Sweets Before Supper
Ana-Maria Ehrler, Lt. Col, USAF, retired, former 336th Training Group Deputy Commander, Fairchild Air Force Base, and prior 22nd Training Squadron Commander, is being honored as a 2024 Woman of Distinction and first in the category of Girl Scouts honoring American heroes. Ana-Maria was the first female aircraft commander of the AC-130 Gunship, a critical part of protecting American forces on the ground during Iraq and Afghanistan operations. She was also one of the first females to be asked to serve as a Joint Terminal Attack Controller, directing the action of military aircraft engaged in close air support from the ground. A trailblazer from day one in her Air Force career, she epitomizes courage and heroism throughout her entire career, and we thank her for her distinguished service.
Treasurer Julie Ellsworth was elected Idaho’s 24th State Treasurer in 2018 and re-elected for a second term in 2022. She served in the Idaho House of Representatives for twelve years. A few of Julie’s legislative endeavors include drafting model legislation to allow individuals and businesses to purchase health insurance across state borders and passing legislation cracking down on Medicaid fraud. Since taking office in January 2019, Treasurer Ellsworth has taken a very hands-on approach to keep Treasurer operations transparent and efficient to the people of Idaho. She has worked hard to promote a pro-family environment for the state.
Mandy Evans , executive director of Better Together Animal Alliance, has eliminated the fear-based, often people-shaming, transactional approach from the culture of her animal shelter in Ponderay, Idaho. Mandy and her team increased the number of animals assisted by over 500%, reduced the length of stay in the shelter by 77%, and reduced owner surrenders by 31%. Mandy’s leadership has led to extraordinary results, and she consults with shelters around North America to encourage community partnerships. She is the founder of Home To Home™, a rehoming site for animal shelters that is a new model to help animals find homes without going to shelters. 
Kristin Goff graduated from the University of Idaho in 1992, as well as the National Automobile Dealers Association Dealer Academy in 1994. Kristin grew up working for the Spokane family business. In 2011, she became the third-generation owner and operator of Wendle Motors. She is a proud member of the National Automobile Dealers Association, Washington State Automobile Dealers Association, and Spokane New Car Dealers Association. She is best known for her mentorship of youth nonprofits, including Northeast Community Center, Spokane County United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, YWCA, and Greater Spokane Incorporated. 
Mayor Pro Tem Nancy Lillquist has served on the Ellensburg City Council since 2001, being elected Mayor by her Council members in 2022. She graduated with a degree in Geography from Central Washington University, then earned a master’s degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, working in Oregon and Utah before settling in Ellensburg. Nancy currently chairs the city’s Utility Advisory Committee and serves on the Kittitas County Developmental Disability Committee. She and her husband own Lillquist Rentals in Ellensburg.
Judge Gloria Ochoa-Bruck was elected as the first Latina judge elected in Spokane County in November 2021. Gloria Ochoa-Bruck was the first person in her family to graduate from high school. She went on to earn many degrees, including her Juris Doctor. Gloria began her career serving as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Benton County, Wash., then opened her own law office. Her career also includes having served as a member of the City of Spokane Mayor’s cabinet as Director of Local Government and Multi-Cultural Affairs, Chief Judge for Spokane Tribal Court, Associate Judge for Kalispel Tribal Court, and Adjunct Professor at Gonzaga University School of Law.
Judge Keisha Oxendine , formerly a Shoshone County Prosecuting Attorney, has been appointed to the position of Shoshone County Magistrate Judge for Idaho’s First Judicial District. In addition to receiving the Idaho Women Lawyers Rising Star Award in 2012, she was also selected as a 2020 Idaho Woman of the Year honoree by the Idaho Business Review. Recently, she was named a recipient of the H. Sydney Duncombe Award for Excellence in County Government. In all her professional endeavors, she believes in giving back and started an internship program for high school seniors to inspire them to make the world a better place.
President Rebekah Woods became the sixth president of Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities in November 2017. Before joining CBC, she was the Provost at Jackson College in Jackson, Michigan. Rebekah has over 20 years of experience in higher education and earned her Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership and Juris Doctor from Regent University. She serves on various local boards and organizations, including the Tri-City Development Council, Visit Tri-Cities, Washington State STEM Education Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties, Pasco Kiwanis, and Watson’s Paws for the Cause.