout West Virginia. As executive vice president of American Medical Facilities Management, she managed the Quality Assurance Program of the family business that has garnered national recognition for its care.
Her husband, John, started the business in 1982. As an architect, he had designed similar facilities for clients and eventually decided to go into the business himself. They were living in Cleveland when the first AMFM facility opened in Summers County. The couple moved to West Virginia in 1989.
The number of facilities has continued to grow over the years along with staff.
"We are very passionate about quality and educating our employees," Fonda Elliot said. "Our front-line caregivers are very dedicated to quality care. Even with 1,000 employees, there is a tight-knit family feeling."
She and her husband, along with some employees, earned bachelor's degrees in Health Services Administration from West Virginia Institute of Technology.
In the late 1990s, the building at the corner of Capitol and Lee streets was purchased to serve as a permanent home for the offices of AMFM, Inc. What some may remember as the old Coyle and Richardson Department Store became Capitol Conference Center. The center may be rented for functions and meetings. AMFM employees gather there for ongoing educational classes as well as to network and support each other.
Elliot, 66, retired five years ago from the business but remains active in community works and enjoys family time.
Fonda and John Elliot have two grown sons, Gregory and Andrew, who are involved in the family business. They also have three grandchildren.