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“Mayor Tammy” named Idaho Woman of the Year at 2020 gala

From left to right: IBR Publisher Cindy Suffa, 2020 Woman of the Year Tammy de Weerd, 2019 Woman of the Year Cherie Buckner-Webb. Photo by Katy Kithcart Creative

Tammy de Weerd, the former mayor of Meridian, was named the Idaho Business Review’s Woman of the Year for 2020.

She received her award at the climax of the 15th Women of the Year Gala on March 11 at the Boise Centre. The event is held annually by the Idaho Business Review.

This year’s gala drew over 550 people, setting the record for attendance at the event. Gov. Brad Little and Idaho First Lady Teresa Little were in the audience.

The theme for this year’s gala was the celebration of 100 years of Idaho suffrage and the women behind the movement. The main event kicked off with a short video produced by KeyBank, where Women of the Year Honorees spoke on the historical women who inspired them.

Idaho Business Review publisher Cindy Suffa opened the official awards ceremony, who was then followed by Janet Gallimore of the Idaho State Historical Society. Gallimore spoke on the history of Idaho suffrage.

The 2020 Women of the Year honorees gather at the gala. Photo by Katy Kithcart Creative

The ceremony then shifted to the presentation of this year’s honorees, emceed by Idaho Business Review marketing executives Autumn Kersey and Jeanette Trompczynski. This bebopping and elbow-bumping duo brought down the house with their podium disinfection antics, just in case a certain uninvited virus might try to crash the event. Their presentation style can only be described as festive, funny and fun.

After the recognition of half of the honorees, Idaho Business Review managing editor Sharon Fisher presented the first of two historical profiles of notable women from Idaho history. She wore the height of early 1920s fashion, complete with a proper hat and lacy gloves.

1. Idaho State Senator Cherie Buckner Webb at the 2020 Woman of the Year Gala. Photo by Katy Kithcart Creative

Idaho State Senator and 2019 Woman of the Year Cherie Buckner-Webb gave the keynote address. Delivered in an effervescent style all her own, Buckner-Webb exhorted women to “Do your work, take care of yourself and be prepared to engage your mission in life with courage, perseverance and an extra pair of pantyhose.”

“Bring purpose and power to everything you do,” she said. “Power is not a dirty word … Liberate your power!”

Buckner-Webb received a standing ovation for her words.

The presentation of more honorees and another historical profile followed the keynote address. Then Buckner-Webb announced this year’s Woman of the Year as de Weerd, who stepped down as Meridian’s mayor in January after four terms in office.

Famous for being teary-eyed whenever she speaks of her supportive family, de Weerd did not disappoint as she tearfully thanked her family for years of encouraging her career in public service.

Idaho Business Review’s partner sponsor for Women of the Year was the Sun Valley Institute. The reception and video sponsor was KeyBank. Spa 35 was the red carpet sponsor. The event sponsor was the Boise Centre and the floral sponsor was FiftyFlowers. Treasure Valley glass artist Zion Warne created the sculpted glass awards.

Nominations are open year-round for all Idaho Business Review awards, including Women of the Year.

About Catie Clark