Wisconsin Women in Government is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2019 Legacy and Rising Star Awards.
JUDY P. SMITH
Judy retired as Warden at the Oshkosh Correctional Institution (OSCI) on February 1, 2019 after working within the Wisconsin Department of Corrections for almost 39 years. Upon retirement, she had been a Warden for 22+years, making her the second longest serving Prison Warden in Wisconsin’s history and the longest serving female Warden.
Judy received her Bachelor’s Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout in 1978 and began her correctional career in March of 1980 in the Assessment and Evaluation Program at the Waupun Correctional Institution/Dodge Correctional Institution. There, she advanced to a number of higher positions before beginning her tenure at OSCI where she was involved with many program initiatives with a focus on offender reentry.
Judy was involved with many Department initiatives and committees during her almost 39 years in Corrections incuding: centralization of the Assessment and Evaluation Program, Program Management Council, Transformation, Wisconsin Integrated Corrections System, Program Development, Health Care Management Council, Co-Chair of the Department Employee Services Steering committee, Facilities planning, Assisted Living Committee and Policy Development initiatives. She also served as a mentor to several newly appointed Wardens and is a past President and long-term member of the West Central Warden’s and Superintendent’s Association. In 2018, she received the Wisconsin Correctional Association’s Sanger Powers Award which recognizes an individual for his or her contribution to the field of criminal justice.
VANESSA R. CHAVEZ
Vanessa R. Chavez currently serves as the City Attorney for the City of Green Bay. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, Ms. Chavez represented governmental clients throughout New Mexico with the law firm of Robles, Rael & Anaya, P.C. She is licensed to practice in both Wisconsin and New Mexico, and her practice is diverse, including areas such as municipal law, land use, environmental law, election law, and civil rights.
Ms. Chavez was born and raised in New Mexico, and lived there most of her life before moving to Wisconsin in 2016. Her education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from New Mexico State University, a Master of Science in Information Studies with a concentration in Legal Research and Reference from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
She has also served on numerous committees and organizations that have served her communities, including the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association, and the New Mexico Women’s Bar Association, was appointed to the 2010 City of Albuquerque Redistricting Committee, chaired the 2008 National Latina/o Law Students Association National Conference Committee, and was a member of the Albuquerque Concert Band. In 2018, she was named one of Wisconsin’s 32 Most Powerful Latinos by Madison 365.
The awards will be presented at Wisconsin Women in Government’s 2019 Scholarship and Recognition Gala.
Join us on May 15 at the Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center on Lake Monona.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM CDT
Monona Terrace Community & Convention Center
1 John Nolen Dr.
Madison, WI 53703