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Founder of Latina Youth Conference earns 2016 Woman of Distinction award

The Wyoming Council for Women’s Issues will honor 2016 Woman of Distinction award winner Ann Redman during a luncheon held at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 22 at the Cheyenne Radisson.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime award, presented to someone who has made a difference in the lives of women, girls and families in one or more of the Council for Women’s Issues areas of focus: home and community, educational opportunities, employment practices or legal rights and responsibilities.

Redman’s career is flush with political accomplishments achieved under four state administrations, however her Hispanic heritage is her passion. Her contributions to Wyoming Latinas in every arena, from providing educational opportunities to battling to end domestic violence, are what inspired her friends and colleagues.

Chief among those contributions is the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference, which she started in 2000.

“We were awestruck by Ann’s vision of giving young Latinas direct access to some very impressive role models,” said Marcia Britton, former executive director of the Wyoming Humanities Council. “As an outstanding professional and community leader in southeastern Wyoming, she has contributed selfless energy and has demonstrated exceptional passion and commitment to encouraging the recognition of Hispanic people and culture.”

The annual Latina Youth Conference offers about 200 young women the opportunity to meet successful Latinas and participate in workshops on topics related to health, education, careers and culture.

Redman has been a tireless advocate for women and minorities her entire life. She helped start the annual Cheyenne Hispanic Festival, she is an original member of the Wyoming Latina/Latino Coalition, and she sits on several scholarship committees including the Hispanic Organization of Progress and Education.

“Through (H.O.P.E.) I was awarded a scholarship,” said Sara Leach, a participant in the Latina Youth Conference. “Being able to attend the University of Northern Colorado, I have gained a vast amount of knowledge that has made me a well-rounded person with bright hopes for the future. Going to college has broadened my horizons and has opened my eyes to the world and its possibilities.”

Redman also served on Wyoming’s Silent Witness Initiative. The group’s goal is to eliminate all deaths by domestic violence nationwide. In 1997, she marched on the Washington Mall, carrying life-sized red silhouettes to represent women murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.

Her volunteerism has earned her several awards. The Small Business Administration’s 1996 Minority Advocate of the Year, the governor’s 2000 Service and Volunteer Award and the Wyoming Student Leaders of the University of Wyoming’s 2009 Woman of Distinction Award are but a small sample of the wide range of organizations that have recognized Redman’s work.

Redman also distinguished herself during a decorated tenure as an employee of the state of Wyoming. She worked as a grants review coordinator in Gov. Ed Herschler’s office, and served as an International Trade Assistant and Protocol Officer under Gov. Mike Sullivan. Redman served on Gov. Dave Freudenthal’s campaign, chaired his inauguration ceremony and worked in his transition office.

Gov. Jim Geringer appointed Redman to the Industrial Siting Council, which reviews the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of industrial facilities before issuing a permit for construction.

Redman moved to Cheyenne when she was 14 years old. She and her husband, Ralph, have been married 59 years. After traveling with him during a 20-year Air Force career, they returned to Cheyenne to make it their home.

In the ensuing four decades, she has improved the lives of thousands of young women, fought for the rights of the oppressed and disadvantaged, and truly served the state of Wyoming as a Woman of Distinction.

The Wyoming Women’s Council for Women’s Issues is proud to induct Redman into this prestigious club of women who have contributed so much to the state.

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