This year, the Source staff submitted nominations for the publication's Woman of the Year, searching for role models in the Central Oregon community who are exceptional in professional, civic and personal endeavors.
What we found, is that there are many women in our community who fit this description today going beyond it with visionary ideas for the future. The women of Bend defy female stereotypes. They do not wait for an invitation to change the world, or shy away from difficult dreams.
In fact, they follow their paths to fulfill their destinies, and are more than role models for other women; they inspire all human beings.
We are proud to present Alice Elshoff, an educator and conservationist as the Source Weekly's Woman of the Year. She has helped protect Oregon's wildlands for decades and led the protests for public lands that sparked a national conversation.
We've also chosen Sgt. Liz Lawrence, an officer with the Bend Police Department for 25 years, who leads the Community Response Team with great compassion.
From Bend City Council, Sally Russell may one day be Bend's mayor, and she shares in her interview the challenges of her role as well as hopes for the future.
An interview with lead distiller Molly Troupe shows how the once male-dominated field is now open to all, and she is ready.
Finally, René Mitchell represents the creative world of Bend, with a view to overcoming life's biggest challenges and manifesting social change through the power of art and collaboration.
Our finalists include five women who are treasures of Central Oregon, but we would have liked to include many more.
2016 Woman of the Year: Alice Elshoff