Devita Harden

The League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County is pleased to honor Devita Harden with its 2017 Carrie Chapman Catt Award.

Devita Harden came to Ames in 2010 after a long and successful career as Quality Assurance Manager for the Coca Cola Company in Little Rock, Arkansas. She moved here to join her daughter and family, to support them as her daughter pursued a doctoral degree at Iowa State University.

Devita joined the League in 2012 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2013 as publicity co-chair. She became president-elect the following year and has been our president since 2015.

As League president, Devita forged ties between the League and the NAACP. The League first had a presence at the NAACP Freedom Fund Banquet in 2013. Our participation has grown to the point that the “League table” has expanded to two.

Other accomplishments during Devita’s time on the Board include continuing to expand League events throughout Story County and ensuring our continued involvement in the Upper Mississippi River Region Inter-League Organization (UMRRILO). She has also tirelessly supported League efforts such as VOTE411 and voter registration. As one board member said, “She has done her best to display an attitude of serving by example, with class and kindness. She puts the whole of us above the one of her is how I would best classify all that she is to LWV.”

Devita became a member of the Ames Human Relations Commission in 2012 and served on that group until 2015. She has also been involved in the Ames branch of the NAACP since 2012 and was elected secretary in 2016. She also served as Affirmative Action Officer for the Democratic Party, 4th Congressional District of Iowa, prior to becoming president-elect of the League. She is also active in her church, serving as the chair of Community Outreach, has been involved in the Back To School Celebration and the We Heart Ames community service project.

In addition to her volunteer work, she has been employed for several years at the Ames Middle School, both in the classroom and in the administration office. She has been a role model to students and to other staff.

Devita holds a bachelors’ degree in sociology from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has a special interest in improving our criminal justice system.

Devita will say goodbye to Ames later this year when she moves back to Little Rock, where her family resides. We will miss her role in the League and in so many other community organizations. She has touched so many in a few short years.

We will also miss her friendship and will remember her fondly. And we are honored to be able to place her name in the Plaza of Heroines.