American Mothers, Inc. Announces National Mother of the Year and Young Mother of the Year Along with State Honorees from Across America

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Deb Stanaland from Edmond, Oklahoma, and Heather Spencer from Louisville, Kentucky Honored for Commitment to Family, Community

The honorees were announced April 25, 2015 at the 80th annual American Mothers National Conference at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

“American Mothers is very fortunate to be able to have these ladies representing us in our 80th year,” says American Mothers Inc. President Dianne Callister.

American Mothers, Inc.®, a national non-profit dedicated to honoring and supporting mothers around the world, is proud to announce Deb Stanaland as the 2015 National Mother of the Year®, and Heather Spencer as the 2015 National Young Mother of the Year (given to those with children under age 18). The honorees were announced April 25, 2015 at the 80th annual American Mothers National Conference at the Willard InterContinental Hotel in Washington, DC.

Stanaland, the Chief Support Services Officer for YWCA Oklahoma City, is a tireless advocate for victims of domestic abuse throughout the state of Oklahoma. A domestic abuse victim herself, Stanaland is a certified Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Professional with a Professional Certificate in Victim Services, and also serves as Chair of the Oklahoma Crime Victims Compensation Board, appointed consecutively by two Governors. Through her efforts, thousands of Oklahoma women and children, including her own daughters, have been able to successfully escape abusive situations.

Spencer, from Louisville, is an example of the modern military wife and mother. While her husband, Greg, served multiple tours in Iraq, Heather managed to serve as the primary parent to their children, far from the comforts and assistance of family. The couple now resides in Prospect, Kentucky, where Heather is a full-time mother to their six children.

“American Mothers is very fortunate to be able to have these ladies representing us in our 80th year,” says American Mothers Inc. President Dianne Callister. “This was one of our largest nominee pools we’ve had the privilege of selecting from. Both Deb and Heather represent timeless motherly values - perseverance, courage, tireless dedication to those around them. Both of these ladies represent the best of mothers in America.”

Both honorees will serve as ambassadors for American Mothers, focusing particularly on the organization’s goal of raising awareness about human trafficking and domestic abuse facing women worldwide.

The honorees were selected from a field that included nominees from 49 of 50 U.S. states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico. Each candidate for the national honor was required to proceed through a series of essays and committee evaluations before being selected.

The Mother of the Year honor has been awarded annually since 1935, when Sarah Delano Roosevelt presented Lucy Keen Johnson from Georgia as the first American Mother of the Year. The awards seek to honor women who show extraordinary passion and courage in their service to their children, families, and communities.

The 2015 Mother of the Year honorees from each participating state are:
Alabama - Charlene Rabren
Alaska - Vikki Solberg
Arizona - Bette Doxey
California - JoAnne Michels
Colorado - Linda Nargi
Delaware - Ellen Barrosse
District of Columbia - Barbara Reynolds
Florida - Terri Gonzales
Georgia - Angie McLane
Idaho - Erika Soelberg
Illinois - Sarah Curtis
Iowa - Donna Ewert
Maine - Theresa Cloutier
Maryland - Dara Feldman
Montana - Corinne Bludworth
Nebraska - Donna Lefler
Nevada - Candy Krausman
New Mexico - Esther Garcia
North Dakota - Margaret Shaw
Oklahoma - Deb Stanaland
Puerto Rico - Aurora Lugo
South Dakota - Lynn Starzl
Tennessee - Julie Fine
Texas - Linda Metcalf
Utah - Jan Zogmaister
Vermont - Carol Willey

The 2015 Young Mother of the Year honorees from each participating state are:
Alabama - Ashley McDonald Gann
Alaska - Valerie Owens
Arizona - Courtney Gehl
California - Amanda Nolan
Colorado - Shalyn Heath
Connecticut - Orli Katz
District of Columbia - Layli Miller-Muro
Florida - Betsy Opyt
Georgia - Nanette O’Neill
Hawaii - Laurie Horita
Idaho - Anna McHargue
Kentucky - Heather Spencer
Louisiana - Rachel Stuker
Maryland - Alyscia Cunningham
Montana - Laura McKee
Nebraska - Barb Solomon
Nevada - Erin Phillips
New York - Tamara South
North Dakota - Anneli Osmond
Oklahoma - Meg Alexander Ille
Puerto Rico - Maria Santiago
South Dakota - Elizabeth Koerner
Texas - Bethany Paterno
Utah - Marilyn Bazinet
Virginia - Jean Chiang
Washington - April Haberman
Wisconsin - Stephanie Rogers

The 2015 National Mothers of Achievement, honoring women whose positive influence, talents, and community service have made a significant impact in the lives of children and families, are as follows:
Oklahoma - Pam Kanaly
Tennessee - Elaine Hill
Virginia - Cathy Keating

Extensive profiles of the honorees will be featured on the American Mothers blog, located at http://www.americanmothersblog.com.

American Mothers Inc.® is accepting nominations for the 2016 Mother of the Year®, Young Mother of the Year, and Mother of Achievement for all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Nominations are open to the public and will be accepted through November 15, 2015. For specific requirements, please visit http://www.AmericanMothers.org/nomination-form.

To learn more about American Mothers, and the Mothers of the Year from each of the 50 states, please visit http://www.AmericanMothers.org.

About American Mothers, Inc.®
American Mothers, Inc.® is a nonprofit organization for women and men who recognize the important role of motherhood. The organization supports mothers across the country through educational programs and community outreach. On an annual basis, American Mothers, Inc.® selects the National Mother of the Year®, Young Mother of the Year, and Mothers of Achievement from candidates across the United States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. For more information about AMI, visit http://www.AmericanMothers.org or call 877-242-4264.

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Andrea Ball
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