Making Democracy Work

Selva Reissig Lehman (2008)

By the selection Committee of Joyce Hertz and Martha Isaacson

We are very pleased to announce that the 2008 recipient of the Carrie Chapman Catt award is Selva Reissig Lehman. Selva was born in Argentina and emigrated to the U.S.A. in 1955 during the Peron regime. She started work in her field of chemistry in New England but felt called to the ministry and was ordained in 1964. When she married Harold Lehman she moved to Alleman, Iowa where she served as a Supply Pastor for UCC churches, Chaplain at the Madrid Home for the Aging and then as an Intentional Interim Minister within the Iowa UCC Conference. Throughout this time, Selva and Harold were very involved in programs to promote international understanding. Harold died of a brain tumor in 1990 and Selva moved to Ames in 1994.

Selva joined the Ames League of Women Voters in 2000 because the League’s emphasis on studying the issues before taking a position and its non-partisan stand. Since 2002 she has served on the Board, first as Vice-president and then as Co-President with Jeannette Bohnenkamp from 2004-2006. In 2006, Selva co-chaired the LWVUS Ukraine Civic Hosting Program for the Ames League. She developed the Ames LWV website and currently serves as VOTER Editor and Webmaster. Our local League, and increasingly the Iowa League, look to Selva for all computer and digital communication needs.

Her volunteer involvement with the Ames community has been channeled through many church activities including International Dialogues, the Food at First program, and AMOS. She served as interim director of the Good Neighbor Emergency Assistance Cooperative (GNEAC) in 1997-98. Currently she is a member of the AIOFA Board and a member of the Community Conversations on Diversity.

Congratulations, [...]

Joyce Hertz (2007)


At the April 28 annual meeting of the League of Women Voters, Joyce Hertz was selected as this year’s award winner.

Joyce is unique in League history because she has served as its president for two different terms. She was president in 1988-89 and is now completing the 2006-07 term as co-president. She has held other League offices and chaired a number of League study committees.

During the interval between her terms as League president Joyce served one term on the Ames City Council and was elected to the Story County Extension Council. She has been instrumental in a number of affordable housing projects on the local and national level. She was chair of the Mobile Home Purchase program, president of Story County Housing, a founding member and president of the Story County Community Land Trust, which led to her election as the regional representative to the National Institute for Community Economics and president of the Community Land Trust Network.

Additionally Joyce has played leadership roles in the United Church of Christ-Congregational and is currently actively involved in AMOS, an ecumenical community action group for justice.



Judy Clem (2006)

By the selection Committee of Judy Dolphin and Kim Russel

Judy Clem has been selected to receive the Carrie Chapman Catt League of Women Voters Award for 2006. Judy exemplifies a LWV member who “contributed long and outstanding service to the community, who has supported and advanced the ideals of League and who presently resides in Ames.”

Judy began her League service as a loyal member of a “unit” in 1968. Each unit met once a month to work on a study or discuss the proposed program. These unit meetings established rapport and initiated vigorous discussions about important community, state-wide or national topics. Judy made sure that little children had care and their mothers could keep brain-cells operating.

It wasn’t much later that Judy chaired a study of Story County, known as “Know Your County.” This study prepared her for future work and created an interest in the hospitals within Story County.

Judy’s involvement in LVW studies included her leadership, along with Carol Patterson, in urging renovation of the Ames depot. As a result of the study, the Ames LWV approved the commercial renovation of the Ames Depot in 1988. She chaired the study of Story County Hospital and served twice on LWV hospital studies.

Judy’s training was in nursing. She cared about patients and their families. She served as a LWV observer at the Mary Greeley Hospital Board of Trustees meetings. Before long, Judy was thinking how much she might contribute to public involvement in area hospitals. So, she decided to run for election, and she was elected to serve on the MGMC board in 1989.

Over her ten years of service on the hospital board, Judy saw the completion of the “state of the art” gastroenterology services department, [...]

Jane Greiman (2005)

This award was not publicized and the award was a surprise to Greimann when it was presented to her at the LWV of Ames Annual meeting in April 2005. Following was the presentation skit by the selection committee of Ruth Jones, Jean Peterson, and Martha Isaacson.

Jane was born January 25, 1942 in Klemme, Iowa to Chet and Ina Mae (Jarchow) Renner. There she grew up on a farm, learning to love horses, holding leadership positions in 4-H and graduating from Klemme High School in 1960. Jane acquired a degree from Iowa State University in Textiles and Clothing in 1964 and a teaching certificate in 1980.

One week following graduation, Jane married Lowell Greimann in Klemme, Iowa on June 7, 1964. They moved to Boulder, Colorado where Jane worked as a seamstress and then office worker to support her husband’s further education and proudly bore their first son, Chad. The young family moved to San Antonio where their second son, Blair was born. While in Texas, Jane worked with children in the Hispanic community and with low-income adults. The Greimanns returned to Ames in 1973 to be nearer parents and grandparents. Jane flew to Chicago in 1975 to bring home their adopted daughter, Amy, who just arrived from Viet Nam.

Jane taught art, health, and family and consumer science at Nevada Junior High for sixteen years. While teaching, she worked on studies of student health with regard to cholesterol, helped to start a breakfast program, taught parenting classes, made a five week trip to Russia in 1992 and sat on the Board of Eastern Story County Youth and Shelter Services. Jane retired from full-time employment in 1998.

Jane served in almost every volunteer position at Collegiate Presbyterian Church, [...]

Ruth M. Jones (2004)

This article was excepted from the Ames Life and Times article in the Des Moines Register of April 15, 2004 entitled "Jones Receives Award for Diverse Service".

“Ruth Jones will receive the Carrie Chapman Catt Award on April 24 at the annual meeting of the League of Women Voters of Ames. “Ruth Jones' diverse service in the Ames community has been exemplary, the selection committee said. Not only has she worked on several significant study committees and given generously to the promotion of LWV issues before a variety of public bodies, but she has also encouraged others to join the League and provide leadership in their areas of expertise."

"In addition to serving twice as president of the local league, Jones has contributed her leadership to arts, music and the elimination of poverty." Jones was president from 1993 -95 and again as Co-President with Mary Jo Brearley from 2002-04. Throughout the years, Jones held numerous positions on the LWV of Ames Board of Directors.

She served for six years on the Ames Town and Gown Association board, including a stint as president. She served on the Ames Community Arts Council . Jones was a Master Gardener volunteering untold hours of work on public gardens. She was always very active in her church serving on many different committees, Session, Deacons, taught Sunday School, and was named honorary member of Presbyterian Women. Jones was organist/pianist at North Presbyterian for 30 years.

If this wasn’t enough, Jones assisted those in need in her community. “She has been a volunteer leader as a family partner in the Beyond Welfare program. Her service on behalf of Beyond Welfare [...]

Johnie Hammond (2003)

This article was printed in The Voter in April 2003.

Carrie Chapman Catt would be proud. The LWV award in her name is finally going to the most deserved Johnie Hammond. It couldn’t go there earlier since one of the LWV criteria, in addition to being a good League member and making significant contributions to the community outside one’s active profession, is that the recipient not be holding any party-affiliated elected office. It took a long time to fulfill that final requirement since Johnie just retired from a long career in public service—ranging from Story County Board of Supervisors to the Iowa House of Representatives to two terms in the Iowa Senate.

During that active career, she represented all the issues that are valued by the League of Women Voters: HAWK-I programs benefiting low income Iowa children, rehabilitation opportunities for incarcerated women, concern for affordable housing, and early education are just a few of Johnie’s many contributions to the state of Iowa and the community of Ames.

Furthermore, this newly-retired senator has hit the ground running as a community volunteer for the issues near and dear to her heart—and to the heart of the Ames League of Women Voters. Congratulations to our Carrie Chapman Catt Award recipient and transplanted Texan.