Joy Abel entered the forefront of women’s bowling in the early 1960s and had a banner year in 1966. She took home the title at the prestigious BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) on her way to being named BWAA Bowler of the Year.
Donna Adamek achieved success at a young age and never looked back. She was voted the Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow Award winner as the nation's top junior bowler in 1975 and immediately moved forward as a professional, winning 19 titles. Among those 19 were five majors, including two USBC Queens, two U.S. Women's Opens and the LPBT Sam's Town Invitational. Adamek was honored nationally as BWAA Bowler of the Year for four consecutive years beginning in 1978.
Kim Adler collected 15 PWBA Tour titles from 1993 through 2002, including three major championships. The 1991 PWBA Rookie of the Year captured her first major at the 1996 Hammer Players Championship, and she followed with wins at the 1997 Sam's Town Invitational and 1999 U.S. Women's Open. Adler consistently found her way to the winner's circle on tour, capturing two titles in each season from 1995 through 2000. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame for Superior Performance in 2016.
Loa Boxberger made a splash overseas by winning the Japan Pearl Cup in Tokyo in 1970 and 1971. She also added a Queens title to her resume in 1978, and was victorious in the first nationally-televised women’s professional bowling tournament, the 1974 Brunswick Red Crown Classic.
Pam Buckner won her first PWBA title at the 1975 PWBA Championships and picked up her second major championship at the 1976 USBC Queens. She won her seven PWBA Tour titles between 1975 and 1980. Along with her two major titles, Buckner owns nine career PWBA 300 games and four PWBA 800 series awards. Buckner was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame for Superior Performance in 1990.
Janet Buehler worked in the bowling business for more than 40 years, including more than 25 as a proprietor. She served as the first president of the Ladies Professional Bowlers Association.
LaVerne Carter, a charter member of the PWBA, won the first of her three professional titles at the 1964 BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) on her way to being named Bowler of the Year.
Doris Coburn recorded three professional titles in her career along with three appearances as a finalist at the BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open). She is joined by her daughter, Cindy Coburn-Carroll, in both the PWBA and USBC Halls of Fame.
Cindy Coburn-Carroll joined her mother, Doris Coburn, in becoming the first mother-daughter tandem to be inducted in the PWBA and USBC Halls of Fame. Coburn-Carroll won 15 professional titles throughout her career, highlighted by a win at the 1992 Queens.
Meritorious Service/Builder (2019)
Donna Conners is the founder and executive director of the annual PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles tournament. She has grown the event from 32 teams to its current 160 teams, placing the focus of the event on the players and always willing to find a partner for any woman who wanted to bowl in the event. The 2012 USBC Joyce Deitch Unity Award winner is a member of the Houston and Texas Bowling Halls of Fame and won seven PWBA Regional titles.
Pat Costello notched her first win at the age of 19 on her way to 13 professional titles. She won four titles in 1974, including the first of her two U.S. Women’s Open victories (1980).
Patty Costello claimed 25 professional titles throughout her career. Her 1976 campaign featured a record-setting seven wins, including the U.S. Women's Open. She was named BWAA Bowler of the Year in 1972 and 1976.
Fran Deken was a collegiate and professional woman bowler who distinguished herself off the lanes as an extraordinary advocate for women's bowling. She spent more than three decades as tournament director for the former Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour, a member of the original PWBA board of directors and as a bowling newspaper publisher, freelance writer and bowling radio show hostess.
Carolyn Dorin-Ballard captured 20 PWBA titles from 1991 through 2003, including the 2001 USBC Queens. She was the 2001 PWBA Player of the Year after winning a record-tying seven titles. She tied or broke 11 PWBA records that season, setting the record for most TV appearances in a season with 18. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008.
Anne Marie Duggan
Anne Marie Duggan began her career as a professional bowler with a win and never looked back, capturing 15 titles and earning the 1994 PWBA Player of the Year honors. She won the 1991 U.S. Women’s Open, 1994 Queens and 1995 Sam’s Town Hammer Players Championships to claim the Triple Crown. Duggan is the 2012 Senior Queens champion.
Helen Duval captured two professional titles throughout her distinguished career. She was a four-time finalist in the World’s Invitational and five-time finalist at the BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open). Duval was instrumental in organizing the highly successful youth bowling program in California and spent much of her time abroad helping organize bowling programs in the Philippines.
John Falzone co-founded the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour (LPBT) in 1981 and served as the president and commissioner of the organization. He also was responsible for developing Sam Town’s umbrella sponsorship of the LPBT.
Dorothy Fothergill captured back-to-back BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) wins in 1968 and 1969, and followed her first Queens victory in 1972 with a repeat performance in 1973. In all, Fothergill won 12 professional titles. She was named BWAA Bowler of the Year in 1968 and 1969.
Shirley Garms took home four professional titles, including the 1962 BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open) and earned the distinction of being named the BWAA Bowler of the Year in consecutive years (1961 and 1962). She also was named Chicago’s Bowler of the Decade for the 1960s.
Carol Gianotti became a major champion at age 21, capturing her first professional title at the 1989 USBC Queens. The Perth, Australia, native would claim 16 PWBA titles from 1989 through 2000, adding her second major title at the 1996 Sam’s Town Invitational. She won a career-best four titles during the 1992 season, and, during the 1998 season, claimed two titles on the way to be named PWBA Player of the Year after leading the PWBA in earnings and average. Gianotti was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2011.
Nikki Gianulias won 19 professional titles throughout the course of her career, including four in the 1982 season as she was named BWAA Bowler of the Year. She was named the 1978 Alberta E. Crowe Star of Tomorrow and turned in a performance the following year to earn LPBT Rookie of the Year honors.
Vesma Grinfelds captured 10 professional titles throughout her career. In 1971, she became the first amateur woman bowler to win a professional tournament. She went on to win her next event after becoming a professional, becoming the first woman bowler to accomplish both feats. Grinfelds also took home three titles in the 1978 season.
Leanne Hulsenberg has captured 27 career PWBA Tour titles, which puts her third on the all-time list behind Lisa Wagner (32) and Aleta Sill (31). Two of those victories came at majors (1999 Queens and 2011 U.S. Women’s Open), and she has tallied more than 100 appearances on television throughout her career. Hulsenberg won the 1987 Bowling Digest Rookie of the Year award and became the first bowler to capture back-to-back PWBA Player of the Year honors in 1990 and 1991. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2008.
Mildred Ignizio took the bowling world by storm throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s, winning 10 professional titles between 1967 and 1973. That stretch included back-to-back victories at the Queens in 1970 and 1971 and the 1973 U.S. Women’s Open.
Tish Johnson is a 25-time professional titlist and two-time PWBA Player of the Year (1992 and 1995). She became the third professional bowler ever to bank more than $1 million in career earnings. She also captured the 2018 USBC Senior Queens title.
Pearl Keller was a director of the New York State Women’s Bowling Association (1976-1991), a member of the WIBC Board of Directors (1984-1999) and was co-founder of the Women’s All-Star Association (WASA), an organization for promoting bowling tournaments for highly-skilled women bowlers. She was the executive director of WASA for 31 years. Keller also was a renowned bowling writer, and one of the first three women admitted to membership in the Bowling Writers Association of America.
Marion Ladewig was named the BWAA Bowler of the Year nine times between 1950 and 1963. Among her most lauded achievements is her eight titles at the BPAA Women’s All-Star (now U.S. Women’s Open), five of which she consecutively won. In 1965, she retired from competitive bowling after winning the World Invitational for a fifth time.
Wendy Macpherson won the first of her 20 PWBA titles in 1986, capturing the U.S. Women's Open as an 18-year-old high school senior to become the youngest bowler to win the event. She joined the pro tour that summer, taking PWBA Rookie of the Year honors, and won five more majors in her career – three Queens (1988, 2000, 2003) and two Sam's Town Invitational (1990, 1999) titles. She is one of only two players, along with Mildred Ignizio, to have won the Queens three times. At age 22, she became the youngest winner of the Triple Crown, and she was named PWBA Player of the Year four times over a five-year period from 1996-2000. She was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame in 2009.
Dana Miller-Mackie is a 16-time professional titlist, including victories at the 1983 and 1990 U.S. Women’s Open. She captured multiple titles in five different seasons, and earned the 1983 Robby Award.
Betty Morris took home 12 of her 17 professional wins during the 1970s on her way to being named Bowler of the Decade. She was the Bowler of the Year in 1974 and 1977. The campaign in 1977 included a successful title defense at the AMF Grand Prix and a victory at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Jeanne Naccarato won three of her 10 professional titles during the 1986 season on her way to being named the Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour Player of the Year. She also earned fame on the lanes after rolling 40 consecutive strikes at the Women’s Central States Tournament. She finished her doubles event with seven strikes, before firing games of 300, 300 and 264 for a then-record 864 set in singles. Naccarato is the 2019 USBC Senior Queens champion.
Lorrie Nichols burst onto the scene with a win at the 1972 U.S. Women’s Open and won the 1991 Sam’s Town Invitational as the last of her 15 professional titles. Nichols also helped Team USA take home a gold medal in the four-player team event at the 1971 FIQ World Championships.
Virginia Norton owns eight professional titles over the course of her illustrious career, including three seasons with multiple wins. She was elected to the USBC Hall of Fame at the age of 35, helped by six wins at the USBC Women’s Championships.
Bev Ortner captured two professional titles in her career, but left her mark by becoming the first woman to record an 800 series. She rolled games of 267, 264 and 287 for an 818 series in Oct. 1968.
Jeanette Robinson served the sport and business of bowling as a leader, an organizer, a promoter and a coach. Robinson was president of the Professional Women Bowlers Association for 10 years beginning in 1965. She continued to help promote the sport by organizing the first national tournament for high-average women bowlers ages 50 and older, the National Golden Ladies Classic. On the lanes, Robinson was victorious at the 1974 Dayton Classic.
Meritorious Service/Builder (2022)
Joan Romeo has served countless roles in the bowling industry to help grow the sport and been recognized for her dedication through numerous awards, but her work on behalf of professional women's bowling has left a lasting legacy. She diligently worked to secure sponsorships and promote events throughout the years, and her fundraising efforts helped to create an exhibit to recognize professional women's bowling at the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame. Romeo joins her daughter, Robin, in both the PWBA and USBC Halls of Fame.
Robin Romeo has won 17 professional titles, highlighted by her 1989 campaign where she collected five titles, including the U.S. Women’s Open. That performance earned her BWAA Bowler of the Year honors. Romeo became the first woman to win both the U.S. Women’s Open and Senior U.S. Women’s Open with her victory in 2013, and also captured the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Senior Queens titles.
Aleta Sill won 31 professional titles between 1983 and 2000 and is one of four players to earn more than $1 million over the course of her career. She shined at majors, winning the Queens, U.S. Women’s Open and Sam’s Town Invitational twice each to become the first player, male or female, to win bowling’s Triple Crown twice. Sill was named the 1984 PWBA Player of the Year and 1984 and 1985 BWAA Bowler of the Year.
John Sommer Jr.
John Sommer Jr. dedicated his career to the advancement of youth and women's bowling. He was a partner in the creation of the Ladies Pro Bowlers Tour (later the Professional Women's Bowling Association) in 1980. His efforts and concepts for high school bowling also were important factors leading to the creation of High School Bowling USA (now USBC High School).
Judy Soutar put together a year to remember in 1973 as she won three titles on her way to being named BWAA Bowler of the Year. She became a Queens champion in 1974, and once again was named BWAA Bowler of the Year in 1975.
Kim Terrell-Kearney is a 10-time PWBA Tour titlist and three-time major champion. She was named the 1989 PWBA Rookie of the Year and won her first title in 1990. Her first major victory came at the 2001 U.S. Women's Open, and she collected a second green jacket at the 2008 event. She also is the 2002 USBC Queens champion. The three-time Robby Sportsmanship Award winner was inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame for Superior Performance in 2010.
Georgia Veatch founded the Professional Women’s Bowlers Association and served as the executive director for nine years. Veatch also served on the WIBC Board of Directors and worked as the editor of The Woman Bowler.
Lisa Wagner is the record holder for women’s professional titles with 32, including major victories at the 1988 U.S. Women’s Open and 1996 Queens. She won multiple titles in eight consecutive seasons (1983-1990) and was named BWAA Bowler of the Year four times. Her performance earned her the distinction of being named the 1980s Bowler of the Decade by The Woman Bowler and Bowling magazine.
Donna Zimmerman competed as a professional bowler between 1959 and 1979, capturing her lone professional title at the 1964 Oxnard Open. She is one of the founders of the Worldwide Professional Bowlers Association.