Opening Remarks

as delivered by

IWF President

Carrie Lukas

at the

Independent Women's Forum 2017 Annual Awards Dinner

November 15, 2017


Carrie Lukas:

Tammy, thank you for that kind introduction, and thank you all for coming here tonight.

In 1991, during the fury surrounding the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the media regularly turned to groups like NOW to speak for women. The media seemed to believe that women from such radical, liberal groups perfectly reflected the views of the majority of American women. But there were some women who knew that wasn't true. They knew there were a lot of women—women like them—who  had different priorities.

Women who want a federal government focused on its core mission of protecting the country and executing the laws.  Women who want government to get out of the way of American innovators and workers so our economy can grow and everyone can have more opportunity.  Women who know that healthy families and communities are the best safety net, and that men and women aren't competitors but partners and allies. Women who know that all issues are women’s issues.

These women came together in 1992 to create Independent Women's Forum.  Now, 25 years later, IWF is still proudly working to fulfill their vision and give women who reject the left’s radical, victim-mentality a home.

Today, IWF is playing a leading role in expanding the freedom movement by reaching new audiences and offering our positive vision for women and the country.  We are changing the conservative brand by showing people that we are the team with ideas that really do help women We are the ones that are promoting reforms that will truly help people who are struggling to lead more flourishing lives. 

It's not the left, but those of us on the right who truly believe in women's equality. 

I am so proud of the work IWF is doing today, and I'd like to take a moment to recognize women who have contributed to building this organization over the years. Women like Ricki Silberman, Barbara Olson, Lynne Cheney, Anita Blair, Wendy Gramm, Elaine Chao, Barbara Ledeen, Kate O'Beirne, Heather Higgins, Elizabeth Lurie, Laura Ingram, Grace Terzian, Karlyn Bowman, Louise Oliver, Danielle Frum, Sally Satel, Charlotte Hays, Charmaine Yoest, Christine Rosen, Nancy Pfotenhauer, Mary Arnold, Christina Hoff Sommers, Kim Dennis, Randy Kendrick, Nicki Neily, Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Sabrina Schaeffer, Midge Decter, Sally Pipes and many more. 

Today, IWF has the privilege of being the home to many leading conservative women thinkers and our media presence continues to grow. We also collaborate with many friends across the freedom movement and I see many of those allies in this room tonight.  I sincerely thank you all for your support of IWF over the years.

None of our work would be possible without financial supporters, most notably: the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the Bradley Foundation, the Sarah Scaife Foundation, and several foundations and individuals who wish to remain anonymous – and for members of the press who are here, no, that doesn't mean the Kochs – all of whom are we very much appreciate.

I’d also like to take a moment to thank our generous Gala sponsors, particularly our Platinum Sponsors, including: The Ariel Corporation, Lisa Gable and Annie Dickerson, Hendricks Holding Company, J.P. Humphries Foundation, Lewis Topper, Walton Family Foundation, and Dick and Mary Beth Weiss.

Finally, a big thank you to our wonderful board members:  Evonne Boice, Giovanna Cug- nasca, Nan Hayworth, Larry Kudlow, Adele Malpass, Abby Moffat, Myles Paul-in, and Michaelon Wright for your tremendous dedication to IWF’s work and success. 

And most especially thank you to our Chairman Heather Higgins, for your exceptional wisdom, loyalty, and leadership .

IWF isn't just about outreach and making our case to the public.  We are also working closely with leaders here in Washington to help identify and craft positive policy reform.  We are thrilled to have many of our allies in this room tonight, including friends from the White House, Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, SEC, EPA and others.  

IWF is also privileged to work with conservative leaders on Capitol Hill some of whom are here tonight.  Please stand when I say your name so we can recognizing you: Congressman Gary Palmer, Ken Buck , Claudia Tenney, Bill Flores, Keith Rothfus, Ron Desantis, John Faso , Mike Gallager, Lee Zeldon, Warren Davidson, Andy Barr, Ann Wagner, and Speaker Paul Ryan will be joining us shortly 

We thank you for coming, and for your leadership and your support on Capitol Hill.

And finally, before we get to dinner, putting on a dinner like this is a big undertaking, and I want to thank all of IWF's remendous, hardworking staff for all of their hard work tonight, and particularly a big thank you to IWF's Executive Vice President Amber Schwartz and Ashley Carter for making this dinner possible.

Now to close, I‘d like to make a toast.  If you would each please raise your champagne flute – that flute is our gift to you to take home tonight by the way – cheers to our outstanding honorees, to all of you in this room, and to IWF's first 25 years!  Here’s to the next 25! Cheers!

Now please enjoy your dinner and conversation and we will reconvene shortly for the rest of the program. Thank you