Nancy E. Brown

Honored by:League of Women Voters of Ames
Brick location:K:19  map

Ames LWV Eighteenth Annual Carrie Chapman Catt Award given to Nancy E. Brown (2010)

By the selection committee of Martha Isaacson, Selva Lehman and Mary Ann Dilla

Nancy Brown is the 2010 recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt Award that is given each year to a long-standing member of the Ames League that has made significant contributions to the League by demonstrating exemplary leadership skills or developed and implemented a successful initiative to enhance the work of the League.

Nancy clearly meets the “long-time membership” requirement for this award. She joined the League in 1973 and has been an active member during those 37 years. It is interesting that one of Nancy’s first activities in the League was to find materials to be used for a storefront display on Carrie Chapman Catt.

Nancy was an ISU faculty member in the Department of Hotel, Restaurant, and Institution Management for 30 years until her retirement in 2000. In addition to service through department, college, and university committees and involvement in professional associations, she has made contributions to the Ames community. She served on the board of AIOFA (Ames International Orchestra Association).

In recognition of her active involvement in her local church and the state conference of the United Church of Christ, she was one of two women from Iowa to be recognized as an honored laywoman at the General Synod of the UCC in 1997. Nancy coordinates two local church outreach projects that serve the wider community—the Theologian-in-Residence Program (that each year brings to the Ames community an outstanding contemporary theologian) and Third Saturday at First (once-a-month preparation and service of a free meal at the First United Methodist Church, a program that helps those who are not able to simultaneously meet their basic needs for food and shelter). During 2001-2002, Nancy facilitated several “Dialogues on Racism and Race Relations.”

Involvement in the local and state Leagues has been extensive. On the local level, Nancy served as president-elect, followed by president from 2000-2002. She has participated in two local studies—Story County Hospital (position adopted in 1997) and co-chaired the Transportation Needs in Story County study (position adopted in 2003). In 2006, she coordinated an LWVUS grant awarded to the Ames League to host visitors from Ukraine under the Ukraine Civic Hosting Program of the Open World Leadership Center. She has been a League observer of the Mary Greeley Medical Center for almost two decades. From 2003-2007, Nancy served on the state board as secretary. During that time, she was also on the Advocacy Committee that sponsors the Legislative Briefings and Lobby Day. She was a key contributor in researching material on campaign finance reform that was a focus for educating League members during that time, and made presentations to local Leagues. In 2007, Nancy wrote a proposal for a state study on Mental Health Delivery Systems in Iowa. The proposal was adopted at the state convention, and she chaired the study group. In preparation for adoption of a position in 2009, the study group prepared four background papers that were published in the LWVIA Voter. This project also involved giving numerous presentations to local Leagues around the state.

When Judie Hoffman nominated Nancy, she said, “When Nancy takes on an assignment, you can always depend on her to do an excellent job in a timely, professional manner. If it is a group project, she is quick to give praise to others. Because of Nancy’s quiet, unassuming manner, I think we often are not aware of all her contributions to the League of Women Voters. The time to honor her is now!”