Women of Excellence

The Elected Women of Excellence Award was created to identify elected women who have worked tirelessly, often breaking down barriers and overcoming obstacles that once seemed insurmountable, to serve their communities. These pacesetters have engendered an environment where women can now serve in public office and fight for the issues they are passionate about.

It is through this Award that we honor these women and their accomplishments. This award was established in 2013 as part of NFWL’s 75th Anniversary Celebration in order to honor the hard work and dedication of women leaders from across the country. At most, one Republican and one Democrat from each state can be selected for this prestigious honor.


Congratulations to our 2022 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees



Senator Sine Kerr, Arizona

Senator Stephanie Stahl Hamilton, Arizona

Representative Carol Dalby, Arkansas

Representative Denise Ennett, Arkansas

County Board Cindy Chavez, California

Representative Mary Bradfield, Colorado

Representative Jennifer Bacon, Colorado

Representative Kate Farrar, Connecticut

Councilwoman Brooke Pinto, DC

Representative Melissa Minor-Brown, Delaware

Senator Kathleen Passidomo, Florida

Senator Lauren Book, Florida

Representative Rhonda Burnough, Georgia

Senator Donna Kim, Hawaii

Representative Mary E. Flowers, Illinois

Representative Jackie Haas, Illinois

Representative Jo Ella Hoye, Kansas

Representative Mandie Landry, Louisiana

Senator Joanne C. Benson, Maryland

Senator Cheryl Kagan, Maryland

Senator Mary Beth Carozza, Maryland

Representative Jamie Zahlaway-Belsito, Massachussets

Representative Mary Franson, Minnesota

Representative Ellen Read, New Hampshire

Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, New Jersey

Representative Rebecca Dow, New Mexico

Senator Valerie Foushee, North Carolina

Representative Tavia Galonski, Ohio

Representative Emily Virgin, Oklahoma

Senator Akasha Lawrence Spence, Oregon

Representative Gina Curry, Pennsylvania

Senator Sandy Senn, South Carolina

Representative Annie McDaniel, South Carolina

Representative Michelle Carringer, Tennessee

Representative Gloria Johnson, Tennessee

Representative Erin Zweiner, Texas

Delegate Amanda E. Batten, Virginia

Delegate Kayla Young, West Virginia

County Board Kari Ives, Wisconsin


Congratulations to our 2021 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees


Representative Gale Adcock, North Carolina

Senator Regina Barrow, Louisiana

Representative Angie Chen-Button, Texas

Senator Jen Day, Nebraska

Senator Jessica De La Cruz, Rhode Island

Representative Sherry Dorsey-Walker, Delaware

Representative Charlene Fite, Arkansas

Representative Sandra Scott, Georgia

Councilwoman Jasmine Gore, Virginia

Senator Penry Gustafson, South Carolina

Representative Natalie Higgins, Massachusetts

Representative Hester Jackson-McCray, Mississippi

Councilwoman Cheyenne Johnson, Tennessee

Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama, Nevada

Representative Cathy Kipp, Colorado

Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Florida

Representative Sylvia Luke, Hawaii

Mayor Debra March, Nevada

Senator Becky Massey, Tennessee

Representative Ina Minjarez, Texas

Representative Candice Pierucci, Utah

Representative Ruth Richardson, Minnesota

Senator Joy San Buenaventura, Hawaii

Councilwoman Sharon Scott, Virginia

Mayor Jules Walters, Oregon

Meet Our 2020 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2020 Women of Excellence winners were presented with an award at our Women of Excellence Reception on Zoom. 


View the zoom recording and join us again as we laughed, told stories, and celebrated our 2020 Women of Excellence Winners.



Chair of Education Rita Allison, South Carolina
State Senator Janice Bowling, Tennessee
Commissioner Tiffany Boyle, Virginia
State Representative Rosemary Brown, Pennsylvania
State Representative Cynthia Browning, Vermont
JP Susan Buckholz, Vermont
State Senator Karen Carter Peterson, Louisiana
State Representative Gilda Cobb Hunter, South Carolina
State Representative Jodi Emerson, Wisconsin
State Representative Julie Emerson,Louisiana
Commissioner Sonna Gregory, Georgia
State Representative Laura Hall, Alabama
State Representative Donna Howard, Texas
Councilwoman Sharon Hurt, Tennessee
State Representative Shelly Hutchinson, Georgia
State Representative DeLena Johnson, Alaska
Councilmember Linda Kochmar, Washington
State Senator Joyce Krawiec, North Carolina
State Representative Joanna McClinton, Pennsylvania
State Representative Lisa Meier, North Dakota
Assemblywoman Carol Murphy, New Jersey
State Representative Amy Nielsen, Iowa
State Representative Val Okimoto, Hawaii
State Senator Sandra Pappas, Minnesota
State Senator Roxanne Persaud, New York
Councilwoman Kymberly Pine, Hawaii
State Senator Sue Rezin, Illinois
Councilwoman Adriana Rocha Garcia, Texas
Council President Dr. Hanifa Shabazz, Delaware
Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield, New Jersey
State Representative Brianna Titone, Colorado
State Representative Jackie Toledo, Florida

Meet Our 2019 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2019 Women of Excellence winners were presented with an award at the Women of Excellence Reception at the Ácenar on Monday, November 18th, during the 2019 Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Councilwoman Lydia Assefa-Dawson, Washington
State Treasurer Allison Ball, Kentucky
Council President Lacey Beaty, Oregon
State Representative Shannon Bird, Colorado
Commissioner Mary Ann Borgeson, Nebraska
State Representative Ruth Briggs-King, Delaware
Delegate Emily Brewer, Virginia
State Representative Terri Carver, Colorado
Mayor Sheila Chalmres-Currin, Illinois
State Senator Sue Crawford, Nebraska
State Senator Kim David, Oklahoma
State Representative Sarah Davis, Texas
State Representative Sylleste Davis, Texas
State Representative Lynn DeCoite, Hawaii
State Representative Barbara Dittrich, Wisconsin
State Senator Diana DiZoglio, Massachussets
State Senator Chris Eaton, Minnesota
Delegate Eileen Filler-Corn, Virginia
State Senator Brenda Gilmore, Tennessee
State Representative Patsy Hazlewood, Tennessee
State Representative Patricia Henegan, South Carolina
Deputy Mayor Susan Honda, Washington
State Senator Karin Housley, Minnesota
State Senator Lorraine Inouye, Hawaii
County Clerk Debbie Jones-Castle, Kentucky
State Representative Sheila Klinker, Indiana
State Representative Liz Linehan, Connecticut
State Representative Valerie Longhurst, Delaware
Councilwoman Maria Marino, Florida
State Representative Linda Massimilla, New Hampshire
Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, Florida
Councilwoman Victoria Napolitano, New Jersey
State Representative Victoria Neave, Texas
Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, New Jersey
Mayor Ushi Reddi, Kansas
Councilwoman Neat Robinson, Georgia
State Representative Kim Schofield, Georgia
Council President Loretta Scott, New York
State Representative Elizabeth Thomson, New Mexico
State Representative Emily Virgin, Oklahoma
State Senator Jackie Winters, Oregon
State Representative Rosita C. Youngblood, Pennsylvania
State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa, Wisconsin

Meet Our 2018 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2018 Women of Excellence winners will be presented with an award at the Women of Excellence Reception at the Newseum on Tuesday, November 13th, during the 2018 Annual Conference in Washington, DC.


Representative Raumesh Akbari, Tennessee
Delegate Angela Angel, Maryland
Supervisor Vernice Avant, Mississippi
State Representative Donna Baringer, Missouri
Assemblywoman Teresa Benitez-Thompson, Nevada
Representative Linda Bennett, South Carolina
Senator Carol Blood, Nebraska
Senator Margie Bright-Matthews, South Carolina
Commissioner Felicia Brunson, Florida
Representative Christie Carpino, Connecticut
City Council Woman Julie Combs, California
Councilwoman Kecia Copeland, Kentucky
City Council President Susan Dabaja, Michigan
Representative Beth Doglio, Washington
Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, Illinois
Speaker of the House Sara Gideon, Maine
Lt. Governor Jenean Hampton, Kentucky
Cape May County Freeholder Marie Hayes, New Jersey
State Senator Sharon Hewitt, Louisiana
State Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman, Oklahoma
Councilwomen Rosie Jackson, Georgia
Representative Sheila Jones, Georgia
State Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner, Nevada
Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, New Jersey
Representative Latha Mangipudi, New Hampshire
State Senator Beth Martinez Humenik, Colorado
Assemblywoman Melissa Miller, New York
Senator Marilyn Moore, Connecticut
Representative Rena Moran, Minnesota
Solicitor General Tasha Mosley, Georgia
Representative Jane Powdrell-Culbert, New Mexico
Representative Cindy Pugh, Minnesota
Representative Linda Joy Sullivan, Vermont
Representative Paula Sutton, Maine
Floor Leader, Marie Waldron, California

Meet Our 2017 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2017 Women of Excellence winners were presented with an award at the Women of Excellence Reception at Target Plaza Commons on Tuesday, November 14th, during the 2017 Annual Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

Assemblywoman Catharine Baker, California
Representative Nancy Ballance, Montana
Representative Andria Bennett, Delaware
Representative Beth Beskin, Georgia
Representative Jill Billings, Wisconsin
Councilwoman Kristen Cloutier, Maine
Representative Janet Cruz, Florida
Senator Gail Davenport, Georgia
Freeholder Melissa DeCastro, New Jersey
Representative Charlotte Douglas, Arkansas
Representative Becky Edwards, Utah
Representative Katie Edwards, Florida
Representative Heather Fitzenhagen, Florida
Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, California
Representative Rosa Gill, North Carolina
Deputy Mayor Lorraine Hatcher, New Jersey
Representative Patricia Haynes-Smith, Louisiana
Representative Debbie Hudson, Delaware
Representative Pat Hurley, North Carolina
Representative Megan Jones, Iowa
Senator Mia Mcleod, South Carolina
Representative Kristy Pagan, Michigan
Mayor Lula Palmer, Mississippi
Commissioner Carolyn Parker, Alabama
Councilwoman Patrice Robinson, Tennessee
Senator Diane Sands, Montana
Councilwoman Tanya Seabrooks, Kentucky
Commissioner Heidi Shafer, Tennessee
Representative Julie Stokes, Louisiana
Representative Beth Turner, Maine
Representative Nancy VanderMeer, Wisconsin
City Councilor Kateri Walsh, Massachusetts
Representative Sheryl Williams Stapleton, New Mexico

Meet Our 2016 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2016 Women of Excellence winners were presented with an award at the Toast to the Women of Excellence ceremony at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel on Wednesday, November 16th, during the 2016 Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida.


Representative Joan Ballweg, Wisconsin
Senator Jennifer Beck, New Jersey
Representative Patti Bellock, Illinois
Representative Stephanie Bolden, Delaware
Representative Brenda Barton, Arizona
Representative Daphne Campbell, Florida
Representative Karen Camper, Tennessee
Mayor Tammy DeWeerd, Idaho
Representative Margaret Doherty, Oregon
Representative Karla Drenner, Georgia
Councilwoman Charlotte Farmer, Texas
Representative Raye Felder, South Carolina
Senator Kay Floyd, Oklahoma
Senator AJ Griffin, Oklahoma
Representative Ellie Hill Smith, Montana
Representative Themis Klarides, Connecticut
Councilwoman Milagros Lecuona, New York
Representative Pat McElraft, North Carolina
City Clerk Brenna McGee, Massachusetts
Representative Helena Moreno, Louisiana
Representative Patricia Morgan, Rhode Island
Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti, Kentucky
Assemblywomen Nancy Munoz, New Jersey
Senator Carla Nelson, Minnesota
Representative Lynne Ober, New Hampshire
Representative Cherrish Pryor, Indiana
Governor Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island
Representative Holly Raschein, Florida
Representative Holly Rehder, Missouri
Representative Bobbie Richardson, North Carolina
County Clerk Sherry Simmons, West Virginia
Representative Heather Sirocki, Maine
Representative Lisa Subeck, Wisconsin
Councilwoman Karen Toles, Maryland
Councilwoman Virginia Vaughn, California
Senator Rebekah Warren, Michigan
Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey
Representative Kimberly Williams, Delaware
Representative Sonya Williams Barnes, Mississippi
Senator Cynthia Wolken, Montana



Meet Our 2015 NFWL Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2015 awards were presented to nineteen honorees at a glamorous Celebration of Excellent Women ceremony in Oklahoma City during NFWL’s recent 2015 Annual Conference.

img_9160Councilwoman Yvette Alexander, District of Columbia
Former Lt. Governor Jari Askins, Oklahoma
Senator Tamara Barringer, North Carolina
Representative Sharon Beasley Teague, Georgia
Senator Linda Collins-Smith, Arkansas
Representative Kimberly Dudik, Montana
Senator Judy Emmons, Michigan
Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, Nevada
Representative Gloria Fox, Massachusetts
Councilwoman Adrienne Fraley Monillas, Washington
Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, Michigan
Senator Barbara Goodwin, Minnesota
Representative Stacey Guerin, Maine
Representative Dianne Hesselbein, Wisconsin
Former Mayor Saundra Naifeh, Oklahoma
Mayor Marni Sawicki, Florida
Senator Katrina Shealy, South Carolina
Freeholder Deputy Director Patricia Walsh, New Jersey
Senator Jackie Winters, Oregon


Meet Our 2014 Elected Women of Excellence Honorees

The 2014 awards were presented at a glamorous Toast to the Women of Excellence ceremony at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during NFWL’s 2014 Annual Conference.

Representative Tonya Anderson, Georgiawomen of excellence group shot
Freeholder Aimee Belgard, New Jersey
Representative Kathy Bernier, Wisconsin
Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, New Jersey
Minority Leader Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Puerto Rico
Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Maryland
Delegate Jolene Ivey, Maryland
Representative Lataisha Jackson, Mississippi
Senator Shirley Kitchen, Pennsylvania
Former State Senator Yvonne Miller, Virginia
Representative Mandy Powers Norrell, South Carolina
Representative Marlene O’Toole, Florida
Representative Keiko Orrall, Massachusetts
Senator Carrie Ruud, Minnesota
Representative Tarah Toohil, Pennsylvania
Commissioner Jewel Ware, Michigan