Mayor Suzanne Handshoe Honored as IFRW Woman of the Year
The Indiana Federation of Republican Women selected Kendallville Mayor Suzanne Handshoe as its 2019 Woman of the Year. Mayor Handshoe, a member of the Noble County Republican Women's Club, was recognized at the 38th annual "Tribute to Women" Dinner hosted by the IFRW on August 23.
Suzanne was elected as the first female mayor of Kendallville in 2004. She is currently seeking her fifth term in office. She is one of only 12 female mayors in Indiana out of 120 serving in office.
Suzanne is a veteran, mom, grandmother, cancer survivor and strong conservative Republican woman. She was born in Detroit and raised by a single mom. She joined the Marine Corp after graduating from high school. She worked through the ranks and broke down gender barriers. She was one of the first females to become a combat water survival instructor. She spent 11 years on active duty, and 13 in the reserves.
In 2016, Suzanne was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. She went through 14 weeks of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. The cancer caused five of her vertebrae to fracture, and she lost five inches of height. But she hasn't let that stop her. During her treatments, she continued to lead the city from her hospital bed. She is currently in remission.
Suzanne is an active member of the Noble County Republican Women's Club. She encourages women to get involved by joining the club and running for elected office. She recently appeared as a keynote speaker at an "Advancing Voices of Women" Women's Campaign Institute event in Fort Wayne, Indiana.