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Wichita Council member a finalist for national award

11/10/2014
Contact: Tom Martin, Senior Associate, Strategic Communications, National League of Cities (NLC) |

Washington, D.C. – Wichita City Council Member Lavonta Williams has been named as one of five finalists for the annual Women in Municipal Government Leadership Award.

The award is presented by Women in Municipal Government (WIMG), a constituency group at the National League of Cities (NLC). It recognizes a female local official for her unique and outstanding leadership in local government, including individual achievement in initiating creative and successful programs in local government. The winner will be announced Friday, Nov. 21, at the WIMG 40th Anniversary Leadership Award Luncheon during the Congress of Cities and Exposition in Austin, Tx.

Councilmembers Williams and Janet Miller are registered to attend the Exposition Nov. 19-22.

In addition to Council Member Williams, the other four finalists are:

  • Gina Cunningham, mayor, City of Woodridge, Ill.
  • Betsy Crossley, mayor, City of Brentwood, Tenn.
  • Alfred Mae Drakeford, councilmember, City of Camden, S.C.
  • Rae A. Sinor, councilmember, City of Deer Park, Tx.

“The WIMG Leadership Award finalists are outstanding local elected officials who serve as mentors and models for future female leaders. Each finalist has worked tirelessly to create better cities for the residents they represent, and we look forward to announcing the winner at the WIMG Leadership Award Luncheon in Austin,” said WIMG President Mildred Crump, council president, Newark, N.J.

Laura Huffman, Texas state director of the Nature Conservancy, will offer keynote remarks at the luncheon. Huffman leads the Conservancy’s North American Urban Conservation program and has advocated for conservation efforts on the local, state and national levels. During a joint reception at the conference, WIMG will also honor Huffman for her civic contributions. In addition to her work with the Nature Conservancy, Huffman has served more than 20 years in public service, including serving as deputy city manager for the city of San Marcos and assistant city manager for the city of Austin, Texas.

Sponsors of the 2014 WIMG Leadership Award Luncheon are Black & Veatch, Comcast, ICMA-RC, Southwest Airlines and Wells Fargo. The WIMG Leadership Award Honorary Chair is Mary Brown, councilwoman, Gary, Ind. and WIMG immediate past president.

Judges for this year’s WIMG Leadership Award are:

  • Laura R. Jaramillo, SVP/community development manager, southwest region, Wells Fargo Government and Community Relations Group
  • Preston V. Lee, Jr., senior director, Industry Relations, Single Family Strategy and Business Management, Freddie Mac
  • David Park, Financial Planning Manager, ICMA-RC
  • Clinton Robinson, Associate Vice President, Black & Veatch Corporation

WIMG is a constituency group of the National League of Cities (NLC). It was formed in 1974 to serve as a forum for communication and networking among women municipal officials and their colleagues interested in addressing women’s issues. It strives to raise awareness about issues of concern to women and encourages women to seek public office in their communities.

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The National League of Cities (NLC) is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.

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