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Women of the Year 2021

Every year, in conjunction with Bank of America, The Spokesman-Review honors women from across Eastern Washington and North Idaho as the Inland Northwest Women of the Year. In this section, we tell their stories and the achievements they’ve accomplished. We share their commitment to making our hometowns better tomorrow than they are today and how they truly inspire and make a difference.

Legacy Women of the Year

  • Elsa Distelhorst

    Honored for ‘intoxicating, incredible energy’ on social justice issues
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  • Susan Boysen

    Nursing professor’s contributions extend far past Spokane
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  • Betty Burley-Wolf

    Pioneer School founder remains called to teach
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This Year's Honorees

  • Frontline Nurses

    For all of the hardworking medical personnel who have been relentlessly treating patients with coronavirus for more than 18 months
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  • Maria "Lupe" Gutierrez

    A voice of reason, compassion and wisdom
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  • Shelly Wynecoop

    When Spokane Arts needed a grant administrator to help fund local art projects, there was one name on everyone's lips
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  • Tracie Swanson

    Leading a food bank through the pandemic, giving people chances
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  • Dana Bellefeuille

    Providing jobs to those with physical, developmental disabilities through the Village Bakery
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  • Janell Turner and Nellie Flatt

    Malden mother and daughter give back to community after losing home in fire
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  • Doris G. Andrews

    A woman of faith who lets her work do most of the speaking
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  • Shauna Edwards

    Lighting the way at a school for teen parents
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  • Suzanne Ostersmith

    Making a difference with dance
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  • Ilze Zarins-Ilgen

    "Angel of mercy" has built trust with Spokane’s homeless population
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  • Andy CastroLang

    Pastor "walks the talk" to promote social justice at Spokane’s oldest church
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  • Vanessa Waldref

    Working to make sure her appointment as female U.S. attorney won’t be last
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