The search is on for Arizona's most intriguing and impactful women

Women from across Arizona who are currently making an impact in their communities in a meaningful way are being sought as nominees for Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women.

Now 11 years old, 48 Arizona Women, the sponsoring organization based in Scottsdale, started as an official Arizona Centennial Project in 2010 to recognize the state’s most remarkable women having a remarkable impact in their communities, often with little fanfare. The organization’s mission is to transform lives, build stronger communities and help positively shape Arizona and the nation. Partnering with the Arizona Historical Society, 48 Arizona Women honors professional and non-professional women from diverse backgrounds whose leadership and commitment are contributing in a positive way to the future of Arizona.

“The first group of 48 honorees were selected in 2012 and included U.S. Supreme Court Judge Sandra Day O’Connor, Cindy McCain, and Arizona State Treasurer Kimberly Yee,” said Connie Robinson, chair of the 48 Arizona Women Steering Committee. “But they also included a former governor, educators, a bull fighter who became a CEO, an advocate for the treatment and cure of Niemann Pick Type C disease, a former mezzo-soprano with the Metropolitan Opera, a pastor who ministers to incarcerated women, a mayor who transformed a city, an ambassador who became Secretary of the Air Force and many dedicated philanthropists, volunteers, doctors, artists and entertainers in leadership positions throughout the state.”

Open nominations are currently being accepted through Sept. 30 and Arizona residents are encouraged to nominate anyone they feel is worthy — from a next-door neighbor to an elected official.

“This program was created to raise awareness for the amazing work women are doing to improve and enhance the lives of Arizonans,” added Robinson. “While some nominees will be well-known, others will be working diligently but less publicly in their cities and towns.”

Categories include Education/Scholars, Entertainment/Sports, Arts/Culture/History, Government/Legislative/Judicial, Social Change/Environmental, Business/Economics, Science/Medicine/Research, Technology/Innovation/Entrepreneurs, Philanthropy/Non-Profit, Military/Public Safety, Family/Community and Construction/Industrial/Transportation.

A committee comprised of a diverse group of community leaders, public and private sector leaders and residents will evaluate nominees on several key factors: the impact that their leadership, accomplishments  and dedication have had on the state and the nation; their influence as role models and visionaries; and their ability to relate to a wide range of people.

Honorees will be announced in early 2022 and featured in a 140-plus page coffee table book titled: Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women—A New Decade, telling each woman’s story in words and photos. All honorees will be formally recognized in Spring 2022 during a 48 Women Luncheon as well as a VIP reception for the launch of the book. The book will be available for purchase throughout Arizona in mid-2022.

“Our goal for the book is to incorporate it into the Arizona school curriculum as well as make it available in libraries around the state,” Robinson pointed out. “Children need everyday role models who are bringing meaningful change to their lives and the communities in which they live.” She added, “We also want to create awareness among Arizonans of the richness and uniqueness of the state’s history and the dedicated people who have contributed to it.”

In addition, to recognize a new decade of Arizona’s 48 Most Intriguing Women honorees, 48 Arizona Women will launch in the fall the Legacy Project, an initiative whose relevance in these challenging times of global pandemic, poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and other social injustice issues are at the forefront in Arizona and across the nation. It will bridge the urban and rural divide through the renovation and naming rights of the Orientation Theater at the Arizona Historical Society’s Heritage Center in Tempe. It also includes the development of onsite and digital educational programming, renowned guest speakers and other learning opportunities with emphasis on young women, girls, and youth with electronic outreach to every corner of the state.

Nominations can be completed online at Paper nomination forms are available by calling 602-896-9000 or can be downloaded from the website.

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