WEST DES MOINES – The Iowa Federation of Republican Women (IowaFRW) held its biennial Convention, “A Salute to the Veteran”– featuring a prodigious lineup of speakers, award presentations to members, recognition of outgoing officers, and installation of new leadership – at the Sheraton in West Des Moines on Saturday, October 12.
Tammy Pink of Cedar Rapids, an Independence native, was sworn in as the organization’s treasurer during the event.
“The enthusiasm and high energy felt from IowaFRW members from around the state was contagious at our convention,” said Gloria Mazza of Clive, IowaFRW president, who chaired the event. “It was evident that these women are ready to hit the ground to work to get Republicans elected.”
Mazza has served as president for 2018-2019 and will continue to serve on the federation’s executive committee as immediate past president for the 2020-2021 biennium. The IowaFRW extends sincere appreciation to Mazza for her leadership, mentoring skills, and wisdom throughout her term.
Special guest Ann Schockett, president-elect of the National Federation of Republican Women (NFRW) from New York, said, “Together, and only together, we move like a well-oiled machine and get things done. But as Mario Andretti said, ‘If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.’ So, who’s ready to go full throttle in 2020? To do that, every member and every club in every state is going to be critical for success!”
Mazza passed the gavel at the end of the convention to newly elected president Barbara Hames-Bryant of Cedar Rapids.
“Our incoming national president has set the tone for the federation for the next two years with her Mario Andretti quote,” said Hames-Bryant. “Here in Iowa, the eyes of all the world are on our presidential caucuses. As Republicans, we have our foot on the gas and we will not let up as we advance our principles and elect conservatives.”
The convention theme, “A Salute to the Veteran,” was chosen to celebrate those who gave so much to protect our freedom. Because of them, we are able “to sit here today, being who we want to be, and sleeping peacefully at night knowing our military is at work protecting us,” Mazza said.
The two-day event included board meetings, a reception, election of new officers, and a roster of outstanding speakers, including Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate; Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver; Colonel Timon Oujiri, appointed by Gov. Kim Reynolds in 2017 as the commandment of Iowa Veterans Home; Lt. Col. Connie Arens, who served in the Army Nurse Corps for 21 years and now serves on the board of the Eastern Iowa Honor Flight; Kevin McLaughlin, president of Iowans for Discounted Taxes; Carly Miller, Iowa Trump campaign manager; and Ashley Hunt, president of Iowa Young Republicans.
Michelle Crawford, president of Scott County Republican Women, said, “The speakers were inspiring and informative and I left the convention so inspired. As a mother of three boys it’s a balance with the age of our boys but I’ve never felt more motivated to volunteer as I did when I left. I just have to remember that the time away is equally important to their future as being with them.”
Schockett and Kim Reem, NFRW officer and former IowaFRW president from Cedar Rapids, installed new officers for 2020-2021. They are: Barbara Hames-Bryant, Cedar Rapids, president; Carol Crain, Davenport, first vice president; Lori Leonard Reyman, Holstein, second vice president; Tammy Pink, Cedar Rapids, treasurer; and Mary Ann Spicer, Des Moines, secretary.
“Heartfelt congratulations on your new and important positions in the Iowa Federation. I feel privileged to share in the swearing-in ceremony. I know that Iowa is going to continue to thrive with the new slate,” Schockett added.
The Iowa federation, federated clubs, and individuals were recognized for outstanding achievement over the past two years at the national and state levels. Awards presented by the National Federation of Republican Women, Betty Heitman Awards for State Excellence, and club achievement awards are presented to states and clubs that demonstrate excellence, achievement, or accomplishment in membership development, campaign activities, programs, community relationships, and state functions.
Awards and recipients included:
• Accomplishment Award – IowaFRW
• Diamond – Five Seasons Republican Women
• Gold – Scott County Republican Women
• Silver – Capitol Region Republican Women
Campaign Volunteer Awards are presented to states and individuals that demonstrate excellence in donating volunteer time to the benefit of the Republican Party, Republican candidates, or NFRW:
• Highest number of hours reported is awarded to one individual in the state – Gloria Mazza, Capitol Region Republican Women
• Caring for America Award – Five Seasons Republican Women
Awards presented by IowaFRW include the GREAT (Growth, Recruitment, Education of Activists for Tomorrow) Membership Drive, honoring an individual member and club who recruited the most new members:
• Individual – Emma Nemecek, Five Seasons Republican Women
• Club – Capitol Region Republican Women
The Iowa Federation of Republican Women (www.iowafrw.org) is the premier organization for uniting the voices and values within the Republican Party, and is part of the National Federation of Republican Women, founded in 1938. The NFRW (www.nfrw.org) is the largest and most influential women’s political organization in the nation, proudly representing the party that first made it possible for women to vote in the U.S. and working to increase the effectiveness and relevance of women in the cause of good government. Its mission is to recruit and elect Republican candidates, promote the principles of the Republican Party, educate the public, and inform the media.