Lemoore Chamber of Commerce executive director gets nod from Kings County as notable 'Women in Leadership'

By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Ward and Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves.
Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Ward and Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves.

A small dose of positive news brightened up at least one Lemoore woman’s day this week. While local shoppers searched supermarket shelves for bottled water and toilet paper, the Kings County Board of Supervisors were celebrating “Women in Leadership.” They honored several Kings County women for the roles they perform in making their communities just a little better.

Each of the supervisors selected a woman from their district, and at Tuesday morning’s regular board meeting,  District 1 Supervisor Joe Neves selected Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amy Ward.

“I was shocked,” said Ward when informed by Neves that she was his pick. “Joe is so community-oriented. He and his wife are everywhere. To get it from him meant a little extra. It was very humbling,” she added.

“Locally, the county honors women in leadership roles benefiting communities economic, culturally, and social wellbeing of our society,” said Neves, who represents District 1, an area that includes Lemoore and Stratford. “Amy Ward’s leadership at the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce, her commitment to public safety personnel in both Lemoore and Kings County, along with her efforts to promote youth development leadership skills, made Amy an easy selection. Amy’s efforts in supporting local business, public safety, and education of youth do not go unnoticed and are very well known in Kings County.”

The actual awards ceremony won’t occur until Kings County eases its regular meeting restrictions due to the coronavirus threat. But supervisors went ahead and announced their selections Tuesday morning. The other recipients include Patricia Nolen, nominated by District 2 Supervisor Richard Valle, Maxine Bennett, nominated by District 4 Supervisor Craig Pedersen, and Loretta Toledo, by District 5 Supervisor Richard Fagundes.

Supervisor Doug Verboon honored four recipients: Ellen Braden and Amy Heflin from Lemoore Naval Air Station, Alondro Flores, of the Corcoran Police Department, and Kim Pedreiro of the Kings County Sheriff’s Office.

Ward, the Lemoore Chamber’s hard-driving executive director, has been the chamber’s leader for about three years. Before joining the Lemoore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, she worked for 10 years as the Regional Community Services Director at NAS Lemoore, and other military bases.

“I was on the board of directors for the chamber, and about three months before the previous director left, the board knew I had the experience, and they asked if I would be interested in applying,” said Ward.

Ward is married to a Navy veteran and Fresno County deputy sheriff, and they have three children.

“Being in leadership is not easy, and being a woman in leadership brings its own unique challenges. I have always admired strong women who refuse to let anything stop them. I was lucky enough to be raised by a Dad that taught me that I really could do whatever I set my mind to. He never let me have a victim mentality when things got hard but taught me to use my challenges to push me to be better,” said Ward.

The Kings County honorees were part of a decades-long tradition. National Women’s History Week began in 1980 with a Presidential Proclamation by President Carter and was declared National Women’s History Month by Congress in 1987. The goal was to provide an opportunity to recognize the contributions women have made to the nation.



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