For an organization such as NFWL, in which all members are leaders in their every day lives, there is never a shortage of women lining up to serve in any way they can. The elected women of NFWL who volunteer to be leaders within the organization are always looking to not only fulfill the responsibilities of their positions, but also to bring more to the role they already play. This dedication to earn the title they hold is exemplified in our State Directors. This month, as part of our Elected Women Interview Series, we had the opportunity to speak to some of our State Directors and give them kudos for the role they play.
When Illinois Representative Barbara Wheeler was approached by a young girl from her state and asked to be her sponsoring legislator as part of the NFWL/NRA Bill of Rights Scholarship program, she had never heard of the National Foundation for Women Legislators. She attempted to put this girl in touch with representatives closer to her geographically, but her young admirer was determined to have Wheeler. Upon reading the essay she today calls “remarkable,” Representative Wheeler agreed to sponsor her. Thus, NFWL gained a devoted member and State Director.
Representative Wheeler now serves as the Midwestern Regional State Director. In her duties, she leads outreach and recruitment for new members in targeted states. She also helps allocate funding for the education of elected women through our conferences, summits, and other programs.
“Being named a NFWL Regional State Director has provided excellent opportunities to reach out to other women leaders throughout the country,” said Wheeler. “The National Foundation for Women Legislators is the embodiment of serious legislators whose major priorities are to improve their state, share success (and failure) stories, and provide resources to each other.”
For Councilwoman Maria Cabrera, NFWL Delaware State Director, coming together to share these stories is one of the main aspects she loves about being a State Director. As the first Latino woman to serve in her position, Cabrera loves to lead the pack and has done so diligently as our State Director.
“I am able to network and share ideas with my sisters from NFWL. I have learned how to be a better leader and address issues that may not have been on my radar when I was first elected,” said Cabrera.
The Councilwoman is responsible for helping to share the opportunities, programs, and events NFWL has to offer to elected women in her state. She became involved in the organization out of a firm belief that elected women needed to come together, from across different states and parties, to share legislative ideas and bring solutions from one state to another. Perhaps out of this passion for inspiring leadership in others, Cabrera has recently announced her candidacy for Mayor of Wilmington. If elected, she would be the first woman to hold the office, continuing her legacy of blazing trails for women everywhere.
Our State Directors are the heart and soul of our membership. They bring this organization to life in the hearts and minds of women legislators across the nation. Many have brought countless women into the NFWL family, and continue to work diligently for this organization every day.
Over the next few months, NFWL will once again ask our members to fill out their “Willingness to Serve” forms, and with that in mind we wanted to take a moment to honor Representative Wheeler, Councilwoman Cabrera, and all NFWL State Directors for their service to this organization, to their country, and to women everywhere.
Are you interested in becoming an NFWL Leader? Click here to fill out your Willingness to Serve form today!