Who will be this year's Woman of the Year? Despite a powerful response, the list of noteworthy contenders for the second annual Idaho Mountain Express award couldn't fairly be narrowed to a mere top five, so the paper is holding a runoff among the top six.
Nominees have run the gamut from business owners to nonprofit leaders, city and state politicians to champions of health and healing organizations. These data are the result of an online poll that conducted in January.
It's up to the public to decide which of these worthy women stands above all this year, but first the list needs to be winnowed down a bit more.
Thus far, the women leading the pack of nominees are, in alphabetical order: Martha Burke, Hailey City Council; Wendy Jaquet, state representative, D-Ketchum; Teresa Beahen Lipman, executive director of the Wood River Y; Muffy Ritz, founder and CEO of the VAMPS program, a women's Nordic skiing group; Carla Scanlon, longtime Hailey Elementary School teacher; and Theresa Castellano Wood, Wood River Y board member and School District volunteer.
Go to www.mtexpress.com/womanoftheyear to cast your vote. Deadline for this vote is Sunday, Feb. 6, at 5 p.m. The final five will be announced in Wednesday's paper, Feb. 9.
Once there is a top five, readers will be asked to cast a final vote, with the winner and runners-up featured in a special Valley Woman section in March.
Last year, more than 250 people nominated 60 women for review, with 1,200 voting to elect Blaine County Senior Connection Executive Director Kimberly Coonis.
People who don't have a nomination for Woman of the Year can still share an admirable woman. The Express will be looking for women in three other categories—those in traditionally male occupations, those who deftly balance home, work, family and self, and those who are high achievers in their field. Anyone who knows of women who fit into those categories can e-mail email@example.com and put "Other Notable Women" in the subject line. Include a description of how she meets the criteria and how to contact her. Deadline for those submissions is Friday, Feb. 25.