Apr 01, 2016
North Coast State Sen. Mike McGuire named Humboldt State’s California Center for Rural Policy (CCRP) Executive Director Connie Stewart as Humboldt County Woman of the Year.
“I am very touched and deeply honored that Senator McGuire has recognized me with such inspiring women from around the district. It is very humbling indeed!” says Stewart, who has dedicated her entire career to civic service and leadership.
To mark Women’s History Month, McGuire honored Stewart and six other women throughout Northern California for their dedication, hard work, and accomplishments:
• Del Norte County: Gina Zottola, director of the Wild Rivers Community Foundation
• Lake County: Carol Huchingson, coordinator of Valley Fire Long-Term Recovery. She was recognized as the overall North Coast Woman of the Year.
• Marin County: Pat Kendall, founding member of Healthy Marin Partnership
• Mendocino County: Janet Pauli, a director on the Potter Valley Irrigation District Board and chairwoman of the Mendocino County Inland Water and Power Commission.
• Sonoma County: Jennielynn Holmes, director of Shelter and Housing Programs for Catholic Charities.
• Trinity County: Kelli Gant, a director for the Trinity Public Utilities District and the Trinity Chamber
“This phenomenal group of women continues to inspire and bring positive change to our local communities and we’re excited to recognize their track record of success,” McGuire said.
Since 2009, Stewart has been at the helm of the CCRP, which conducts research to improve the health and well-being of rural people and environments. In addition, Stewart has been a board member of Open Door Community Health Centers and the Redwood Acres Fairground, and was a founding member of the Humboldt Food Policy Council.
A native of New Jersey, Stewart has been passionately involved in the political process starting at a young age. In high school, she ran blood banks, food drives and tutored children of incarcerated parents. Stewart moved to Arcata to attend Humboldt State University and graduated in 1988 with a B.A. in Speech Communication.
A member of the Arcata City Council from 1996 to 2004, Stewart was mayor from 1999 to 2001. She also worked for the Northcoast Environmental Center for 14 years until 2003, when she became a senior field representative for former Assemblywoman Patty Berg.