National Association of Women

Highway Safety Leaders, Inc.

National Association of Women

Highway Safety Leaders, Inc.




Historical Facts


Did you know that . . .?


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 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, 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!



NAWHSL Past Presidents:


Aleene Kidd MacKenzie, FL (1967-1971) *

Mildred Gnau, OH (1971-1973) *

Virginia Edmundson, CO (1973-1977)*

Dr. Ruth Winkler, CA (1977-1979) *

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)