NAWHSL is rich with history
NAWHSL was founded after the “National Conference of Women Community Leaders for Highway Safety,” sponsored by the National Association of Counties. In November 1967, the conference was funded by the Allstate Foundation and Agnes Beaton, Director of the Women’s Division for Allstate, became the founder of this association.
The delegates attending the 1967 conference were appointed by their respective governors and were recognized leaders in their states. This conference followed the establishment of the U.S. Department of Transportation, which was signed into law in October 1966.
This year we are commemorating our 54th year of service, and NAWHSL is still dedicated to traffic safety education at the state and community level. Members are appointed by their respective state governors or Governor’s Highway Safety Representative and maybe men or women active in the traffic safety field. Members are currently from professions such as the states’ offices of highway safety, National Safety Council associates, Operation Lifesaver state coordinators, AAA staff, State Departments of Education, and volunteers.
The annual leadership conference highlights how model programs approach traffic safety issues and gives members tools to improve safety in their home states.
Jennie Glasgow, NAWHSL Historian
Jennie joined the Georgia Association of Women Highway Safety Leaders in 1969 when she moved to Atlanta and started the first Safety Belt Education in the nation, www.beeabuckler.org. That makes Jennie the longest-tenured active NAWHSL member and the logical “oldest kid on the block.”
Women Leaders Devoted to Traffic Crash Injury Prevention
(L to R) Agnes Beaton and Jennie Glasgow Agnes Beaton at the 2001 NAWHSL Conference. Jeannie Glasgow was presenting Agnes with the Patriotic Beanie Baby from all of the NAWHSL members for her extraordinary patriotism!
Aleene Kidd MacKenzie, FL, 1967-1971 *
Mildred Gnau, OH, 1971-1973 *
Virginia Edmundson, CO, 1973-1977*
Dr. Ruth Winkler, CA, 977-1979 *
Lucille Fessler, WI, 1979-1981
Hazel McKee Van Dijk, TX, 1981-1985 *
Ernie Oliphant, AZ, 1985-1987*
Myrt Riggs, SC, 1987-1991 *
Elaine Huttenloch, MD, 1991-1993
LaVerne Hoerig, WI, 1993-1997 *
Jennie Glasgow, GA, 1997-1999
Cindy McKay, OH, 1999-2001
Kay Brodbeck, MS, 2001-2003
Rolayne Fairclough, UT, 2003-2005
Suzanna M. Tye, Ph.D, V.I., 2005-2007
Debra H. Garvin, NH, 2007-2009
Susan Leach, CO, 2009-2011
Vivian Speight-Bridges, 2011-2015 Kay H. Brodbeck, 2015-2019 Juliet Little, 2019-2021
NAWHSL was founded in November 1967 following the National Conference of Women Community Leaders for Highway Safety held at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC, and sponsored by the National Association of Counties.
Prior to the 1967 Conference, the governor of each state and U.S. territory was asked to select and send a delegate to the Conference.
The selected women delegates were all recognized traffic safety professionals in their communities.
At the close of the Conference, the women delegates voted unanimously to start a national organization.
After voting to form a national organization, the women delegates formulated and approved a "Community Action Program" to be implemented in each state.
The name was chosen and voted upon for the national organization: "National Association of Women Highway Safety Leaders, Inc."
The first national President, elected at the 1967 conference, was Aleene Kidd, a well-known traffic safety advocate from Florida.
The National Conference of Women Community Leaders for Highway Safety was made possible by a grant from the Allstate Foundation. At the time NAWHSL's founder, Agnes Beaton, was the Director of the Women's Division for Allstate.
Mrs. Alan S. Boyd, the wife of the first U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary, served as Chair of the National Conference of Women Community Leaders for Highway Safety. The Honorable Patsy Mink, U.S. Representative from Hawaii, spoke at the opening reception along with many other national dignitaries.
NAWHSL State Representatives serve as traffic safety liaisons or resource persons within their states. State
and local affiliates provide safety education to the public (civic and community groups, businesses, schools, universities, and individuals) who seek information and help in planning safety education programs.
More Facts . . .
Lyndon B. Johnson was President of the United States at that time.
The U.S. Department of Transportation was officially established by an act of Congress and signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on October 15, 1966.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was established by the Highway Safety Act of 1970 as the successor to the National Highway Safety Bureau to carry out safety programs under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 and the Highway Safety Act of 1966.
Charter members of the NAWHSL organization formed in 1967 included volunteers representing a wide variety of occupations and professions: Public Relations Specialist with Standard Oil Company of California; State Senator from Colorado; Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the National Safety Council; Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments; State Representative, Florida House of Representatives; co-author of the Hawaii Highway Safety Act of 1967 and law lecturer at the University of Hawaii; Indiana Bureau of United Press International and author of four books; Member, Kansas House of Representatives; Police judge and city judge in the State of Mississippi; Professor of English Literature in Nebraska; Director of New Jersey’s Division of Motor Vehicles; Newspaper publisher and columnist in North Dakota; Board Member, Texas Safety Association; and a former WAC officer currently serving in the Vermont House of Representatives. The list goes on and on!