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2021 Women of the Year

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

This Year's Honorees


Inside the ICU in 2021: from hope to burnout

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.
A&E >  Stage

Suzanne Ostersmith makes a difference with dance

UPDATED: Wed., Oct. 27, 2021

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.
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Women of the Year: Vanessa Waldref working to make sure her appointment as female U.S. attorney won’t be last

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.

See previous honorees