By Dan Boyd
Journal Capitol Bureau
SANTA FE — Twenty women from around the state will be honored tonight in Albuquerque as the 2009 Governor’s Outstanding New Mexico Women award recipients.
The 24th installment of the annual event recognizes women for community leadership, equality-based advocacy efforts and career accomplishments.
The New Mexico Commission on the Status of Women will host the event at the
Hotel Albuquerque at 7 p.m.
In addition to the 20 award recipients, Cayetana Romero will receive the
commission’s 2009 lifetime achievement award
The award recipients are:
n Jane Dunn Bradley: Bradley, of Albuquerque, is an entrepreneur who has been a
strong advocate for small business, a community volunteer and a supporter of the arts.
n Carolyn Epling: Epling, of Albuquerque, is the chairwoman of the Military
Officer’s Association of America’s widow services, which helps 62,000 people cope
with losing a loved one.
n Shira Greenberg: Greenberg, of Albuquerque, is the founder of Keshet Dance
Company, a nonprofit studio that offers classes for individuals with physical
n Marie M. Kenny: A longtime teacher for Albuquerque Public Schools, Kenny has
led Martineztown House of Neighborly Services and currently serves as the president of
the group’s board of directors.
n Rita McGrane: McGrane is the mother of James McGrane Jr., a Bernalillo County
sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the line of duty in 2006. McGrane has since founded
a training fund in her son’s honor that provides training to 300 officers per year at no
cost to their agencies.
n Carolyn Ortega: Ortega, of Albuquerque, has volunteered for years for the New
Mexico ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) Association and has helped to raise thousands of
dollars for the organization.
n Dr. Linda Romero: Romero, an associate professor at University of New Mexico’s
School of Medicine, is a geriatrician who is also active in many community endeavors.
n Eleanor Wald: Wald, of Albuquerque, co-founded the Viles Foundation, a group
that assists orphaned children in Mora and San Miguel counties with education costs.
Wald sits on the Viles Foundation board.
â�� Peggy Weigle: The executive director of the Albuquerque-based Animal
Humane since 2006, Weigle has overseen the care of nearly 13,000 animals.
n Judi Waters: Waters, a former Carlsbad city councilor, came up with the idea for an
all-night, no-alcohol graduation party for high school seniors 20 years ago. Since then,
Carlsbad has had no fatal accidents on graduation night.
n Betty McKnight: McKnight, of Chaparral, has worked tirelessly since retiring 15
years ago to clean up tires and other trash, address illegal dumping and remove graffiti
in her community.
â�� Audrey Jaramillo: Jaramillo, of Edgewood, serves on the Moriarty-Edgewood
school board and is widely known in the area for her work as a community organizer.
â�� Francisca Palochak: Palochak, of Grants, has enacted reforms in her position
as deputy court executive officer for the 11th District Court in McKinley County that
have made the judicial system more accessible to victims of domestic violence and
those representing themselves.
n Pamela Angell: Angell, of Las Cruces, is the executive director of the Mesilla
Valley Community of Hope, a nonprofit group that works with homeless people in
Doña Ana County.
â�� Barbara Maydew: A Los Alamos National Laboratory computer support
technician, Maydew has also volunteered at Friends of the Shelter, a nonprofit group
that focuses on the welfare of shelter animals.
â�� Dr. Teresa Smith de Cherif: Smith de Cherif, of Los Lunas, is a specialist in
the field of infectious diseases who also sits on the Valencia Soil and Water
Conservation District board. She is in Africa, working on the swine flu.
â�� Dr. Roselyn Herrera Rael: A professional social worker, Herrera Rael works
primarily with those with special needs and underserved populations. She lives in
â�� Teresa Naranjo: Director of the Santa Clara Pueblo Community Library,
Naranjo has worked to preserve Santa Clara’s Tewa language and other aspects of the
â�� Michelle Rogers: Rogers, of Santa Fe, is a business owner and entrepreneur
who is actively involved in community affairs.
n Martha Vázquez: Vázquez is the first female federal chief justice in New Mexico
history. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she was appointed by President Bill
Clinton to her current post