2019 “10 Outstanding” Award Honorees
At each biennial convention since 1965, TFRW has recognized 10 Outstanding Republican Women who have given so much for Republican causes in their local clubs, TFRW, NFRW, party activities, and civic duty.
Honorees are listed in alphabetical order.
Sue De Villez
Georgetown Area RW
Sue De Villez grew up in a military family and thus lived in many cities around the country, as well as overseas. Prior to moving to Texas, she and her family lived in Kentucky for 24 years. Her dad was a Republican that talked Geo-Politics with her from a very young age and her mom was a Republican Club member with her at Georgetown Area RW. She has served her TFRW club in positions ranging from President to VP Programs, Treasurer to Parliamentarian, and Awards to Literacy. Her service to the TFRW board has included District Director, election to the Nominations Committee, and multiple turns on the Budget Committee. In 2016, she was elected as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.
She sums up her feelings about TFRW with this quote: “I truly love and respect all my TFRW Republican sisters as they are my mentors, my friends, my leaders, and my supporters.”
Cynthia England was raised in Texas and graduated from Texas A&M University with a BBA in Accounting. She is the managing partner in a small accounting firm. Working with small businesses taught her that the Republican Party’s philosophy of a limited government, lower taxes and a balanced budget was the only way to go.
She has served as President, Treasurer and Membership VP at the local club level and as a special committee chair, Treasurer and District Director on the TFRW Board of Directors. She has been a delegate to TFRW Conventions, NFRW Conventions, and Republican Party of Texas Conventions. She has served as a precinct chair in Harris County for the last seven years and served the Harris County Republican Party as the Assistant Treasurer. She says that one of the things she has enjoyed the most about her service and experience with Republican Women’s clubs is being able to assist political groups and candidates with reporting requirements and compliance issues which has allowed her to advise various candidates regarding campaign reporting issues. Cynthia was nominated by Heritage RW.
Fort Bend RW
Tina Gibson is a Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care nurse, loving wife, mother of two daughters and a doting grandmother. She is a proud Texas A&M Aggie and is committed to spreading the Republican message.
Tina has served in ten local club Board positions, was President of her former club and is President of her current club, Fort Bend RW who nominated her for this award. Over the past 20 years, she has actively supported Republican candidates with the common goal of gaining Republican dominance in all elected seats in Fort Bend County, the most diversified county in the United States. She has also served her County in numerous jobs from Election clerk, GOP Trainer, numerous rallies, Lincoln Day Dinners, and organized and led 47 Senate District Leadership Development and Training workshops in 3 different counties over the past 8 years. Serving on the SREC, she did an exemplary job of chairing RPT Auxiliaries and Coalitions.
Hardin County RW
Janis Holt exhibits leadership skills along with her humorous personality and love for country. She became involved in TFRW once she established a club in a small rural town in South East Texas. She has been the club president, secretary and currently serves as Club Treasurer for her club, Hardin County RW. Janis currently serves as the TFRW Awards Chair for 2018-2019. Janis also serves as Chair of NFRW’s Campaign Committee.
Volunteering for state and local candidates in her area she has been instrumental in helping turn her county red. Because of her hard work, her congressional district elected her to represent them at the last Republican National Convention. She was also a member of the 2016 Electoral College from Congressional District 36. Janis was awarded RPT Volunteer of the Year from Senatorial District 3 for 2017.
Still having time on her hands, she serves on a local school board, works with her husband in their family business, is active in church activities and even quilts. She loves Disney World and never passes up a Bucee’s.
North Shore RW
When Ann Kate joined a Young Republican Club at the University of Tulsa, it was the beginning of many years of involvement in politics.
Marriage, four children, and a husband’s job which brought several moves, delayed her political activism. But, when her children were all out of school, she ran for office in Orange, Texas, and became the first woman elected to the City Council. Another move found her in Illinois where she got involved and served nine years on the McHenry county Board and was also elected and served as Clerk of Nunda Township.
When she finally got back to Texas, she attended a Republican Women’s club meeting even before she moved into her home. She is a driving force in North Shore RW and has represented her club at every TFRW Convention since 2008. She has held signs, worked elections, organized meet and greets and donated money to campaigns. In her county, she is known for her volunteering spirit.
Theresa Kosmoski volunteered for her first Republican candidate on the campaign of Ronald Reagan. She is the Immediate Past President of the Texas Federation of Republican Women. She has been an officer on the Greater Houston Council of Republican Women, served her local clubs as President and in numerous officer positions, has served on various county-wide boards, is an Officer with the Harris County Republican party, the Republican Party of Texas, the Texas Trump Advisory Committee, and holds a position on the Executive Committee of the National Federation of Republican Women.
For more than twenty years she has been actively involved in many local state and national civic and non-profit organizations with a particular emphasis on child advocacy and community improvement. As a retired member of a local School Board of Trustees, Theresa has actively pursued her interest in public policy and legislative issues.
Professionally, Theresa began her career in the banking and investment fields and has been a Registered Parliamentarian for the last 20 years serving non-profit, corporate and political organizations; she and her husband run consulting and engineering firms in southeast Texas. Theresa and her husband have two sons, both of whom are Eagle Scouts.
Kendall County RW
Elizabeth “Besa” Martin was born in Fort Davis, Texas and graduated from Marfa High School. She graduated from Texas A&M University and went on to attend Law School at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio. In 2018, she was inducted into the Texas A&M University Tyrus R. Timm Honor Registry at the Department of Agricultural Economics for her accomplishments since graduation.
Besa Martin has served her republican club as Legislative Chair, Bylaws Chair, Vice President and President; her county party as Rules Chair, Convention Secretary and State Convention Delegate; TFRW as Candidate Development Chair, VP Legislation, VP Programs; and NFRW as Vice Chair Campaign Activities and Chair of Election Integrity. She played a “HUGE” role in giving Texas a super majority of 101 republicans out of 150 members in the Texas House of Representatives during the 2010 general election. Most recently she worked with NFRW during the Senate races in 2014 to celebrate the return of the U.S. Senate to Republican leadership in January 2015.
She is an attorney, a rancher, an avid outdoors enthusiast and a grassroots activist. This “10 Outstanding” winner is a member of Kendall County RW.
Montgomery Co. RW
Alice Melancon moved from Louisiana to Texas 30 years ago and shortly thereafter became involved in local school board elections – and has been active in every school board election since. When she joined her TFRW club, she quickly became a leader in its activities, eventually serving as president, program chair, newsletter editor, Americanism chair, and chaplain. She leads by example and delights in meeting new members and encouraging them into leadership positions. The Montgomery County Council of Women’s Organizations chose her as one of their Women of Distinction of 2017.
She had been an active part of the Montgomery County Republican Party having served on a variety of county committees, ranging from Headquarters to Finance, Fundraising, Credentials, and Nominations. She has been a delegate to state party conventions, TFRW conventions, and NFRW conventions as well.
She currently holds the position of 1st VP/Programs for both her club and the Greater Houston Council – and she will be serving TFRW as our new Vice President of Programs. Montgomery County Republican Women proudly nominated Alice.
Conner Harrington RW
Jody Rushton was born in McAllen, Texas, and she and her husband have lived all over the country. She says that “everywhere they moved her priorities were to find a church, a school, and a Republican Women’s club…not necessarily in that order!”
After volunteering on her first campaign for Reagan/Bush in 1984, she has been involved in too many campaigns to name, at all levels, both as a leader and as “just a volunteer”. She attended her first NFRW convention in 1983, and has been to at least six others. She’s been a delegate to every TFRW convention since 2005. She has been a member of her Republican Women’s club for more than twenty years, where she has served as President (more than once), and in many other roles.
She has been a delegate to every Republican Party of Texas Convention since 2002, and has also been a delegate and an alternate to the Republican National Conventions in 2012 and 2016. In 2016, she served on a Trump/Pence “Strike Force” for five months! Both her local party and the state party have honored her with their highest awards for her service.
She served TFRW as President. Most recently, she served as the President of the National Federation of Republican Women. Her club, Conner Harrington Republican Women’s Club was proud to nominate this “10 Outstanding” winner.
Central Texas RW
Zenia Warren learned at a very young age about conservative values and how politics would affect every aspect of her life. She is a 1st generation American and experienced her parents becoming U.S. citizens and understands freedom in a way most Americans do not. Her father served in the Polish Army during World War II, was captured and liberated from a POW concentration camp. Both of her parents immigrated to the US in search of liberty and wholeheartedly embraced the Republican Party as the party of freedom. She served our nation in the U.S. Army during the Viet Nam War and describes herself as an active Grassroots Republican living the American Dream.
She served in many positions in her club including as its President. This very active Republican woman has served her county in numerous positions including Vice-Chair of the Party. She has worked many campaigns including going to Nevada with the Mighty Texas Strike Force.
Zenia has served TFRW as an active District Director and has been elected to be the next TFRW VP Membership. She is Central Texas RW’s clubs own “10 Outstanding” Woman.