Lawmakers in Wyoming's first territorial legislature granted women full suffrage on December 10, 1869 – 50 years before the 19th Amendment allowed the same rights throughout the United States. Tomorrow will be declared “Wyoming Women’s Suffrage Day” by Governor Mark Gordon to honor the female leaders throughout Wyoming’s history.
Last Friday, December 6th, was additionally a celebration of Women's Suffrage - the 2019 Women's Leadership Award was announced during the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce Luncheon presented by State Farm Insurance, Suzanne Cork Agency.
Five finalists were honored; Kathy Cathcart, ALIGN, Rachel Girt, Girt Communications, Lisa Murphy, Laramie County Community College Foundation, Senator Tara Nethercott, Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC, Stephanie Prescott, RE/MAX Capitol Properties.
Stephanie Prescott of RE/MAX Capitol Properties, was awarded the prestigious leadership award for 2019 by previous recipient Sharon Fain, of Rocky Mountain Power Company.
Senator Tara Nethercott, the keynote speaker at the luncheon, recognized the award finalists as well as the efforts of historic trailblazers - women like Esther Hobart Morris, the first woman in the country to hold public office, for their contributions to unconditional suffrage.
"In our past, lies our future" said Nethercott. "There are lessons to learn from history and our history shapes who we are and who we will become."
When running for office, Nethercott said she did not run as a woman, but a competent and committed candidate. However, looking back through history, she realized even her ability to be running for office was profound. Her opportunity to serve as a senator was a "hard fought-battle" throughout time.
History is memory - we have to remember what it was like to be a pioneer, a settler, a cowboy, a suffragist, an entrepreneur. Nethercott shared her desire for history to repeat itself in Wyoming.
"I hope we are condemned for history to repeat itself. Because we do remarkable things in Wyoming. We are just the people to navigate a time of economic hardship and an uncertain future. It is who we are, it is who we have always been, and it is who we will continue to be."
The strength, tenacity, courage, and boldness of Wyoming women have shaped her story and the stories of countless women across the nation. This year is a true testament to the accomplishments of these women and their willingness to make a place in history.
The 2019 Women's Leadership Award was made possible by the following sponsors:
Presenting Sponsor: State Farm Insurance, Suzanne Cork
Gold Sponsors: iHeartMedia Red Lion Hotel & Conference Center Townsquare Media Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC
Silver Sponsors: ANB Bank Express Employment Professionals First American Title HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC
Bronze Sponsors: ALIGN Bouquets Unlimited Century 21 Bell Real Estate Christine Kronz - Photographer, LLC Coldwell Banker The Property Exchange Laramie County Community College Foundation MHP, LLP RE/MAX Capitol Properties