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Women Inspiring Hope and Possibility

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


WOMEN INSPIRING HOPE AND POSSIBILITY -- (Extensions of Remarks - April 27, 2004)

SPEECH OF
HON. HEATHER WILSON
OF NEW MEXICO
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, APRIL 27, 2004

Mrs. WILSON of New Mexico. Mr. Speaker, in honor of Women's History Month, I asked New Mexicans to send me nominations of women in New Mexico who have given special service to our community, but may have never received recognition for their good deeds.

On Friday, March 19, 2004, I had the honor and privilege of recognizing forty-one worthy nominations describing sacrifices and contributions these women have made for our community. The people who nominated the women describe the dedication they have witnessed: volunteer hours for veterans services, service on non-profit boards, homeless programs, mentors for young women, healthcare providers going above the call of duty, child advocates, volunteers at churches and synagogues, successful business women, wives, mothers and friends.

Allow me to share information about this year's nominees:

Charlotte Anderson-Charlotte is a person who goes out of her way every single day to help others. She works through her church, community, and through her job at Jiffy Lube to make other peoples lives easier, and happier.

Sandra Begay-Campbell-Sandra's work with Native American tribes truly inspires hope for improving conditions and providing new possibilities through technology for Native Americans and others in rural areas. As a member of the Navajo Nation, she serves as a cultural interpreter to both Sandia and the Navajo Nation.

Jo Ann Clements-Jo Ann served as President of the City Council for Beta Sigma Phi in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho. Her tireless efforts earned her Beta Sigma Phi's top honor as "Woman of the Year." She also served on this year's "Women on the Move" committee for the YWCA, where she encouraged nominations, sold sponsorships and ads, and
did whatever she could to make the event successful.

Sandy Cody-Sandy is owner of Resources for Excellence, a small, woman-owned business. Sandy generously donates her time and skills to non-profit agencies like Alzheimer's Association, Southeast Community Economic Alliance, and Goodwill Industries, to make life better for people in need and in risk.

Rose Diaz-Rose is the 2004 President of the Oral History Association. She also served on the NAFTA Committee for Enterprise for the Americas Act and the Good Neighbor Environmental Board. She is a former Executive Committee member of the Board of Directors of the National Council on Public History.

Lori Dotson-Lori has dedicated her career to improving the quality of life within her community through protection of the environment, including serving as an Expert Witness to successfully protect the groundwater supply in her community. Lori has designed and managed projects to clean contaminated groundwater and contaminated sites. She is also a key member of the organizing committee for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation: Sandia Peak Challenge.

Katherine Fishback-In 1945, Katherine opened the Fishback Studio of dance. Fishback served on several national dance organization faculties. She received a 50-year Life Achievement Award for her teaching career from Dance Masters of America, Inc.

Jessie Fitzgerald-Jessie was the first woman County Extension Agent in the United States. She served on the Lava Soil and Water Conservation District Board in Grants for many years before moving to the Albuquerque area and joining the Ciudad Soil and Water Conservation District.

Linda Gabaldon Ward Hersee-Linda is very active with Thunderbirds Little League. She serves as the Team Mom, Sponsor Director. Linda is very active in the community and is always there to help.

Aileen Gallegos-Aileen is a current Board Member at Ronald McDonald's House; graduate of Leadership Albuquerque; and active choir member at Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

Verna Gurule-Verna is a fourth grade teacher at Alvarado Elementary School in the North Valley. Volunteers who work with her have witnessed her devotion to her class and her tireless efforts to give her students every opportunity to participate in an enriched curriculum.

Bonnie Herbert-A member of Assistance League of Albuquerque for 19 years, she became President of the organization in 1998, and now is their National Director of Philanthropic Projects.

Kitsie Hilaire-Kitsie has volunteered with the American Red Cross for over twenty years. Since her arrival to Albuquerque in 1999, Kitsie has been instrumental in improving their community's emergency response and preparedness skills. Kitsie is also a volunteer with the "Hearts Apart Program" on Kirtland Air Force Base.

Michelle Holdren-Her community involvement has her working with Youth At Risk, a mentoring program in the Rio Rancho Area, and Northside Civitans has her work with the youth at Youth/Diagnostic and Development Center, the Camino Nuevo Youth Center, and El Ranchitos Del Los Ninos. Michelle devotes a great deal of time to the Multiple Sclerosis Society, American Cancer Society, Alzheimer's Association, and Project Share.

Regina Lee Hunter-Regina has done much to make Sandia National Laboratories a better place to work for Sandians with handicaps. As a founding member of Sandia's Disability Awareness Committee, she has worked to have specific handicapped parking marked and to have enforcement for the usage of these locations.

Nobie Hurley-Nobie moved to Albuquerque in 1960. She was the Director of Volunteer Services for St. Joseph's Hospital from 1976 to 1997. Since retirement Nobie has been volunteering her time at the Bernalillo County Republican Party as well as the State Republican Party. Nobie was recently asked by Archbishop Sheehan to be on his advisory council for the National newspaper publication of "The people of God."

Cristina Jaramillo-Cristina has served as President for the Valencia Shelter for Victims of Domestic Violence, Chairman of the University of New Mexico Valencia Campus Development Board, and as a member of the Belen Chamber of Commerce Board, and Belen Noon Optimists. Cristina currently serves as a member of the United Way of Central New Mexico Women in Leadership Council, New Mexico Financial Corporation and Ranchers Banks Board of Directors, United Way's Valencia County Community Board, UNM-VC Development Board, Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Albuquerque Reads Committee, and as a representative member of the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber and the Boys and Girls Club of Valencia County.

Michelle Judkins-Michelle worked fulltime for 15 years to raise money for the care of elderly people that could not afford quality nursing home care, all while raising a child alone. She then supervised and trained Hospice volunteers, and started an upscale Hospice thrift store to raise money.

Lillian Kennesson-Lillian was diagnosed with breast cancer just before her 26th birthday. She was one of the youngest to be treated at UNM Cancer Research and was fortunate to have an amazing doctor. Her family celebrated because she had been placed in remission, until a year later when she was diagnosed with cancer again. This time it was caught in the early stage at age 29. She made a vow to live each day to the fullest, eat healthy and exercise each day.

Susan Kitsch-Susan is the Principle Member of Laboratory Staff at Sandia National Labs, where she administers programs for military and industrial partners primarily in Synthetic Aperture Radar. Susan was a founding member of the NM Compensation and Benefits Association.

Lilly Kutzscher-Two and a half years ago, Lilly's niece had her fourth child. Her niece lost her husband and now is living with her mother. Lilly took it upon herself to care for this child at their home five days a week while her niece and mother work to support the family.

Darlene Leonard-Darlene is the manager of Volunteer Programs in Sandia's Community Involvement Department. She coordinates Make-A-Difference Day for Sandia, and under her leadership, the Sandia program was recognized by Parade Magazine as one of the outstanding programs of its kind. The Thunderbird Awards is a program that Darlene is particularly proud of.

Linda Lee Louie-Linda knew no English when she and her husband married in 1963. Encouraged by her husband, she attended evening classes at the Old Albuquerque High School and studied with a tutor to achieve English literacy.
Linda donates her bilingual skills and knowledge of Chinese culture to benefit Albuquerque and the Asian American community.

Linda Lovato-Montoya-Linda is doing extraordinary things in the fight against breast cancer and was recently recognized by Yoplait, SELF Magazine and the Susan G. Komen Breast CancerFoundation as one of 25 Yoplait Champions. Linda provides support, advocacy, education, and awareness about breast cancer to NM Hispanics.

Emma Lutton-Emma has turned her attention to the youth in her area by forming a Youth Development Program committee which provides youth education activities and senior mentorship. She is also developing programs to enhance Education, Arts and Music and Recreation activities for their youth and seniors jointly.

Rebecca Maloy-Rebecca is a minority business owner of a local construction company, Maloy Construction. She has been recognized with an Outstanding Women's Award from NM Woman Magazine, which also featured her on their cover. Rebecca wrote an article "Business to Crow About," also featured in the magazine.

Joyce Miller-Joyce spends many hours helping out at St. Mark's Church. Often she cooks meals for the needy or seniors. She leads a women's bible group and prepares the altar for services. When St. Mark's Church flooded, she cleaned out the water and debris.

Sheila Nawman-Shortly after 9/11, Sheila was working at her computer when a banner showing a star with five vertical stripes caught her eye. Sheila decided to make a 14 inch by 42 inch banner to display support of those affected by the tragic event. So far, over 1100 banners have been presented.

Audrey Rose Ornelas-Audrey has accomplished her dream of obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. To get to this point she had to go beyond her disabilities, not only physical but learning disabilities as well. She underwent several brain surgeries due to brain injuries, and she is also dyslexic and has other learning disabilities. She plans to continue on to Highlands University for a master's degree in counseling with an emphasis on children and adolescents
who are handicapped.

Beth Pattillo-As a full-time working mother in Los Alamos County, Beth runs errands and shovels driveways for elderly neighbors, makes meals for the sick, babysits to give stressed moms a break, leads a Girl Scout Troop, and teaches in her church.

Tara Ransom-Tara is a junior at La Cueva High School. She volunteers at Casa Esperanza, Joy Junction, Roadrunner Food Bank, Balloon Fiesta, and the Doggie Dash and Dawdle. Tara developed hydrocephalus as a small baby and has had six surgeries on her brain. The only medical option to keep Tara alive is a shunt, a drain made of silicone. Silicone has been branded as dangerous and it has been a constant fight for most of Tara's life to keep the material available.

Karen Renschler-Karen is the mother of autistic twin sons, who are now 19 years old. Karen is now a teacher, developing a fine arts program for 40 severely handicapped children with exceptionalities ranging from blindness to cerebral palsy to autism.

Karen Robinson-Karen is a dedicated, full time volunteer, encouraging students in the area of science and math. She teaches hands-on science at Collet Park Elementary School. At Grant Middle School, she plays a very important role with their 8th grade Science Class. She also helpsorganize their science fair and prepares 18 students to go on to the Southwest Regional Science Fair.

Audrey Roybal-This nomination was made on behalf of Annette's seven-year-old son who thinks the world of his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Roybal. She makes learning fun, she is very compassionate, caring, professional, and informative.

Juanita Sanchez-Juanita is a member of the Laboratory Staff at Sandia National Labs running the United Way campaign at Sandia for the past 12 years. Juanita also serves on the United Way's Campaign Cabinet and serves on the Board of Directors for the Peanut Butter and Jelly Preschool.

Carol Schulze-Carol began volunteering with the American Red Cross Mid-Rio Grande Chapter in August 2000 and has been a valuable resource to them ever since. After completing basic disaster training, Carol began volunteering at the chapter office full-time as a caseworker, assisting disaster clients with their needs.

Georgia Seery-Georgia taught physical education and spent her entire professional career in Socorro. Georgia and her husband started many community youth programs introducing golf. She was a leader and a teacher by example. She held high standards and expectations. She was organized and objective. She challenged her students to do their best in academics and sports. She has made a difference in hundred of young lives.

Bonnie Snowdon-Bonnie is the mother of a mentally ill son who is now in his 30's. She works tirelessly for better treatment of the mentally ill, gives much time and effort to supporting the mentally ill, gives them hope, and suggests ways for them to better themselves despite their limitations.

Rosemary St. John-Rosemary has been a volunteer with the American Red Cross Mid-Rio Grande Chapter since January 1999. She has been instrumental in helping the chapter improve service delivery to the Albuquerque community, serving on a Disaster Action Team and assisting people displaced by small local disasters, such as single house fires, with their immediate disaster-caused needs.

Anna Vargas-Anna currently attends Albuquerque Job Corps. Anna was born in Mexico, but left that country to get away from an abusive father. In 2000, she went to the shelter for victims of domestic violence and in November of that year, she gave birth to her son. She is now an intern in Congresswoman Wilson's District Office.

Judy Zanotti-Judy had a successful career at PNM and then she retired. She is President of New Mexico First, Judy volunteers for dozens of other organizations. This past year, she served as Mistress of Ceremonies for the luncheon for President Fox from Mexico, co-chair for the 20th Annual Celebration of "Women on the Move," chair of the selections process for the "Ethics in Business" Award, and a member of the committee to select a new Dean of the Anderson Schools of Management at UNM.

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