Karen D. Gonzales
2022 Corn Mother Honoree
Ann was born in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, to Martin and Gertrude Esquibel. In 1950 the family moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming. She is a graduate of St. Mary’s High School and Parks Business College. She is a 2013 graduate of Leadership Wyoming, which seeks to create committed leaders who understand public policy issues, economic and social diversity, and the challenges facing Wyoming and the nation.
Ann retired from Wyoming state government after serving under Governors Herschler and Sullivan and served on the Planning Committee for Wyoming’s Centennial Celebration and the 50 State QVC, a tour that features products from each state. She also served as an International Trade Assistant. She was administrative assistant to Dave Freudenthal in Governor Herschler’s office. After working on Freudenthal’s successful campaign for Governor of Wyoming, she also worked in his transition office.
In 2017 she received the Lifetime Achievement for Women of Influence award, given by the Wyoming Business Report. She has also received the Athena Award of the Greater Cheyenne Chamber of Commerce. Other awards include the Minority Advocate of the Year award from the Small Business Administration and the Woman of Distinction award from the University of Wyoming.
Ann is the founder of the Wyoming Latina Youth Conference (WLYC) and cofounder of the Hispanic Organization for Progress and Education (HOPE) and has done extensive work with the Wyoming Women’s Foundation. Ann and her husband Ralph have been married for 63 years. They have four sons, six grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
I try to live by the following dichos, and the quotation that follows them.
- Do not let others define who you are.
- If you want to see change, you must be part of the solution.
- Leave this world a better place then when you entered it.
“Ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”
— President John F. Kennedy
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