It was an honor to recently present the eighth annual Jeffrey Clay Erlanger Civility in Public Discourse Award to Nan Brien and Leslie Ann Howard. These two women have exemplified the spirit of the award established in Jeff Erlanger's name.
Jeff served on the City of Madison's Economic Development Commission; he was chair of the Commission on People with Disabilities; chair of the Board of Directors of the Community Living Alliance; and ran for the Madison Common Council in 2002. He also held a number of other significant positions in the community. One of his greatest accomplishments was his successful push for the accessible taxicab service in Madison today.
Nan and Leslie have been incredible leaders and mentors in our city for years. It is great to see their work recognized, although I know it is not the first time, nor will it be the last.
Nan Brien directed the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, Inc. and led the early childhood initiative which included an extensive contract with the State of Wisconsin to develop materials and provide statewide trainings on the latest research related to early childhood brain development. In addition to years of public service including on the Madison Metropolitan School Board, she continues to provide training on the effects of child maltreatment.
Leslie Ann Howard is the first woman in the 85-year history of United Way of Dane County to hold the position of President and CEO, and has been an asset to our community as she has worked with community members regardless of age, race or economic status. Under her leadership the issue of ending homelessness among youth has been a top priority.
I know these women will continue to be involved in many meaningful areas of the City and I am grateful to Jeff Erlanger's parents Howard and Pam and members of the selection committee for making such a tremendous decision on the award this year.