This year marks the 40th anniversary of the founding of the Flint Women’s Forum, “Genesee County’s premier networking organization for female movers and shakers,” as stated on its website. In celebration of its four decades of service and longevity, Forum members recently heard from the two women who started it all and what inspired them to do so.
Donna Dodds Hamm and Peggy Haw Jury recount what it was like in Flint & Genesee in 1982 for professional women juggling careers, personal ambitions and family obligations in the male-dominated professions and industries of the era. The Forum, as Hamm and Jury explained, offered more than just career support and guidance for women in business. It also provided a well of friendships and relationships for its members – a tradition that continues today.
Hamm went into the family business in the 1960s after graduating from Wayne State University Mortuary School. She was one of only a few women to be licensed in that field at that time. After getting her degree, she became a third-generation funeral director. Hamm owned and operated Dodds-Dumanois Funeral Home in Flint with her partners for over 40 years.
In 1993, she became the 100th president of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association, making history as the first woman elected to the position. She also served on national mortuary science boards. Her service helped pave the way for women in the field here in Michigan and across the United States.
Jury took tax classes at Walsh College and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration at Western Michigan University. She has more than 37 years of experience working in forensic accounting as well as serving governmental, not-for-profit and real estate organizations in all areas of accounting, auditing and management consulting.
Jury is a retired partner of Plante & Moran PLLC, a past Baker College part-time instructor and she still serves as a peer-review CPA for the Michigan Association of CPAs. She was a member of the Michigan Committee on Governmental Accounting and Auditing Statements that worked with the State of Michigan on the state’s governmental auditing and accounting standards.
Below are video segments of Hamm and Jury’s presentation: (volume adjustments may be needed for some portions.)