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.
For her time dedicated to communities of color, centering their narratives and doing the decades-long work to dismantle discriminatory systems, Distelhorst is a recipient of the Woman of the Year 2021 Award.
Editor’s note: This Women of the Year award goes to all of the hardworking frontline nurses who have been relentlessly treating patients with coronavirus for more than 18 months. The Spokesman-Review interviewed three nurses who work in intensive care units in the Inland Northwest for this story.
Bellefeuille, a pastry chef with more than 20 years of experience in baking and culinary arts, plans to mentor young adults with physical and developmental disabilities through the Village Bakery, which is slated to open next month at 190 W. Hayden Ave. in Hayden.
Forget the myriad mother-in-law jokes when it comes to Suzanne Ostersmith and Christi Smith. They are a walking mutual admiration society. The latter nominated the former for Women of the Year and wasn’t taken aback when Browne's Addition's Ostersmith was selected for the recognition.
Throughout her life in ministry for the United Church of Christ, CastroLang – better known as "Pastor Andy" – and her congregants have fought for issues including support for at-risk populations, marriage equality, racial equity and environmental activism.
Waldref, 41, a Gonzaga Prep alumnus and former United States Assistant Attorney in the office, was sworn in to lead it Oct. 7 after nomination and confirmation in the U.S. Senate. She took the oath with four former U.S. attorneys for the office, her northeast Spokane-bred family and several members of the legal community, including former coworkers that are the workhorses of an office she'll manage.